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Complete Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Less Wrong - T

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by headbanger22, Mar 9, 2010.

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  1. Palindrome

    Palindrome Magma Moderator Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Fifty shades of STEM. Holy shit, that's one of the best things I've read this week. And so very fitting.
     
  2. dhulli

    dhulli The Reborn

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    Despite all the flaws, this has been one of the most enjoyable stories to read and with a satisfying conclusion at the end of it after some 700k odd words.
     
  3. World

    World Oberstgruppenführer Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I read through it - it is, at the very least, a long, technically good (spelling, grammar) somewhat original story.
    Even if the author is so far up his own ass that he probably resembles a Klein bottle... (yeah, science slam, bitches)
     
  4. newageofpower

    newageofpower Professor DLP Supporter

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    Hariezer Yudotter!

    I snorted cherry Pepsi out of my nose when I read that.
     
  5. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Still sounds better than Harry Potter-Evans-Verres-Smith-Jones-Black-Lewis-Anderson-Ravenclaw-Holmes-Woods.

    Oh, that's not how it is in the actual fic? Well, it felt like it.
     
  6. Oruma

    Oruma Unspeakable

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    What is expected: a point of divergence from this marriage, and that Harry is indeed, the (adopted) son of a scientist, thrust into the canon wizarding world with a different world view. Less accepting of its quirks, he would attempt to rationalize magic.

    What we got: a complete AU, where rules (magical, cultural etc.) directly contradict canon, characters completely different from canon. It isn't Scientist! or Rationalist!Harry since he didn't do anything in the scientific method. Hell,
    he isn't even Harry fucking Potter, being an reincarnated Tom Riddle.
    And the worst thing is? The author had the audacity to demean and laugh at the caricature he created out of canon, which was neither stupid nor insane like this.

    Would have rated this Fail/5 for missing and wasting the premise, but given a +1 for at least being somewhat funny in the beginning.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
  7. thejabber27

    thejabber27 DA Member

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    http://www.amazon.com/Harry-Potter-Methods-Rationality-Chapters/dp/B00E640ZAG

    So someone (not necessarily the Author) is selling this.... on Amazon..... and people are buying it. How can anyone find this interesting. The Author can't decided if he's writing a fanfic or a disjointed book about science for middle schoolers. It was boring from the beginning and I skimmed the last chapter because even in the finale it couldn't make me interested in what happen to these caricatures of canon characters.

    1/5
     
  8. T3t

    T3t Purple Beast of DLP Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Well, considering that MIRI hands out the paperbacks for free... whoever's trying to sell it is really dumb.
     
  9. Rubicon

    Rubicon Professor DLP Supporter

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  10. dhulli

    dhulli The Reborn

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    Gah, this story deserves a lot more praise. For a minute, forget who the author is, forget whether someone is trying to profit off of it and forget that it has some scientific inaccuracies because I don't get my science from fanfics.

    It's a fairly enjoyable read and kept me intrigued until the very end.
     
  11. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    Since I don't think this is happening with JKR's consent, I really hope the person responsible gets legally slammed.

    On the other hand, this shit is yet another thing to come out of MoR that crosses the fine lines within which fanfiction exists and potentially ruining fanfic for everyone if someone decides to roll out a blanket ban.

    So MoR is tedious, fails at its intended purpose from almost the beginning and is just plain dangerous for all HP fanfiction everywhere. It has no reason to exist.

    Fuck it with a hedgehog.
     
  12. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    This is the essential problem though. The project can't decide what it wants to be.

    If it wants to be a story, the "science" (actually more philosophy than science) and endless lectures drag it down and make it a bad story.

    If it wants to be pedagogical, the inaccuracies and absurd narrative make it at best inefficient teaching, at worst misleading.
     
  13. Rubicon

    Rubicon Professor DLP Supporter

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    I think it's actually intended to be community-building.
     
  14. someone010101

    someone010101 Groundskeeper

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    Then it was a great success.

    @topic: I had a lot, lot of fun reading HPMOR for the first time. I thought it was the best thing ever. Then updates trickled down. I realized that nothing was actually happening. And I stopped.

    I never reread HPMOR because it hit's so many pet peeves. The urge to scream NO! NO! You are wrong! (On the internet!) is just to big and the author to unlikable.

    ---

    Somebody really needs to write a "Harry Potter and the methods of mathematicians" fic, with Harry as the adopted of a mathematician. Harry keeps making new models and theories to explain the WW, he's very literal and invents and uses shortcodes nobody else understands.
     
  15. Dark Minion

    Dark Minion Bright Henchman Moderator DLP Supporter

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    "Harry, yer a wizzard," said Hagrid, sitting back down on the sofa, ""an' a thumpin' good'un, I'd say."

    "Oh yeah," Harry answered, shaking his head, "and epsilon be less than zero."
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
  16. Innomine

    Innomine Auror Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Best way I can put it: If I rated this story as a humor/parody, I would give it a 5/5.

    If I rated it as a serious AU, I would give it a 2.5/5.
     
  17. Perspicacity

    Perspicacity High Score: 3,994 Prestige DLP Supporter

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    A quote from one of the sites linked in that thread pretty much sums up my personal difficulty with the fic:

    I admit that it's not a standard I hold the rest of fanfiction to, which may not be entirely fair. It's one thing for me to watch Star Trek and listen to the science word salads, recognizing that positronic-brain muckymuck and tachyonic-field whatsits are terms of art for the space opera game. It's something else when a story, like MoR, aspires to be the fanfiction equivalent of hard science fiction, where the expectations of one's scientifically literate readers are that the science will be gotten right to the extent possible. This sets the bar very high; botch the science and the author pretty much hoses his or her credibility. And he did botch a few things in the several chapters I read.

    It was an ambitious attempt, I'll give him that. Setting aside the author's antics and judging the story on its merits and flaws, I think it's properly placed in Almost Recommended territory. 3/5.
     
  18. Newcomb

    Newcomb Headmaster

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    Had a lot of travel time this last week, and decided to give this a go now that it's over. (I'd tried once before, when I first started getting into fanfiction, and dropped it around Chapter 20 at that insanely pedantic Harry / Draco conversation about blood, magic, and genetics.)

    So, I read the whole thing, and I have to say, I basically agree with Innomine here. I think a lot of the extreme hate for MoR comes from non-story stuff (interactions with the author, zealous fans inspiring backlash). I tend to kind of mentally edit out people getting heated (one way or the other) about MoR, because honestly it's just not that important.

    If you read it as kind of a "dark reflection" of A Black Comedy (or, as mentioned above, Oh God Not Again), it's actually pretty enjoyable. Both have extreme OOC Harry, a plot that does have some overarching themes but frequently goes off on tangents, and some moments of real humor. The difference is that ABC is a) a lot funnier, and b) not in any way trying to take itself seriously, which is why ABC is my favorite fic of all time, and this is kind of a "has its moments, but has some huge flaws as well" fic.

    I think my biggest problem with MoR is that, in order for it to generate some of these good moments (and it does have them -- anyone saying this is pure shit just isn't giving it a fair shake), it has to create an insanely straw-man version of JKR's world, and then tear it down in an amusing way. So, it's aggravating and funny at the same time.

    It's kind of the same argument I made in this post. The author has taken various parts of canon that weren't fully fleshed out, and decided on the interpretation that, instead of there being an off-screen reason for various things, the wizarding world is incredibly stupid and backwards. And then he pats himself on the back (in-story) for pointing out how stupid he's made them.

    An example, off the top of my head: Harry's trip to Gringotts. JKR never fleshed out how banking works, beyond the fact that there are vaults and goblins run them and wizards store money and some other things there. Instead of observing this, and the fact that the wizarding economy exists in canon and doesn't randomly collapse, and inferring that there are off-screen reasons that the trivial "game breaking" solutions Harry comes up with aren't possible, the author just makes wizards really stupid and illogical.

    Same deal with Hogwarts students. Some of the best moments of comedy in this fic are the ways various secondary Hogwarts characters interpret events - their Insane Troll Logic is quite funny, as are Harry's attempts (and frustration) trying to combat it. But, in order to make those moments funny, the author has to make Hogwarts culture a caricature of itself.

    Anyway. Enough virtual ink has been spilled about this fic, I suppose. I'm giving it 3/5, which doesn't seem right, because there's almost nothing average about this fic. The bad parts are really, really bad. The good parts are quite good.

    If you can stomach the author taking self-congratulatory shots at canon that he's set up with straw men to look better than they actually are, and long, long science-y rants, and a plot that often takes a backseat to whatever random tangent the author wanted to explore, there's some pretty solid comedy and drama underneath it all.

    3/5
     
  19. Insignificature

    Insignificature First Year

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    I can’t not say something about this story.
    This fic grows on you, like a fungus.

    I initially found myself extremely put off by Harry, but I eventually came to tolerate him. He is extremely annoying, but with sustained reading his outbursts and self-congratulatory ego stroking fades from a sharp pain to a dull ache.

    This fic does have some good aspects. The class battle scenes come to mind, as they showcase the sheer fun and light-hearted joy that the fic really should have focused on.
    Apart from that, there are other satisfying moments, including interactions with Dumbledore, conversations in parseltongue and figuring out the fic’s definition of dementors. However, the climax of this story was not satisfying, in fact I felt like it was extremely unsatisfying. Especially when contrasted with the satisfying conclusions to secondary conflicts in the story.

    I think the story’s greatest strength is that it was obviously planned ahead. Many plot points are very heavily foreshadowed, but not always obviously. Going back and reading the first few chapters makes me wonder how I missed so many clues to future events.

    The greatest problem in the story is its heavy-handedness in delivering its message. I think this is the part that turns most of the people who dislike it off. The author obviously wants the readers to see just how great rationality is and how awesome the world would be if we didn’t have to put up with all those silly non-rationalists. The way he preaches this message is probably the most grating part of the story. I’ve read fairy-tales with more subtlety regarding their morals. It almost reads like propaganda for rationalism in some parts, bad propaganda at that.

    The thing that really brings the fic down the most is the author. I won’t really go into him too much, but when I saw that he was using the fic for donations to his institute, and later had the gall to ask his fans to bring him into contact with JKR to discuss publishing, I was more than disappointed.
    Suffice to say; reading the author’s notes makes me angry. And I am not quick to anger.

    Even though the story is disjointed, overly long and more than a little jarring in places, it really does have its good bits. Unfortunately, many of the good bits are done better by other fics.
    Still, MoR is not without merit. I give it a 2.5/5. Rounding up or down depends on my current mood.
     
  20. Caledfwlch

    Caledfwlch Sixth Year DLP Supporter

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    I'm not sure if this is relevant to the discussion, so feel free to remove it, mods, but it seems like LessWrong still has problems with this forum:

    17/03/2015
     
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