Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality eBook ·


  • ebook
  • 2184 pages
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
  • Eliezer Yudkowsky
  • English
  • 10 June 2016

10 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

  1. Hussain Elius Hussain Elius says:

    Imagine Harry Potter being replaced with a Harry Potter with combined talents of Ender Wiggins Artemis Fowl and Yagami Light and put him in world much darker than Rowling envisioned Yep that's what this book was No Ron or Hagrid to distract you this is a Machiavellian Harry who manipulates people to his own ends with powers the Dark Lord knows not and the ambition for world domination or as he would call it world optimizationIt is a HUGE book and still ongoing Took me three days straight to finish it but I don't regret a moment of it Not only was it fun it was almost in all ways better than the originals it does need to be heavily edited and consolidated in multiple parts but as a fan fiction I'll let it slideSo far Jan'12 there are five big arcs1 Harry trying to bring Malfoy to the side of Good2 Harry's powerplay with Snape and Dumbledore3 Extra curricular mock battles in Defense Against Dark Arts class similar to Ender's Game that takes place in forests corridors and even underwater4 Harry helping carry out a prison break from Azkaban not Sirius5 Hermione's uest to become a hero on her own right rather than live under Harry's shadow More but that would be giving away spoilersNot to mention multiple smaller arcs littered infodumps but not too much and philosophical discussions about life the universe and everything with the very smart uirrel and DumbledoreNow this is not just a story the author has tried to put his ideas forward as a rationalist in this on going series and he has done so beautifully The premise the execution and the stories are all superb Kudos to the author for producing the best fan fiction if not the best fiction I have ever read Rabid fan re review No review does the book justice I mean seriously I can't give you guys spoilers but HOLY FUCK I just finished the latest arc and my mind has been blown with a power of a exploding star I don't think even Rowling put as much thought behind HP as Eliezer Yudkowsky didHarry is a scientist And he asks the basic uestion in the fantasy novel How does Magic work? Why does putting stuff in a pot and brewing them make a potion that can change your molecular structure? How can it be conceivable for the human brain to operate in the anatomy of a cat?And he delivers answersEven if you didn't like Harry Potter this this you should read


  2. Eddie Eddie says:

    AI researcher and decision theorist Eliezer Yudkowsky probably woke up one day and asked himself a single uestion what would have happened in Harry Potter’s first year in Hogwarts had he not been such an insufferable idiot? You might not have considered him to be an idiot in the first place but as the book progresses and the new Harry makes his way around Hogwarts facing the same problems and situations it becomes impossible to ignore the oh so logical and natural way he handles them this time It really makes one wonder what was going through his head in the original version and feels like a direct critiue of Rowling It made me wonder how I managed to ever take the original seriously might have something to do with me being 8 at the timeIn Eliezer’s version of the story Harry is a child prodigy; Highly intelligent and educated well beyond his years in the sciences and the methods of rationality he is well euipped to handle anything the magical world can throw at him and then some But this Harry also has a dark side and we get to know him better as he struggles to find balance in himselfThe differences in this parallel universe don’t end with Harry though His adopting parents Petunia and Prof Michael Verres Evans are happily married and treat him as they would their own flesh and blood Ron and Hermione remain mostly the same although genius Harry obviously prefers to interact with the hard working book worm and uickly decides that a boring average ginger is simply not worth his precious time speaking of time no I won’t ruin the surprise A cunning and manipulative Draco Malfoy and a powerful yet cynical Prof uirrell take on larger roles in uite unexpected ways We also see much of Dumbledore who’s actually read The Lord of the Rings seeing as every muggle student ever to come to Hogwarts thought that gifting him a copy was an original idea It seems important to note that magic is also treated a little bit differently especially by a scientific Harry who sets out to test and understand it thus restoring order to the seemingly shattered laws of physics Naturally things don’t go according to plan and at times he is forced to improviseThe book started out pretty well with some laugh out loud scenes as Harry finds out about magic for the first time see uote below As I read the first few chapters I kept waiting for the level to drop for the premise to exhaust itself for my enthusiasm to subside but 300 pages in and hungrily reading on It was clear that I’ve stumbled upon something great and that the story is safe in the deft hands of Eliezer Yudkowskyuote “You turned into a cat A SMALL cat You violated Conservation of Energy That's not just an arbitrary rule it's implied by the form of the uantum Hamiltonian Rejecting it destroys unitarity and then you get FTL signaling And cats are COMPLICATED A human mind can't just visualize a whole cat's anatomy and and all the cat biochemistry and what about the neurology? How can you go on thinking using a cat sized brain?” The book is funny at times hilarious The premise is well executed as Eliezer draws from his vast experience as a rationalist and lets us take a look at genius minds at work; we all know how hard that is to pull off Methods of Rationality really hits its stride around chapter 5 and according to the author if you haven’t taken to it by chapter 10 then that’s a good time to call it uits and rethink your interests From the get go different decisions create chains of cause and effect that send the book in pretty different directions like Harry finding out almost immediately that he’s prophesied to battle against the dark lord Other scenes repeat almost word for word like the first potions lesson with Snape only this time Harry refuses to play the victim and stands up to him in a rather spectacular fashionAs the story progressed I found myself engrossed in the plot invested in the characters and generally unable to put the book down It is not flawless and at times Eliezer’s inexperience as a novel writer shows but overall this is as good as it gets Come for the premise stay for the story and along the way let the message of rationality rub off and enlighten you I’ve rarely been as inspired to study as in love with science or as driven to succeed as when I’ve read this book


  3. Sarah Sarah says:

    I wanted to like this honestly When I stumbled upon it and read that description I figured it was going to be brilliant So naturally it wasn't The author leaves a note saying if you don't like it by chapter five wait until chapter ten and if you still don't like it by then get out That's exactly what I'm doingThis isn't the first book so to speak where the idea is wonderful but it's executed horribly For starters the writing is a bit sloppy at times and when I say at times I mean every single second of this made my head hurt because it was painful to read You can also swap painful with boring because than anything that's all I got from it Harry is even of an arrogant little jerk who spends his time proving that he has to be right He talks down to everyone throws around words bigger than he is and ultimately makes himself look like an ass with his attempts at humor I should not hate an eleven year old this much But I couldn't help it and I think the biggest reason why is because he never once acts like an eleven year old I wasn't even interested in wherever the plot was going I'm assuming there's some world domination crap that could probably be interested if it was realistic I know it's the wizarding world but you know what I mean but I got tired of listening to Harry mock the world the original Harry loves so much Even McGonagall makes cracks at being locked up in a cupboard for ten years and than I was appalled at that bad attempt at a joke I was a little surprised that the author would write the characters so badly The ironic part is that the start of chapter eleven which I reached when I decided to call it uits includes an author's note saying in which everyone else in the wizarding world remains the same but only Harry's character is changed Because really from what I've heard that comes from the story later on every character is different Every character is like one asshole hipster of the original Original Harry loved being a Seeker? Smart Harry thinks Seekers completely ruin the point of the sport This was so infuriating and painful to get through and I only made it through ten chapters I only gave it two stars because I adore the idea of the story I could sit here for a while and tear this story apart but I have better things to do with my time


  4. Toby Toldya Toby Toldya says:

    Great idea; terrible execution In fact I think the summary is completely misleading While some scenes had me laughing out loud I spent most of my time cringing or raising one eyebrow or the other; HPMOR is saturated with Yudkowsky's blatant disdain and a condescending tone Characters are for the most part wildly out of character Harry completely fails to act like an 11 year old boy and reads like a thinly veiled sociopathic self insert Draco is also worrying sociopathic even beyond the rape threat that others have mentioned when the books took careful pains to make him rather human and sympathetic Dumbledore and uirrel have also been replaced by Doppelgangers Yudkowsky apparently felt would better fit his story I rather liked the idea but the actual story is uncomfortably contemptuous of those who don't adhere to 'rationality'


  5. Xi Xinghe Xi Xinghe says:

    Recently I've been wondering just what exactly I wanted from literary fiction Surely I did not expect life changing epiphanies at least not from every single book But neither did I want my books be merely means to cheap escapism which I had perhaps mistakenly long associated with genre fiction Somehow I seem to be asking both too much and not enough and therein lies the reason for my inability to rekindle the kind of pure unadulterated love I used to have for reading No longer can I simply pick up a book with a fancy cover and devour it like a fat kid with a Macdonald's burger Now my books have to be interesting but not too fantastical philosophical but not overly pretentious and preferably famous but hopefully unfamilar to people my age Structures should to be organic voices have to be genuine and reviews must be glowing Years of reliance on the award winning shelf at the library have turned me into a spoiled and picky book reader Perhaps not yet a book snob but definitely approaching that territory A book vegan perhapsYet sometimes despite my pickiness I would find a book that by all accounts I should hate but cannot help but love anyway like a cheeseburger you bought because you were in a rush but turned out to be your best meal of the day Below is ostensibly a review for such a book but really is a love letter to my favourite book at the momentHarry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is the first piece of fan fiction I have ever read and never in my life did I expect myself to fall head over heels in love with a wall of text posted on a website that is also home to thousands of pages of HarryDraco erotica To those of us that grew up with Rowling's books the Harry Potter series was our heathen bible our first novel and the source of some of our fondest childhood memories That someone by the name of lesswrong dared to improveon a book so loved and sacred in the eyes of its fans is nothing short of blasphemy A fan fiction that dared to attempt to surpass its original It seemed like arrogance of the highest level and I felt like God looking down upon the Tower of Babel Yet from the very first chapter HPMOR felt like no ordinary tribute or parody It was a truely original reimagining of a world that was already exceedingly familar to any casual consumer of popular culture let alone a fan At first the differences between Eliezer Yudkowsky's universe and Rowling's may seem superficial The basis of the story can be summed up by the HPMOR website's tagline Petunia married a professor and Harry grew up reading science and science fiction Imagine for a moment that Harry was never an orphan and grew up in a loving family into a well adjusted confident if not a little eccentric 11 year old Imagine again that Harry actually knew SCIENCE before encoutering magic The result is a surprisingly different story from the originalWithout the insecurities and emotional baggage that accompanied the original protagonist there is greater room in the story to explore the world around Harry rather than to dwell on the inner turmoil of Harry himself At the same time the new precocious Harry can now employ all the tools of rationality to discover dissect and manipulate the magical world around him He is no longer a passive observer in a strange scary universe but rather an active explorer from the get go like a college student touring a new country than a child transferring to a new school While the new Harry is perhaps a less relatable character for real 11 year olds he is much a interesting character for the adult reader Harry's mix of cynicism and wide eyed wonder felt genuine and appropriate while at the same time providing us with an alternate view of the magical universe from a scientific point of viewThe other great divergence of HPMOR from the original lies in the tone of the story The original makes clear the moral standing of each characterexcept in the very last book including the much beloved Snape whose true nature was eventually revealed HPMOR never allows its characters to fit comfortably into explicit moral brackets with the difficulties of seperating good from evil as one of its central themes None of the characters are safe from moral ambiguity not Harry not Hermione not even Dumbledorewho spoilers admitted that he may very well become the next Dark Lord after the fall of Voldemort Yet in this grey alternate universe we feel the anguish and joy of each character acutely there ever before Because the reader can now see how there are no easy choices for any of the characters the plight of the characters feels tragic And with true victories few and far between when a character does manage to come out ahead in an impossible situation the accompanying euphoria is truly upliftingIronically this gritty and realistic universe provided a much optimistic world view than that of the original Compared to original's utopic depiction of magical Britain HPMOR by making clear the deficiences of a pre industrial logicless society puts muggles and wizards on a much eual standing In this world nothing is perfect not even magic That muggle scientists have achieved what even wielders of magic have deemed impossible is testament to the strength of our spirit of enuiry and discovery Some have found such overtly humanist elements in the story to be naive and unrealistic But I found it to be an effective counter weight to the over adulation of magic as the answer to all of humanity's problems needs and wishes Yudkowsky allows his readers to immerse in this fantastic world but also remembers to remind us that in many ways we can already do magic


  6. Amanda Amanda says:

    I wanted to love this book I really did I mean the premise itself was what got me hooked I'm sure we've all thought that there was something to be desired in the Plausibility and Possibilities department of the original Harry Potter series so I jumped at the idea of a realistic story inspired by the methods of rationality Turns out it wasn't inspired by it so much as it was drowned by it Spoiler Alert I didn't finish the book Yudkowsky left a note about how the series hits its stride at chapter 5 and if you still don't like it by chapter 10 give up So I followed his advice I'll try to summarize why I did so1 Harry Potter is a little shit And you know it I thought long and hard about whether or not this was truly a bad thing and I think I'm still convinced that it is Asshole should have a reason for being assholes They either contrast the good in others serve to advance the plot or provide a interesting POV ie we WANT to hear stories from their POV This Harry is none of those He's unnecessarily entitled and his manipulation skills are both highly romanticized and very Gary Stu esue I don't want to be anywhere near this kid let alone hear his mind cogs turn2 This story was less about Harry Potter than it was about the awesomeness of 'being rational' I may have had a biased foundation because I knew the author was from Less Wrong But I tried to keep an open mind and I have to say that my opinion didn't stray much from my initial impression Speaking as someone with a long career in the STEM field I still don't understand this infatuation some people have with rationality Humans weren't meant to be cool calculating and logical probability machines Emotions are a part of our everyday lives; it plays a part in almost all of our decisions and it's been indisputably advantageous in the evolutionary sense So why is it that this story is absolutely dripping with contempt for any method of reasoning that strays beyond that of the 'scientifically sound'?To sum it up science is all about keeping an open mind So why am I being pounded with the idea that 'the rational way is the only way'? That any decisions made based on emotions or feelings deserve to be scorned to the highest degree?3 The writing was not much than mediocre Yudkowsky would be better suited to writing about hypotheses and experiments than about fictive people Even McGonagall felt flat and one dimensional This was mitigated in no part by all of Harry's impressive and very tedious references to all sorts of logical and mathematical theorems It was too much It was boring And dull ironically I don't want to keep reading about why Harry wants to do this how he'll do it and what it does for his ominous plans for the future I want to know about this alternate world its characters and their interactions with each other I wanted a work that was rich in the culture of an alternate world and ended being served dish after dish of Harry's bland Mind PorridgeI wish I could better express how horrified I was at this blatant love song for rational thinkers I've encountered too many people in my academic career who valued rational thinking above everything else in their lives and falsely euate it with a sign of superior intelligence This book is just another iteration of those fantasies only longer


  7. Nick Nick says:

    This is the funniest thing I have ever read I have never read something this funny before It was extremely difficult to do anything except read it until I had finished it and now it's hard to do anything but think about it and wish there was a lot of it for me to readI guess I'll just read some of his rationalist essay series instead


  8. Kevin Kevin says:

    I can't decide if this was really good or really bad As a novel or the majority of a novel it was pretty terrible As fanfic it seemed pretty good to me which doesn't mean anything because I am not the kind of guy that reads fanfic at all I guess I'll go with three stars which seems to say both of those things at onceConcept that I like take 11 year old Harry Potter about to enter Hogwarts Make him an incredibly astute and science minded young boy and then see just how he'd react to all of the situations that J K Rowling threw him into Wrap it all up in some Douglas Adams inspired humor Dirk Gently than HHGTTG and serve warm That right there is pretty good all around and that's what the first few chapters are I recommend them to anyone that is familiar with the Harry Potter universeConcept that I hate authors realize that writing this is a Good Thing note uestionable and proceed to drag it out over 80 chapters getting and serious Turn Harry Potter into the Ender Wiggin of the magical world except also give him Peter and Valentine's sense of Machiavellian scheming Combine that with poor writing that tells rather than shows and the signs saying WARNING AUTHOR IS MAKING UP PLOT AS THEY GO ALONG and next thing you know it's all fallen apartAnd really that's understandable When you take this new Rational and Science y Harry and put him in the story it goes something like thisMcGonagall and we're worried that you'd run off and do something stupid like try and fight He Who Must Not Be Named by yourselfPotter That's ridiculous Why would I want to endanger myself like that? How about I go hide out in Australia and let a team of experienced Aurors find him and take care of him and I come back when it's over?I like that and the authors present it with a dose of funny However it also immediately takes the story off of the canon rails If the humor is in seeing Harry react to Rowling established situations but his reactions prevent him from reaching the next stop on the list of Rowling established situations what can you do? Just start writing your own novel? Apparently the answer is yes and right here I guess this is the point where I realize that I have no prior interaction with the fanfic world and maybe this is The Best Fanfic There Is and I'll never know Oh well If this is the best then I'm absolutely disinclined to try any othersGood points it made me laugh many times The laughs decreased as the chapter numbers increased and by the end I was probably down to 05 laughs chapter but still there are a lot of other funny books that never made me laugh out loud even once the authors did a great job of applying science to the magical world over and over and it was not only entertaining but educationalBad points unfortunately a much longer list horrible writing If I had to read about one smile statement face blood reaction expression or whatever else being cold I would have been tempted to throw my Kindle across the room See also hard I literally lost count of how many times Harry experienced some black cold rage or was threatened by someone with a hard cold tone in their voice characters in the story are incapable of giving looks that are anything but significant This book apparently takes place in a world where a full third of communication is done by facial gymnastics plot see how I put it in uotes to imply that it's not even a plot and I'm being generous by calling it such is held together by I don't know what Held together by the comments section of whatever fanfic site this is posted on with people saying OMG CANT WAIT 4 NEXT CHAPTER? nerd pop culture references Ugh I mean it's not like DID U SEE THE LAST EP OF BIG BANG THEORY? kind of thing at least it's the old standards of Star Wars and Ender's Game and Lord of the Rings but still did I mention that Harry is the new Ender Peter Valentine? in this universe voices always appear behind someone while they're doing something Everyone sneaks up all the time It's totally radI'm gonna stop bashing it now I read it all the way through Chapter 80 being the most recent at the time of this review and didn't stop so obviously it held my interest but the farther I got the I found myself skipping pages of descriptions about scheming and double crossing and plotting and other tedious things just trying to cherry pick the science and humor bits that were getting lost in the fumbling plot I'm happy it's over and I won't be seeking out new chapters as they appear


  9. Rajiv Rajiv says:

    Update 15 March 2015OMG It's over It has been a wild ride one of the best I've ever been on The ending was satisfying in ways I cannot express Yudkowsky has wowed amazed and blown minds through this epic and I can't wait to read of his work in the future I have never felt the need to take fan fiction seriously They are at best exercises of creativity in a predetermined world and the best of them usually do not stray too far from the established lore As it stands “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality” is the only exception – it has hooked me in so deeply that I just cannot get out of the fascinating world that its author Eliezer Yudkowsky has createdIf you have always felt that Rowling’s characters and vision of Hogwarts and magical Britain were lacking then you weren’t the only one They always felt absurd to me as well lacking coherence and sense in a world that exhibited elitism towards ordinary human beings and looked down at science The ignorance they displayed is appalling Yudkowsky addresses these issues with his fantastic fan fiction that offers a whole new take on this universeThe world remains the same but with some major differences Petunia finally showing some sense has married a professor at Oxford after she took a ‘beauty’ potion from her sister Together they raise Harry Potter with love and affection instilling in him an undying love for rationality and scientific inuiry Harry is a child prodigy who is acerbic and downright pedantic at times but brilliant nonetheless He is a combination of the ualities of Artemis Fowl and Yagami Light Death Note displaying intelligence and wit simply unheard of in an eleven year old boy He is joined by Hermione who is instantly marked as his rival and romantic interest and Draco who is charming and a smart social manipulator Ron and Hagrid are blissfully absent since they do not have anything to offer in Yudkowsky’s vision of magical Britain; both characters become part of the scenery and do not play any essential rolesThe storyline involves a lot of political maneuvering social manipulation being extremely clever and copious amounts of rationalism It results in an extremely funny story where Snape gets taken down a notch Dumbledore is shown to be an clumsy strategist and McGonagall remains forever flustered by everything that happens around her Oh and Harry is a RavenclawIt is a fun and easy read that gets complicated at times This is due to the fact that Yudkowsky writes about advanced topics such as Bayes’s Theorem cognitive bias and artificial intelligence among many things The simple but academic writing style makes these topics clear and accessible The plot is intriguing and the author somehow manages to fit ‘rational’ ideas into every other chapter while still remaining captivating The story is highly didactic aimed at teaching you the abovementioned concepts among other things while at the same time pokes fun at the goofier bits of the original series Yudkowsky is also adept at generating tension that drives the story forwardThat is not to say that the writing isn’t without its flaws Yudkowsky dumps a lot of information on the reader at times which slows the story down to glacial speeds The info dumps are especially pronounced at the beginning but diminish as the story picks up This also means that external characterization is relatively sparse However their internal thought processes are laid out by the author offering us insight into what makes them tick In fact it works better than you might think though it’s not for all types of readers Although the final work is concise and well presented it still lacks the polish that published works have That can be fixed in the hands of a capable editor though who can organize and trim it down to a enjoyable read than it already is“Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality” is still an ongoing project that has 77 chapters as of today January 18 2012 It took me about eleven days to absorb it all It has reintroduced me to rational thinking and changed my outlook towards the world This ‘book’ simply cannot be recommended enough if you want to have a terrific time while broadening your horizon by learning about science philosophy and rationality


  10. Surya Surya says:

    I wanted to like this fanfic As a mathematician and an atheist I should have liked this fanficI didn't The writing is poor even for fanfic and the characterisation worse The author has turned Harry Potter into the most unsympathetic and unlikeable child I can possibly imagine which I would guess from his bio is also a blatant Mary SueShould have been called Harry Potter the Snotty Little Git


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Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality[PDF / Epub] ★ Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality Author Eliezer Yudkowsky – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is a work of alternate universe Harry Potter fan fiction wherein Petunia Evans has married an Oxford biochemistry professor and young genius Harry grows up Harry and the Methods of Kindle - Potter and the PDF/EPUB ´ and the Methods of Rationality is a work of alternate universe Harry Potter Harry Potter MOBI :Ê fan fiction wherein Petunia Evans has married an Oxford biochemistry professor and young genius Harry grows Potter and the PDF/EPUB ¶ up fascinated by science and science fiction When he finds out that he is a wizard Potter and the Methods of ePUB í he tries to apply scientific principles to his study of magic with sometimes surprising results.


About the Author: Eliezer Yudkowsky

Wikipedia and the Methods of Kindle - Eliezer and the PDF/EPUB ´ Shlomo Yudkowsky is an American artificial intelligence researcher concerned with the singularity and Harry Potter MOBI :Ê an advocate of friendly artificial intelligence living in Redwood City CaliforniaYudkowsky did not attend high school Potter and the PDF/EPUB ¶ and is an autodidact with no formal education in artificial intelligence He co founded the nonprofit Potter and the Methods of ePUB í Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence SIAI in and continues to be employed as a full time Research Fellow thereYudkowsky's research Potter and the Methods of ePUB í focuses on Artificial Intelligence theory for self understanding self modification and recursive self improvement seed AI; and also on artificial intelligence architectures and decision theories for stably benevolent motivational structures Friendly AI and Coherent Extrapolated Volition in particular Apart from his research work Yudkowsky has written explanations of various philosophical topics in non academic language particularly on rationality such as An Intuitive Explanation of Bayes' TheoremYudkowsky was along with Robin Hanson one of the principal contributors to the blog Overcoming Bias sponsored by the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University In early he helped to found Less Wrong a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality The Seuences on Less Wrong comprising over two years of blog posts on epistemology Artificial Intelligence and metaethics form the single largest bulk of Yudkowsky's writing.