Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 14, chapter 82 - Less Wrong

7 Post author: FAWS 04 April 2012 02:53AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (790)

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: erratio 10 April 2012 01:18:50PM 3 points [-]

One or two chapter discussions or so back, someone spoke to Eliezer in person and got super secret spoilery information about the diary, which they posted under ROT13. The first part is that the diary wasn't meant to be anything special. Second part is gung orpnhfr bs nyy gur ernqre fcrphyngvba urf qrpvqrq gung ng fbzr cbvag uneel jvyy tb onpx gb vg naq qvfpbire fbzr eryngviryl zvabe ohg urycshy cvrpr bs vasbezngvba nobhg jnaqyrff zntvp

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 11 April 2012 01:33:32AM 3 points [-]

That would've taken too much time, actually, I've got new plans now. But by reader demand, it will reappear.

Comment author: pedanterrific 11 April 2012 01:43:16AM 15 points [-]

I admit I'm kind of surprised. You thought you could have Quirrell give Harry a spelled-indestructible diary for no apparent reason and that wouldn't be a red herring?

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 12 April 2012 07:45:14AM *  8 points [-]

As I've said recently I think Eliezer severely overestimates the readiness of people to let go of perceived patterns.

The indestructible diary was meant by Eliezer to be a red herring for the duration of a couple paragraphs, until the readers were told it was the diary of Roger Bacon, not Tom Riddle. At which point, I suppose readers were supposed to smile at themselves for being deceived.

But of course readers just pattern-matched "indestructible diary" to "super-significant plot-point and Horcrux" and wouldn't let go.

Comment author: Salivanth 14 April 2012 03:24:32AM 5 points [-]

Similar to this is Quirrel's mannerisms at the very start of his first class, meant to get you to think he'll be the typical Quirrel before he bursts into a confident diatribe, but people have speculated on that one, too.

Comment author: MugaSofer 18 August 2012 02:43:13AM 2 points [-]

For the record, it never occurred to me it could be Riddle's diary, and yet I assumed it was a horcrux because it was indestructible. I was probably pattern-matching with the Pioneer probe, which Quirrelmort also said he had spelled to be indestructible and this was, indeed, a Clue that it was a horcrux.

Also, in canon, a horcrux can possess you if you become emotionally attached to it. The diary seemed calculated to become a prized possession of Harry's, and that when Harry learned Latin he could well be in for a nasty shock...

Perhaps I should have updated when it was never mentioned again. Hmm.

Comment author: [deleted] 02 May 2012 03:33:12PM 2 points [-]

As for myself, I quite liked the inclusion of Roger Bacon's diary as part of the background. Though it did lead me to expect a bit more information on 'leakage' between the magical and mundane worlds.

Comment author: thomblake 02 May 2012 03:56:18PM 1 point [-]

The indestructible diary was meant by Eliezer to be a red herring for the duration of a couple paragraphs, until the readers were told it was the diary of Roger Bacon, not Tom Riddle.

Even that's strange though. I didn't seriously entertain the thought that it was Tom Riddle's diary or a horcrux. And then it being Roger Bacon's attempts to apply science to magic was super-awesome - it was sort of a Chekhov's Gun and I kept expecting Harry to gain some sort of insight or initial boost or secret knowledge from reading it.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 02 May 2012 01:51:22AM 1 point [-]

That's probably a fair analysis.

Comment author: summerstay 02 May 2012 06:11:29PM 0 points [-]

I was thinking the same thing. The things he thinks should be obvious by now (such as the quirrel/voldemort connection) ought to be made explicit in an appropriate point-of-view so we can puzzle over the things that he wants the reader to be puzzling over.