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Comment author: Alsadius 03 July 2013 03:34:34AM 3 points [-]

Remember his anti-Batman resolution from a few chapters ago, where he said that a dead body means the gloves come off and he quits trying to fight a bloodless war.

Comment author: NihilCredo 04 July 2013 03:30:26AM 1 point [-]

Eliezer edited out his explicit resolution at some point before these updates began.

Comment author: ikrase 04 July 2013 01:00:05AM 6 points [-]

According to Quirrel (this might not actually be accurate) troll regeneration works by constantly transmuting itself into its own body. I wonder if that can be applied to a human...

Comment author: NihilCredo 04 July 2013 03:25:28AM 2 points [-]

Harry would have to maintain the transfiguration for the rest of Hermione's life, or until they find a replacement solution. Given the extent of the injuries that may not be within his strength.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 23 December 2012 04:26:22PM 7 points [-]

I've seen it mentioned elsewhere as a way of finding out what background assumptions one has about gender.

Unfortunately, I have no obvious way of tracking down the cite, but I think the author found that when the male characters were given female pronouns, the amount of agency they showed became very unattractive. I don't remember what the shift was when the male characters were given female pronouns.

On my first reading of Mieville's Embassytown, I kept getting thrown out of the story because I couldn't believe the protagonist was female. I think it's because she was more interested in travel than in people. On the second reading, it wasn't a problem.

Comment author: NihilCredo 23 December 2012 10:13:54PM 7 points [-]

A prominent pop-culture example is the Mass Effect sci-fi game series. Unless Commander Shepard's gender is directly relevant (such as during romantic subplots), he/she will say the exact same lines whether man or woman.

Over five years and three lengthy and ambitious games, I've probably read hundreds of pages of people discussing every aspect of the series and its narrative. The single time I can remember anyone saying that 'FemShep' felt a bit off was in direct response to the above observation; outside of that, she was wildly popular and often named as a positive model for the writing of female protagonists.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 23 December 2012 03:17:32AM 11 points [-]

It did work out that way in my own life.

There's a Dilbert cartoon in which Dilbert thinks he's really just been faking it since sixth grade.

At age 17 I went through a bit of hell bad enough that I don't particularly want to talk about it, and three weeks later woke up one morning and realized that I would never feel like that Dilbert cartoon again. Literally, just woke up in the morning. It wasn't the result of any epiphany, it seemed more like something biological my brain just did in response. My main reaction was, "Why couldn't my brain have done this three weeks earlier when it would've #$&%ing helped?"

Not sure how that squares with the research, and I couldn't point to anywhere in my life where it happened except that one point.

However, the actual literary logic is something more like, "Once you show Harry thinking his way out of Azkaban, it is no longer possible for him to lose an even battle to Draco - the reader won't believe it." I don't think the 'power up through trial' thing is actually unrealistic, I mean, if I come out of this planet alive I'm probably not going to be fazed by much after that. But it's the more fundamental literary reason why so many stories work that way. You will perceive that this also points in the direction of, "Being run over by a truck isn't the same as punching the truck to a standstill" in terms of whether you powered up after that.

Even so, imagine Methods!Granger fleeing to the bathroom after just hearing Ron call her a nightmare. That could've happened in Ch. 9, maybe, but now Granger has fought three older bullies successfully and you'd be, like, "Yeah right." But she hasn't been to Azkaban, either.

Comment author: NihilCredo 23 December 2012 09:55:56PM *  8 points [-]

I mean, if I come out of this planet alive I'm probably not going to be fazed by much after that

My opinion of you has ebbed and flowed a lot, Eliezer, but one thing for which I doubt I will ever stop loving you is the way you can talk like a science fiction character with the most perfect nonchalance.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 23 December 2012 12:44:16AM 8 points [-]

You're correct as a matter of rationalist etiquette, but...

Harry is the only student character who sometimes has that level of control over his emotions. Dumbledore can do that. Professor Quirrell can do that. Severus Snape can do that almost all of the time (see Ch. 27). Professor McGonagall tries to do that. Draco, Neville, Hermione, and any other first-year student you care to name except Harry can't.

Comment author: NihilCredo 23 December 2012 09:20:02PM 1 point [-]

Hey, since Plasmon brought up chapter 62: can we assume that whenever the fic resumes, there's going to be a scene of Harry's parents visiting Hogwarts?

(I post this less in order to get an answer than to prevent the off-chance you forget about it and end up having to squeeze in a hasty explanation for the missing visit.)

Comment author: MugaSofer 23 December 2012 01:58:43PM 7 points [-]

P.S: In retrospect there's exactly one important canon character in this story whose gender I could freely choose, and I did happen to make her female, but that's not going to be apparent until later.

Clearly, this line is the only important part of this comment. Let the games begin!

(Tonks would be the obvious guess, since there's long been speculation about gender-bending metamorphamagi. But she's presented as female in canon, and Eliezer would probably object to the notion that the mere ability to change body shape would count as changing sex.)

Comment author: NihilCredo 23 December 2012 08:53:16PM 3 points [-]

Hmm, he didn't say "she's not going to appear until later", he said "that's not going to be apparent until later". This suggests that the character has already appeared, doesn't it?

(I might have guessed that the androgynous Voldemort could have been a female character in this fic, but I believe Eliezer has already flat-out stated that he's sticking to Quirrell = Voldemort.)

Comment author: [deleted] 23 December 2012 11:16:20AM 2 points [-]


Comment author: NihilCredo 23 December 2012 08:46:04PM *  1 point [-]

Fawkes is male in HPMOR.

e: unless the "that's not going to be apparent until later" means that he will be revealed to have actually been female all along later on.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 December 2012 04:27:37AM 3 points [-]

Hah, I wondered if someone would ask that. I reply that seeing through the Cloak is a 'requires concentration' ability. Harry deliberately doesn't concentrate before going back in time, because he doesn't want to fix anything via knowledge so as to leave himself freedom of action.

Comment author: NihilCredo 22 December 2012 05:29:01AM *  5 points [-]

I would say a small edit is probably in order, because "as obvious to him as a Thestral" definitely doesn't come across as an ability that requires any concentration.

But I think Karl's explanation is a much better one and should be canonical.

Comment author: NihilCredo 04 November 2012 07:37:34PM 13 points [-]

The great thing about reality is that eventually you hit it.

Source: Andrew Sullivan in an otherwise fairly bland political post

Comment author: saliency 03 November 2012 01:28:44AM 13 points [-]

If you told me I had a 35 percent chance of winning a million dollars tomorrow, I’d try to sell you my chance for 349 thousand dollars.

Comment author: NihilCredo 04 November 2012 07:34:09PM 1 point [-]

I'd first look for a multi-millionaire to whom to make the offer.

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