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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality - What if Harry was smarter than Ender? (Page 12)

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Author Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality - What if Harry was smarter than Ender?
The Rabbit
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quote:
Voldemort thought he had to get around this by incorporating some of Harry's blood into his own new body there in the cemetary in Goblet of Fire.
I certainly don't remember this motivation being stated in the book. In fact the book makes it clear that the magical power of love that protects Harry is a power Voldemort "knows not of".

If I am remembering correctly, the spell Voldemort uses to reincarnate himself requires the blood of an enemy and he wants to use Harry's blood because Harry is his foremost enemy, the one who vanquished him.

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Ron Lambert
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Rabbit, in Goblet of Fire, after Voldemort has gained his new body, Voldemort deliberately lays his hands on Harry and gloatingly tells Harry that now he can touch Harry, and not be burned like Quirrell was when he served as Voldemort's host, because he incorporated some of Harry's blood into the creation of his new body. This also played a part in the ultimate destruction of Voldemort, because it made him more vulnerable to Harry, and played a factor in their final duel in Hogwarts.
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King of Men
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Voldemort can surely understand that Harry's blood has some power outside his ken, without knowing what that power is or how it works. His lack of understanding may prevent him from effectively manipulating Harry's power - as Ron's example of increased vulnerability to Harry shows - but does not prevent him from knowing of its existence.

Incidentally, the many "Why didn't the Death Eaters/Order of the Phoenix/Whoever do X" posts is precisely why this fanfic is being written. Rowling was writing a children's book, or later a YA book; the villains carry the Idiot Ball most of the time, and the heroes at least 50% of the time. Mr Yudkowsky stated in one of his Author's Notes that it was a guiding principle of his fic that it should not include an Idiot Ball.

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Foust
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I don't think this series is really free of idiot balls, though. Harry is buying into the party line of people called Death-Eaters, for crying out loud.

Hans, are we the baddies?

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
"Harry is buying into the party line of people called Death-Eaters"
No, he isn't. He doesn't support blood-purity. He doesn't support even more extreme separation of the Muggle and magical worlds.

The only thing he shares with them is a hatred of death, and he hated death long before he even knew of the Death Eaters, so it's not as if they convinced him of anything.

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Rakeesh
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quote:

Incidentally, the many "Why didn't the Death Eaters/Order of the Phoenix/Whoever do X" posts is precisely why this fanfic is being written. Rowling was writing a children's book, or later a YA book; the villains carry the Idiot Ball most of the time, and the heroes at least 50% of the time. Mr Yudkowsky stated in one of his Author's Notes that it was a guiding principle of his fic that it should not include an Idiot Ball.

I wouldn't say that in this story nobody carries the Idiot Ball. No main characters carry the idiot ball, but in this story most of the characters are idiots. Not just idiots, but some real sneering at them sort of idiots. Harry's mother, now, she died protecting him, but his father-just a schmuck, really. That's the sense that I get more often than not, but it's a long story and I may have forgotten something. Though thankfully it seems to have moved away from that sort of thing.

quote:
I don't think this series is really free of idiot balls, though. Harry is buying into the party line of people called Death-Eaters, for crying out loud.
Where is he doing that? Buying into the Death Eater party line, that is. All he's doing, so far as I can tell, is agreeing with Draco to investigate their opinions on Dumbledore and look into their side of the war, because obviously news outlets aren't to be trusted, Dumbledore isn't to be trusted, and he needs to know. Hell, he told Draco to his face in a highly emotional moment that he didn't trust the Death Eater party line right after pointing out that the head Death Eater murdered his mother and father.
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Foust
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Well, he just watched his mentor try to murder a cop in an attempt to rescue one of the most notorious death-eaters ever, and rather than leave said-mentor for the cops to deal with, he's trying to escape with him.

The other "good wizards" - Dumbledore and the Wizarding world bureaucracy, basically, have done nothing (even in this story) to warrant violent revolution. Harry's just being an idiot, and he's being an idiot with a group of people that might as well be wearing skulls on their caps.

I say Harry is carrying the idiot ball. This whole prison break is one big idiot pop fly.

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Rakeesh
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quote:

The other "good wizards" - Dumbledore and the Wizarding world bureaucracy, basically, have done nothing (even in this story) to warrant violent revolution. Harry's just being an idiot, and he's being an idiot with a group of people that might as well be wearing skulls on their caps.

Dude, there are tons of things about Dumbledore and the entire English Wizarding government that would, to my mind, warrant violent revolution. Well, the Wizarding government at least. Azkaban being the big one. Dumbledore is more ambiguous, but his very ambiguity and his attitude towards explaining himself comes close.
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Raymond Arnold
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The main thing about the bureacracy is that Lucius Malfoy is able to buy the votes for whatever he wants, which apparently includes raping young girls. This was the main thing that led Harry to say "note to self: overthrow Magic Government at earliest possible convenience."

Azkaban doesn't necessarily warrant violent revolution: it could work simply by convincing the government to change the normal way. Oddly enough this is something Harry probably COULD get Lucius' support on. But eventually removing the systems that allow people like Lucius to hold power is going to take a pretty major overhall of the system, violent or no.

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King of Men
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If Harry had been rescuing Sirius Black instead of Bellatrix Black, would you still consider him an idiot? I think not. But he has just as much information to show Bellatrix's innocence as he does to show Sirius's. So an Azkaban break is not of itself evidence of idiocy. As for Quirrell killing the cop - well, it is clear that Harry does not like it, and is going to ask Quirrell some hard questions. But right now he's got an immediate problem that requires him to get out of Azkaban, preferably without leaving any more traces than he can help. The unconscious body of an unregistered Animorph who is well known to be a friend of his? A useful thing to bring along, trustworthy ally or not!
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Seatarsprayan
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Azkaban break-in, no, not a priori idiocy. Even an 11-year-old must sometimes do what he feels is right, at risk to himself. I don't fault Harry for that. He really thought he was doing the Greater Good.

But he's a complete idiot for not having any contingency plans for getting caught. It seems he planned committing the perfect crime where everything went according to plan.

He's General Chaos, for crying out loud. He should know that things NEVER go according to plan.

But he never talked to Quirrell about what they would do if faced with violence in the form of the prison guards. Turns out that was a big mistake, because Quirrell was fine to use lethal force and Harry wasn't.

Harry, as the one with more restraints on his behavior, should have initiated that conversation. He didn't. He expected everything to go off without a hitch, and was quite surprised when things turned sour. Not to mention the fact that he himself made them go sour by getting out of control.

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Raymond Arnold
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He specifically said they DID talk about what would happen if they encountered guards. It's also clear that Quirrel WAS perfectly capable of handling the guard without lethal force. And from the author's comment in last chapter's discussion, it's clear that Quirrel DOES have a plan that he hasn't told us about yet.

The issue has nothing to do with Harry (or Quirrel) being unprepared or stupid. The issue has to do with Quirrel (surprise surprise) lying.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
If Harry had been rescuing Sirius Black instead of Bellatrix Black, would you still consider him an idiot? I think not. But he has just as much information to show Bellatrix's innocence as he does to show Sirius's.
Wrong on all counts.

1. The only evidence of any kind that Harry has of Bellatrix's innocence is Quirrells word. Harry knew from independent sources that Sirius Black had been sent to Azkaban without a trial. While this is far from sufficient evidence to prove Sirius' innocence, it is substantially more than he has for Bellatrix. idiot Ball #1.

2. Quirrell doesn't claim Bellatrix didn't commit the crimes for which she is imprisoned. His claim is that she should not be held responsible for her actions. Even if she shouldn't be held liable for her actions, she's still an extremely dangerous serial killer. Freeing an extremely dangerous person from prison is stupid. When your entire team consists of 1 DAD teacher (who arouses a feeling of dread every time you get too close) and an 11 year old genius with less than a years training in magic, freeing an extremely dangerous person from prison is idiocy pure and simple. If Quirrell had used the exact same reasoning to explain why Sirius shouldn't be held responsible for his crimes, breaking him out of prison would have been equally stupid.
Idiot Ball #2.

3. Breaking into a maxium security magic prison, filled with henious criminals and guarded by death incarnate is an extreme action (to say the least). Taking that kind of extreme, high risk action without absolute proof that it is not only just but the only possible way to achieve justice is idiocy. He doesn't even have any solid of evidence to suggest that the government of magical Britain is corrupt (as opposed to simply incompetent) or any independent evidence that Bellatrix is innocent or that Quirrell isn't evil.

4. He goes in to the prison totally depending on a form of magic, his true patronis, that has barely been discovered and is nearly totally untested. He has no real knowledge of how this magic will work against numerous Dementors, how to properly control it or what the effects might be in a real world situation. Idiot Ball. At least the inventors of nuclear weapons had sound theory behind it that could be used to predict that igniting the atmosphere was highly unlikely (if not impossible). Harry doesn't have anything but one data point. Risking everything on that one data point is idiot ball #4.

5. Furthermore, he goes in without discussing key issues about things like use of deadly force or contingency plans should things go wrong. Being caught by one of the Auror guards is the most glaringly obvious thing that could go wrong with their plan and they clearly didn't have any plan for what to do if this happened. Idiot Ball #5.

6. The entire scene between Quirrell and the cop should have been a huge giant enormous waving red flag alerting Harry that Quirrell was not the man Harry thought he was. It should have raised serious questions about his entire friendship with this teachers, about whether or not Bellatrix was innocent, about whether Quirrell was dangerous and evil. It should have awakened him to how much Quirrell had been manipulating him. It should have made it clear how he had allowed himself to be hoodwinked into an extremely dangerous, poorly thought out, illegal and probably unethical activity by a teacher who should have been protecting him. After that scene, we are all pretty confident that Quirrell is possessed by Voldemort. It's pretty idiotic if Harry doesn't at least suspect the same. Idiot Ball #6

7. When you suspect someone to be possessed by the most evil dark Lord of all times, you've just witnessed that person perform some very high level, very dark magic and attempt to murder a cop, and this person has just manipulated a child into committing a serious felony. Sitting them down to ask them some hard questions, outside some sort of maxium security facility, really does qualify as idiocy. But since Harry hasn't done that yet, we won't pin this idiot ball on him (at least not yet).


Yes, right now he is got an immediate problem of great urgency and difficulty to face so perhaps we can forgive him for not seeing the obvious. But right now, I'd say Harry's an idiot for not putting Bellatrix back in her cell and using the invisibility cloak to escape himself.

Because Harry is only an 11 year old boy, I suppose we can excuse him for being so easily manipulated by an adult friend. We could argue that Quirrell recognized the one thing Harry wanted most, to be taken seriously by an intelligent adult, and he's used that get Harry to trust Quirrell with little question or skepticism. But unless the point of this episode is to demonstrate how easy it is even for a committed rationalist to be manipulated into abandoning reason uwittingly, the author has not avoided leaving Harry holding the idiot ball.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Dude, there are tons of things about Dumbledore and the entire English Wizarding government that would, to my mind, warrant violent revolution. Well, the Wizarding government at least. Azkaban being the big one. Dumbledore is more ambiguous, but his very ambiguity and his attitude towards explaining himself comes close.
I think its worth pointing out that the US has the largest percent of its population in prison of any country in the world (0.75%). and torture is endemic in the US prison system. Many currently in prison, are there for non-violent drug offenses. Many are innocent of the crimes of which they have been convicted. Many are there primarily because they were not wealthy enough to pay quality legal counsel. Many are there because of bigotry. Are you aware of this issue? Have you even seen the studies of the US prison system. Do you think this situation warrants violent revolution? To what extent do you think those who are responsible for this system should be punished? Do you consider people guilty because they are simply ambivalent about the US prison situation?

If not, what do you see as different about the two.

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Raymond Arnold
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You might consider this hair splitting, but I don't consider any of that true "Idiot Ball holding." At least not by the definition Eliezer seems to be using. The point is not that no character will do anything stupid. (Harry does stupid things all the time, as do various other characters). The point is that no character will do something uncharacteristically stupid for the point of making the plot work.

Peter Petegrew in the original story was portrayed as a selfish coward. So his decision to hide as a rat in a family he didn't like was not only stupid but out of character. (As was his placement in Gryffindor). The only reason he did it was so we could have a particular plot twist.

Trusting Quirrel IS a bad decision, but every moment of the story so far has been leading directly to that decision. Quirrel is creepy, but Harry desperately wants a role model he can look up to and everyone else fails miserably. Azkaban is dangerous, but Harry has numerous personal reasons to despise it even if those reasons might not persuade the average person. The government might not be as corrupt as it seems, but Harry has constant interaction with the son of the man controlling the system who was among the leaders of the Death Eaters.

On top of all of this, Harry has had numerous (i.e. EVERYONE) telling him from day one that he is the Hero and he can get away with stuff that ordinary people would be crazy to try. He even has a lot of firsthand empirical evidence that this is the case.

So it might seem obvious to us that Harry's decision is bad, it really is not out of character for Harry at all.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I think its worth pointing out that the US has the largest percent of its population in prison of any country in the world (0.75%). and torture is endemic in the US prison system. Many currently in prison, are there for non-violent drug offenses. Many are innocent of the crimes of which they have been convicted. Many are there primarily because they were not wealthy enough to pay quality legal counsel. Many are there because of bigotry. Are you aware of this issue? Have you even seen the studies of the US prison system. Do you think this situation warrants violent revolution? To what extent do you think those who are responsible for this system should be punished? Do you consider people guilty because they are simply ambivalent about the US prison situation?
This is a great attempt at a gotcha, Rabbit, so I'll give it a shot!

"Many currently in prison, are there for non-violent drug offenses."

Something for which I'm pretty angry about as is reflected in my voting and campaign contribution habits. My guilt is that it's not reflected as much as it should be in my volunteering habits. But of course, what happens in American prisons isn't nearly as awful or as irrevocable as what is described in MoR and Azkaban or nearly as awful as in the canon HP universe.

"Many are innocent of the crimes of which they have been convicted."

That 'many' people are convicted of crimes they did not commit is not, in and of itself, a matter for violent revolution. It's an incredibly vague statement that's delicious as a gotcha but actually a terrible argument.

"Many are there primarily because they were not wealthy enough to pay quality legal counsel."

Well, that's one skewed way of looking at it. A more complete way of looking at it would be to say that many are there first because they committed a crime and then months or years before trial did not have the good fortune to possess enough fortune to acquire quality legal counsel to manage their defense. So no, not 'primarily'.

"Many are there because of bigotry."

See above for wrongful conviction.

quote:
Are you aware of this issue? Have you even seen the studies of the US prison system.
No, Rabbit, I'm not even slightly aware. I haven't been a fan of the Innocence Project since first learning about it back in high school which for me was shortly after its founding. No, you know, I could try to lay out some sort of silly bona fides, but when folks do that on the Internet it's almost always ridiculous. Suffice it to say, Rabbit, kindly take your preachiness someplace else where it's both requested and merited.

Now, on to the rest of your attempted gotcha:

quote:
To what extent do you think those who are responsible for this system should be punished? Do you consider people guilty because they are simply ambivalent about the US prison situation?
To the extent their responsibility can be proven in a court of law to the standards of proof in a civil or criminal case, of course. What other standards are there, exactly, aside from political ones-voting them out of office? As to guilt, yes, obviously.

quote:
If not, what do you see as different about the two.
What do I see different about the two? One huge, fundamental, incredibly obvious difference would be that with the American prison system you've got a situation where, in spite of some very serious, oftentimes grave flaws, there are attempts to do the right thing. Protect society, rehabilitate, etc.

With Azkaban? "Screw it, let's torture them to death." That's the motivation, and even in the canon setting, they're pretty explicit about it, moreso in MoR. None of this is very unclear in the story, Rabbit, so you'll just have to excuse my pretty sharp irritation with your patronizing tone of post.

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Ron Lambert
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MoR goes a little beyond the canon by saying that all inmates of Azkaban are constantly being drained of life by the Dementors. In the canon, the Dementors just make sure the prisoners cannot escape. They do not roam the corridors of the prison. In MoR, just having a lot of Dementors outside the walls at least a stone's thow away is enough to drain life from all the inmates, especially those on the lower levels.

I do have one logical problem with the idea presented in MoR that the Dementors are actually death. Harry is able to kill Dementors. But how can it be possible to kill death? He seems to kill them with his own life force, poured into his humaniform patronus. But still--kill death? Life kills death? I just have a problem with that. Death can be done away with, of course, by being ended as a result of God granting immortality. But the Dementors are presented as living creatures, that can talk to the Aurors. And yet they are death? Sorry, it does not compute.

But I still love the story. I can tolerate one or two improbable things as long as the story is good. After all, that is a part of the "suspension of disbelief" that is required to appreciate and enjoy any science fiction or fantasy.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
But the Dementors are presented as living creatures, that can talk to the Aurors.
JKR herself mentioned that Dementors don't have souls. And Dumbledore in MOR disputed the phrasing of saying that they possess life.

So their destruction is a wholly different thing that the killing of an ensouled person: which either eradicated the soul (as Harry believes) or moves it to the next great adventure (as Dumbledore believes).

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Ron Lambert
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So, Aris, you (and JKR) are saying that the Dementors do not have souls. And yet they are sentient beings, who can talk and answer questions (in MoR). What are they then--some kind of flying zombies? How can anything be sentient and not have a soul?
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King of Men
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In the third book, canon!Hagrid describes his stay in Azkaban; I seem to recall that he mentions the life-draining (or at least happiness-draining) properties of having Dementors so close by.

As for destroying Death, the Dementors are only magical representations or shadows of death: "I comprehend your nature, you symbolize Death, through some law of magic you are a shadow that Death casts into the world." To destroy them is a symbolic reflection of humanity's eventual ability to end death, not in itself a literal destruction of death. A Christian writer, perhaps, would have used the resurrection of Jesus as the central image rather than future technology, but the idea is the same.

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
So, Aris, you (and JKR) are saying that the Dementors do not have souls. And yet they are sentient beings, who can talk and answer questions. What are they then--some kind of flying zombies?

In canon, it's not so obvious; but in MoR, they are indeed 'flying zombies', whose speech is merely the projection of the listener's own mind. Note that Harry cannot hear them talk, because he refuses to be fooled, and thus does not lend the Dementor any of his own mind to speak with. They clearly do have some sort of independent detection capacity, since they can 'tell' people things they did not already know, but that does not make them sentient any more than a dog is sentient.
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Raymond Arnold
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By what definition of sentient are dogs not sentient?
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Ron Lambert
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KOM, regarding Hagrid's experience in Azkaban, yes, that works for JKR, since she says Dementors represent depression, not death.

You make some interesting points about the significance of Harry being able to kill Dementors. Thanks. Maybe that will make my suspension of disbelief a little less difficult to maintain.

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Ron Lambert
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Raymond, who says dogs do not have souls?

Notice this line that seems to confuse people in the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes: "Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?" (Eccl. 3:21; KJV)

But note the way this is rendered in the NRSV: "Who knows whether the human spirit goes upward and the spirit of animals goes downward to the earth?"

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Raymond Arnold
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I was specifically addressing KoM's comment, which had to do with sentience which is not necessarily the same thing as souls.
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
By what definition of sentient are dogs not sentient?

By the definition Ron gave: "sentient beings, who can talk and answer questions".
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Raymond Arnold
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Defining sentience in terms of human-comprehensible language seems pretty silly to me.
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King of Men
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Whatever. I'm not insisting that this is the correct definition of the word. I'm saying that that's the concept we were discussing, and neither Dementors nor dogs have it. Whether Ron used the correct word is rather beside the point. By all means substitute whatever you feel is the correct term.
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Ron Lambert
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I did not present being able to talk and answer as the essential definitions of sentience. My point was merely that surely something that can talk and answer questions (passing the Turing Test, of course), must be sentient.

My cats are certainly sentient. They are self-aware, and they do have ways of communicating with me very meaningfully, even if it is not in human language. They are my friends and companions, not just pets. I look into their eyes, and I know there is a mind there.

Vegetables probably are not sentient, though I would not say that must necessarily hold everywhere in the universe. Hunters may not like to believe that the animals they kill are sentient. But they surely are. Why do you think God gave the animals brains?

(Brain Coral doesn't count.)

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King of Men
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quote:
My point was merely that surely something that can talk and answer questions (passing the Turing Test, of course), must be sentient.
And I tried to show why such is not necessarily the case within the MoR-verse. Further, I don't think it has to be necessarily true even in our universe; consider the Chinese Room. It may be intelligent, but it does not seem to me that it is conscious.
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Hobbes
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I want to know what he means by 'life' when referring to the part of Harry that is being left behind in prison.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
How can anything be sentient and not have a soul?
Why should anything sentient necessarily have a soul? Harry in MOR doesn't even believe human beings have a supernatural soul (though he does use the word 'soul' metaphorically), why should something non-human necessarily have a soul just by being "sentient" as you call it? Draco in MOR doesn't believe Muggles have souls.

In Goblet of Fire, Harry saw images of his parents (and other killed victims of Voldemort) that talked to him and advised him and even seemed to have the personalities of his parents -- far greater communicative ability and far more personality and inviduality than anything the Dementors have displayed. And nonetheless Dumbledore insisted to Harry that these were just echoes of his parents' personalities and form. Those weren't souls either.

quote:
My point was merely that surely something that can talk and answer questions (passing the Turing Test, of course), must be sentient
You think Dementors in MOR can pass the Turing Test, i.e. be able to pretend to be human convincingly enough to fool an interviewer?

Interviewer: Hello, there.
Dementor: I WILL DEVOUR YOUR SOUL.
Interviewer: Very convincing.

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Aris Katsaris
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As a sidenote: I think all your problems regarding this originate from having a binary perception of 'sentience'.

There's actually a great section in "Magical Beasts and Where to Find them" which described the Magical community trying to find a proper dividing line between those creatures that qualify for "people" and those creatures that qualify as "beasts".

The line ended up being that "people" were those creatures that had the capacity to responsibly uphold and shape the magical community's laws.

This excluded stupid creatures that could communicate only very simply (like trolls), and it also excluded creatures that were highly intelligent but their extreme aggression made responsibility impossible (like Acromantulas).

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King of Men
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In Christian folk-belief when the old pagan myths were dying but not yet dead, elves and their like were sentient and did exist, but had no souls. Thus they were ageless, but if they died by violence that was it - no afterlife for them. Poul Anderson wrote some excellent fantasy stories around this theme, "The Merman's Children" perhaps the foremost among them, although "The Broken Sword" is also very good.
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Raymond Arnold
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I do remember that section of "Fantastic Beasts," it was actually pretty clever and I liked the effort she put into it.
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Ecthalion
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i think one of the questions that i have been hoping will be answered soon is the on about why Harry chooses to go along with rescuing Bellatrix when she most definately wasnt the "somebody named Black" that he was originally talking about. Its pretty clear he was referring to Sirius, but Quirrelmort made an assumption that hehad let something slip, or that Harry was advancing at "the game" faster than he had anticipated. You get the feeling that Harry is a little put off when quirrel says Bellatrix but he just goes along with it because he just wishes to appear to have guessed Quirrel's mind.

I am also interested in how they deal with the idea of Voldemort. I didnt actually think about the fact that ghosts arent real people and that there is no afterlife in MOR. So there's no way Voldy can't be in the back of Quirrel's head.

I must also admit that looking back on the whole story from this point the chapters about the armies seems pretty unimportant to the overall story. In fact it seems like a way to fit Ender's Game references for no reason...

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King of Men
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That ghosts are not actual people, and that there is no natural afterlife, does not preclude Voldy from having found a magical means of preserving himself. To say that no such means can exist would violate naturalistic theories of consciousness. So reasoning from "ghosts are not sentient" to "sentience cannot be preserved" is spurious.
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Ecthalion
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true, i have always like Spurrier... great quotes...
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
I must also admit that looking back on the whole story from this point the chapters about the armies seems pretty unimportant to the overall story. In fact it seems like a way to fit Ender's Game references for no reason...
Important things that develop in the army stories:

• Quirrel reveals his take on traitors and why magical britain needs to unite. (This would not have worked nearly as well without the actual events showcasing the need).

• Hermione struggles to reclaim her independence as a character

• Harry manipulates Draco into liking Hermione

• We learn about some mysterious manipulation going on that leads Harry to seriously question Dumbledore for the first time, as well as hint at a future plot of some manipulator (possibly the same one who left Harry the invisibility cloak), which may not be entirely clear now but will certainly be important in the future

• We got several chapters of Ender's Game references, which are awesome all by themselves and wouldn't have disappointed me if they served no other purpose whatsoever.

The first four things are not only important but I suspect fundamental to the story.

[ November 05, 2010, 10:44 PM: Message edited by: Raymond Arnold ]

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Raymond Arnold
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Gah. There better be another chapter this weekend, this is getting ridiculous.
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Hobbes
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There are three components of this that together almost make me wish I didn't read it.

1) The author is a decent writer and the ideas are engaging enough to make this a quite enjoyable read. Especially considering he's providing this for free and all it costs is the time it takes to read it.

2) He's not a great writer and so I can imagine ever having enough interest to re-read this story. Once is enjoyable but sufficient.

3) His change in characters and general behavior patterns a lot of how I wish people in JKR's version would act that I now can't think about rereading the actual series without getting incredibly frustrated.

Which means that reading this enjoyable saga once through cuts off any future rereads of the original work. It seems like total potential enjoyment for my life is significantly decreased!

Hobbes [Smile]

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Ecthalion
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one of the reasons i couldnt get too into the HP universe is because of the lack of rationality that many of the adults in the series display.
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Raymond Arnold
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I actually think the author is pretty damn good at what he does. There are a few areas where I felt he could have done better but I wasn't sure how, but there are plenty of chapters that I have read over and over (10+ times) and still enjoy it.

What particularly intrigues me is that the other works of his available online do nothing to showcase the particular skills that he puts into this work. Most of the author's fiction is written from the view of characters very similar to Harry, which suggests at first that he's kinda a one trick pony who can only write nerdy rationalist heroes.

Except HP:MoR does a great job of having each character have a different writing style associated with it. I can tell when I'm reading Harry or Draco or Hermione's thoughts just from the style, let alone content. Eliezer doesn't do this perfectly (the second "Hermione chapter" is pretty over the top) but he does it well enough that I assume he must have had some prior experience writing similar things, and I'd like to know what they are.

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Ron Lambert
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I agree, Raymond. I think the writer of MoR is a very good writer, clearly far above average, and capable of doing professional work and getting paid for it. In fact, it is a shame he is not getting paid for this.

I mean, after reading the canon, the last novel three times, I was feeling disppointed that it was all over, there wasn't any more. But MoR comes along, and it is a fresh and new take, a sort of alternate universe take, and the story is alive again, and who knows what will happen? This is fun!

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Hobbes
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Hmm, well clearly YMMV. I want to be clear, I don't think he's a bad author and I appreciate the free entertainment he's provided me. I just don't think he's good enough to be published just for his writing skills, or more to the point good enough to be re-read. ::shrug:: If you feel differently all I can say is: lucky! I like the story and wish I liked the writing enough to reread it. [Smile]

Hobbes [Smile]

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Ron Lambert
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Hobbes, it is really the author's "writing skills," or the story itself that you are not enamored with?
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Hobbes
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Writing. I like point A, and I like point B but sometimes the sequence of events (i.e. dialog) to get between the two leaves something to be desired in my mind.


Again, I'm not saying it's awful, just not good enough to tempt me to reread.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Seatarsprayan
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quote:
He specifically said they DID talk about what would happen if they encountered guards.
Where? I totally missed that.

Hobbes wrote:
quote:
3) His change in characters and general behavior patterns a lot of how I wish people in JKR's version would act that I now can't think about rereading the actual series without getting incredibly frustrated.
That's why I love MoR, I was already frustrated with the idiocy in the canon.

But, if you want Harry Potter to be smart and competent without stupid stuff happening, AND you want it closer to canon without the rationalist agenda and satire, I suggest Harry Potter and the Nightmares of Futures Past. It's the BEST fanfic ever written, IMO. The writing quality is through the roof.

The background of the story: the events of the canon 7th book don't happen; the war continues until Harry is 30 and he finally defeats Voldemort, but everyone else Harry has ever met has died. He sends his soul back in time to when he was 11 years old... the series begins again, but with smart, competent, armed-with-future-knowledge Harry Potter. Not that everything goes his way... but IT IS AN AWESOMELY WRITTEN STORY.

As much as I enjoy MoR, there is no comparison in quality. The author of Nightmares of Futures Past is a much better writer than J.K. Rowling. Check it out!

On to MoR: the latest updates have Quirrell claiming that he never meant to kill the Auror, but either knew he would dodge the killing curse, or would have pushed him out of the way; use of the AK was part of his plan to dominate the Auror.

It could, of course, be true. I'm not sure if it is, or if we're supposed to buy it, but since the Auror didn't die, it's obviously the best thing for Quirrell to say to regain Harry's trust.

I'm not sure it makes a lot of sense though. The AK's value is in killing. It's secondary value would be in intimidation: the person almost hit would know they were in a fight to the death, would be frightened, whatever. Since the Auror is already completely aware of this, I don't see the point.

If anything, being able to dodge the AK from an opponent that has, up until now, completely dominated him, might actually give him some fresh resolve.

...

I just re-read the duel, and I guess I'm just wrong. The Auror is used to bribery attempts, and Quirrell just made him multiple offers. He is then outclassed in a duel, but I guess he needed to realize that the bribery attempts were over and this was to the death. Dodging an Unforgivable would be a wake up call that this was Serious Business, and possibly distract him enough for Quirrell to subdue him in some non-lethal way.

Since Quirrell isn't stupid, either this is actually true, or he really was going to kill the Auror in a fit of Evil and dash the consequences. I'd prefer that his story be true, actually, because it makes him a more dangerous antagonist.

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
They'd gone up another four flights of stairs before the rough voice of the Defense Professor said, simply and without emphasis, "Auror coming."

It took too long, a whole second maybe, for Harry to understand, for the jolt of adrenaline to pump into his blood, and for him to remember what Professor Quirrell had already discussed with him and told him to do in this case, and then Harry spun on his heel and flew back the way they'd come.

I'm not sure what I think about the resolution of the prison section. It felt a little underwhelming, but I think if I had been reading it all at once instead of waiting a week for each update it would have felt better.
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Juxtapose
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So is there a reason Bellatrix hasn't noticed yet that the person she thinks of as Voldemort is actually pretty bad at magic (for an adult)?
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