Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» 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 6)

  This topic comprises 20 pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  ...  18  19  20   
Author Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality - What if Harry was smarter than Ender?
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Harry's shockingly poor grasp of genetics is exceeded only by the author's. And his notion of a genetic key (oddly like the ATA gene in Stargate, as was pointed out to me) simply makes no sense at all.

Why not? Postulate a hidden machine somewhere that reacts to the wand-waving and whatnot to do the magical effects; why shouldn't it respond only to bearers of a particular gene?
Posts: 10593 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Many reasons. Let's start with Occam's Razor.
Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In a world where saying Wingardium Leviosa causes things to float? Come now. Intelligent intervention is the simplest hypothesis, to the extent that your average seven-year-old is intelligent.
Posts: 10593 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
rivka, what would your first guess have been, given the information available at the time?
Posts: 4109 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Which part? First of all, he explicitly rejects the notion that magic is simply another aspect of the physical laws of the universe. That seems simplest to me.
Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You honestly think it is more likely that the universe wants you to say "Wingardium Leviosa" than a group of Latin-ish speaking humans made it that way?

I think it is fairly likely that the actual power source is inherent to the universe, but Harry's theory on the "triggers" seems pretty plausible to me.

Posts: 4109 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wingardium Leviosa? The exact intonation matters, and the way you swing your wand?
Posts: 10593 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Blayne Bradley
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not nessasarily as you become skilled you don't need the wand or the movements I believe.

But its like in the Dresden files where the pseudo latin and hand gestures are just the "trigger" in your mind but with enough understanding those become unnessasary.

Saying it in High Gothic or Ancient Chinese or Ancient Hebrew would also I imagine work since magic had to have existed before latin.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why not? Precise angle of a right hook matters too.
Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mucus
Member
Member # 9735

 - posted      Profile for Mucus           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ah, the ATA gene.
Honestly, that didn't bug me as much as the "the second evolution of this form" talk, but meh.

The Heroes variant of the Human Genome Project, now that pissed me right off.

Posts: 7475 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Honestly, that didn't bug me as much as the "the second evolution of this form" talk, but meh.

I'm with you on that.
Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Blayne Bradley
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Why not? Precise angle of a right hook matters too.

A what where how why?
IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Why not? Precise angle of a right hook matters too.
But why does the universe speak Latin of all languages?

We've seen Quirrel (in this story anyway) do a spell let you see across the universe. It had words that sounded alien to Harry. A possible explanation of that was that Quirrel was speaking the "true" language of magic, and that the psuedo-Latin is a translation of that. Like speaking in Pascal instead of Binary. Easier to learn but less powerful.

Posts: 4109 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
quote:
Why not? Precise angle of a right hook matters too.
But why does the universe speak Latin of all languages?
It's pseudo-Latin, actually.

And we don't actually know that it doesn't work with any other language; just not the specific ones Harry tested, or in the specific way he tested them. Still quite a jump to an intelligent designer. [Wink]

Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You are suggesting that the laws of the universe include specific rules about human voice-boxes. The language doesn't matter, the fact that a human larynx can produce the sounds does! Never mind 'intelligent', that's a matter of opinion, but certainly this points to a human designer.
Posts: 10593 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Perhaps. I'm still unconvinced that the evidence is as clear as you think.

And this is all completely aside from my issues with the genetic gobbledygook.

Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh I don't think the evidence is at all clear-cut, Harry hasn't done any testing yet, but I think this is plenty of evidence to at least generate a hypothesis.

Other note: I just reread chapter 26 and realized I totally missed the last line on my first read through. I'm disappointed that Rita is dead already, rather than getting to see how the fallout would have been. I'm assuming Quirrel killed her on purpose, not sure how I feel about that.

Posts: 4109 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Indeed, that seems like a bit of overkill. If Harry had destroyed her so thoroughly, why kill her on top of all that? I can see why Quirrell would do it, sure, but it seems narratively very inefficient.
Posts: 10593 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, I thought it would have been way more interesting if she had overheard the whole thing and lived to react to it.

Narratively "inefficient" may not be the right word, since it DOES eliminate a chapter he'd have to write about how she reacted. But narratively "lame," definitely.

Posts: 4109 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ricree101
Member
Member # 7749

 - posted      Profile for ricree101   Email ricree101         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Narratively, I suppose it's a tradeoff.

The author decided to trade away Rita's reaction and future involvement in the story in exchange for extra characterization for Quirrel.

Killing someone in cold blood, especially someone who had apparently been defeated already, is definitely a big moment for that character.

It may or may not have been the best choice for the author to make, but it seems like it wasn't a totally unreasonable tradeoff.

Posts: 2204 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Killing Skeeter was a big moment for 'Quirrel'? I rather expected it.
Posts: 16426 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ricree101
Member
Member # 7749

 - posted      Profile for ricree101   Email ricree101         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It wasn't entirely unexpected, and was in keeping with the character. But still, we hadn't actually seen him do anything like that yet. So yeah, I think it was a reasonably bit moment.
Posts: 2204 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The fact that he kills her when she's already defeated is. (I wouldn't have been too surprised for him to kill her based on last chapter, but it did seem like deliberate overkill by the point it happened).
Posts: 4109 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It was sort of anticlimactic, that's the problem. We have a perfectly good solution to the Skeeter problem, which he's spent two chapters developing. It is an awesome solution. We'd really like to see Skeeter's face ground in the dust when she realises how badly she's screwed up. And then she just dies, no buildup, bang, as though she were some irrelevant mook. Come now! She's no protagonist, but this is excessive! She's got speaking lines and a point-of-view section and all!
Posts: 10593 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Blayne Bradley
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Reality Ensures!
IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
We'd really like to see Skeeter's face ground in the dust when she realises how badly she's screwed up. And then she just dies, no buildup, bang, as though she were some irrelevant mook. Come now! She's no protagonist, but this is excessive! She's got speaking lines and a point-of-view section and all!

I agree.
Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Seatarsprayan
Member
Member # 7634

 - posted      Profile for Seatarsprayan   Email Seatarsprayan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm glad Skeeter is dead, she was vile, and I wasn't expecting that last line, and the shock value was worth it to me, story wise. It was great.
Posts: 449 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think her death was good storytelling. I also enjoyed how it gave someone from Gryffindor the chance to do something Harry couldn't imagine. The bashing is pretty tedious, after all, though understandable from Harry's PoV in this story.

But the big setup towards her reputation defeat, that wasn't good storytelling, I think, if she was just going to get smooshed.

As for Voldemort killing someone he despised when it was literally as easy as bumping into a small bug in a sealed room with only one witness who wouldn't even see it? That is totally in his character, isn't it?

Posts: 16426 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Foust
Member
Member # 3043

 - posted      Profile for Foust   Email Foust         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Skeeter is barely a step above Jar Jar Binks as far as characters go, so anything that removes her from the story as swiftly and irrevocably as possible is a plus in my book.
Posts: 1485 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I note that strictly speaking we do not know that the blue beetle was Skeeter. Perhaps Quirrell, for some complicated reason of his own, wanted Harry to think he had killed Skeeter? (Harry might find out about the Animagus thing later on, flash back to Quirrell's uncharacteristic stumble, and go epileptic from the Horrified Realisation.) Or alternatively, perhaps Quirrell thought he was killing Skeeter, and in fact merely got a completely unrelated blue beetle? But they're not very likely explanations, I admit.
Posts: 10593 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
plaid
Member
Member # 2393

 - posted      Profile for plaid   Email plaid         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think the author's having fun in thwarting the expected plot points. Ron? not Harry's friend. Scabbers? dead, so Sirius Black will probably stay in Azkhaban. Rita Skeeter? dead. Snape? neutralized. Dumbledore? not Harry's friend. Chamber of Secrets? less likely to open.

Letsee, and Harry hates Quiddich, so he won't go to the World Cup and help free Barty Crouch.

Yeah. So next he'll probably mention that Lockhart and Delores Umbridge have gotten married and left on a round-the-world cruise.

Posts: 2910 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The other thing is, just how is this takedown of Skeeter supposed to be so brilliant? Ok, she's been convinced of something that's not true, but what of it? She's written untrue things before without getting into trouble. And the nature of the story doesn't seem particularly damaging to Lucius's interests either. Harry Potter engaged to Ginny Weasley, well, so what? It seems to me that Harry and Quirrell are both being very impressed with the technical difficulty of what's been done, without particularly considering the more relevant aspect of how damaging it is. They both just assume that Lucius will retaliate against Skeeter, but why should he?
Posts: 10593 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The idea is that Lucius was essentially paying Skeeter to plant misinformation in the mainstream media. By arranging to have her publicly discredit herself, Lucius' investment was made worthless. That said, I think the author perhaps overestimates the rationality of the news-reading public. [Wink]
Posts: 36954 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Precisely; it doesn't seem any more incredible than the camels that the public regularly swallows in canon. It's a tabloid; it's actually quite difficult for a tabloid to discredit itself.
Posts: 10593 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Point was for mainstream people to start treating the daily prophet LIKE a tabloid, as opposed to a news source that was supposed to be fairly reliable. I think even people who read tabloids are usually aware they are reading garbage, however fun it may be.
Posts: 4109 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Seatarsprayan
Member
Member # 7634

 - posted      Profile for Seatarsprayan   Email Seatarsprayan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The thing is, in canon, especially in books 5-7, it should be fairly obvious to anyone that the Daily Prophet is an untrustworthy rag that makes the Daily Mail look like Holy Scripture.

But the wizarding world is, by and large, full of complete morons.

So yeah, if Skeeter hadn't gotten squished, I question how much she'd really be discredited. The public doesn't seem to *care* about accuracy.

You think Skeeter couldn't have published a followup that redeemed her in the public eye while condemning the Conspiracy that Misused the Free Press for its own Selfish Ends? Of course she good have.

But she's dead now.

:-)

Posts: 449 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My understanding was that the Daily Prophet is the only major news source, and people in general didn't have an alternative to fact check with, nor a frame of reference for how "crazy" the stories were.

Edit: Also, the point was not necessarily to destroy Rita Skitter, but specifically to make people be afraid to trust anything they read about Harry Potter, period. In that regard, I think this was successful.

[ June 18, 2010, 09:04 PM: Message edited by: Raymond Arnold ]

Posts: 4109 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Darth_Mauve
Member
Member # 4709

 - posted      Profile for Darth_Mauve   Email Darth_Mauve         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I came home today to find my family watching the movie "Chamber of Secrets". I was just in time to see the big finish, where Harry tries to escape with the Sorcerer's Stone, up the steps, when Voldemort tells Quirrel "Stop Him!"

And Quirrel does, by creating a wall of fire. How does he do this? Wave his wand? Say magic words? Throw a potion?

No, he stops Harry Potter by....snapping his fingers.

And I started laughing.

Posts: 1868 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Rabbit
Member
Member # 671

 - posted      Profile for The Rabbit   Email The Rabbit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
You think Skeeter couldn't have published a followup that redeemed her in the public eye while condemning the Conspiracy that Misused the Free Press for its own Selfish Ends? Of course she good have.
Are you forgetting that the conspirators here are two 13 year old boys and an eleven year old with plausible deniability? Do you really think Skeeter could possibly have saved face by admitting she'd been hoodwinked by a couple or kids with a budget of 44 sickles?
Posts: 12591 | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That assumes she would have honestly claimed who had duped her. It would be much more likely that she would, if mentioning the kids at all, claim they were the agents of some adult-possibly Dumbledore or McConnagal.
Posts: 16426 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Again, discrediting Rita wasn't even the major goal, the goal was to create a state where the public couldn't tell WHAT to believe about Harry Potter. If there's a conspiracy that can produce crazy compelling evidence to trick Rita, whether they are kids or Dumbledore, then future pieces written about Harry Potter will always be suspect.
Posts: 4109 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Perhaps Harry's goal had little to do with Rita and everything to do with the Weasley twins.
Posts: 10626 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
T:man
Member
Member # 11614

 - posted      Profile for T:man   Email T:man         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That fanfic was boring, really didn't hold my attention for more than a few sentences.
Posts: 1568 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sinflower
Member
Member # 12228

 - posted      Profile for sinflower           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You gave up after a few sentences? That would mean you gave up halfway through the introductory paragraph, which describes a bookshelf! You might want to force yourself to read a ~little bit more than that before dismissing the whole thing as boring. That paragraph isn't terribly representative of the rest of the fic.
Posts: 241 | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
He's an American high-school student. They have the attention span of butterflies. You can't expect them to read anything with more intellectual depth than, say - actually, I can't think of anything they do read.
Posts: 10593 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Please. I read just as avidly when I was a high school student. Maybe more so as I was less likely to be as tired as I am now at the end of the day.
Posts: 10626 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
T:man
Member
Member # 11614

 - posted      Profile for T:man   Email T:man         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sinflower:
You gave up after a few sentences? That would mean you gave up halfway through the introductory paragraph, which describes a bookshelf! You might want to force yourself to read a ~little bit more than that before dismissing the whole thing as boring. That paragraph isn't terribly representative of the rest of the fic.

By a few sentences I meant as soon as he starts angsting about how his parents don't take his opinions into consideration.
Posts: 1568 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sylvrdragon
Member
Member # 3332

 - posted      Profile for sylvrdragon   Email sylvrdragon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Do I have to have read all of the Harry Potter books to get this? I've read 3-4 of them, but haven't yet finished the series.

Also, the Card Fanboy in me wants to know if Mr. Yodkowsky specifically mentioned Ender anywhere in this work?

Posts: 636 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
El JT de Spang
Member
Member # 7742

 - posted      Profile for El JT de Spang   Email El JT de Spang         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You don't have to have read the whole series, but there may be some spoilers for you.

One of the chapter intros was a nod to OSC: The enemy's gate is Rowling.

Posts: 5454 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Blayne Bradley
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The whole "smarter than ender" bit just bugs me. I do hope that is not what the author claimed or some such for both canonical Enderverse reasons (namely Bean's monologue about the relative merits of command between him and Ender regarding the unsuitableness of testscores) and because of literary reasons, namely that you can with enough effort make any character seem smart and that making the claim seems kinda pretentious.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 20 pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  ...  18  19  20   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2