Home > Uncategorized > Link: HPMOR (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)

Link: HPMOR (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)

If you are a Harry Potter fan and a rationality fan, you’ll probably love Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, the most-read HP fanfic that exists. In this alternative universe, Harry Potter is kind of an ubermensch, super-intelligent and super-effective. For one thing, he deduces several very important plot points early in the book that he’s not supposed to find out until much later in the original HP series. But that’s okay, because he moves on to bigger and better things, like figuring out the origin of magic, or leading a battle army of fellow wizards in a mad-genius Prof Quirrell’s class a la Ender’s Game.

But he’s lovable, too. You probably won’t even notice the LessWrongian lessons in rationality interwoven throughout. Here is the link to the book — it has its own website: HPMOR

For your enjoyment, I present below several teasers from the first twelve chapters 😉


Harry didn’t really see why Hermione had been so tense about it. In what weird alternative universe would that girl not be Sorted into Ravenclaw?


“It’s not that I hate this Ron guy,” Harry said, “I just, just…” Harry searched for words.

“Don’t see any reason for him to exist?” offered Draco.

“Pretty much.”


Petunia: “And when I had just graduated, I was going out with this boy, Vernon Dursley, he was fat and he was the only boy who would talk to me in college. And he said he wanted children, and that his first son would be named Dudley. And I thought to myself, what kind of parent names their child Dudley Dursley? It was like I saw my whole future life stretching out in front of me, and I couldn’t stand it.”


Harry: “That’s what the experimental method is for, so that we don’t have to resolve things just by arguing.”


Harry: “People think that I saved them from You-Know-Who because I’m some kind of great warrior of the Light.”

… “like I destroyed the Dark Lord because I have some kind of permanent, enduring destroy-the-Dark-Lord trait. I was fifteen months old at the time!”

… “People don’t care about me, they aren’t even paying attention to me,they want to shake hands with a bad explanation.”


It was hopeless. He was corrupt to the core. Hail the Dark Lord Harry.


McGonagall: “Unless–this is just a guess, mind–you’re trying to take over the world?”

Harry: “No! I mean yes–well, no!

McGonagall: “I think I should perhaps be alarmed that you have trouble answering that question.”


Harry: “You know, if I were anyone else, anyone else at all, I’d probably be pretty worried about living up to that start. Gosh, Harry, what have you done since you defeated the Dark Lord? Your own bookstore? That’s great! Say, did you know I named my child after you?


Harry: “I’m joking, Professor McGonagall,” Harry said with some annoyance. Jeebers, why did she always take everything so seriously–

A slow sinking sensation began to dawn in the pit of Harry’s stomach.

McGonagall looked at Harry with a  calm expression. A very, very calm expression. Then a smile was put on. “Of course you are, Mr. Potter.”

Aw crap.

If Harry had needed to rationalize the wordless inference that had just flashed into his mind, it would have come out something like “If I estimate the probability of McGongall doing what I just saw as the result of carefully controlling herself, versus the probability distribution for all the things she would do naturally if I made a bad joke, then this behavior is significant evidence for her hiding something.”

But what Harry actually thought was, Aw crap.


Harry grinned sheepishly. “Professor McGonagall says that I’m the most Ravenclaw person she’s ever seen or heard tell of in legend, so much so that Rowena herself would tell me to get out more, whatever that means, and that I’ll undoubtedly end up in Ravenclaw House if the Sorting Hat isn’t screaming in horror too loudly for the rest of us to make out any words, end quote.”

“Wow,” Draco said, sounding slightly impressed.


Harry: “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 quantum 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?”

McGonagall’s lips were twitching harder now. “Magic.”


The boy looked at her [Hermione] in surprise, as though he’d been expecting some other answer. “Well, I was speaking a bit rhetorically,” he said. “In the sense of the Baconian project, you know, not political power.”

‘The effecting of all things possible’ and so on. I want to conduct experimental studies of spells, figure out the underlying laws, bring magic into the domain of science, merge the wizarding and Muggle worlds, raise the entire planet’s standard of living, move humanity centuries ahead, discover the secret of immortality, colonize the Solar System, explore the galaxy, and most importantly, figure out what the heck is really going on here because all of this is blatantly impossible.”


Dumbledore: “So, Minerva, how did you find Harry?”

McGonagall opened her mouth. Then she closed her mouth. Then she opened her mouth again. No words came out.

“I see,” Dumbledore said gravely. “Thank you for your report, Minerva. You may go.”

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