Harry Potter and methods of rationality alternative ending.

post by Klen Salubri (klen-salubri) · 2020-07-01T18:51:09.629Z · LW · GW · 19 comments

This is a question post.

Contents

  *Spoiler Alert*
  As it is clear from the title, following text deals with the plot of the book. I strongly recommend to anyone no familiar with the subject to read the book first and form a personal opinion. Also, I will be glad to see in the discussion anyone who were directly involved in creation of this artwork.
None
  Answers
    conchis
None
19 comments

*Spoiler Alert*

As it is clear from the title, following text deals with the plot of the book. I strongly recommend to anyone no familiar with the subject to read the book first and form a personal opinion. Also, I will be glad to see in the discussion anyone who were directly involved in creation of this artwork.

First of all, I want to thank the community and its creator and express deep respect and gratitude for the work done. I got incomparable pleasure from studying unexpected plot intricacies, consistent and well-structured thoughts of the protagonist, as well as references to outstanding works, many of which I, to my shame, did not know.

However, the finale of the book left more questions than answers.

What will Potter's friends do when they realize that he made them orphans and did not even give the opportunity to say goodbye to parents? Why didn't he even try to persuade his fellows to confront their parents and do their best to force them to change their minds and traditions?

What will Hermione do when she will realize that Harry could stop her, yet instead left her defenceless and then turned her into golem and personal bodyguard with help of their enemy?

Will she being literally walking dead be able to give birth? Will she give birth to some kind of unicorn trolls or nearly invincible magicians on steroids? Will her descendants even try to build diplomatic relations with humans or will turn into immortal fascist?

What will other mages do, when they get to know that Harry was so afraid to loose his inner dark counselor which is part of Voldie’s soul that he spared You-Know-Who and hid him under his own and Hermione’s protection? Somehow reminds me story of Isildur from LOTR.

Maybe i'm too optimistic, but i just hope that current ending is just possible future that Hermione had seen when she had lost her consciousness during fight with slytherins. Maybe we could do better. I dunno, maybe she could ask Hufflepuff (which are depicted as local counter-intelligence service) to help her. There’s is always a better solution.

Best regards, Klen.

Answers

answer by conchis · 2020-07-02T09:51:42.466Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Have you read s1gn1f1cant d1g1t5?

comment by Klen Salubri (klen-salubri) · 2020-07-02T11:07:49.134Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Not really. Should i?

comment by romeostevensit · 2020-07-02T15:43:19.266Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

worth

comment by Klen Salubri (klen-salubri) · 2020-07-02T15:43:02.046Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I mean, do you recommend reading it? What is this book in a nutshell?

comment by Raven · 2020-07-02T16:04:12.196Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's a sequel to HPMOR. It's not Yudkowsky-level but it's okay.

comment by Klen Salubri (klen-salubri) · 2020-07-07T14:03:27.451Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I c. Thank you

19 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Raven · 2020-07-02T01:24:08.573Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ah, HPMOR, my favorite subject. Unfortunately I feel like that there may be some misunderstandings in your post...

> What will Potter's friends do when they realize that he made them orphans and did not even give the opportunity to say goodbye to parents? Why didn't he even try to persuade his fellows to confront their parents and do their best to force them to change their minds and traditions?

Was Harry really friends with any Slytherins except Draco? Draco definitely rejected Harry afterwards, once Harry explained what had happened (and then Harry brought him to his mom anyways).

> What will Hermione do when she will realize that Harry could stop her, yet instead left her defenceless and then turned her into golem and personal bodyguard with help of their enemy?

Hermione didn't seem to really mind the transformation, and she always wanted to be a hero. Now she's got a chance at that. Plus she clearly has her own pre-death mind, more or less, so I wouldn't call her a golem or bodyguard. As for the other unintended side effects... yeah. Maybe the Bayesian Conspiracy can figure something out.

> What will other mages do, when they get to know that Harry was so afraid to loose his inner dark counselor which is part of Voldie’s soul that he spared You-Know-Who and hid him under his own and Hermione’s protection?

Harry told Mad-Eye and a couple others (the adult Bones and Minerva I think were among them but I'm not sure). Also, it wasn't that he was afraid to lose his dark side -- the dark side is part of him, it's not something he can "lose". It's that Voldemort had a million phylacteries, most of which were very well hidden. Being unable to kill the evil, Harry took the standard option: seal it away. Presumably the mages he told are smart enough to know better than to advertise that Harry sealed Voldemort instead of killing him.

comment by habryka (habryka4) · 2020-07-02T01:30:01.339Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

(Mod note: I added spoiler tags to both this comment and the OP to protect the eyes of the innocent frontpage scrollers who might have not read HPMOR)

comment by Klen Salubri (klen-salubri) · 2020-07-02T02:42:29.311Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thank you. I will be grateful if you teach me how to put spoiler tags or direct me to the topic where i can learn it

comment by Pattern · 2020-07-02T05:30:14.751Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

\>\! followed by a space, without the \s, on a new line:

Though you might have to write something on that line for it to appear.

Hitting enter at the end of that spoiler tag just makes it longer.

Backspace at the beginning of a new line can keep the tag from going longer when you want it to end.

I wonder what Serious Black is going to do after he breaks out of Azkaban, being more "rational" and all - or would the fic depict less rationality, and more negative impacts from being stuck in Azkaban for what, a decade?

And do p-zombies behave differently? Or are the Dementor kissed noticeably different in some other way?

comment by Klen Salubri (klen-salubri) · 2020-07-02T07:37:34.333Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks again!
I've also added spoiler alert at the very beginning of the post. Hope it will help to protect those who might have not read HPMOR. Also, i thought that only title of the post is displayed on the front page, not post body or comments.
Sorry for causing trouble.

comment by Klen Salubri (klen-salubri) · 2020-07-02T04:06:12.725Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Was Harry really friends with any Slytherins except Draco? Draco definitely rejected Harry afterwards, once Harry explained what had happened (and then Harry brought him to his mom anyways)

I called them fellows, not friends. As for Draco, any child will reject the one who killed his parents. If Voldemort hadn’t killed Potter’s parents, who knows how history would have developed.

Hermione didn't seem to really mind the transformation, and she always wanted to be a hero. Now she's got a chance at that. Plus she clearly has her own pre-death mind, more or less, so I wouldn't call her a golem or bodyguard. As for the other unintended side effects... yeah. Maybe the Bayesian Conspiracy can figure something out.

Sure she didn't, she was dead when an act of resurrection occurred that demanded the soul of other creatures, which suggests that she lost her own soul, yet not memory, this is why i named her a golem. And being friends with Harry is already could be considered an act of heroism. Also, what is so heroic about being eaten by a troll? I named her bodyguard because this is what she will do now. First of all because Harry brought her back (well, not Harry actually), and secondly, because in case of death or even losing of consciousness, Harry will cause release of the one who reanimated her. Oh, she could try to release him herself and ask to bring her soul back, which is obviously impossible.

Harry told Mad-Eye and a couple others (the adult Bones and Minerva I think were among them but I'm not sure). Also, it wasn't that he was afraid to lose his dark side -- the dark side is part of him, it's not something he can "lose". It's that Voldemort had a million phylacteries, most of which were very well hidden. Being unable to kill the evil, Harry took the standard option: seal it away. Presumably the mages he told are smart enough to know better than to advertise that Harry sealed Voldemort instead of killing him.

Oh, thank you for pointing this out. Probably plot of HP somehow mixed with HPMORT in my memory. In source book Harry was keeping part of essence of Voldemort inside himself, so when their magic collided, it led to destruction of soul of bad guy. Anyways, the way of thinking of Potter's dark side, which he hides from everyone else, somehow really similar to the ways of thinking of his favorite teacher. If Voldie had millions of seeds, wouldn't it be better to make them detectable, rather than to resuscitate Hermione that have chosen to die? Being unable to win, Harry took the same option as Voldie would do: kill all the rivals and enslave the most dangerous one, so he will be untouchable by the ones who afraid of most dangerous one.

comment by Raven · 2020-07-02T13:34:17.098Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

! I hate to be that person, but actually you did call them friends: "What will Potter's friends do when they realize that he made them orphans". In fairness, you also called them fellows a few lines later. I'm also not criticizing Draco's choice, if anything I'm surprised at how passive he was compared to the initial Draco who was willing to torture Harry. The other students think their parents were sacrificed by Voldemort in his resurrection ritual; remember that Harry kept his involvement a secret and Obliviated Draco after their talk.

! Hermione's resurrection wasn't a single act, but a series of separate spells.

! First Harry untransfigured her corpse, then healed her to a nonmagical state: "Girl'ss body iss resstored. Ssubstance iss repaired. But not magic, or life... thiss iss body of dead Muggle."

! Then Voldemort was about to shock her to wake her up when Harry had the insight about the True Patronus bestowing magical ability: "Intuition or Tom Riddle’s memory told Harry that the life and magic that had just flowed into Hermione would never return to him, either one. It hadn’t been all his life or all his magic, not by a long shot, there hadn’t been time to expend that much, but whatever he’d just expended was gone forever."

! And proof (ish) that the Patronus worked: “Fascinating in- deed,” Voldemort hissed. “She is alive, and magical, and not another Tom Riddle as I feared you might have made her.”

! So Hermione's already resurrected, and no actual transformation has been done, save for the Transfiguration to restore her body and Harry's Patronus. Voldemort clearly says that Harry didn't copy his soul into her. I suppose you could argue that Harry instead created a new soul, but it seems unlikely that Voldemore wouldn't have mentioned it.

! In fact, Voldemort says souls aren't real much earlier, when he's on his deathbed talking to Harry and Harry offers him the original Horcrux spell:

! “Would be pointlesss sspell from beginning, if ssoulss exissted. Tear piece of ssoul? That iss lie. Missdirection to hide true ssecret. Only one who doess not believe in common liess will reasson further, ssee beneath obsscuration, realisse how to casst sspell. Required murder iss not ssacrificial ritual at all. Ssudden death ssometimes makess ghosst, if magic burssts and imprintss on nearby thing. Horcrux sspell channelss death-bursst through casster, createss your own ghosst insstead of victim'ss, imprintss ghosst in sspecial device. Ssecond victim pickss up horcrux device, device imprintss your memoriess into them. But only memoriess from time horcrux device wass made. You ssee flaw?”

! So I'm pretty sure the whole idea of a soul is a red herring and irrelevant. In any case, Hermione is already fully resurrected to her pre-death state, but Voldemort wanted to make her indestructible so she would serve as a more reliable restraint on Harry. That's why he sacrificed all those creatures: “Sshall ssacrifice my fallback weapon, and girl-child sshall gain troll'ss power of regeneration. Transsfiguration ssicknesss iss nothing before that, if perchance it wass not fixed by previouss ritual. And no knife sshall sslay girl-child, nor cutting cursse, nor ssicknesss take her.”

! Being eaten by a troll isn't heroic, but Hermione pretty clearly expressed a desire to be a hero before that. All the stuff with the bullies, the SPHEW demonstration outside Dumbledore's office, the constant nagging about trusting Quirrel.

! I named her bodyguard because this is what she will do now. First of all because Harry brought her back (well, not Harry actually)

! Harry almost immediately tried to give her the "destroy Azkaban" quest:

! “Are you willing to do that?” Harry said instead. “The quest that I think might be your destiny—and no, I don’t know any specific prophecies, it’s just a guess—involves literal descent-into-Hell type stuff.” ... I’m done with trying to be a heroine,” said Hermione Granger with the eastern sky brightening around her. “I shouldn’t ever have gone along with that entire line of thinking. There are just people who do what they can, whatever they can. And there are also people who don’t even try to do what they can, and yes, those people are doing something wrong. I’m not ever going to try to be a hero again. I’m not going to think in heroic terms if I can help it. But I won’t do any less than I can—or not a lot less, I mean, I’m only human.”

! Despite her rejection of the hero label, she sounds pretty heroic to me. She explicitly names helping people as a goal, which makes it sound like she wouldn't be content being a bodyguard. Plus, Harry is probably going to become a second Voldemort in terms of power before long, further negating the need for a bodyguard.

! secondly, because in case of death or even losing of consciousness, Harry will cause release of the one who reanimated her.

! On death, yeah. That's a major flaw with the sealing plan. But not on blacking out. The time when his marshmallow rock untransfigured during the mock battle was from using all his mana:

! Harry suspected he was going to get a lecture from someone-or-other about not exhausting his magic to the point of unconsciousness over a children’s game. But he hadn’t hurt Mr. Goyle when he’d lost his temper, and that was the important thing. Then Harry’s mind clicked on another implication, and he looked down at the steel ring on his left hand’s pinky finger, and almost swore out loud when he saw that the tiny diamond was missing and there was a marshmallow lying on the ground near where he’d fallen.

! He’d sustained that Transfiguration for seventeen days, and would now need to start over. Could’ve been worse. He could’ve done this fourteen days later, after Professor McGonagall had approved him to Transfigure his father’s rock. That was one very good lesson to learn the easy way. Note to self: Always remove ring from finger before completely exhausting magic.

! You're right that the seal is far from permanent and will require stronger measures. In the meantime, at least if Voldemort gets loose he'll have a blank mind and won't immediately start murdering people.

! Oh, she could try to release him herself and ask to bring her soul back, which is obviously impossible.

! Souls aren't real, and I outlined my reasoning above. But I doubt Hermione would actually do this. There was an entire interlude where Voldemort tried to trick Hermione into bargaining with evil by mindwiping and trying again and again and again... and he failed. Hermione does not make deals with evil.

! Yeah, detection would be a vastly superior option. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone except maybe Voldemort knows how to do that, given that most people don't even know Horcruxes are a thing. He also didn't have a choice -- when Hermione was rezzed, Voldemort still had Harry as a captive, and it wasn't until later that he thought of the transfiguration stuff. It is interesting to note the parallels between their thinking, but I still think Harry did the best he could, given the constraints. A permanent solution can be another project for the Bayesian Conspiracy.

comment by Klen Salubri (klen-salubri) · 2020-07-02T15:31:57.352Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I hate to be that person, but actually you did call them friends...

No problem, i actually appreciate when people correct me if i'm wrong. Thank you! I just thought that using same word "fellows" in consequent sentences will sound ugly. It is usual for children to call a friend anyone they share experience with. And no, i don't think that Harry will be able to befriend with any pupil which parent he have killed, no matter if they know he did it or no. Moreover, i don't think that Harry can be friend for anyone among students of Hogwarts taking into account all the secrets that he keeps. Also, obliviating of friends is not cool, so i'm not sure Harry even knows what it means to be a friend to someone.

Hermione's resurrection wasn't a single act, but a series of separate spells.

Does it changes anything?

! First Harry untransfigured her corpse, then healed her to a nonmagical state: "Girl'ss body iss resstored. Ssubstance iss repaired. But not magic, or life... thiss iss body of dead Muggle."

This related to all quotes of Voldemort. What made you think that he's telling truth? Would he tell Harry that resurrected Hermione will cause trouble if he knew it? What plans Voldemort had for Harry and Hermione if his plan worked out? Maybe his plan was to force Harry to kill people, to taste the blood and become evil himself. And then to feel the loneliness that dark mage felt before becoming really dark.

but Hermione pretty clearly expressed a desire to be a hero before that.

And she was eaten by troll before she was able to become hero, due to lack of power, knowledge and experience. Yet, when she obtained enough powers to conquer the world she clearly stated that she is deffinately don't want to become a hero because she's just a human (which is obvious lies, she's not a human anymore)

...Voldemort says souls aren't real much earlier... Voldemort clearly says that Harry didn't copy his soul into her... Souls aren't real, and I outlined my reasoning above...

So your reasoning are the words of Voldemort, right? Souls are not real, yet ghosts are real, magic is real, troll powers imbued into someone's resurrected body is real... there are some contradictions and puns. Maybe all these concepts have something on common? So, before we say that souls aren't real and ghosts are real, we should define what is soul and what is ghost and are there really any difference.

Voldemort wanted to make her indestructible so she would serve as a more reliable restraint on Harry

I don't get it. Why would indestructible Hermione would serve as restraint on Harry? Would restrain him from doing what? Does Harry ever tried to destroy her?

Unfortunately, I don't think anyone except maybe Voldemort knows how to do that

If Voldemort was ready to show his most precious magic to Harry, he could also tell him how to find Horcruxes. Looks like he was pretty sure that unveiling some secrets to Harry won't cause any troubles. By the way, if he was going to defeat Harry in the final scene, why he was sure that indestructible unicorn-troll-witch won't become a problem for him? In final scenes Voldemort looks to me more like Santa then as the most evil, prudent and cunning sorcerer with centuries of experience, which is confronted by little yet talented boy that reads too much but feels too little.

comment by Raven · 2020-07-02T16:42:17.498Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thank you! I just thought that using same word "fellows" in consequent sentences will sound ugly. It is usual for children to call a friend anyone they share experience with. And no, i don't think that Harry will be able to befriend with any pupil which parent he have killed, no matter if they know he did it or no. Moreover, i don't think that Harry can be friend for anyone among students of Hogwarts taking into account all the secrets that he keeps. Also, obliviating of friends is not cool, so i'm not sure Harry even knows what it means to be a friend to someone.

Yeah, on second thought I think you're right. He already had a hard time interacting with them before the ending; now I imagine the gulf will be too wide to overcome. But I do support him telling Draco -- the choice was either tell draco + obliviation or keep it a secret. Harry also went to extraordinary lengths to bring Hermione back, when everyone else, even Quirrel, told him he should move on. That's the kind of friend I want in my life.

This related to all quotes of Voldemort. What made you think that he's telling truth? Would he tell Harry that resurrected Hermione will cause trouble if he knew it? What plans Voldemort had for Harry and Hermione if his plan worked out? Maybe his plan was to force Harry to kill people, to taste the blood and become evil himself. And then to feel the loneliness that dark mage felt before becoming really dark.

I don't get it. Why would indestructible Hermione would serve as restraint on Harry? Would restrain him from doing what? Does Harry ever tried to destroy her?

Most of the quotes I posted were in Parseltongue, which is established later as being impossible to lie in (Harry tests it). Voldemort also explained that his plan was to turn Harry to be a second Dark Lord so Voldemort would have someone to play Civilization against. But he abandoned that plan after killing Hermione, because he heard a prophecy (narrated to us in the Defense Professor interlude):

Unseen by anyone, the Defense Professor’s lips curved up in a thin smile. Despite its little ups and downs, on the whole this had been a surprisingly good day— “He is here. The one who will tear apart the very stars in heaven. He is here. He is the end of the world.”

Later in the graveyard to Harry, in Parseltongue:

When girl-child died, wass in company of sschool'ss Sseer, heard prophecy sspoken that you would become force of vasst desstruction. You would become threat beyond imagination, beyond apocalypsse. That iss why I went to ssuch lengthss to undo my killing of girl-child, keep it undone.

He freaked out because the last prophecy saw him end up in horcruxes for ten years. He decided he had to stop Harry, because otherwise he would "end" the world. The most likely interpretation is a transhumanist one, but Voldemort doesn't realize that and thinks Harry will just kill everyone and destroy everything. Voldemort's evil, but he doesn't want that.

So he decides to rez Hermione, reasoning that Harry would be less likely to destroy the world if she's in it, because he's obsessed with getting her back. His initial plan to create a second Dark Lord is discard because saving the world is too important.

The exact wording of the Vow Voldemort forces on Harry:

"I vow...” Harry said. His voice shook, but he spoke. “That I shall not... by any act of mine... destroy the world... I shall take no chances... in not destroying the world... if my hand is forced... I may take the course... of lesser destruction over greater destruction... unless it seems to me that this Vow itself... leads to the world’s end... and the friend... in whom I have confided honestly... agrees that this is so. By my own free will...

And she was eaten by troll before she was able to become hero, due to lack of power, knowledge and experience. Yet, when she obtained enough powers to conquer the world she clearly stated that she is deffinately don't want to become a hero because she's just a human (which is obvious lies, she's not a human anymore)

Hermione doesn't have world-conquering powers; her magic is still that of a first year; and she's not invulnerable. Troll regeneration is weak to acid and fire iirc, never mind stuff like Harry's acid transfiguration or a Killing Curse. She doesn't know about the Horcrux either. Her claim that she's just a human isn't a lie; she's mentally a human with a transhuman body. I also took both the human and not a hero claims as less factual statements, and more signals that she doesn't think she's above everyone else. Which is totally reasonable, given that Harry (the hero) consistently acts like he's above everyone else.

So your reasoning are the words of Voldemort, right? Souls are not real, yet ghosts are real, magic is real, troll powers imbued into someone's resurrected body is real... there are some contradictions and puns. Maybe all these concepts have something on common? So, before we say that souls aren't real and ghosts are real, we should define what is soul and what is ghost and are there really any difference.

Ghosts definitely aren't souls. They're partial copies of a mind imprinted on the surroundings -- this is implied with this Voldemort (Parseltongue) quote:

Ssudden death ssometimes makess ghosst, if magic burssts and imprintss on nearby thing.

Hermione:

I thought maybe when You-Know-Who died right next to you, he happened to give off the burst of magic that makes a ghost, and some of it imprinted on your brain instead of the floor.

Implying that ghosts aren't really people (talking to Quirrel about the basilisk, this is Harry's thoughts not Quirrel's):

Powerful wizardries couldn’t be transmitted through books or ghosts

Draco says Muggles don't leave ghosts behind because they have no souls, but Draco's an obviously unreliable source of information. Plus, the ghost-as-magic-imprint hypothesis is compatible with Muggles not leaving ghosts.

Early in Dumbledore's office, Harry talks about ghosts and says that Hermione said they're afterimages. Dumbledore tries to defend his position but is unable to provide anything even resembling proof. Voldemort later says that if he thought there was an afterlife, he would have left the world. I don't think that was in Parseltongue but I believe him; Voldemort consistently displays a weary contempt and disgust for the world.

This is me theorizing, but I think that HPMOR takes the stance that there are no souls, but there's lots of misinformation. When your body dies, your mind dies with it. Hermione got around that because Harry froze her body. The original Horcrux just made a copy of your mind-state, why do that if souls are real? Voldemort's super-horcrux creates a better backup, but it's not really a "soul". Destroy the horcrux and he's gone forever.

comment by wizzwizz4 · 2020-07-02T18:41:58.988Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Implying that ghosts aren't really people

Or were just exempted from protection from the Interdict of Merlin, like books.

comment by Raven · 2020-07-02T19:28:19.701Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I was under the impression that the Interdict was something Yudkowsky added. It's been a long, long time since I read the originals, but this stackexchange post has a bunch of people saying the Interdict is a HPMOR-exclusive. There's also a counterexample: in canon, Harry learns sectumsempra by reading it out of Snape's old potion book.

comment by wizzwizz4 · 2020-07-03T13:47:19.991Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes, it was something Yudkowsky added. But the text doesn't imply ghosts aren't "really people"; it just states that they're read-only human simulations of unknown fidelity, and the characters are chauvinistic about that.

comment by Raven · 2020-07-03T14:02:11.471Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Oh. Yeah, that seems obvious now, thanks for pointing that out.

comment by Klen Salubri (klen-salubri) · 2020-07-07T14:00:46.887Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Yeah, on second thought I think you're right. He already had a hard time interacting with them before the ending; now I imagine the gulf will be too wide to overcome. But I do support him telling Draco -- the choice was either tell draco + obliviation or keep it a secret. Harry also went to extraordinary lengths to bring Hermione back, when everyone else, even Quirrel, told him he should move on. That's the kind of friend I want in my life.

Obliviation, right. Does anyone ask Draco where he was and what he was doing? I mean, don't think that this spell can actually work, or, if it does, should cause unexpected side effects. Probably, appearing of fake memories which will dwell like ghosts in subconsciousness unable to integrate into a chain of causes and consequences until the moment victim would figure out what have happen or decide to overcome fear and gaze into the eyes of truth. Imagine you had zero apples, then one apple fell on your head, which led to a loss of memory. You wake up and find yourself with an apple in your arms. Will you start investigation or simply eat an apple? Or you find an apple tree, then you decide to erase your memories so no one will find an apple tree until the moment people learn how to preserve and cultivate trees. Yet you take one apple with you. I guess, in both cases it is just a matter of time when your memories will be logically reconstructed. "rien ne se perd, rien ne se cree, tout se transforme".

I'm not sure that i'm the right kind of a person you need, nor can't guarantee that i always be there when you need me (life is full of unexpected stuff and i live in pretty dangerous and unstable place), yet i could try to be your friend.

But he abandoned that plan after killing Hermione, because he heard a prophecy (narrated to us in the Defense Professor interlude)

Troll did. Interesting that Dumbledore offered Hermione to try to be a hero herself, yet forgot to mention that Harry have several powerful "white" mages to cover his back and most powerful "black" mage to guide him, teach how to protect himself, how to surrender saving dignity, retreat when it is necessary and keep emotions under control. Also, i can't remember clearly, have Voldemort killed anyone during the book?

He freaked out because the last prophecy saw him end up in horcruxes for ten years. He decided he had to stop Harry, because otherwise he would "end" the world. The most likely interpretation is a transhumanist one, but Voldemort doesn't realize that and thinks Harry will just kill everyone and destroy everything.

By "transhumanist" you mean something like denying death as essential part of birth-to-death cycle? Agree, most probably it will ruin natural cycle of life, not sure about "end of the world". Also it could mean like getting everything under full control to exclude possibility of unexpected events, or “reversal of time” to fix previous errors, or going with his nano researches to deep to the places where flux of information will be too powerful for his brains to handle, or any other drastic change to the order of things his dark ego will decide to make without complete awareness and evaluation of consequences for closed ecosystem and universe he lives in. For similar reason getting rid of Dementors could be not that good idea if we imagine that they are projection of fear of death and oblivion, since this fear could be one of the moving forces for creativity (Parkinson's law, you know. The more time you have to do the job, the more time you will spend to do it).

Voldemort's evil, but he doesn't want that.

People often call "evil" something they can't control or understand. Precisely, they call something "evil" if it takes something valuable away and call it "miracle" if it adds something valuable.

When your body dies, your mind dies with it

Yep. But strictly in terms of theorizing, can we consider the body and brain as a capacitor which stores some type of energy with unique properties? Can combination of this proberties store some information? What will happen when capacitor is destroyed, will this cause some effect to surrounding field?

comment by Raven · 2020-07-07T15:02:20.083Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Obliviation, right. Does anyone ask Draco where he was and what he was doing? I mean, don't think that this spell can actually work, or, if it does, should cause unexpected side effects. Probably, appearing of fake memories which will dwell like ghosts in subconsciousness unable to integrate into a chain of causes and consequences until the moment victim would figure out what have happen or decide to overcome fear and gaze into the eyes of truth. Imagine you had zero apples, then one apple fell on your head, which led to a loss of memory. You wake up and find yourself with an apple in your arms. Will you start investigation or simply eat an apple? Or you find an apple tree, then you decide to erase your memories so no one will find an apple tree until the moment people learn how to preserve and cultivate trees. Yet you take one apple with you. I guess, in both cases it is just a matter of time when your memories will be logically reconstructed. "rien ne se perd, rien ne se cree, tout se transforme".

I don't think anyone questions Draco; Harry did the Obliviation while Draco was ostensibly sitting around waiting for something, so it's hard to see how that'd be suspicious. Regarding the second point with Oblivation... I'm not so sure it's that simple. If I took an apple and erased my memory of the tree, I'd probably be puzzled. But Voldemort would presumably make sure I didn't take any apples with me. In the book, mind magic seems to be something of an art. Voldemort's use on Hermione and Draco both involved Voldemort tweaking something that happened such that the new memory was entirely plausible. We don't know much about Skeeter, but Voldemort chose to make sure the Weasley twins thought that their dealer was responsible.

I'm not sure that i'm the right kind of a person you need, nor can't guarantee that i always be there when you need me (life is full of unexpected stuff and i live in pretty dangerous and unstable place), yet i could try to be your friend.

I've never managed to be friends with someone online in the absence of a strong shared activity. Sorry.

Troll did. Interesting that Dumbledore offered Hermione to try to be a hero herself, yet forgot to mention that Harry have several powerful "white" mages to cover his back and most powerful "black" mage to guide him, teach how to protect himself, how to surrender saving dignity, retreat when it is necessary and keep emotions under control. Also, i can't remember clearly, have Voldemort killed anyone during the book?

Yeah, okay, technically the troll killed Hermione. Asides from that quibble, Voldemort killed Skeeter, a centaur, the real Quirrel, and a nameless Death Eater. He might have killed other people, but those are the deaths I can recall off the top of my head.

By "transhumanist" you mean something like denying death as essential part of birth-to-death cycle

Ehh, kind of. Transhumanist might be the wrong word, but from an objective perspective, the sun is stupendously wasteful. Far better to stop the fusion reaction, extract all the hydrogen, and fuse it under controlled conditions to extract more value. Aka "tear apart the stars". Same idea with the earth (which would, literally, end the world). This seems to be the intended interpretation, but you could be right -- after all, Harry almost destroys the world at the very end of the book via unintended side effects.

Also, if fear of death is the moving force for creativity, the transhumanist answer isn't to keep death around. It's to remove death, and find another way to solve creativity. Same with work expanding to fill the allotted time; that's not a law like a law of physics, it's a bug in our brains.

People often call "evil" something they can't control or understand. Precisely, they call something "evil" if it takes something valuable away and call it "miracle" if it adds something valuable.

True enough. Voldemort was the first time I could really relate to a character but even I would consider him evil (and, more importantly, insanely dangerous).

Yep. But strictly in terms of theorizing, can we consider the body and brain as a capacitor which stores some type of energy with unique properties? Can combination of this properties store some information? What will happen when capacitor is destroyed, will this cause some effect to surrounding field?

What? Are you saying that once you turn a brain off, there's no way to turn it back on, because everything is stored in the equivalent of volatile memory?

comment by Raven · 2020-07-07T19:53:44.445Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

No problem, you can always try one more time, taking into account that moving around the world or even city is kinda restricted now. I live by myself in remote location, yet it doesn’t stop me from keeping in touch with friends, not due to activity but because they understand and accept me. Not sure i understand what do you mean by "strong shared activity", we do share activity by deeply discussing lots of subjects here. Anyways, it's up to you, imposing myself is not on my list of preferences.

By strong shared activity, I meant something like an MMO or a real-life activity. Being subscribed to the same website doesn't seem quite the same, although I could be wrong about that.

After thinking a bit more about why I initially said no, I think it's best for me to state the shape of my object level.

  • I'm fine with continuing to talk. This conversation is interesting.

  • I'm also fine with having more conversations, with no definite end in sight.

  • If that develops into a friendship, I'm also fine with that.

  • If it doesn't, then that's alright with me too.

  • My prior against you actually being able to understand and accept me is extremely low. Please don't take this an accusation or an insult or anything.

What I don't think will work is declaring myself to be your friend and vice versa, which is essentially what I've tried to do before. Yes, I can try again, but I have no reason to expect that anything will be different if I simply repeat the same course of actions as last time.

What do you think about simply continuing as we are and seeing what happens?

imho it is only from the perspective of the one who wants more energy and thinks that he's alone and only, subjective, not objective perspective. Who knows how sun's "wasteful" radiation and gravity affects everything around.

Sure, there's no way to know with absolute certainty. But if I had to live in a world where the sun gets ripped apart to create a bunch of fusion reactors and one where we leave it burning just in case there's some alien race on Neptune or something... I'm going to have to go with the former. If a problem crops up, I'm sure the hypothetical civ capable of putting out the sun can handle it, even if only by jamming all the hydrogen back together and restarting the reaction.

Removing death may well mean removing it's opposite, birth. Also, sometimes this "bug" helps people to evaluate their actions and focus on more important stuff. Even the laws of physics, or rather their interpretation, sometimes turn out to be imperfect.

This strikes me as noncentral fallacy. When you say removing birth, that sounds bad, but if the reason nobody has any more babies is because everyone is immortal... is that really so bad?

As for the bug, yes, currently it can be helpful. That doesn't mean it's the only way to nudge people into evaluating their actions or focusing on what's important. It seems extraordinarily unlikely that our current brain design is optimal for either of those actions, given how stupid a designer evolution is.

(Honestly, I find it difficult to answer who is more dangerous: Harry or his teacher).

What? Voldemort's a bored sociopath god whose grand ambition is to play Civilization with humanity as the pieces. Harry's dangerous but at least after HPMOR, he's shackled by the Vow and his values are far nicer than Voldemort's.

Wow. This is not what i said, but you might have a point. I said that structure of brain might define properties of energy it stores and this properties could mirror memory. And that destruction of brain might lead to release of this energy to the surroundings.

Ah. I didn't understand what you were saying and took a stab at it (that I got wrong). I understand now. My gut says this pattern matches as "implausible pseudoscience", but I don't know enough science to refute or justify that claim. However, afaik Yudkowsky doesn't support any view like this (he's a big cryonics proponent) and so I think it's unlikely that this is what he had in mind when he was deciding what HPMOR souls are.

As far as i know, brain of people in coma or even frogs frozen in water not "turned off" and show slight activity.

I knew the coma one, not the frozen one. That's... kind of incredible, that there can be anything happening when it's frozen. But by turned off, I meant being warm and losing oxygen flow and cells dying, or whatever exactly happens when your heart stops beating for a couple minutes.

As for human brain freezing it will likely cause cell membranes to be torn apart by asymmetrically freezing water, as it increases its volume while turning into ice.

This is true if you simply stick it into a freezer. However, "freezing" brains for cryonics is much more involved than brain + freezer. Technically speaking, the cryonics process is vitrification, which doesn't create ice crystals.

comment by Klen Salubri (klen-salubri) · 2020-07-07T22:04:13.292Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
By strong shared activity, I meant something like an MMO or a real-life activity. Being subscribed to the same website doesn't seem quite the same, although I could be wrong about that.

Which MMO? I'm playing COD from time to time, mostly because it includes several building from my home city (Stadium, Airport and several more), so event in the game on some extent mirror what's happening on the streets of my hometown, same way as events in country mirror what's happening around the world and vice versa. Also i used to play MUDs ages ago (that's where does my nickname came from), but i don't think anyone play them now.

After thinking a bit more about why I initially said no, I think it's best for me to state the shape of my object level.
What I don't think will work is declaring myself to be your friend and vice versa, which is essentially what I've tried to do before. Yes, I can try again, but I have no reason to expect that anything will be different if I simply repeat the same course of actions as last time.

Ah, no no, it would be kinda strange to make friends simply be declaring so. You said that you would like to have friend that would tell you to move one when you lost somebody, and explain why it might be best solution. In this case i don't have to know all of your story from very birth to play role of friend, i just have to be a empathetic human and understand your emotions, so you could use me as a mirror. I have some experience of losing loved ones and living the struggle of acceptance. Call it not a friend but a temporary companion, if correct terminology is more required than actions. Friendship is pretty confusing concept in the age of business and social networking.

What do you think about simply continuing as we are and seeing what happens?

Guess, this is best solution.

Sure, there's no way to know with absolute certainty. But if I had to live in a world where the sun gets ripped apart to create a bunch of fusion reactors and one where we leave it burning just in case there's some alien race on Neptune or something... I'm going to have to go with the former. If a problem crops up, I'm sure the hypothetical civ capable of putting out the sun can handle it, even if only by jamming all the hydrogen back together and restarting the reaction.

Actually, i thought that removing some big object from the cluster of stars could also affect all the nearest stars entangled together by gravity field. Not sure that jamming all the hydrogen back together and restarting the reaction would fix this issue.

This strikes me as noncentral fallacy. When you say removing birth, that sounds bad, but if the reason nobody has any more babies is because everyone is immortal... is that really so bad?

I not sure. Thing is human genetics works this way: male XY chromosome is prone to accumulate mutations as result to adaptation to changing environment, female chromosome due to its double nature is more stable and can fix bad mutations. So literally, process of death and birth is one of the main instruments of adaptation and evolution: men try to spread his genes, women try to pick most reliable by intuition, personal preferences or in some cases by making men confront each other. If you're going to throw away birth-decay cycle, you will need to compensate somehow tool of nature which ensured species survival for millions of years.

As for the bug, yes, currently it can be helpful.

So let's call it a feature:)

That doesn't mean it's the only way to nudge people into evaluating their actions or focusing on what's important.

It is hard to argue that humanity makes a quantum leap only on the verge of total annihilation, same way as when child facing a possible humiliating punishment from a parent.

Ah. I didn't understand what you were saying and took a stab at it (that I got wrong). I understand now. My gut says this pattern matches as "implausible pseudoscience", but I don't know enough science to refute or justify that claim. However, afaik Yudkowsky doesn't support any view like this (he's a big cryonics proponent) and so I think it's unlikely that this is what he had in mind when he was deciding what HPMOR souls are.

It's not a science at all, i just trying to find some possible scientific explanation to some unscientific stuff like "soul", and probably i will burn in theoretical hell for doing so. Sure he is, as any living human being that put a lot of effort into building of its consciousness and adding changes into the world which will require much more time show up then human life allows. Pity he can't join our conversation and share his valuable opinion on controversial questions we have risen here.

I knew the coma one, not the frozen one. That's... kind of incredible, that there can be anything happening when it's frozen.

Some frogs have a natural mechanism called cryoprotection, it surrounds cells with glucose, which prevents them from gradual drying out, which is a side effect of instant freezing. Unfortunately, our cells lack this mechanism. Also, I could not even imagine how much pain I would feel if someone freezes my head and then fastens it to another body. I think I could even lose all of my memories and remain with unconditioned reflexes only.

This is true if you simply stick it into a freezer. However, "freezing" brains for cryonics is much more involved than brain + freezer. Technically speaking, the cryonics process is vitrification, which doesn't create ice crystals.

Thank you for an excellent article! It is funny that they say that "Cryonics is a belief". Looks like science and beliefs are closer to each other than ever before.

comment by Raven · 2020-07-07T23:10:46.539Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Forsaken world. I don't play anymore, but back when I did I had two romantic relationships and a bunch of friendships.

I'm playing COD from time to time, mostly because it includes several building from my home city (Stadium, Airport and several more), so event in the game on some extent mirror what's happening on the streets of my hometown

That's pretty cool.

You said that you would like to have friend that would tell you to move one when you lost somebody, and explain why it might be best solution.

Oh. There's been a terrible misunderstanding. I meant that Harry was the sort of friend I'd want, someone who wouldn't "move on" just because it was the standard script provided by society.

removing some big object from the cluster of stars could also affect all the nearest stars entangled together by gravity field

That's not how gravity works. The [formula](https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-physics/chapter/newtons-law-of-universal-gravitation/#:~:text=The mathematical formula for gravitational,G is the gravitational constant.) for the force between two stars due to gravity is F = (GM1M2)/r^2.

Alpha Centauri is the closest star system with three stars.

  • G is the gravitation constant, which is 6.6E-11
  • M1 is the mass of the first star, the sun, or 2E30kg
  • M2 is the mass of the second star, Alpha Centauri, or 4E30kg.
  • r is half of the distance between the two stars, or 4E16m

Put them all together and you get F = (6.6E-11)(2E30)(4E30)/(4E16^2) = 3.3E17. This sounds like a lot, but remember that we're dealing with enormous masses. Plug that force into f=ma and you get an acceleration of 8E-14. Basically nothing, in other words.

So literally, process of death and birth is one of the main instruments of adaptation and evolution... If you're going to throw away birth-decay cycle, you will need to compensate somehow tool of nature which ensured species survival for millions of years.

This may be currently true. However, by the time we've solved immortality, hopefully we won't be using DNA anymore. Or, at least, we'll be able to edit that DNA and fix mutations (among other things). We're already unlocking this technology. Evolution [LW · GW] is [evil](https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/MFNJ7kQttCuCXHp8P/the-goddess-of-everything-else#:~:text=your [LW · GW] loved ones.-,I am the Goddess of Everything Else and my powers,the end of all ages.”) and the sooner we throw off its shackles, the better.

As for the bug, yes, currently it can be helpful. So let's call it a feature:)

Let's not. Death is not a feature; it's an ugly workaround that's only necessary because evolution is too stupid to solve the problem directly.

It is hard to argue that humanity makes a quantum leap only on the verge of total annihilation, same way as when child facing a possible humiliating punishment from a parent.

Okay, I misunderstood what you meant by creativity earlier (I thought you meant general creativity, not last-ditch efforts). This is very circular. Death is good because it... prevents death? I reject the entire circle and propose an alternative: fix the actual problem. What's the problem, you ask? Humanity's inability to think long-term, which forces us to make those quantum leaps or be annihilated. No, we can't do this today; yes we will be able to eventually (and if we don't, we're probably doomed no matter how much death is around).

It's not a science at all, i just trying to find some possible scientific explanation to some unscientific stuff like "soul", and probably i will burn in theoretical hell for doing so. Sure he is, as any living human being that put a lot of effort into building of its consciousness and adding changes into the world which will require much more time show up then human life allows. Pity he can't join our conversation and share his valuable opinion on controversial questions we have risen here.

Why bother? Just consign souls to the fantasy bin and wash your hands of the whole mess. Don't you remember the part of the sequences where he explains that if you write your conclusion down first, it doesn't matter what clever arguments you come up with to justify it?

Some frogs have a natural mechanism called cryoprotection, it surrounds cells with glucose, which prevents them from gradual drying out, which is a side effect of instant freezing. Unfortunately, our cells lack this mechanism.

Yes, our cells lack this mechanism. So what? That's what technology is for.

Also, I could not even imagine how much pain I would feel if someone freezes my head and then fastens it to another body.

What? Why would you be in any pain? "Fastening" would integrate the nervous system of your head and new body. It's not like you take the head and staple it onto a neck. No we can't do this today. Yes we have precursor technology: hand transplants

comment by Klen Salubri (klen-salubri) · 2020-07-07T18:15:31.451Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I've never managed to be friends with someone online in the absence of a strong shared activity. Sorry.

No problem, you can always try one more time, taking into account that moving around the world or even city is kinda restricted now. I live by myself in remote location, yet it doesn’t stop me from keeping in touch with friends, not due to activity but because they understand and accept me. Not sure i understand what do you mean by "strong shared activity", we do share activity by deeply discussing lots of subjects here. Anyways, it's up to you, imposing myself is not on my list of preferences.

Yeah, okay, technically the troll killed Hermione. Asides from that quibble, Voldemort killed Skeeter, a centaur, the real Quirrel, and a nameless Death Eater. He might have killed other people, but those are the deaths I can recall off the top of my head.

Thank you for pointing this out.

Ehh, kind of. Transhumanist might be the wrong word, but from an objective perspective, the sun is stupendously wasteful. Far better to stop the fusion reaction, extract all the hydrogen, and fuse it under controlled conditions to extract more value. Aka "tear apart the stars". Same idea with the earth (which would, literally, end the world). This seems to be the intended interpretation, but you could be right -- after all, Harry almost destroys the world at the very end of the book via unintended side effects.

Oh, i thought that was related to Hermione being witch-troll-unicorn mutant. I just though, that in case Voldemort had not brought her back, Harry in case of successful resurrection might had try to make her unable to die, even if she desires so. Agree, it is stupendously wasteful and it might be better to extract materials and create another one star under controlled conditions or surround sun with something that can absorb energy, but imho it is only from the perspective of the one who wants more energy and thinks that he's alone and only, subjective, not objective perspective. Who knows how sun's "wasteful" radiation and gravity affects everything around.

Also, if fear of death is the moving force for creativity, the transhumanist answer isn't to keep death around. It's to remove death, and find another way to solve creativity. Same with work expanding to fill the allotted time; that's not a law like a law of physics, it's a bug in our brains.

Removing death may well mean removing it's opposite, birth. Also, sometimes this "bug" helps people to evaluate their actions and focus on more important stuff. Even the laws of physics, or rather their interpretation, sometimes turn out to be imperfect.

True enough. Voldemort was the first time I could really relate to a character but even I would consider him evil (and, more importantly, insanely dangerous).

True, he is evil, this is a book about the struggle between good and evil after all, as controversial as the struggle itself. It seems to me that the "interaction" to a greater extent reflects the essence of what is happening then "struggle". Yet somehow he have forced "good ones" to unite and cooperate. Also by teaching several life lessons he played role of father for Harry. Probably, because Potter have lost his father and his step-father was not too good at parenting, nevertheless, was also able to pass on some important skills to his adoptive son. (Honestly, I find it difficult to answer who is more dangerous: Harry or his teacher).

What? Are you saying that once you turn a brain off, there's no way to turn it back on, because everything is stored in the equivalent of volatile memory?

Wow. This is not what i said, but you might have a point. I said that structure of brain might define properties of energy it stores and this properties could mirror memory. And that destruction of brain might lead to release of this energy to the surroundings. As for your question, what do you mean by turn a brain off"? As far as i know, brain of people in coma or even frogs frozen in water not "turned off" and show slight activity. So i would call it hibernation. As for human brain freezing it will likely cause cell membranes to be torn apart by asymmetrically freezing water, as it increases its volume while turning into ice. In case of heart failure, stopping feeding of brain cells, after exhaustion of nutrients in the capillary system and intracellular fluid, will lead to the beginning of irreversible necrotic processes, it is matter of a few minutes (speed of decay depends on temperature). So yes, in some sense, brain is equivalent of volatile memory, since the life of its constituent cells strictly depends on the ability to convert ATP into energy and use of energy to communicate and store information. Also, I must confess that i don't have official degree in medicine, physics or chemistry, it is just side effect of family traditions and my curiosity.