Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Ever gotten annoyed or down right pissed off when Harry Potter just doesn’t make sense? For instance, why would Death Eaters put a giant tattoo on their own arms when they’re supposed to be super spies? Or, why didn’t Voldie just mail the entire Order of the Phoenix hand grenades to end the war? Why does Harry NEVER tell adults when he figures out secrets that might lead to the deaths of lots of people? How is a human able to transform into a cat without loss of brain functions? Why is the entire wizarding world completely stupid and incurious about the fact that muggles could have blown up the planet half a century ago? Why doesn’t Voldie make a Horcrux out of a space probe?
“Petunia married a biochemist, and Harry grew up reading science and science fiction. Then came the Hogwarts letter, revealing a world of intriguing new possibilities to exploit.”
Oh and Harry is a genius a la Artemis Fowl. If this doesn’t tickle your nerd fancy, I don’t know what will.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Harry Potter. Many of the characters were hard-working, noble and fun. I genuinely felt for the protagonists’ trials and tribulations. Maybe it was because I was so emotionally attached, that I kept getting angry at the stupid things characters did, and the inconsistency of the world in general.
Yes, I know, it’s a fantasy, and yes, it’s a kid’s story, and I knew I couldn’t have it all…until I picked up Methods of Rationality. Armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of science, philosophy and logic, Harry scrutinizes the world of magic bit by bit, starting with how speaking jumbled English-Latin could violate laws of physics to why the Wizarding world seems to be stuck in the 19th century in terms of ethical development.
It’s not all cold hard scientific analysis however, as Harry still needs to go through emotional trials, make and lose friends, and ultimately defeat the big bad, who, in this universe, may not be as stupid as the Voldie was in the original.
Methods of Rationality is definitely not for everyone. A friend of mine read about 2 paragraphs of it and swears to never touch it again. For me, it was like discovering Harry Potter all over again, except with rationality.