If Quirrell is the host of Voldemort, who regards Harry as his arch-nemesis, is he planting intentionally dysfunctional ideas in Harry's mind? Like in the PKD story "War Game", where the aliens send a board game to Earth from which kids learn to be terrible at finances.

In particular, I wonder if we the readers are supposed to take that the whole "learning to lose" thing as a lesson or an anti-lesson on what NOT to do.

  • 1
    Being that this is about a fan fic, I think a really good answer would involve actually asking the author (volunteers?). [ What I mean is, the author should be more approachable with direct questions than JKR would be ]. Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 14:22
  • 1
    Given the current state of the fic (not done) I'd say you should suspend final judgement; think how you would respond to a question about Snape, pre Deathly Hallows, v.s. after. There are pluses and minuses to the lesson; what it's meant to do to Harry is still up in the air.
    – K-H-W
    Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 19:07

1 Answer 1


Reversed stupidity is not intelligence.

That said, see the disclaimer in chapter 1:

All science mentioned is real science. But please keep in mind that, beyond the realm of science, the views of the characters may not be those of the author. Not everything the protagonist does is a lesson in wisdom, and advice offered by darker characters may be untrustworthy or dangerously double-edged.

Don't reverse whatever Professor Quirrell says to do, and do that instead. But do take his advice with a large grain of salt, if you take it at all.

  • 1
    (long time LW lurker here) So what's your personal opinion on losing? On a more general note, if your primary goal with HP&MOR is to teach rationality skills, and the story is just a vehicle (I'm not sure if this is so, but for me the story is certainly not that important, having never read any HP books...), then I think it'd be important to delineate honest advise from in-character scheming.
    – Cactus
    Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 12:10
  • 14
    @Cactus: Given that Eliezer aims to teach use of rationality skills, does it matter whether the character means the advice well or not? I suspect we the lesswrong readers are not meant to take, or ignore, the advice on that one so much as we are meant to consider the problem.
    – Tynam
    Commented Jun 5, 2012 at 18:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.