As mentioned in the podcast, I will be appearing at Myths & Legends Con on Saturday, Sept 28th, at the Sheraton Denver Tech Center (7007 S. Clinton Street, Greenwood Village, CO). I’ll be giving a presentation on Rationalist Fiction, Rationality, and HPMoR. I’ll see if I can get someone to record it and put it on YouTube afterwards, but for anyone in the Denver area who would like to see me in person – come on down! Please feel free to come up to me and talk to me before or after, I’ll be more than delighted to hang out and chat with anyone. And of course there’s lots of other stuff to do as well.
(minor spoilers for the current chapter below)
As I just had to write a short presentation on rationalist fiction it’s right at the forefront of my mind. In my presentation I defined rationality as a systemized method for making good decisions, especially under uncertainty. The “rationalist” part of the conflict really shines through again in this chapter, as The Enemy is now specifically attacking Harry’s ability to make rational decisions. The hacking of the wards is a meta-attack, designed to make your opponent distrust his tools for gathering accurate knowledge about his situation; and even (in Harry’s case) to doubt the very integrity of his own memories and mental processes. How many other works of fiction feature this sort of attack? Where “destroying your opponent’s ability to make war” is literally an assault on your opponent’s basic epistemology? Not many. :)