This was originally posted at Less Wrong in one of the HPMoR discussion threads, almost exactly one year ago. I had planned on pasting it here when I got to the SPHEW-formation chapter, and I’m still doing so. It’s interesting how I’ve changed over the past year… I would still have posted the same information if I’d written it today, but my wording would have been a bit different. I’ll comment further on the real-world SPHEW in next week’s notes.
Real World Effects of SPHEW
Raemon has written at moderate length about feminist issues in HPMoR. In fact, this post is credited by Eliezer as
High probability this comment had something to do with the surprise creation of SPHEW.
I don’t wish to speculate about these issues because I don’t feel I have the depth of knowledge needed to contribute meaningfully. However I do have a real life effect of SPHEW to report.
I produce the Methods of Rationality Podcast. For the most part it’s a solo project, but after receiving a few requests I’ve gotten comfortable enough with it that I’ve decided to integrate other voices as long as it doesn’t require much additional work from me. Meaning – just send me the audio file of you reading the lines and I’ll incorporate it if I can. I didn’t really expect much response from this approach, and for the most part I didn’t get one. Seems no one is really interested in doing Gregory Goyle’s lines. :)
With a notable exception. The girls of SPHEW. I received a complete reading of all of Daphne’s lines before I even announced I was willing to take other voices. It was one of the primary motivators for overturning my previous policy and saying I would accept others. Since then I also received all Tracey’s and the start of Susan’s with a commitment of a full reading. I’m still at least two months away from the first appearance of any of the SPHEW witches, and probably a full year away from their eventual official SPHEW adventures.
I believe SPHEW has indeed promoted heroism among witches in the real world. Regardless of what feminist themes may have been explored, it’s my opinion that SPHEW has had a positive real-world effect. :)