Author’s Notes, Ch. 86

Manifest for this Author’s Note:

  • Writing notes.
  • Update on the Center for Applied Rationality.
  • Massive combined fan-art update.

Writing notes:

85:  The new revised version of Ch. 85 is something I could not get right in time for the end of the last update string – I started by posting 78 before 85 was finished – so I gave up and wrote the previous alternate ending.  Also, I didn’t want to have the fic spend a long time with a current stopping-point quite that gloomy.

86:  I regret that I could not come up with any reasonable way to have Harry shout “Temporal fugue!” or “Kage bunshin no jutsu!” before attacking.

If you’re wondering why the heck Ch. 86 took so long, it can be summed up as:

  • 70%: Not enough hours to work on HPMOR.  86 & 87 arrived courtesy of my employer authorizing me to work full-time on Methods for a week.
  • 30%: Ch. 86 is (1) a bunch of fiddly things that needed to happen before the next arc so everything keeps moving in the right direction, (2) mostly in the form of dialogue affecting people’s states of knowledge, in (3) a ‘reaction’ chapter where momentum is naturally low.  I ended up deleting a good deal of what I wrote for 86 because it just wasn’t possible to pack in all the fiddly stuff, and I figured I was probably overestimating how much fiddly stuff was needed.

Ch. 87 (Hermione-centric) went much faster and will go up on Friday.

Ch. 88 must begin a longer sequence and the longer sequence has some fiddly bits.  So there’ll probably be another interval before Ch. 88 and its attached sequence gets posted.

Center for Applied Rationality update:

The Center for Applied Rationality is holding 4-day workshops on Jan 25-28 and Mar 1-4.  These are high-intensity workshops aimed at entrepreneurs, hackers, and other ambitious, analytic folk; no prior reading required, general backgrounds OK.  These workshops should provide a well-rounded spectrum of practice in the most critical cognitive skills that CFAR has developed and refined.  We should have at least one or two big names at these.

These workshops are aimed at people to whom it can provide a lot of value, and priced accordingly, during a time when CFAR hasn’t yet scaled up fundraising and is using these workshops to fund core operations.  Nonetheless, partial financial aid is available for the workshops on a needs basis.

This brings me to CFAR’s Inaugural Fundraising Drive, a $60,000 Matching Challenge in which your donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $60,000, until Jan 31st, 2013.

CFAR could make very good use of a lot more money than this while starting up.  I don’t work for the Center for Applied Rationality and they don’t pay me, but their work is sufficiently important that the Singularity Institute (which does pay me) has allowed me to offer to work on Methods full-time until the story is finished if HPMOR readers donate a total of $1M to CFAR.


CFAR is hiring.  Who, and how many people, will depend on how the fundraising goes.  Please apply regardless – it can’t hurt.

Mega combined fan-art update:

New inspired works (fanfiction with explicitly similar rationalist themes):

  • Harry Potter and the Natural 20 by Sir Poley (a D&D Munchkin is transported into the canon universe by a summoning gone wrong; smart!canon!Quirrell; author has confirmed explicit Methods inspiration).
  • Friendship is Optimal by Iceman (an Equestria MMORPG with a real AI built to play Celestia – more AI than cogpsych)
  • Myou’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me by DataPacRat (a rationalist arrives in Equestria… as a cow)

Cameos:  Ch. 86:  Samantha Crowley (Harry-Potter-Addict).  David Capito.  Beth Martin.  Colleen Johnson (donated by Tavoriel).  Pencil-Monkey, as Unseen University character Adrian Turnipseed.  Nancy Hua.  Nathan Rehfuss.  Sherice Ngaserin (Ilae).  Shehla (Shallandavar).  Chloe.

Ch. 87 will be posted on Friday, December 21st, at 7PM Pacific Time.