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Chainsaw Hobbit
2011-11-26, 01:40 AM
Don't get me wrong. I've always thought Harry Potter was not only a good series of books, but a noteworthy contribution to the English language. I listen to the audiobooks (both the ones read by Jim Dale and the ones read by Stephen Fry) as I go to sleep. I've read each book at least twice and enjoyed them immensely. However, I have two gripes with the franchise: the gaping plot holes, and the magic system.

I won't talk about the many significant plot holes here, as they are spoilers, and I'm aware there are still a single-digit number of people out there who don't know the entire plot. The magic system - on the other hand - I will go on a rant about.

For one thing, the Harry Potter magic system makes dominating one's way too easy. There is an easily preformed, unblock-able spell that causes instant death. No catch. There is a spell (equally easily preformed) where one can take complete control over someone else for long stretches of time. Both these spells can be preformed an infinite number of times without harming the caster.

Magic of that power level should have some drawback, some way of screwing the caster over, and should be hard to preform. If any random guy can go around blasting people with ludicrously powerful magic, than ludicrously powerful magic loses all meaning and fights are comically short.

Magic, at its core is too easy. There is no limit to its use. One can use it to do everything without thinking twice. They don't need to call upon unreliable entities from other dimensions, don't have to sacrifice life force, and don't forget how to cast a spell after casting it. There is also very little chance of the spell backfiring.

It is also rather bland. All spells are just Latin-sounding words accompanied by want movements. There are no multi-hour rituals, no chants, and no spirit/monster/demon summoning.

I magic was more difficult, complex, ritual-based, and unreliable; Harry Potter could have been much more entertaining.

Coidzor
2011-11-26, 01:44 AM
A bit more immersion and a sense of the magic system that evolved over time as the protagonists began to understand it better could have worked with the premise pretty well.

Dienekes
2011-11-26, 01:52 AM
I magic was more difficult, complex, ritual-based, and unreliable; Harry Potter could have been much more entertaining.

Ritual based would kind of ruin a bit of the feel of the books really. The whole wizard duels are about spell flinging that seems right out of a (admittedly unoptimized) DnD game. Now if that's not your thing, it's fine, but that doesn't seem like much of a problem, more of a concept you don't personally like.

If I was going to go into problems, personally I'd say that Harry Potter can be incredibly annoying and whiny, Rowling's romances nearly universally fall flat, and for Christ sake if you're going to off someone far cooler than the main characters at least show the readers the common curtsey to either show it, or at least the events around it so we feel the character was not just thrown away like a used tissue. Now you can defend that she does this to make a point, and I'll agree with that up to a point but it is overused.

Chainsaw Hobbit
2011-11-26, 01:57 AM
I'm okay with having magic other than rituals, but magic used during duels should be less overpowered. You shouldn't be able to instantly kill or dominate someone with a word and a flick of your wand. The best you should be able to do in that amount of time is shoot a blast of magic that will temporarily daze the target or deliver a small third-degree burn or something. If you want to actually kill them, you should have to either hit them a few times in a row or do some careful preparation beforehand.

Dumbledore lives
2011-11-26, 01:59 AM
To be fair there are some things described as rituals that are more than just wand waving, like the creation of Horcruxes or some of the other more powerful magic described that I can't think of right now. There is also potions and the like which take a while to make.

There is also the fact that the unforgivable curses, and it probably applies to powerful spells as a whole, are not that easy to cast, not everyone can cast avada kedavra and kill someone, in book 4 Moody says that if the entire class tried it on him he wouldn't even get a nose bleed. So the powerful spells need powerful wizards to cast, so it's not as easy as you say.

I do think that magic being fatiguing would make an interesting series, but it wouldn't be quite the same.

Chainsaw Hobbit
2011-11-26, 02:19 AM
Sure, but if you ARE badass enough to cast Avada Cadabra, than you caqn cast it an unlimited amount of times without consiquence, which is dumb. Maybe if you could only do it once every few hours and it made you feel terrible, it would be acceptible.

Tiki Snakes
2011-11-26, 02:20 AM
To be fair, the Killing Curse is quite powerful. Well, compared to other combat magic.

Objectively?
Well, if you're worried about the Killing Curse you better hope no-one thought to bring a handgun. :smallwink:

Chainsaw Hobbit
2011-11-26, 02:22 AM
To be fair, the Killing Curse is quite powerful. Well, compared to other combat magic.

Objectively?
Well, if you're worried about the Killing Curse you better hope no-one thought to bring a handgun. :smallwink:

Expelliarmus!

Tiki Snakes
2011-11-26, 02:24 AM
Works just as well on a guy with a wand, only the guy with the handgun only has to squeeze the trigger. He's going to be faster.

Still, it might even be comparable if they stick to single-shot handguns. :smallsmile:
Coming this fall; Harry Potter and the Japanese Yakuza.

Zale
2011-11-26, 02:31 AM
Yep.

Wizards and witches are just so OP.

:smallbiggrin:

Xondoure
2011-11-26, 02:39 AM
To be fair, the Killing Curse is quite powerful. Well, compared to other combat magic.

Objectively?
Well, if you're worried about the Killing Curse you better hope no-one thought to bring a handgun. :smallwink:

This. Magic can do some incredible things, but its ability to kill is not really one of them in the books. Harry Potter isn't necessarily about day long rituals and magics that take an extraordinary amount of time but I thought it was made abundantly clear that magic is not easy. That it in fact takes years of mastery and most do not come close to the proficiency shown by the principle cast. Besides which there is ritual magic which takes hours to years to complete, may not work completely unless done perfectly, has dubious side effects, and makes some of the other magic performed seem tame when it comes to affecting people. Its called potions.

No if I was going to comment on any problem I had with the magic system it would be the ridiculous rule about food. Specifically if you can't conjure it out of thin air then just summon it with accio or transfigure it out of something else. I mean really at the very least charm some money and walk into a muggle store Hermione, it shouldn't be that difficult.

Coidzor
2011-11-26, 02:50 AM
To be fair, the Killing Curse is quite powerful. Well, compared to other combat magic.

Objectively?
Well, if you're worried about the Killing Curse you better hope no-one thought to bring a handgun. :smallwink:

It is kind of confusing. They say there's no counter for the killing curse, then show it can be dodged and blocked by physical objects and the person's aim can be disrupted...

Psyren
2011-11-26, 02:54 AM
Concerning AK; Sure, there should be some drawback to being able to snuff somebody out without even a fort save, but when you get right down to it it's not much different than frying them with lightning or lacerating them with invisible blades. Either way they're dead and it still requires a RTA, so AK to me isn't a big deal. (If anything, the fact that it's so easy to do is kind of the point, from a literary perspective - killing is easy, you just need the nerve/sadism and the rest is finding a blunt instrument.)

Now Imperius I agree with you is way too easy. Even giving you mere cannon fodder (as was the case with Stan Shunpike) Imperio is bad enough and goes way beyond what D&D domination would let you do by not allowing any kind of will save; add in the fact that you can make your slave do magic of his own and it careens headlong into utterly broken. Just the canon uses of it we've seen (Crouch Jr., Malfoy and of course V) would break any D&D game in two. You don't appear to need any sort of action to control someone, never mind needing to concentrate; you give them orders and you're free to file your nails or go about your business without having to ever worry about their pesky free will coming to the fore. And the duration is left alarmingly vague; does it need to be refreshed? Can the victim sleep and wake, still under your control? Do they even need sleep in that state? How many can you control at once? (Voldemort had dozens; were some or all directly his, or was that due to his Death Eaters?) And without seeing the victim's eyes you can't even tell if they've been hit. And even if you can break the spell, how do you figure out who enchanted them to begin with without having their wand handy? Total bedlam.

And all of this is without getting into the really troublesome magic in the 'verse. Crap like the Trace, or hiding entire domiciles inside of coterminous pocket dimensions, and lest we forget, freaking time travel.

KillianHawkeye
2011-11-26, 05:39 AM
It's not that there aren't any drawbacks, just that the drawbacks are all roleplaying penalties. :smallwink:

Anyway, it's hard enough to apply D&D rules to something that's ACTUALLY TRYING to be D&D, much less something that is only vaguely similar like Harry Potter.

Lord Seth
2011-11-26, 08:31 AM
There is an easily preformed, unblock-able spell that causes instant death. No catch.You're assuming it's easily performed. We only see a handful of people do it, and we never really know the mechanics behind it besides someone saying it requires a powerful bit of magic behind it, which indicates it's a hard spell to master.

Aotrs Commander
2011-11-26, 10:30 AM
As someone who is capable of spamming (highly advanced and therefore extremely reliable) magic like it's going out of fashion, I would say there ought to be less rituals and it ought to be even simpler and more reliable...!



As to making it cooler...in my entirely unbiased opinion, it would be cooler it all the protagonists were Liches. (Spirit-Bound like me for extra awesome, but Phylactery-Bound are cool too...) No good reason behind it, they just are. Maybe they just all woke up one day as Liches or soemthing. Don't question the logic (which you shouldn't do with HP too hard most of the time...!)

Because that would be not only hilarious, but freaking Awesome.

Think about it. Intelligence boosts - plus a further boost if they are Evil as well, because somehow Evil versions are nearly always smarter (huzzah for Smart-Evil-Ron!), serious physical boosts and it'd just be priceless.

E.g. On the train to Hogwarts, Book 3
Dementor: (thinking) Muahaha! Time to get me some happy thoughts from the mentally-scarred kid! *Happyiness drain aura*

Harry Lich: Um, mate, we're immune to mind-affecting effects.

Herminone Lich: And don't you know what a silly idea it is to try and drain Undead? Honestly!

Ron Lich: Thirdly, since I'm smart now - Command Undead. Yeah, with no wand, I'm that awesome. Now you stand still there, while, if Professor Lupin Lich will do us the honours - note total control of lycanthropy in Lich state - and go all Wolf-Lich and rip your spectral face off with his Lich-boosted claw attacks...

Dementor: *whimper*

Lupin Lich: *Spifflicate*



Or even Voldemort...

Voldemorte: Muahahah! Avadra Kevadra!

All: Immune to death effects, you numpty!1

Voldemorte: Bollocks.

I could go on like this for hours...!



(I suppose I should note that Voldemort is technically a sort of phylactery-bound Lich, though.)



Actually, I've often though this about Naruto too.

Hell, everything would be better if you made the primary protagonists Liches! (Yes, even Twilight2.)



1Yeah, yeah, I know, AK probably falls under the "effects objects" and probably would work on Undead like Disintegrate even if not as Finger of Death, don't spoil my comedic moment!

2Mainly because it would no longer be about Vampires or romance, but a crowd of Liches doing Lich-type things...

Avilan the Grey
2011-11-26, 11:03 AM
To be fair, the Killing Curse is quite powerful. Well, compared to other combat magic.

Objectively?
Well, if you're worried about the Killing Curse you better hope no-one thought to bring a handgun. :smallwink:

Btw Word Of God is that a man with a gun defeats a wizard.
Also, according to the books, wizards do not even know what guns are.

Tiki Snakes
2011-11-26, 11:10 AM
Btw Word Of God is that a man with a gun defeats a wizard.
Also, according to the books, wizards do not even know what guns are.

I was sure I'd heard that, but couldn't find anything about it when I looked. Good to know the dementia isn't setting in just yet. :smallredface:

Mando Knight
2011-11-26, 11:12 AM
As to making it cooler...in my entirely unbiased opinion, it would be cooler it all the protagonists were Liches.
They'd have to hit caster level 11 first, wouldn't they? That's a bit out of the reach for Harry and company at least for the first several books... maybe by 5, where Harry's good enough to teach a real Defense Against Dark Arts class, but not in the first 3.

Aotrs Commander
2011-11-26, 11:31 AM
They'd have to hit caster level 11 first, wouldn't they? That's a bit out of the reach for Harry and company at least for the first several books... maybe by 5, where Harry's good enough to teach a real Defense Against Dark Arts class, but not in the first 3.

Ah, you're missing the point! By making them Liches, the logic is that already means they have the requiste spellcasting and therefore awesome! On top of their natural abilities!

(Besides, it also depends on what type of Liches. Spirit-Bound Liches, for example, don't (and indeed, technically can't) create themselves like a Phylactery-Bound Lich does, so given that someone or something else has to do the spirit-binding, they can be anyone of any level (indeed, Spirit-Bound Liches who have no spellcasting ability are technically called Skeleton Warriors, though the distinction is really as academic as "nonspell caster".)

Psyren
2011-11-26, 11:31 AM
There's also the slight snag of the "unspeakably evil act." In HP, this is spelled out to be murder, and carried a nasty soul-fragmentation side-effect that ended up screwing over the big bad 6 ways from Sunday. Though on the other hand that could just be because he tried to make so many of them.

In any event, the only protagonists capable of even making a Horcrux were probably Snape and Dumbledore near as I can tell.

irenicObserver
2011-11-26, 11:32 AM
It is kind of confusing. They say there's no counter for the killing curse, then show it can be dodged and blocked by physical objects and the person's aim can be disrupted...

Those aren't counters though. It's not that confusing at all, you can't block it with other magicks so the best you can do is get out of the way or block, just like a handgun.

EDIT: To be honest I feel the series is just fine, it doesn't need to be any closer to a d&d setting than it already is.

Aotrs Commander
2011-11-26, 11:37 AM
There's also the slight snag of the "unspeakably evil act." In HP, this is spelled out to be murder, and carried a nasty soul-fragmentation side-effect that ended up screwing over the big bad 6 ways from Sunday. Though on the other hand that could just be because he tried to make so many of them.

In any event, the only protagonists capable of even making a Horcrux were probably Snape and Dumbledore near as I can tell.

Well, D&D is the only place that mentions "unspeakably evil" and it's views on alignment are somewhat...skewed at the best of times... (Creating a zombie is argued from some sources to be an evil act, but binding an elemental spirit into a Stone Golem is apparently perfectly fine...)

(And there's those good Elven Liches on Faerun for a start.)



I didn't say they would necessarily be D&D Liches (D&D does not have the monopoly on Undead immunity to mental attack and death attacks, after all...)



Also, speaking as a Lawful Evil entity myself, making them Evil would be bad why...? (Further intelligence boost for one thing, as I said before...!)

erikun
2011-11-26, 02:47 PM
I do think that, when designing or playing a game, you do want all options to have roughly an equal weight. High-powered options should carry with them some drawback, either in being more expensive or longer or in some negative result from their use.

However, once you get to talking about a story, talk of balance and appropriate cost becomes silly. Nobody says or implies that all characters in a story should have equal starting build options. That isn't the way it works in real life, either, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thompson_submachine_gun) and saying that firearms and explosives are "too easy" or "plot holes" in reality would just be silly. They are simply better; there is a reason the guys with the guns almost universally win.

The unrealistic thing, if anything, would be the laws surrounding the use of such spells, not the spells themselves. Automatic tommy guns and grenades are highly dangerous, which is why they are outlawed in a lot of places. Similarly, the three big "evil" spells are similarly outlawed, both from being used and being taught. Perhaps the biggest oversight isn't what it illegal but what is legal and apparently perfectly acceptable. Taking control of someone's body is off-limits, but a love potion that can turn someone into a drooling idiot is not only perfectly fine for high-schoolers to own, but a pair of school dropouts have no problem mass-producing them and selling them on one of the busiest city streets in the area.


Perhaps that was intentional, though. After all, the wizarding community is very old and throughly established. Laws may be in place primarily to make people feel good about having them, rather than actually being practical. I note that Harry Potter gets in trouble for casting a life-saving spell in the presence of a family member - something the wizarding community is instantly aware of - but none of them can track down the roaming dementors or even be aware of dozens of people throwing around killing curses.

I mean, if we want to be practical in outlawing a spell, then the Ministry should be alerted anytime anyone in the area casts the spell, along with the name and location of the caster.

But as I was saying, perhaps it is intentional. It is an old, established government. It tends to be incompotent and rather haughty. It really isn't capable of responding well to anything in the story, and sticks its nose in everything. A lot of the conflict is because Harry is forced to do stuff on his own. Heck, the giants were joining the Death Eaters just because the general public tend to treat them poorly and the Death Eaters agreed to just leave them alone. Elves and goblins tend to not side with anyone, primarily because while the Death Eaters treat them like dirt, everyone else pretty much treats them the same way. (Harry being the major exception.)

Huh, I think I'm rambling on now. Sorry, but I'm not much inclined to go back and re-write all that into something more sensible - I think I still managed to get my point across in that mess.

KnightDisciple
2011-11-26, 03:04 PM
I'd just like to point out that Avada Kedavara and Crucio can both be blocked by physical barriers; it's only magical barriers that can't stop them. It's hard to say if Imperio is the same, though it has the added flaw that it can be thrown off entirely by at least a segment of the population. On the flip-flip side, it might be the easiest to cast; most everyone has probably wanted to make someone do what they said at one time in their life.

As for the rest of the magic in the world, Dienekes hit it on the head. The whole point was a lot of fast-paced combat. Rituals preclude that, though we know they exist. Voldemort's return was, in fact, a ritual.

Incidentally, the Horcruxes prove there is a cost to AK, if not any use of magic to murder: it tears at the composition of your soul.

Xondoure
2011-11-26, 03:26 PM
Concerning AK; Sure, there should be some drawback to being able to snuff somebody out without even a fort save, but when you get right down to it it's not much different than frying them with lightning or lacerating them with invisible blades. Either way they're dead and it still requires a RTA, so AK to me isn't a big deal. (If anything, the fact that it's so easy to do is kind of the point, from a literary perspective - killing is easy, you just need the nerve/sadism and the rest is finding a blunt instrument.)

Now Imperius I agree with you is way too easy. Even giving you mere cannon fodder (as was the case with Stan Shunpike) Imperio is bad enough and goes way beyond what D&D domination would let you do by not allowing any kind of will save; add in the fact that you can make your slave do magic of his own and it careens headlong into utterly broken. Just the canon uses of it we've seen (Crouch Jr., Malfoy and of course V) would break any D&D game in two. You don't appear to need any sort of action to control someone, never mind needing to concentrate; you give them orders and you're free to file your nails or go about your business without having to ever worry about their pesky free will coming to the fore. And the duration is left alarmingly vague; does it need to be refreshed? Can the victim sleep and wake, still under your control? Do they even need sleep in that state? How many can you control at once? (Voldemort had dozens; were some or all directly his, or was that due to his Death Eaters?) And without seeing the victim's eyes you can't even tell if they've been hit. And even if you can break the spell, how do you figure out who enchanted them to begin with without having their wand handy? Total bedlam.

And all of this is without getting into the really troublesome magic in the 'verse. Crap like the Trace, or hiding entire domiciles inside of coterminous pocket dimensions, and lest we forget, freaking time travel.

Imperio does allow a will save. Harry makes his against Voldemort.

Traab
2011-11-26, 04:12 PM
Don't get me wrong. I've always thought Harry Potter was not only a good series of books, but a noteworthy contribution to the English language. I listen to the audiobooks (both the ones read by Jim Dale and the ones read by Stephen Fry) as I go to sleep. I've read each book at least twice and enjoyed them immensely. However, I have two gripes with the franchise: the gaping plot holes, and the magic system.

I won't talk about the many significant plot holes here, as they are spoilers, and I'm aware there are still a single-digit number of people out there who don't know the entire plot. The magic system - on the other hand - I will go on a rant about.

For one thing, the Harry Potter magic system makes dominating one's way too easy. There is an easily preformed, unblock-able spell that causes instant death. No catch. There is a spell (equally easily preformed) where one can take complete control over someone else for long stretches of time. Both these spells can be preformed an infinite number of times without harming the caster.

Magic of that power level should have some drawback, some way of screwing the caster over, and should be hard to preform. If any random guy can go around blasting people with ludicrously powerful magic, than ludicrously powerful magic loses all meaning and fights are comically short.

Magic, at its core is too easy. There is no limit to its use. One can use it to do everything without thinking twice. They don't need to call upon unreliable entities from other dimensions, don't have to sacrifice life force, and don't forget how to cast a spell after casting it. There is also very little chance of the spell backfiring.

It is also rather bland. All spells are just Latin-sounding words accompanied by want movements. There are no multi-hour rituals, no chants, and no spirit/monster/demon summoning.

I magic was more difficult, complex, ritual-based, and unreliable; Harry Potter could have been much more entertaining.

I havent read the responses, so forgive me if I repeat some things, but this is my view on the magic system and why it can make sense. Ok, first off, the unforgiveables arent easily casted, spammable endlessly, instant win buttons. They are terror tools, but they have limits. First off, like moody said in goblet of fire, "You could all take out your wands and say the words to the killing curse and I doubt id get so much as a nosebleed" And as bella once put it, "You have to MEAN it potter!" This tells me that the unforgiveables are the evil equivalent of patronus style spells. They take a lot of power AND they require the emotional intent to cause the effect to happen. Plus, aside from crucio, I dont think ive ever seen any of the curses "spammed" not even by voldemort. Even crucio was rarely seen used more than a couple times in a row iirc.

In addition, you have to keep in mind what the existence of magic means. In the harry potter world, all of magical britain is in possession of a high powered gun and full body armor at all times. The unforgivables were added to the world to give the bad guys the equivalent of armor piercing incendiary rounds. Why? Because without SOME massive advantage over the common folk, virtually every attack would turn into an old west style shootout with magic instead of bullets, because there would be a parity of weaponry, and some useable protection. This would ruin the whole image rowling was going for, of a group of scary, unstoppable, slaughter creating, bad guys in masks.

Think about it. If you had in your possession an ak-47 and unlimited ammo, as well as a full set of bullet proof body armor, would YOU run away if some other guy started shooting? Or would you fire back? Now, imagine you have the same setup, but now you know that other guys bullets will tear right through your armor like it isnt even there. Are you still willing to stand up and fight? Maybe, maybe not. And since most wouldnt be as good with their gun as the bad guys, I bet more would choose to try and run away than to fight in that scenario. Thats what rowling was after, a reason for people to be afraid, despite them having a parity of weaponry with the bad guys. So she thought up some powerful, deadly, painful, scary curses, and said they couldnt be magically blocked.

Frozen_Feet
2011-11-26, 04:23 PM
You're assuming it's easily performed. We only see a handful of people do it, and we never really know the mechanics behind it besides someone saying it requires a powerful bit of magic behind it, which indicates it's a hard spell to master.

Going by what Crucio needs to work properly (desire to cause and keep someone in mind-numbing pain), I theorize casting Avada Kedavre needs real, serious desire to off someone.

This killing intent is something most people don't have, simply put. It was long a problem for modern armies that soldiers would rather aim to the sky than at human opponents. I'd say pretty strong anti-social tendencies are needed to cast it with any reliability.

Xondoure
2011-11-26, 04:24 PM
Btw Word Of God is that a man with a gun defeats a wizard.
Also, according to the books, wizards do not even know what guns are.

It always bugged me that JK stated that. Yes a gun versus the killing curse the gun comes out on top. But magic is capable of so much more. If it ever came down to muggles versus wizards wizards are able to create no muggle zones that can't be located on a map, teleport, mind control muggle leaders, unleash mass destruction that can't be stopped (hellfire) remain invisible and so much more. Guns are dangerous but magic wins unless the muggle has surprise on their side. Apparate alone makes sure of that.

Arminius
2011-11-26, 04:32 PM
The Quiddich rules are kind of weird. There is not really much point for anyone on the team except the seeker. The rest of the team's job is to preserve the status quo, maybe score a couple points, but the lions share will be scored by the seeker. The golden snitch is just valued too highly.

Xondoure
2011-11-26, 04:35 PM
The Quiddich rules are kind of weird. There is not really much point for anyone on the team except the seeker. The rest of the team's job is to preserve the status quo, maybe score a couple points, but the lions share will be scored by the seeker. The golden snitch is just valued too highly.

"Ireland wins, but Krum catches the snitch."

Frozen_Feet
2011-11-26, 04:35 PM
The Quiddich rules are kind of weird. There is not really much point for anyone on the team except the seeker. The rest of the team's job is to preserve the status quo, maybe score a couple points, but the lions share will be scored by the seeker. The golden snitch is just valued too highly.

... yet in book four, the team that catches the snitch loses, because the other team scored better by just making goals.

Darn, beaten to the punch.

Arminius
2011-11-26, 04:37 PM
H'mm, I'm going to have to reread these again aren't I? I forgot that.:smallannoyed:

Weezer
2011-11-26, 05:11 PM
For me the biggest thing to improve HP would be to inject a massive amount of common sense into each of the wizards. There isn't a situation depicted in the books that couldn't have been solved many times more easily if the wizards used the spells given in the novels in a consistent, logical and efficient way. You don't need to change any of the spell effects or difficulty, merely make their application a lot more intelligent.

Psyren
2011-11-26, 05:19 PM
Imperio does allow a will save. Harry makes his against Voldemort.

1) Assuming you mean book 5, Voldemort didn't use Imperio - he physically possessed him through the bond they shared. The point wasn't even to control Harry, it was to make Dumbledore try and kill their gestalt.

2) Even if he had used Imperio, the relationship between those two was so utterly atypical, that nothing they did to each other can really be used to demonstrate general rules of any kind about magic.

Traab
2011-11-26, 05:22 PM
1) Assuming you mean book 5, Voldemort didn't use Imperio - he physically possessed him through the bond they shared. The point wasn't even to control Harry, it was to make Dumbledore try and kill their gestalt.

2) Even if he had used Imperio, the relationship between those two was so utterly atypical, that nothing they did to each other can really be used to demonstrate general rules of any kind about magic.

Book 4 actually. He fights off moodys imperio, then in the graveyard fights off voldemorts. It is possible to fight off an imperio.

irenicObserver
2011-11-26, 05:25 PM
That was something that was mentioned in a similar discussion, that wizards lack common sense (and someone even guessed that magic must destroy braincells). That person cited Hermione from the first book when she mentioned the riddles they faced while looking for the sorceror's stone, that most wizards wouldn't be able to solve it (besides, look how goofy the act when confronted with muggle sciences).

But then again characters with fantastical abilities that are actually effective are so rare that they would probably be criticized as mary sues if they were.

Xondoure
2011-11-26, 05:34 PM
I always rather liked the idea that the nonsensical rules of magic caused those who used it to become rather disassociated with the real world and therefore unable to apply it practically.

Edit: And yeah what Traab said on the imperius curse. Although it was technically Crouch jr. The first time.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-26, 06:06 PM
That was something that was mentioned in a similar discussion, that wizards lack common sense (and someone even guessed that magic must destroy braincells). That person cited Hermione from the first book when she mentioned the riddles they faced while looking for the sorceror's stone, that most wizards wouldn't be able to solve it (besides, look how goofy the act when confronted with muggle sciences).

But then again characters with fantastical abilities that are actually effective are so rare that they would probably be criticized as mary sues if they were.

Being ignorant/unaware of muggle science and technology isn't as far-fetched or unreasonable as it might seem, though. Every wizard is at worst a minor-level reality warper; if you have the ability to alter the world around you to your desires, the rules governing things 'naturally' only apply to things you don't care about. And in that case, why spend effort?

Now, this doesn't explain oddballs like Arthur Weasley, but it's a baseline explanation for the general Muggle-world apathy of wizards.

Haruki-kun
2011-11-26, 06:09 PM
@^: Agreed. I don't find it strange for a wizard not to know how to use a phone, it's not like they can't communicate in other ways, such as chimneys.

Avilan the Grey
2011-11-26, 06:15 PM
It always bugged me that JK stated that. Yes a gun versus the killing curse the gun comes out on top. But magic is capable of so much more. If it ever came down to muggles versus wizards wizards are able to create no muggle zones that can't be located on a map, teleport, mind control muggle leaders, unleash mass destruction that can't be stopped (hellfire) remain invisible and so much more. Guns are dangerous but magic wins unless the muggle has surprise on their side. Apparate alone makes sure of that.

Really? I don't think so. In a duel one-on-one where the wizard ISN't overconfident maybe, and the muggle is dumb enough not to fire before the wizard has finished shouting. Casting time is several tenths of a second longer than just squeezing a trigger. And a bullet flies faster than a tenth of a second.

Besides, what is hellfire compared to well... the ultimate hellfire. Nukes. Again, wizard's don't even know what a gun IS. Why would they know how to defend against drones, tomahawks, bomb raids, spy satellites, etc etc.

A lot of muggles would die, but there is no doubt who would win. Just like in the other book series about the other Harry: Don't piss off the muggles too much, or they will make you WISH you were burned at a stake.

Bouregard
2011-11-26, 06:29 PM
A lot of muggles would die, but there is no doubt who would win. Just like in the other book series about the other Harry: Don't piss off the muggles too much, or they will make you WISH you were burned at a stake.

huh? Did I miss something? What are you refering to?

Avilan the Grey
2011-11-26, 06:37 PM
huh? Did I miss something? What are you refering to?

Harry Blackstone Copperfield "Awesomesauce" Dresden (http://www.jim-butcher.com/books/dresden).

Psyren
2011-11-26, 06:42 PM
Fair enough, I cede the will save, yet it still seems to be an insanely high DC.

And it's still far more powerful than D&D domination. "Obviously self-destructive orders are not carried out", yet Mooty's Imperiused spider could drown itself or throw itself out of a window/down someone's throat. And perhaps more importantly you can chain Imperiuses, having your victim Imperius another victim on your behalf.

And then we have the creature-type restriction (D&D spiders are immune) though that could be handwaved.

Bouregard
2011-11-26, 06:53 PM
And perhaps more importantly you can chain Imperiuses, having your victim Imperius another victim on your behalf.

Mhm makes you wonder what happens if you order your victim to cast Imperio on yourself.

druid91
2011-11-26, 07:12 PM
Really? I don't think so. In a duel one-on-one where the wizard ISN't overconfident maybe, and the muggle is dumb enough not to fire before the wizard has finished shouting. Casting time is several tenths of a second longer than just squeezing a trigger. And a bullet flies faster than a tenth of a second.

Besides, what is hellfire compared to well... the ultimate hellfire. Nukes. Again, wizard's don't even know what a gun IS. Why would they know how to defend against drones, tomahawks, bomb raids, spy satellites, etc etc.

A lot of muggles would die, but there is no doubt who would win. Just like in the other book series about the other Harry: Don't piss off the muggles too much, or they will make you WISH you were burned at a stake.

Problem with that? Wizards are immune to fire.

The plain and simple fact is that wizards, at least some, do know what guns are. Muggleborns at the very least... In the event of a war, considering the wizards can and will end it with minimal bloodshed, the only question is if the muggleborn in question is a good-guy. Considering the books made it "Muggle-borns are all good guys" there is a good chance of that.

Thus, wizards move first, and every head of state, every important person everywhere, is mind controlled, the muggle world is disarmed, nukes and guns are vanished... Yes, muggles have a better damage output. Wizards ignore it entirely.

Traab
2011-11-26, 07:34 PM
Problem with that? Wizards are immune to fire.

The plain and simple fact is that wizards, at least some, do know what guns are. Muggleborns at the very least... In the event of a war, considering the wizards can and will end it with minimal bloodshed, the only question is if the muggleborn in question is a good-guy. Considering the books made it "Muggle-borns are all good guys" there is a good chance of that.

Thus, wizards move first, and every head of state, every important person everywhere, is mind controlled, the muggle world is disarmed, nukes and guns are vanished... Yes, muggles have a better damage output. Wizards ignore it entirely.

They have to cast a spell to be immune, the flash point of a nuclear explosion will pretty much kill everything in range before they understand whats happening. They MIGHT be able to walk through napalm if they see it and cast their spell before trying. And your theory on how it would work is missing something. Its well past the days when you could apparate into the kings throne room and have him forget everything about magic and make him order people to drop the matter. Now, once knowledge of the wizarding world is discovered, it is disseminated worldwide and impossible to erase.

The president will realize something is wrong when his computer is telling him he wrote down a journal entry about the upcoming war with magical people, and yet he has no memory of that at all. And there is no way they could just make all guns vanish. First of all, there arent enough wizards, even working together to vanish all weapons before they get discovered. Secondly, it would be a matter of weeks to get the world rearmed if they DID somehow do that, and now there is a well documented manhunt going on to track these bastards down and destroy them for this clearly aggressive action. (Destroying their ability to defend themselves? Highly aggressive)

Mind controlling all world leaders? Do YOU still think we are living in the 1400s? That is going to be noticed FAST that suddenly every world leader and other important figure is now pursuing some other agenda. There are so many checks and balances in every government that it would take mind controlling hundreds of people to even have a PRAYER of truly controlling the government of a single nation.

druid91
2011-11-26, 08:00 PM
They have to cast a spell to be immune, the flash point of a nuclear explosion will pretty much kill everything in range before they understand whats happening. They MIGHT be able to walk through napalm if they see it and cast their spell before trying. And your theory on how it would work is missing something. Its well past the days when you could apparate into the kings throne room and have him forget everything about magic and make him order people to drop the matter. Now, once knowledge of the wizarding world is discovered, it is disseminated worldwide and impossible to erase.

The president will realize something is wrong when his computer is telling him he wrote down a journal entry about the upcoming war with magical people, and yet he has no memory of that at all. And there is no way they could just make all guns vanish. First of all, there arent enough wizards, even working together to vanish all weapons before they get discovered. Secondly, it would be a matter of weeks to get the world rearmed if they DID somehow do that, and now there is a well documented manhunt going on to track these bastards down and destroy them for this clearly aggressive action. (Destroying their ability to defend themselves? Highly aggressive)

Mind controlling all world leaders? Do YOU still think we are living in the 1400s? That is going to be noticed FAST that suddenly every world leader and other important figure is now pursuing some other agenda. There are so many checks and balances in every government that it would take mind controlling hundreds of people to even have a PRAYER of truly controlling the government of a single nation.

Err and they do that. Every single day. It's practically a requirement for their lifestyle. Considering there is a whole magical world that they keep under wraps.... Besides you know what happens if it gets on the internet? They hire a competent slytherin and three weeks later the whole thing is called out as a hoax with actual evidence of hoaxery and the people involved remembering every detail of how they pulled the hoax off. and the officials responsible are laughed out of office. They don't even need to vanish everything. They just say no.

They may not know much science, but they do know how to hide things.

Coidzor
2011-11-26, 08:05 PM
They have magic and yet cannot comprehend a device for making one's voice audible to someone across vast distances...

And you expect them to be competent at use of the internet? :smallconfused:

Traab
2011-11-26, 08:11 PM
Err and they do that. Every single day. It's practically a requirement for their lifestyle. Considering there is a whole magical world that they keep under wraps.... Besides you know what happens if it gets on the internet? They hire a competent slytherin and three weeks later the whole thing is called out as a hoax with actual evidence of hoaxery and the people involved remembering every detail of how they pulled the hoax off. and the officials responsible are laughed out of office. They don't even need to vanish everything. They just say no.

They may not know much science, but they do know how to hide things.

All we know about is their ability to cover up accidental magic and small scale slip ups. They show up, obliviate everything without a wand, then blame it all on gas explosions. Its never really been covered how they would handle a large scale breach. Voldemort and crew show up in the middle of a football stadium and start green lighting everyone to death. Dozens of people are dead with no sign of injury, millions of people saw it happen live on television, news reports would be going live within minutes with coverage, and there would be no way to cover it up. Too many people SAW what happened, and if the cops and coroners suddenly change their story and talk about really bad shellfish, that will just raise even more suspicion.

druid91
2011-11-26, 08:20 PM
All we know about is their ability to cover up accidental magic and small scale slip ups. They show up, obliviate everything without a wand, then blame it all on gas explosions. Its never really been covered how they would handle a large scale breach. Voldemort and crew show up in the middle of a football stadium and start green lighting everyone to death. Dozens of people are dead with no sign of injury, millions of people saw it happen live on television, news reports would be going live within minutes with coverage, and there would be no way to cover it up. Too many people SAW what happened, and if the cops and coroners suddenly change their story and talk about really bad shellfish, that will just raise even more suspicion.

Err... They managed to spin a DAYLIGHT, clear sky, assault with giants rampaging through parts of town... into a hurricane. That is no small scale slip-up.

They can handle it.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-26, 08:23 PM
They have magic and yet cannot comprehend a device for making one's voice audible to someone across vast distances...

And you expect them to be competent at use of the internet? :smallconfused:

It's not that they're incapable of it, it's that they have no need to and the vast majority don't have any interest. All they need is a small number of people they can rely on who do understand stuff like the Internet - I imagine there are a fair number of Slytherins not from pureblood houses who would see knowing how to manipulate the Muggles non-magically as a worthy thing to invest some learning in.


All we know about is their ability to cover up accidental magic and small scale slip ups. They show up, obliviate everything without a wand, then blame it all on gas explosions. Its never really been covered how they would handle a large scale breach. Voldemort and crew show up in the middle of a football stadium and start green lighting everyone to death. Dozens of people are dead with no sign of injury, millions of people saw it happen live on television, news reports would be going live within minutes with coverage, and there would be no way to cover it up. Too many people SAW what happened, and if the cops and coroners suddenly change their story and talk about really bad shellfish, that will just raise even more suspicion.

We don't know how they do it, but we do know they can do it - in the last book, there are giants marauding the countryside and destroying whole villages/towns, and they manage to pass it off as freak tornadoes/hurricanes. And giants are not exactly unobtrusive. How wasn't important to the narrative, so we're left to explain it ourselves.

EDIT: Ninjaed on this point.

Coidzor
2011-11-26, 08:33 PM
It's not that they're incapable of it, it's that they have no need to and the vast majority don't have any interest. All they need is a small number of people they can rely on who do understand stuff like the Internet - I imagine there are a fair number of Slytherins not from pureblood houses who would see knowing how to manipulate the Muggles non-magically as a worthy thing to invest some learning in.

So Arthur's just stupid then?

Mando Knight
2011-11-26, 08:37 PM
Problem with that? Wizards are immune to fire.

A nuclear blast is not mere fire... it's like calling the Pacific Ocean a puddle. Given their disdain for understanding natural physical laws, I don't know if most wizards can fathom the energy they'd have to resist. I mean, sure, they can ignore a wood fire, maybe pretty easily. But energy and force sufficient to annihilate reinforced concrete? Don't think so.

Frozen_Feet
2011-11-26, 08:38 PM
... if I recall right, the book series is supposed to take place from, what, 1990 to 1997?

Meaning, to all musings about internet:

Huh? What's that? :smalltongue:

Coidzor
2011-11-26, 08:40 PM
... if I recall right, the book series is supposed to take place from, what, 1990 to 1997?

Meaning, to all musings about internet:

Huh? What's that? :smalltongue:

Mid Nineties up till early aughts was the best I'd ever heard.

druid91
2011-11-26, 08:40 PM
So Arthur's just stupid then?

No Pureblood and quirky. Arthur is a weasley. He was raised without muggle technology. A mispronunciation or two and a misconception here or there are to be expected. Particularly when he grew up with magic. Which requires no necessary complexity of the object to be made magical.

So a rubber duck could very well be a valuable cleaning implement he simply can't figure out... as opposed to a childs play-thing. Add into that that he can't very well go up to a muggle and ask what it's for.

He does seem to have a pretty good grasp of how quite a few things work. Even if he does call it eclecticity.


A nuclear blast is not mere fire... it's like calling the Pacific Ocean a puddle. Given their disdain for understanding natural physical laws, I don't know if most wizards can fathom the energy they'd have to resist. I mean, sure, they can ignore a wood fire, maybe pretty easily. But energy and force sufficient to annihilate reinforced concrete? Don't think so.

They use magic that does the physically impossible. I'm pretty sure they can ignore the rules.

Traab
2011-11-26, 08:42 PM
It's not that they're incapable of it, it's that they have no need to and the vast majority don't have any interest. All they need is a small number of people they can rely on who do understand stuff like the Internet - I imagine there are a fair number of Slytherins not from pureblood houses who would see knowing how to manipulate the Muggles non-magically as a worthy thing to invest some learning in.


We don't know how they do it, but we do know they can do it - in the last book, there are giants marauding the countryside and destroying whole villages/towns, and they manage to pass it off as freak tornadoes/hurricanes. And giants are not exactly unobtrusive. How wasn't important to the narrative, so we're left to explain it ourselves.

EDIT: Ninjaed on this point.

Ok, I forgot the giant attacks. I could see dementor attacks as easy as hell to cover up, since nonmagicals cant even see them, but it seems unlikely that noone could get off a phone call about how "there are 20 foot tall giants smashing their way through town, could someone send some help?!" I mean, I can see how the attack might happen in such a way that it doesnt get out easy. Night time attack, giants are portkeyed into strategic parts of town, then smashy smashy. Power is dead, so no land lines work, and with a large enough attack, noone would have time to call for help, or be able to identify whats going on since its very very dark out, what with it being night and power being shut down across the small town.

Combined with the death eaters id assume were included on the attack, and it might not be as big of a breach as you think. Doing it in daylight makes it harder to pull off smoothly, but with a large enough force there is once again, not enough time for word to get out, or it goes to places the obliviators are used to handling. Like the police station. So the info doesnt make it very far in that instance.

But I honestly cant think of a way for them to cover up my stadium example. We see people appear in the middle of the field. We see them firing off beams of light. We see people dying. This goes out to millions of viewers who see all of this. Its on news reports interrupting current programming to bring special bulletins. They could try to change things a bit to hide evidence of it being a magical attack and just try to turn it into a terrorist thing, but actually SEEING the magic being used would make that hard as hell to explain away.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-26, 08:47 PM
Ok, I forgot the giant attacks. I could see dementor attacks as easy as hell to cover up, since nonmagicals cant even see them, but it seems unlikely that noone could get off a phone call about how "there are 20 foot tall giants smashing their way through town, could someone send some help?!" I mean, I can see how the attack might happen in such a way that it doesnt get out easy. Night time attack, giants are portkeyed into strategic parts of town, then smashy smashy. Power is dead, so no land lines work, and with a large enough attack, noone would have time to call for help, or be able to identify whats going on since its very very dark out, what with it being night and power being shut down across the small town.

Combined with the death eaters id assume were included on the attack, and it might not be as big of a breach as you think. Doing it in daylight makes it harder to pull off smoothly, but with a large enough force there is once again, not enough time for word to get out, or it goes to places the obliviators are used to handling. Like the police station. So the info doesnt make it very far in that instance.

But I honestly cant think of a way for them to cover up my stadium example. We see people appear in the middle of the field. We see them firing off beams of light. We see people dying. This goes out to millions of viewers who see all of this. Its on news reports interrupting current programming to bring special bulletins. They could try to change things a bit to hide evidence of it being a magical attack and just try to turn it into a terrorist thing, but actually SEEING the magic being used would make that hard as hell to explain away.

Assuming they could see it. Remember, magic and technology aren't exactly on good terms - in extremely magic-dense places like Hogwarts, electrical devices just flat-out don't work, and even in small amounts they tend to be at odds. I wouldn't be shocked to see camera signals being disrupted/jammed by the sudden increase in localized magic, making it hard to figure out what they were seeing.

Or let's assume imagery does get out. It's not that hard to change 'beams of light' into 'incendiary bullets'. Memories are fallible and easily changed even without outside interference - depending on how superstitious people are, they might accept a nonmagical explanation even if it doesn't match up completely with what they saw in person. A few days, and they'll even honestly believe that they did see what they're told. The weak point will be the handful of people who got close enough to the bodies to notice they had no bullet holes, and that's a small enough population to control...if someone says 'the deceased had no bullet wounds', then recants a few days later and says 'oh, I just didn't notice it', people aren't going to immediately suspect magical mind control tampering.

Traab
2011-11-26, 08:59 PM
Assuming they could see it. Remember, magic and technology aren't exactly on good terms - in extremely magic-dense places like Hogwarts, electrical devices just flat-out don't work, and even in small amounts they tend to be at odds. I wouldn't be shocked to see camera signals being disrupted/jammed by the sudden increase in localized magic, making it hard to figure out what they were seeing.

Actually, thats specifically why I mentioned a stadium. Those cameras are often relatively far away from the field itself. So even if the sideline cameras get nailed, the ones up in the stands, the sky cams, the ones in the announcers booth, all of those should work just fine at recording whats happening. Although admittedly, the distance might make it easier to explain away with your incendiary bullet line. But then, how did they get there? They just popped into view in the middle of the stadium. Unless they want to talk about terrorists with stealth technology on par with, or superior to the freaking Predator, that might be harder to hide.

Dumbledore lives
2011-11-26, 09:11 PM
You do have to remember that the series is set from 1991-1998, so there is not quite the same level of paranoia, at least I don't think Britain had as many CCT cameras as they do now, and weren't quite as paranoid. And with the ability to teleport in, wipe everyone's memory, and teleport out, cover ups, even on a large scale are relatively easy.

druid91
2011-11-26, 09:12 PM
Actually, thats specifically why I mentioned a stadium. Those cameras are often relatively far away from the field itself. So even if the sideline cameras get nailed, the ones up in the stands, the sky cams, the ones in the announcers booth, all of those should work just fine at recording whats happening. Although admittedly, the distance might make it easier to explain away with your incendiary bullet line. But then, how did they get there? They just popped into view in the middle of the stadium. Unless they want to talk about terrorists with stealth technology on par with, or superior to the freaking Predator, that might be harder to hide.

And the terrorists had prepared for this attack for weeks, tunneling through from a nearby building...

And the best bit? They can make the tunnel with magic.

Traab
2011-11-26, 09:15 PM
And the terrorists had prepared for this attack for weeks, tunneling through from a nearby building...

And the best bit? They can make the tunnel with magic.

Heh, ok, you win.

druid91
2011-11-26, 09:26 PM
Heh, ok, you win.

I will give you that if things did spiral out of the wizards control... well neither side would have much of a chance at that point.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-26, 10:04 PM
Though it'd be interesting to know just how wide the anti-tech fields of places like Hogwarts extend - a big enough radius, and they'd be nukeproof due to shutting down the bomb's detonation circuits. And that's assuming they can figure out where to drop it in the first place, with it being Unplottable and all.

If it came to all-out magic vs. mundane war, and the wizards put someone smart or suitable genre-savvy enough (like us) in charge, they'd win unquestionably. As they're portrayed in the books, all I can see is a global apocalypse leaving small pockets of survivors in a magic-blasted and radiation-drenched worldwide wasteland.

Traab
2011-11-26, 10:27 PM
Though it'd be interesting to know just how wide the anti-tech fields of places like Hogwarts extend - a big enough radius, and they'd be nukeproof due to shutting down the bomb's detonation circuits. And that's assuming they can figure out where to drop it in the first place, with it being Unplottable and all.

If it came to all-out magic vs. mundane war, and the wizards put someone smart or suitable genre-savvy enough (like us) in charge, they'd win unquestionably. As they're portrayed in the books, all I can see is a global apocalypse leaving small pockets of survivors in a magic-blasted and radiation-drenched worldwide wasteland.

Dont nukes have the option of detonating fairly high up in the air? Besides, with a nuke, you only have to be within a few MILES of hogwarts to obliterate it with a nuke. Also, someone mentioned using muggleborn to beat the muggles? What about using squibs to beat the wizards?

"This is Squib One to HQ, do you copy?"
"This is HQ, Squib One. Whats your status?"
"I am standing outside the entrance to diagon alley. Everything 10 feet to my left is magical territory."
"We read you, and have your location marked. Come on home."

Bang. They just got the location of the main shopping center for magical britain. Repeat as needed for hogsmeade and hogwarts.

I actually really liked the HP fanfiction where they cover this sort of thing. The wizards learn too late that the various intelligence agencies have been using squibs, and disenfranchised muggleborns to gather intel on the magical world. They have even created a census of muggleborn students simply by tracking who vanishes from the public school system at the age of 11. They may not have a gps lock on Malfoy manor, but they know where all the main wizarding gathering points are and have ways past their protections. Considering the way the magical government is run by purebloods who cant even pronounce electricity, I dont think its too much of a stretch to think the muggle governments would have, at some point over the centuries, learned of the magical world, and been gathering intel ever since.

Forum Explorer
2011-11-27, 12:40 AM
Dont nukes have the option of detonating fairly high up in the air? Besides, with a nuke, you only have to be within a few MILES of hogwarts to obliterate it with a nuke. Also, someone mentioned using muggleborn to beat the muggles? What about using squibs to beat the wizards?

"This is Squib One to HQ, do you copy?"
"This is HQ, Squib One. Whats your status?"
"I am standing outside the entrance to diagon alley. Everything 10 feet to my left is magical territory."
"We read you, and have your location marked. Come on home."

Bang. They just got the location of the main shopping center for magical britain. Repeat as needed for hogsmeade and hogwarts.

I actually really liked the HP fanfiction where they cover this sort of thing. The wizards learn too late that the various intelligence agencies have been using squibs, and disenfranchised muggleborns to gather intel on the magical world. They have even created a census of muggleborn students simply by tracking who vanishes from the public school system at the age of 11. They may not have a gps lock on Malfoy manor, but they know where all the main wizarding gathering points are and have ways past their protections. Considering the way the magical government is run by purebloods who cant even pronounce electricity, I dont think its too much of a stretch to think the muggle governments would have, at some point over the centuries, learned of the magical world, and been gathering intel ever since.

which fanfic is this? Sounds good.

Flickerdart
2011-11-27, 02:23 AM
Every time I read Harry Potter I kept thinking that it was very much like Monday Starts on Saturday, only several decades later, much longer and worse in every way.

TheArsenal
2011-11-27, 02:57 AM
Make it less elitist.

Magicians are just BORN the best or the worst. Make it an abomination when something is so unnaturally powerful. Or make it a talent.


The Quiddich rules are kind of weird. There is not really much point for anyone on the team except the seeker. The rest of the team's job is to preserve the status quo, maybe score a couple points, but the lions share will be scored by the seeker. The golden snitch is just valued too highly.

Thats because Harry is an annoying sue, who gets a role that specificaly exists to make him the most inportant.

Sure you can score goals, but its an uphill battle from comparison to the snitch.

Zale
2011-11-27, 05:51 AM
If it came to all-out magic vs. mundane war, and the wizards put someone smart or suitable genre-savvy enough (like us) in charge, they'd win unquestionably. As they're portrayed in the books, all I can see is a global apocalypse leaving small pockets of survivors in a magic-blasted and radiation-drenched worldwide wasteland.

Yeah. If it got down to it, I guess most wizards would die in a muggle vs wizard conflict. They simply don't have enough knowledge about what the mundanes are capable of.

Of course, at least some of the wizards would survive, either from having some familiarity with muggle tech or just from sheer luck.

TheArsenal
2011-11-27, 05:54 AM
Humans have rapid fire AvadaCadabras. There are only a few thing Muggles cannot deal with better and more explosively than Mages.

Zale
2011-11-27, 06:17 AM
Wizards can turn you into weasels.

The Wizards who would survive any initial assault by normal humans would end up begin crazy paranoid. Enough so to use magic to cause bullets to bounce off them.

I mean, at least one of their puesdo-latin spells must jam guns.

TheArsenal
2011-11-27, 06:23 AM
Wizards can turn you into weasels.

And humans can pull a trigger. Both take out a single enemy, but guess which one does not require shouting "TURNIYOUINTOAWEASELACUS!"


Enough so to use magic to cause bullets to bounce off them.

Do you know how powerful they would need to be to stop bullets?


I mean, at least one of their puesdo-latin spells must jam guns.

Nope. They barely know of tech at all.

Zale
2011-11-27, 06:34 AM
And humans can pull a trigger. Both take out a single enemy, but guess which one does not require shouting "TURNIYOUINTOAWEASELACUS!"


At least some of the wizards (Muggle-Borns) will know what guns are and react the moment they see them. Translocation doesn't require magic words, I think.

You can't hit a wizard who's already teleported away.



Do you know how powerful they would need to be to stop bullets?


Less than it requires to turn back time, create matter from thin air or reduce something to dust.

Also, the muggle-born wizards would have grown up with technology...

TheArsenal
2011-11-27, 06:40 AM
[QUOTE=Zale;12283948]At least some of the wizards (Muggle-Borns) will know what guns are and react the moment they see them. Translocation doesn't require magic words, I think.

Its very hazy because the book is kinda lazy




Less than it requires to turn back time, create matter from thin air or reduce something to dust.

I forgot that the mages are holding thier idiots balls.

Well whatever. I hate harry potter because its elitist. Mages don't learn. Thier just BORN.

And they call anybody not magified "Muggles". What an ugly name.

Forum Explorer
2011-11-27, 06:46 AM
Yeah what really would have made the books better is seeing a wizard who is completly comfortable with the muggle world. Also change the ending to this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsYWT5Q_R_w)

TheArsenal
2011-11-27, 06:50 AM
I just wish the called "Muggles" nonmages or something that doesn't sound like a racist slur.

But doesn't anybody else notice the elitism in the books?

Zale
2011-11-27, 06:51 AM
It's hardly surprising that wizards cling to the idiot ball.

They never really have to learn how to do anything themselves, they can use magic to do it for them.

Magic to get from place to place, magic to cook food, magic to make things, magic to do their jobs...

They don't really have to learn much other than magic.

Elder Tsofu
2011-11-27, 07:00 AM
"They don't really have to learn much other than magic."

You say that as if it wasn't anything when compared with real-life. Here you just have to learn one craft and a few basic skills to live your life. :smallwink:

Zale
2011-11-27, 07:03 AM
Yes, but your average person can still take care of themselves without that main skill. :smallconfused:

Though I guess you're right..

I shouldn't post at six in the morning.

Brain no like thinky during mornings. :smallfrown:

Elder Tsofu
2011-11-27, 07:46 AM
The problem is that when we come right down to it our technology could be classified as magic to most people. I have no clue how a computer works, even though I use one every day. For all I know it could be something a wizard made and then wrapped up in a box with reassuringly technical lingo printed on the label.
So to a certain degree we are all wizards and witches to someone.

Not everyone could become an Auror, not everyone was part of the order of the phoenix or the death eaters. In the books everyone was since it is those grown-up people Harry the chosen one meets and could socialise with. They were experts of a sort at the tasks they were confronted with, but they still didn't come near the Weazly twins when it came to creating magical joke merchandise or Mr. Ollivander when it came to wands. People are just people, in this case with a few basic rules changed and (dis)abilities due to story purposes. Rowling most probably did not create a world which then inspired her to write a story. She wrote a story and then created and bent the world into a shape which could accommodate it.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-27, 08:01 AM
Dont nukes have the option of detonating fairly high up in the air? Besides, with a nuke, you only have to be within a few MILES of hogwarts to obliterate it with a nuke. Also, someone mentioned using muggleborn to beat the muggles? What about using squibs to beat the wizards?

Which is exactly my point, on the airburst thing. The entirely confusing chart here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_nuclear_explosions) indicates (I think) that a modern 1MT bomb, detonating 2.0km off the ground, would obliterate civilian structures within 2.4km of ground zero, and destroy them within 6km. So if the anti-tech field extends to, say, 10km, it could be very hard to get a nuke in place to damage the castle. Stealth bombers fly around 13-14km up, so a 15km field would make it difficult to even get a plane in position to drop the bomb.

Squibs would be great infiltrators, though they'd still be limited in what they can supply past information. Can't nuke Diagon Alley, after all.


And everyone is saying how a gun shoots faster than a spell. The difference I'm seeing is that you can't pre-fire a gun, while there doesn't seem to be any reason a wizard couldn't 'pre-buff' before teleporting into a fight. They're idiots, so they don't, but I imagine they would figure it out once their numbers winnowed out a bit by the metal wands.

Forum Explorer
2011-11-27, 08:16 AM
And everyone is saying how a gun shoots faster than a spell. The difference I'm seeing is that you can't pre-fire a gun, while there doesn't seem to be any reason a wizard couldn't 'pre-buff' before teleporting into a fight. They're idiots, so they don't, but I imagine they would figure it out once their numbers winnowed out a bit by the metal wands.

Yes but the magic is pretty arbitrary. It very well could be that you would lose all your buffs when you teleport. After all why would you keep them?

The Glyphstone
2011-11-27, 08:23 AM
Yes but the magic is pretty arbitrary. It very well could be that you would lose all your buffs when you teleport. After all why would you keep them?

Pretty much. We have no idea, and that's the problem.

Though magic items don't stop working, so you could teleport under an Invisibility Cloak, recast your Bullet Ward on arrival, then engage. The problem there is a triggerhappy guard recognizing the 'Bang' of Apparition for what it is instead of a gun going off and spraying your immediate area with a full-auto burst before you can get your shield up.

H Birchgrove
2011-11-27, 09:14 AM
Orionblamblam has a great solution, IMHO. (http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,11482.msg109309.html#msg109309) Warning for political discussions, though.

Traab
2011-11-27, 10:00 AM
which fanfic is this? Sounds good.

Muggle Summer, Wizards Fall (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3421129/1/)

Basically, its post death of dumbledoore and shortly after meeting a friend of Albus, harry learns a lot of things very quickly. Its not finished and likely never will be, but its still 377k words of awesome story.

Aotrs Commander
2011-11-27, 10:03 AM
The biggest question is how muggles could deal with the anti-muggle wards, which basically amount to a no-save illusion spell.

I suspect the truth of it is, HP wizards verses muggles is a bit more analogous to D&D wizards-guide-to-god wizards verses fighters. The muggles weapons may be effective at killing the wizards (because they are so backward) but the problem is that they have no defence against the mind-affecting attacks. Heck, the wizards don't even really need to do as much men-in-blacking, because they can just set up muggle-repelling wards. Targeting them to fight back might be the big problem. There doesn't appear to be a maximum range to these effects (e.g. Hogwart's charms would seem to prevent it from being spotted from flight or space), so it's not like you could bomb wizard stronghold directly - you'd have to try and work out that it was "somewhere in this city" and attack the general area (with appropriate catastrophic collateral damage).

The battle would get very messy, because the muggles would likely end up targeting themselves as much as the wizards due to magical interfereance. Now, they might win in the end, due to attrition, but the casualty cost would likely be enormous.

It's also worth noting that in HP, World War II was implied to be basically due to wizards - so the wizards (some wizards, anyway - of a generation old enough to still be reasonably active due to improved longevity) must have some idea of how muggles fight (even if is was forty years of significant technological advancement out of date by the ninities.)

Finally, if nukes are involved, then EVERYONE has already lost, especially given that small size of the UK and relative area of destruction (as a point of reference, the UK is only knocking on for 67% of the size of Japan.)

Tiki Snakes
2011-11-27, 10:09 AM
Which is exactly my point, on the airburst thing. The entirely confusing chart here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_nuclear_explosions) indicates (I think) that a modern 1MT bomb, detonating 2.0km off the ground, would obliterate civilian structures within 2.4km of ground zero, and destroy them within 6km. So if the anti-tech field extends to, say, 10km, it could be very hard to get a nuke in place to damage the castle. Stealth bombers fly around 13-14km up, so a 15km field would make it difficult to even get a plane in position to drop the bomb.

Squibs would be great infiltrators, though they'd still be limited in what they can supply past information. Can't nuke Diagon Alley, after all.


And everyone is saying how a gun shoots faster than a spell. The difference I'm seeing is that you can't pre-fire a gun, while there doesn't seem to be any reason a wizard couldn't 'pre-buff' before teleporting into a fight. They're idiots, so they don't, but I imagine they would figure it out once their numbers winnowed out a bit by the metal wands.

Two thoughts;
Firstly, a 10km radius is a very large area.

Secondly, those are certainly very possible, useful and potent tactics. Of course, if the Wizards were capable of such carefully thought out plans they would surely be smart enough to also avoid any number of other howlers, which would make the likelyhood of a human-muggle war that much less likely anyway.

But by that point we're discussing an altogether different setting. Admittedly, one I might find more interesting. :smallsmile:


At least some of the wizards (Muggle-Borns) will know what guns are and react the moment they see them. Translocation doesn't require magic words, I think.

You can't hit a wizard who's already teleported away.


And yet people are still regularly taken out by Death-Eaters using Avadra-Kedavra. If it was that easy to avoid Guns, then surely there would be similarly no reason to fear Dark Wizards and the Killing Curse.

Though I've a wonderful mental image now, of muggleborn and so on being able to clear a stadium-sized room of people instantly simply by pulling a bit of black pipe out of a pocket. *mass tele-panic ensues*

druid91
2011-11-27, 10:11 AM
Pretty much. We have no idea, and that's the problem.

Though magic items don't stop working, so you could teleport under an Invisibility Cloak, recast your Bullet Ward on arrival, then engage. The problem there is a triggerhappy guard recognizing the 'Bang' of Apparition for what it is instead of a gun going off and spraying your immediate area with a full-auto burst before you can get your shield up.

Portkey's make no sound, and the only restriction is wizarding law. I mean dumbledore just made one in his office.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-27, 10:24 AM
Two thoughts;
Firstly, a 10km radius is a very large area.

Secondly, those are certainly very possible, useful and potent tactics. Of course, if the Wizards were capable of such carefully thought out plans they would surely be smart enough to also avoid any number of other howlers, which would make the likelyhood of a human-muggle war that much less likely anyway.

But by that point we're discussing an altogether different setting. Admittedly, one I might find more interesting. :smallsmile:


So we're still on-topic, then, good.:smallbiggrin:

irenicObserver
2011-11-27, 10:30 AM
I just wish the called "Muggles" nonmages or something that doesn't sound like a racist slur.

But doesn't anybody else notice the elitism in the books?

Uh, yeah, that was a main conflict in the book from the villains :smallconfused:

Zale
2011-11-27, 10:33 AM
And yet people are still regularly taken out by Death-Eaters using Avadra-Kedavra. If it was that easy to avoid Guns, then surely there would be similarly no reason to fear Dark Wizards and the Killing Curse.


Got me there.

I concede defeat. x.x

Tyndmyr
2011-11-27, 10:35 AM
Btw Word Of God is that a man with a gun defeats a wizard.
Also, according to the books, wizards do not even know what guns are.

This is...mildly ridiculous. You have muggle born wizards. Did those kids never see movies and things? There would almost have to be at least some wizards who were somewhat aware of guns, even if they weren't a normal part of wizard culture.

I've always felt that the movies would have been better if the role of Harry Potter had been played by Jason Stathalm. His "wand" would have been a handgun.

And, if they have the ability to understand tech, etc sufficiently to handle large scale coverups, they should most certainly understand guns.

I feel like a lot of these ideas would make excellent fan fics. Which brings me to one that covers basically all of the stuff already brought up here. Yup, everything. Including the snitch scoring. Harry_Potter_and_the_Methods_of_Rationality (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=harry%20potter%20methods%20of%20rationality&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fanfiction.net%2Fs%2F5782108% 2F1%2FHarry_Potter_and_the_Methods_of_Rationality&ei=DlXSTq-PL6f10gHWpoXvDw&usg=AFQjCNF0qGP5r_iQnl3xsn7vQ8b2xMzYhA&cad=rja)


Which is exactly my point, on the airburst thing. The entirely confusing chart here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_nuclear_explosions) indicates (I think) that a modern 1MT bomb, detonating 2.0km off the ground, would obliterate civilian structures within 2.4km of ground zero, and destroy them within 6km. So if the anti-tech field extends to, say, 10km, it could be very hard to get a nuke in place to damage the castle. Stealth bombers fly around 13-14km up, so a 15km field would make it difficult to even get a plane in position to drop the bomb.

You're forgetting that bombs don't top out at 1 MT. They get quite substantially bigger. Not to mention, while a bomb is a very finely made item, it's actually usually quite simple in terms of actual parts. It just needs to blow up. Physics doesn't entirely stop working even in hogwarts. Plenty of mundane simple machines.

Honestly, my best guess on the limits would be the shield as depicted in the final movie. Anything in there is probably fairly saturated with magic. Anything notably outside will likely work fine.

Forum Explorer
2011-11-27, 10:38 AM
even with the anti-muggle fields we are missing too much information. Perhaps they sort of act as a weird not your problem field where if you don't know about magic it repels you by mildly compelling you to go a different direction.

Traab
2011-11-27, 11:10 AM
even with the anti-muggle fields we are missing too much information. Perhaps they sort of act as a weird not your problem field where if you don't know about magic it repels you by mildly compelling you to go a different direction.

I think I recall the muggle repelling wards being described as either making the place look unpleasant, like a toxic waste dump, or, when you get too close you have the sudden reminder of something you absolutely have to do somewhere else.

Tyn, I think it was more the people in charge who have no knowledge of guns. The "pureblood elite" who likely havent seen a muggle that wasnt screaming in agony in their entire life. They have been disconnected from the nonmagical world for generations. They dismiss it as meaningless, and ignore it completely. After all, mere muggles could never be a threat. And these guys are the policy setters.

Hell, even good guy and muggle obsessed wizard arthur weasley is so flummoxed by everything muggle you would think he is dealing with alien tech. He cant even figure out how airplanes stay in the air. Despite there being thousands of books that would quite clearly and easily show how it works. Its his JOB to deal with muggles and muggle related objects, and he doesnt understand them in the slightest. Anyone remember this line? "What exactly is the function... of a rubber duck?" These are the people you expect to defend themselves against high tech military weaponry?

Tyndmyr
2011-11-27, 11:15 AM
Tyn, I think it was more the people in charge who have no knowledge of guns. The "pureblood elite" who likely havent seen a muggle that wasnt screaming in agony in their entire life. They have been disconnected from the nonmagical world for generations. They dismiss it as meaningless, and ignore it completely. After all, mere muggles could never be a threat. And these guys are the policy setters.

Doesn't have to be the ones in charge. Just someone. Then you have a flying wizard with an assault rifle who can wreck basically anyone's day.

Countermeasures are possible, of course, but once you go down this path, the world is pretty notably changed.

Forum Explorer
2011-11-27, 11:19 AM
I think I recall the muggle repelling wards being described as either making the place look unpleasant, like a toxic waste dump, or, when you get too close you have the sudden reminder of something you absolutely have to do somewhere else.



right so I don't think those wards would work when faced with a group of people who know that what they have to do is search that area and be on the look out for wizards.

druid91
2011-11-27, 11:20 AM
I think I recall the muggle repelling wards being described as either making the place look unpleasant, like a toxic waste dump, or, when you get too close you have the sudden reminder of something you absolutely have to do somewhere else.

Tyn, I think it was more the people in charge who have no knowledge of guns. The "pureblood elite" who likely havent seen a muggle that wasnt screaming in agony in their entire life. They have been disconnected from the nonmagical world for generations. They dismiss it as meaningless, and ignore it completely. After all, mere muggles could never be a threat. And these guys are the policy setters.

Hell, even good guy and muggle obsessed wizard arthur weasley is so flummoxed by everything muggle you would think he is dealing with alien tech. He cant even figure out how airplanes stay in the air. Despite there being thousands of books that would quite clearly and easily show how it works. Its his JOB to deal with muggles and muggle related objects, and he doesnt understand them in the slightest. Anyone remember this line? "What exactly is the function... of a rubber duck?" These are the people you expect to defend themselves against high tech military weaponry?


No Pureblood and quirky. Arthur is a weasley. He was raised without muggle technology. A mispronunciation or two and a misconception here or there are to be expected. Particularly when he grew up with magic. Which requires no necessary complexity of the object to be made magical.

So a rubber duck could very well be a valuable cleaning implement he simply can't figure out... as opposed to a childs play-thing. Add into that that he can't very well go up to a muggle and ask what it's for.

He does seem to have a pretty good grasp of how quite a few things work. Even if he does call it eclecticity.

As for books, quite a lot of those require knowledge that is normally gotten at public school...

Mauve Shirt
2011-11-27, 11:38 AM
You'd think a wizard would visit a public library, but they can't even make basic transactions with muggle money, so that might be a little difficult for them. They don't really need to learn this stuff and are too lazy to be interested. Muggles haven't attacked them since the inquisition, I'd guess only special Ministry officials learn up on Muggle weaponry and defense against them.

Elder Tsofu
2011-11-27, 11:41 AM
"What exactly is the function... of a rubber duck?"
I think I'd have quite a hard time finding a book describing the function of a rubber duck.

And wouldn't you be a bit unfocused if your field of work is everything technological made by muggles?
Do you know how large that area of expertise is?
And that is in addition to the standard magic knowledge he requires. It would be like a chemist starting to work with literature in the middle of his career, but probably worse.

Obrysii
2011-11-27, 11:51 AM
You're forgetting that bombs don't top out at 1 MT. They get quite substantially bigger. Not to mention, while a bomb is a very finely made item, it's actually usually quite simple in terms of actual parts. It just needs to blow up. Physics doesn't entirely stop working even in hogwarts. Plenty of mundane simple machines.

Car engines, with dozens of moving parts, work fine when in direct contact with magic - even working around Hogwarts without issue. Cars with '80s computers have no issues working around Ministry wizards.

While not exactly comparable tech, in a typical atomic bomb there are fewer moving parts - and in the earliest designs - few if any electronic circuits.

Traab
2011-11-27, 12:02 PM
I think I'd have quite a hard time finding a book describing the function of a rubber duck.

And wouldn't you be a bit unfocused if your field of work is everything technological made by muggles?
Do you know how large that area of expertise is?
And that is in addition to the standard magic knowledge he requires. It would be like a chemist starting to work with literature in the middle of his career, but probably worse.

But in a way thats my point. Arthur is expected to be an expert, and his understanding of how muggles think, and their technology and how it all works is so vague as to be useless. This is a guy who actually WANTS to know about muggles and he doesnt understand much at all. You could send me to cambodia and id fit in about as well as arthur would in downtown london. I certainly dont think that arthur would do a very good job teaching a class on how to avoid "firelegs" that muggles might use against them.

Thats my main issue here with those talking about how wizards would curb stomp their way through muggles. They assume the wizards would actually know about, and understand this technology and how to stop it. But you ignore the presence of "experts" with less knowledge of the muggle world than a 10 year old muggle would have. You assume that because YOU understand the capabilities and limits of nonmagical weaponry, then obviously the wizards would too.

You forget that the magical government is run by families who have been apart from the nonmagical world for centuries, and most of them neither know, nor care whats going on in it. No pureblood elitist would ever stoop so low as to ask some muggleborn how things work. At least, not until after the first devastating counterattack they get hit by when they try to obliviate the wrong target and due to lack of knowledge on computer backups, expose their world as a threat.

Zale
2011-11-27, 12:12 PM
Then they will die and the muggle-borns will inherit the earth.

ALL HAIL THE WIZARD OVERLORDS!

Failure to comply will result in instant frog-ification.

Sotharsyl
2011-11-27, 12:22 PM
Uh, yeah, that was a main conflict in the book from the villains :smallconfused:

Yes but the conflict isn't as clear cut as it's presented, personal talent with magic isn't based on your heritage, see Hermione vs Draco, but magic itself still requires a certain heritage.

Before I continue I have to be clear I'm basing all my complaints, on one fact which isn't exactly in the books but as I've undestood come from Rowling nonetheless, so if this is wrong my whole post is invalid and please disregard it.

All muggleborn can acces magic because if you go back enough you discover a wizard and squib ancestors,thus it would work like this:

Normal wizard has a squib child.
The squib goes out in the muggle world and lives a muggle having descendants there.
Manny generations after a child is born who has the right genes,most probably both parents come from squib founded families, and can perform magic.

Now blood purist will argue,without merit, that magic depends on bloodline and it's degrees of strength while the good guys will, omit the bloodline factor, and argue that magic is all skill.

Now don't get me wrong blood purists are still objectively wrong but the good guys seem to tippy tow around the fact that Rowling's magic still while taking personal skill into account is based on a bloodline system albeit one that is simply pass/fail.

So I ask you can you still preach against racism,which is a noble thing the preaching against I mean, whit that kind of magic system.

Just imagine Hermione back home for the summer discussing with a hypothetical cousin who for the purpose of this scenario knows about magic:

Cousin : "This Accio spell seems simply brilliant,hey if I get the pronunciation right and a wand could I use it to find my house keys?"
Hermione : "Unfortunately no."
Cousin : "Oh why can you use magic,but I can't use just one spell? "
Hermione : "Ahh, how do I say it you don't have the right genetics :(( "
At that exact same time Draco Malfoy and every Slitherin felt a inexplicable case of laughter overtaking them.

Frozen_Feet
2011-11-27, 12:23 PM
My observation of magic and technology in Potter universe has been that they're not inherently opposed to each other. They don't go well together most of the time because they're done in disregard or ignorance of the other, but Arthur's car and several other enhanced object clearly demonstrate that they can be fitted together if will and skill are present.

The "anti-technology" field of Hogwarts and such seems to me to be a specific thing - technology doesn't work there, because it's been purposefully implemented that way. The spells there specifically stop muggle tech from working, because that's what Wizards want and need to do so the place can't be found.

Tiki Snakes
2011-11-27, 12:36 PM
I think an interesting angle to take on such a conflict is why it would take place, actually.

Think of it this way, you have a self-regulating secret society, operating with disregard to the laws of the land, often doing horrible things both to normal people and each other as well as regularly dodging tax on an epic scale.
In addition to the many, institutionalised crimes committed by 'magical britain' there are also all of the truly world-changingly beneficient things that they are jealously hording and keeping from the general, non-magical populace.

Just imagine the ills of the world that could be eliminated forever if proper, competant doctors and scientists and researchers also had access to the kind of knowledge and techniques that allow, for example, a school nurse to regrow a pupils skeletal structure.

I can't help but imagine the conflict being only partially military. It would be partially police-driven too, with prominent wizards being taken into custody an tried for their various crimes, white-collar or otherwise. Those responsible for the continued existence of Azkhaban would probably be sent to the Hague on charges of crimes against humanity.

I doubt we'd see any kind of all out war, but surgical strikes by specially trained departments of the SAS? That sounds about right. Given the Wizarding world's complete, almost pathalogical apathy to the Muggle World, they would have all the time they needed to get the intel required, after all.

H Birchgrove
2011-11-27, 01:11 PM
So, are the Potterverse Wizards more like DaD Wizards or more like DaD Sorcorers?

druid91
2011-11-27, 01:11 PM
But in a way thats my point. Arthur is expected to be an expert, and his understanding of how muggles think, and their technology and how it all works is so vague as to be useless. This is a guy who actually WANTS to know about muggles and he doesnt understand much at all. You could send me to cambodia and id fit in about as well as arthur would in downtown london. I certainly dont think that arthur would do a very good job teaching a class on how to avoid "firelegs" that muggles might use against them.

Thats my main issue here with those talking about how wizards would curb stomp their way through muggles. They assume the wizards would actually know about, and understand this technology and how to stop it. But you ignore the presence of "experts" with less knowledge of the muggle world than a 10 year old muggle would have. You assume that because YOU understand the capabilities and limits of nonmagical weaponry, then obviously the wizards would too.

You forget that the magical government is run by families who have been apart from the nonmagical world for centuries, and most of them neither know, nor care whats going on in it. No pureblood elitist would ever stoop so low as to ask some muggleborn how things work. At least, not until after the first devastating counterattack they get hit by when they try to obliviate the wrong target and due to lack of knowledge on computer backups, expose their world as a threat.

Err Shacklebolt called them "Firelegs" Arthur corrected him and said "If you'd actually read my report you'd know the proper term is fire-arms."

He may have odd gaps, usually in the place of "So commonplace that noone would think to write down or question it" area. I mean he took apart and put back together a car, that implies some level of skill and understanding.

As well he does usually know what he's talking about. IIRC he told ron that yelling into the phone was a bad idea.

Gnoman
2011-11-27, 01:12 PM
Car engines, with dozens of moving parts, work fine when in direct contact with magic - even working around Hogwarts without issue. Cars with '80s computers have no issues working around Ministry wizards.

While not exactly comparable tech, in a typical atomic bomb there are fewer moving parts - and in the earliest designs - few if any electronic circuits.

Detonating a modern atomic bomb requires an extremely precise timing of explosive charges. Even in Fat Man, if one of the electrical detonators had fired a millisecond early or late, there would have been no explosion. An atomic bomb (for that matter, any bomb produced in the 20th century) would not function if electricity did not work.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-27, 01:19 PM
Detonating a modern atomic bomb requires an extremely precise timing of explosive charges. Even in Fat Man, if one of the electrical detonators had fired a millisecond early or late, there would have been no explosion. An atomic bomb (for that matter, any bomb produced in the 20th century) would not function if electricity did not work.

Meh...you're just getting supercompression. Yes, electricity is the standard way of doing anything involving timing, but it's hardly the only possible way.

In a wizard vs muggle battle in which team muggle was aware of some restriction on electricity(which, by the way, seems mostly unsupported as a general rule), a non electrical nuke could theoretically be made. Hell, little boy is not at all a complex design, and could easily be made entirely non electrical.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-27, 01:21 PM
Detonating a modern atomic bomb requires an extremely precise timing of explosive charges. Even in Fat Man, if one of the electrical detonators had fired a millisecond early or late, there would have been no explosion. An atomic bomb (for that matter, any bomb produced in the 20th century) would not function if electricity did not work.

Pretty much. It's not talked about in movies, and definitely isn't something you want to do if you have any other option, but you'd have good effective odds of disarming a modern nuclear bomb by taking a pistol and shooting it full of holes.

Flickerdart
2011-11-27, 01:22 PM
The anti-technology aura doesn't cancel out gravity, so just pull up some artillery batteries and get a-pounding. If no artillery is handy, weld railway tracks to trucks and use that to launch ridiculous salvos of rockets.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-27, 01:23 PM
Pretty much. It's not talked about in movies, and definitely isn't something you want to do if you have any other option, but you'd have good effective odds of disarming a modern nuclear bomb by taking a pistol and shooting it full of holes.

Note that "no explosion" does not mean "nothing happens".

In particular, you'll want to at least generalize that to "no NUCLEAR explosion". At pistol range, the regular sort will be just as problematic for you.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-27, 01:30 PM
Note that "no explosion" does not mean "nothing happens".

In particular, you'll want to at least generalize that to "no NUCLEAR explosion". At pistol range, the regular sort will be just as problematic for you.

Okay, I stand corrected. You, personally, probably won't like the high explosives detonating in your face, but it's better than, say, your city being sterilized.


The anti-technology aura doesn't cancel out gravity, so just pull up some artillery batteries and get a-pounding. If no artillery is handy, weld railway tracks to trucks and use that to launch ridiculous salvos of rockets.

The trick there is aiming the artillery/rockets, with it being Unplottable. Indirect-fire weapons depend heavily on maps and coordinates to aim, unless they've got someone with a laser designator on the target.

Personally, I'd try to figure out a point where the Hogwarts Express track crosses back into the 'real world' (it must, because Harry and Ron were able to fly there in the car) between Platform 9&3/4 and Hogwarts proper, and drop some SAS commandos on it.

AtlanteanTroll
2011-11-27, 01:32 PM
The Quiddich rules are kind of weird. There is not really much point for anyone on the team except the seeker. The rest of the team's job is to preserve the status quo, maybe score a couple points, but the lions share will be scored by the seeker. The golden snitch is just valued too highly.

You ever played the Quiddich Video game? You can lose and catch the Snitch.

Erts
2011-11-27, 01:35 PM
:smallsigh:
I realize I may be preaching to the wrong choir here, but you guys are looking at this the wrong way.
Yes. The magic system in Harry Potter is unbalanced and is full of plot holes.
Yes. Usually, man with a gun will beat a wizard.
But that doesn't matter.
Why?
Because it is a book for adolescents. No, not a book to be solely enjoyed by them, but generally, Rowling's target audience are people who are not expecting the main character, a 14 year old, to pull out a gun and blow away his enemies.
Unrealistic? Sure. But is it consistent with the overall tone, theme, and logic of the story? Yes.

TheArsenal
2011-11-27, 01:36 PM
Mostly i find the Harry potter world not fanfiction worthy because it falls apart under any observation.

Erts
2011-11-27, 01:40 PM
Mostly i find the Harry potter world not fanfiction worthy because it falls apart under any observation.

Exactly, because it's not about the action of the story, it's about the interpersonal relationships of the characters and their development. And that's hard to write for the average fanficcer. (Is that the right word?)

TheArsenal
2011-11-27, 01:41 PM
Exactly, because it's not about the action of the story, it's about the interpersonal relationships of the characters and their development. And that's hard to write for the average fanficcer. (Is that the right word?)

And that the characters are vapid cliche voids that make bread look developed.

Tiki Snakes
2011-11-27, 01:45 PM
Mostly i find the Harry potter world not fanfiction worthy because it falls apart under any observation.

Ironically, the fact that large parts of it fall apart under observation is a large part of the idea behind Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (http://m.fanfiction.net/s/5782108/1/).
Amongst other ideas.

I generally avoid fanfiction, but for this I make an exception. It's good. And long.

Forum Explorer
2011-11-27, 01:46 PM
And that the characters are vapid cliche voids that make bread look developed.

Bread is amazing. If I could write character's as complex as bread can be I would be bragging from here to Hong Kong. :smallbiggrin:

Flickerdart
2011-11-27, 01:47 PM
The trick there is aiming the artillery/rockets, with it being Unplottable. Indirect-fire weapons depend heavily on maps and coordinates to aim, unless they've got someone with a laser designator on the target.
Quantity has a quality all of its own, and once they figure out that there's an anti-tech/forgetfulness field, it'll be simple enough to triangulate the rough position of the building, and then start shelling it.

Forum Explorer
2011-11-27, 01:52 PM
Ironically, the fact that large parts of it fall apart under observation is a large part of the idea behind Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (http://m.fanfiction.net/s/5782108/1/).
Amongst other ideas.

I generally avoid fanfiction, but for this I make an exception. It's good. And long.

That fic has a big problem in that in compleatly rewrites Harry. To the point of adding in disorders that he never expressed in the books. Personally I think they should have just gone with an OC.

Mando Knight
2011-11-27, 01:53 PM
And that the characters are vapid cliche voids that make bread look developed.

Bread is amazing.
Forum Explorer's right... if you're dissing bread then I have to wonder what kind of bread you've had.

TheArsenal
2011-11-27, 01:54 PM
Bread is amazing. If I could write character's as complex as bread can be I would be bragging from here to Hong Kong. :smallbiggrin:

Yeah. When I look at bread, Im almost scared to find out that its not actualy a living being.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-27, 01:55 PM
Okay, I stand corrected. You, personally, probably won't like the high explosives detonating in your face, but it's better than, say, your city being sterilized.

Actually, that decision COULD be a pretty interesting one in the context of a movie.


The trick there is aiming the artillery/rockets, with it being Unplottable. Indirect-fire weapons depend heavily on maps and coordinates to aim, unless they've got someone with a laser designator on the target.

Personally, I'd try to figure out a point where the Hogwarts Express track crosses back into the 'real world' (it must, because Harry and Ron were able to fly there in the car) between Platform 9&3/4 and Hogwarts proper, and drop some SAS commandos on it.

I'd probably just blanket fire the entire area. And plot everywhere else. Should be able to physically spot the artillery fire impacting. If scouts suddenly report that instead of spotting artillery fire impacting, they've just remembered they need to go pick up some milk and eggs, we've figured it out.


That fic has a big problem in that in compleatly rewrites Harry. To the point of adding in disorders that he never expressed in the books. Personally I think they should have just gone with an OC.

I vastly prefer rewritten harry. Original harry is basically a stand in for the reader anyway.

Erts
2011-11-27, 02:02 PM
And that the characters are vapid cliche voids that make bread look developed.

Eh, they are alright.
I'm not a fan by any means, but they go between below mediocre to decent- and because it's the first book that many a kid reads, they are seen as amazing.
It's the nostalgia filter.
If you go to Harry Potter looking for an incredibly rich characters, amazing action, and a creative and interesting plot, you will be let down. But that's not what it is for, it's a book for masses of tweens. Seriously, don't hold it to such a high standard.


Ironically, the fact that large parts of it fall apart under observation is a large part of the idea behind Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (http://m.fanfiction.net/s/5782108/1/).
Amongst other ideas.

I generally avoid fanfiction, but for this I make an exception. It's good. And long.
I read it- but I never really thought it was that great- more of the same joke over and over again- the Harry Potter Universe makes no sense.

Sotharsyl
2011-11-27, 02:09 PM
So, are the Potterverse Wizards more like DaD Wizards or more like DaD Sorcorers?

Something in between Wizards and Sorcerers.

Sorcerer aspects:

You need at least a bit of magical heritage to cast.
Casting is partly based on will,see the case of Merope Gaunt after she entered a depression she couldn't use magic to survive.
There are other abilities, although rare Parselmouth is the only one which comes to mind and not as potent as standard magic, which are tied to just very specific magic bloodlines.
You can do untrained magic,but it's like the kind of stuff which the PHB says Sorcerers do before they reach level one i.e mostly weak and totally uncontrollable.


Wizard aspects:

You study like a wizard.
Your skill with generic magic isn't tied to how strong your bloodline is, Cha,but to your academic abilities,Int.
New spells are discovered,through research.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-27, 02:17 PM
Eh, they are alright.
I'm not a fan by any means, but they go between below mediocre to decent- and because it's the first book that many a kid reads, they are seen as amazing.
It's the nostalgia filter.
If you go to Harry Potter looking for an incredibly rich characters, amazing action, and a creative and interesting plot, you will be let down. But that's not what it is for, it's a book for masses of tweens. Seriously, don't hold it to such a high standard.

They're fast paced, they're readable, they appeal to the sense of fantasy, etc. They're aright. I agree that they get a lot more press than they'd deserve based on pure quality alone, but it does the job of the niche it fills pretty well. I'd describe them as a pretty solid choice for the genre of youth fantasy. Certainly above average.

Pop over to Dresden Files or what not if you want more depth.

Coidzor
2011-11-27, 02:27 PM
If you go to Harry Potter looking for an incredibly rich characters, amazing action, and a creative and interesting plot, you will be let down. But that's not what it is for, it's a book for masses of tweens. Seriously, don't hold it to such a high standard.

Which leads us to the real question. Why can't our young people have nice things?

Xondoure
2011-11-27, 02:41 PM
Wizards versus muggles seems like a non issue to me. Wizards can teleport, totally mask their location, turn invisible, shapeshift, and cast powerful mind conrtol. They already have their hands on every major office (scene with the new british prime minister in book six) and are hands off because they can afford to be. If war was ever an issue they would quickly move te wizard to secure remote areas that would be near impossible to target (witness protection program, but with muggle wards and the fidelius charm) while teleporting in and casting imperius on the people in key positions of power. Which by the way can be cast and go by relatively unnoticed or unremarked. Look at how easy it was for Voldemort to subjugate the ministry. Muggles have far superior fire power but it would never matter because wizards have spells that make it obsolete.

Point is even in the handgun scenario, as soon as wizards were aware of what the enemy could do they would teleport away as soon as the enemy began to react and finish them with a stunning spell at the very least.

Not to mention time travel.

druid91
2011-11-27, 02:42 PM
Actually, that decision COULD be a pretty interesting one in the context of a movie.



I'd probably just blanket fire the entire area. And plot everywhere else. Should be able to physically spot the artillery fire impacting. If scouts suddenly report that instead of spotting artillery fire impacting, they've just remembered they need to go pick up some milk and eggs, we've figured it out.



I vastly prefer rewritten harry. Original harry is basically a stand in for the reader anyway.

The problem with that is you run into the diagon alley effect, where your artillery crews simply pass over the section of land like it wasn't there.

Traab
2011-11-27, 02:43 PM
Actually, it supports fanfiction quite well BECAUSE of the holes. What am I talking about? Well, one of the big draws to fanfiction is changing a couple parts of canon and seeing what happens. So you have a writer who wants to make up a story, so they look at the plot hole of, "If his mothers protection is so deadly to voldemort that touching him makes him die, how the hell did a chunk of his SOUL survive that long?" and they come up with an answer for that and there is the premise for a story. Or they take away the idiot ball and show what happens when harry and crew use magic in an intelligent fashion.

Erts
2011-11-27, 02:47 PM
They're fast paced, they're readable, they appeal to the sense of fantasy, etc. They're aright. I agree that they get a lot more press than they'd deserve based on pure quality alone, but it does the job of the niche it fills pretty well. I'd describe them as a pretty solid choice for the genre of youth fantasy. Certainly above average.

Pop over to Dresden Files or what not if you want more depth.

Yes, I'm actually 100 percent in agreement with you. I'm pretty sure I said they were decent.
And while I am a HUGE fan of the Dresden Files, "deep" is not something I would ever describe them with. Those books fill the same space in my mind as the awesome large budget action movies with intriguing ideas, but not depth (Inception, for example.) But they are fun, I care about the characters, and usually that's all you need.


Which leads us to the real question. Why can't our young people have nice things?

They won't get it.
This is a dumb analogy, but you need to walk before you can run. High quality literature isn't appealing to kids.
I (for one) hate analysis of literature that is too in depth, noticing patterns that the author simply did not intend, but I don't expect a kid to get The Great Gatsby.

ScionoftheVoid
2011-11-27, 02:50 PM
"Ireland wins, but Krum catches the snitch."


... yet in book four, the team that catches the snitch loses, because the other team scored better by just making goals.

Darn, beaten to the punch.


You ever played the Quiddich Video game? You can lose and catch the Snitch.

And yet this is incredibly uncommon, and only really happens due to bad fortune or being entirely below the skill level of the other team. It took four books for such an occasion to pop up, and most of those four books made it clear that it was rare enough to be more-or-less ignored. Are there any other instances of this happening, even in the background?

To be honest, most of the team is only really on the pitch to make the Snitch harder to spot. You could replace everyone except the Beaters and Seekers with generic magical effects and the game would be more-or-less unchanged. The only thing missing would be the tiny chance that one team sucks so badly that they actually cannot win (Krum caught the Snitch because if he didn't then one of three things happens: his team pulls back enough for his action to win them the game almost single-handedly, his team pulls back but the other seeker gets the snitch because he didn't take it while he had the chance, or the other team's seeker catches the snitch anyway and the defeat is beyond crushing). Not to mention that only the very best of seekers could really pay much attention to the score anyway, trying to find an object smaller than their fist darting around an area comparable to a football pitch (in terms of both size and distractions - except there are also distractions on the pitch, some of which can be lethal). Mostly they'd just catch the damn thing if they got the chance. IIRC, the video games actually function on this principle: as soon as the snitch becomes arbitrarily ready to catch the regular game stops (or the regular game isn't even included, in the ones that follow the books).

Not to mention that there's few options for tactical play, you just want to not be losing by fifteen goals by the time your side catches the snitch (and your side had better get the snitch, because there's no way you have a fifteen goal advantage without cheating or exceptional circumstances). Therefore, the only real option is defensive play, using aggression only because you want possession more than you want goals. The only exception is if they have a better seeker, in which case you need to play dirty, hope you can score enough or just hope their seeker has a bad day. The first is unviable competitively, the second is unlikely since their seeker is likely better due to more training time - which means their team is probably more practiced (or their seeker is Harry Potter himself, in which case option three is the only one that could work in the long term). The third isn't even an actual strategy.

Oh, and I only mentioned it briefly, but some of the distractions on the pitch are lethal. It's mentioned that no one has died in years, but it's not clear whether that's talking about the school, the school and mainstream competitive play or in any event that's been reported. Even in the most wide-ranging option there have probably been deaths. Especially considering that Bludgers are probably not allowed outside of official practice sessions, so the people on the pitch don't have as much experience with them as the other balls (snitches can't be too commonly seen either, unless you know a way of stopping them from escaping or can afford a nigh-infinite supply). I mean, the things can apparently easily be cursed from within a school event for the purpose of murder - which was only stopped because someone noticed and knew a counter-curse - so anyone letting them into the hands of players who "need practice" is an idiot. On the other hand, wizards do tend to be too stupid to ever use a bludger as a murder weapon: so common as to be untrackable to the murderer; easily linked to important figures for framing or just casting doubt on them; or just plain easily disposed of, so maybe they would be given out on highly dubious grounds. Anyone who did think of using them for murder would be an incredibly successful evil mastermind (by wizard standards). At least until they did something wizardly stupid enough to get themselves caught. Like not immediately casting something innocent to remove any chance of their wand giving them away (fairly sure there's a spell which reveals the last spell cast by a wand - in the fourth book IIRC).

Anyway, that turned out very long and I started long after the discussion on Quidditch had been dropped, sorry about that. On the other hand, I managed to find that many flaws thinking through a common sport of the wizarding world. Not even thinking deeply, just whatever came to mind. That says something about the setting in general.

Traab
2011-11-27, 02:51 PM
The problem with that is you run into the diagon alley effect, where your artillery crews simply pass over the section of land like it wasn't there.

This was another fanfic with muggle weapons. Harry and his crew were stationed about a half mile away from malfoy manor. They were outside the wards, and painted the target with a laser. The plane flying by is able to drop the bomb from several miles away, (I dont recall exact figures on how far horizontally a bomb can travel when its ejected from a plane) and its guided in by the laser. The pilot doesnt need to see the target, he just needs to see the dot. He is also outside the radius of effect from the wards, even assuming they rise in a pillar into the sky 50 miles or more to keep people from flying over them. So there is no problem with launching the bomb. Even assuming that hitting the ward line means the guidance no longer works, its close enough to count when it detonates.

Zale
2011-11-27, 02:54 PM
Exactly, because it's not about the action of the story, it's about the interpersonal relationships of the characters and their development. And that's hard to write for the average fanficcer. (Is that the right word?)

Fanfictionators?

Fanfictionificators?

Fanfictionists?


... Now I need to add something of substance to my post...

I wonder what a fanfic about what would happen if the mundane population decided to get rid of the wizards. A story about how the surviving wizards tried to live in a world where everyone knows about -and hates- wizards would be interesting. Lots of running away, no doubt.

Xondoure
2011-11-27, 03:01 PM
Muggles bombing - IRL terrorist groups have been able to avoid capture for decades (many still not having been caught) just by going undercover. With ways of hiding that wizards have access to its that much harder. And they don't need decades. Just weeks to completely derail the muggle side.

Quidditch - Some games have lasted for months, and seekers who are too focused on the snitch could well be bludgered out of play for a significant ammount of time. Not to mention the snitch not winning scenario was in the championship, so it wasn't simply incompetence of players these were the two best teams in the league. So the snitch ends the game, but other than that its only really important in games that don't make it past the first few hours of play.

TheArsenal
2011-11-27, 03:04 PM
a magic-blasted and radiation-drenched worldwide wasteland.

Adventure time?


With ways of hiding that wizards have access to its that much harder. And they don't need decades. Just weeks to completely derail the muggle side.

I guess. True invisibility is offered by one cloak, mind control is limited per one person, and Transformation requires DNA. Illusions can work somewhat, but what can the mages do? They have no idea how the muggling world works.

Traab
2011-11-27, 03:05 PM
Fanfictionators?

Fanfictionificators?

Fanfictionists?


... Now I need to add something of substance to my post...

I wonder what a fanfic about what would happen if the mundane population decided to get rid of the wizards. A story about how the surviving wizards tried to live in a world where everyone knows about -and hates- wizards would be interesting. Lots of running away, no doubt.

The closest I personally recall to that was 30 Minutes That Changed Everything. In it, harry is like 400 years old. (there is a reason for that, hush) and civilization has been destroyed. Basically its the aftermath of MAD. Voldemort caused too much trouble in the nonmagical world, they struck back, then the wizards struck back, then by the time the mushroom clouds settled, everyone was dead pretty much. In this story harry has spent the last 300+ years trying to figure out a way to time travel far enough back to change things. He finds a way to send an avatar of himself (known as sensei) to change things in his own past and act as a teacher to harry to try and make it so the world doesnt end. It goes WAY off the rails of canon, (I think harry has three magical masteries before he starts hogwarts) but is an interesting read. As is the sequal to it thats still a work in progress. I like the author because he goes really in depth on his world building.

H Birchgrove
2011-11-27, 03:08 PM
Which leads us to the real question. Why can't our young people have nice things?

Ursula K. Le Guin wrote a series of fantasy novels about young wizards getting schooled long before J.K. Rowling. It's called Earthsea.

Zale
2011-11-27, 03:10 PM
The closest I personally recall to that was 30 Minutes That Changed Everything. In it, harry is like 400 years old. (there is a reason for that, hush) and civilization has been destroyed. Basically its the aftermath of MAD. Voldemort caused too much trouble in the nonmagical world, they struck back, then the wizards struck back, then by the time the mushroom clouds settled, everyone was dead pretty much. In this story harry has spent the last 300+ years trying to figure out a way to time travel far enough back to change things. He finds a way to send an avatar of himself (known as sensei) to change things in his own past and act as a teacher to harry to try and make it so the world doesnt end. It goes WAY off the rails of canon, (I think harry has three magical masteries before he starts hogwarts) but is an interesting read. As is the sequal to it thats still a work in progress. I like the author because he goes really in depth on his world building.

Interesting. I'll have to check that out.

Eldan
2011-11-27, 03:13 PM
Sounds interesting. Link? Searching for "30 minutes that changed everything" tends to give me tons of unrelated results.

Traab
2011-11-27, 03:14 PM
30 minutes baby! (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5178251/1/) But itll take a lot longer than that to read it. :p

Zale
2011-11-27, 03:19 PM
Who knows.

I have been told I read with the speed of a cambion child sired by Albert Einstein and/or Stephen Hawking...

Bookworm powers ACTIVATE!

Forum Explorer
2011-11-27, 03:29 PM
actually I could see a mudblood or two sparking off the whole conflict between the muggles and magic world in revenge against the purebloods.

Drolyt
2011-11-27, 03:30 PM
Don't get me wrong. I've always thought Harry Potter was not only a good series of books, but a noteworthy contribution to the English language. I listen to the audiobooks (both the ones read by Jim Dale and the ones read by Stephen Fry) as I go to sleep. I've read each book at least twice and enjoyed them immensely. However, I have two gripes with the franchise: the gaping plot holes, and the magic system.

I won't talk about the many significant plot holes here, as they are spoilers, and I'm aware there are still a single-digit number of people out there who don't know the entire plot. The magic system - on the other hand - I will go on a rant about.

For one thing, the Harry Potter magic system makes dominating one's way too easy. There is an easily preformed, unblock-able spell that causes instant death. No catch. There is a spell (equally easily preformed) where one can take complete control over someone else for long stretches of time. Both these spells can be preformed an infinite number of times without harming the caster.

Magic of that power level should have some drawback, some way of screwing the caster over, and should be hard to preform. If any random guy can go around blasting people with ludicrously powerful magic, than ludicrously powerful magic loses all meaning and fights are comically short.

Magic, at its core is too easy. There is no limit to its use. One can use it to do everything without thinking twice. They don't need to call upon unreliable entities from other dimensions, don't have to sacrifice life force, and don't forget how to cast a spell after casting it. There is also very little chance of the spell backfiring.

It is also rather bland. All spells are just Latin-sounding words accompanied by want movements. There are no multi-hour rituals, no chants, and no spirit/monster/demon summoning.

I magic was more difficult, complex, ritual-based, and unreliable; Harry Potter could have been much more entertaining.
I'm not sure about the boring part, I thought Harry Potter magic to be quite interesting. I'm not sure what is inherently more interesting about rituals, chants, and summoning, but to each their own. As for being too easy or too powerful, the magic style is like D&D magic, or Superhero Magic, or Anime Magic. It is easy and powerful, and bears little relation to the traditional magic of fantasy literature, which was rare and difficult. I don't see the problem there. The only really gamebreaking spells are Avada Kadavra, the Imperious Curse, and Apparation. Avada is bad because it allows no save and cannot be counterspelled, but it can be dodged (requires a touch attack/you can Apparate away) or blocked; it would be broken in D&D but only because of the turn system which prevents you from responding to an opponents' spell with one of your own. Imperious is arguably much more broken than Avada, but at least allows a Will save; it is essentially equivalent to Dominate Person. Apparation is just like Greater Teleport except it seems to be usable as an immediate action; maybe wizards in duels just use lots of readied actions? My point is that magic is no easier or more powerful than in D&D, and I don't see anything wrong with D&D. It is all a matter of what you want from your story.

Elder Tsofu
2011-11-27, 03:44 PM
...but what can the mages do? They have no idea how the muggling world works.

They can learn, fast. The muggles start off even worse.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-27, 04:00 PM
This was another fanfic with muggle weapons. Harry and his crew were stationed about a half mile away from malfoy manor. They were outside the wards, and painted the target with a laser. The plane flying by is able to drop the bomb from several miles away, (I dont recall exact figures on how far horizontally a bomb can travel when its ejected from a plane) and its guided in by the laser. The pilot doesnt need to see the target, he just needs to see the dot. He is also outside the radius of effect from the wards, even assuming they rise in a pillar into the sky 50 miles or more to keep people from flying over them. So there is no problem with launching the bomb. Even assuming that hitting the ward line means the guidance no longer works, its close enough to count when it detonates.

That depends on how wards work - for all we know, they affect material as well as perceptions. Depending on how you interpret things like the Fidelius Charm in book-portrayal (powerful "I'm not Here" spell) versus movie-portrayal (actual folding of space/pocket dimension-ish effects), when the bomb hits the wards (or, if it's aimed just outside the wards, the blast wave/shrapnel), it might just continue on "past" the warded area without affecting anything inside.

Mutant Sheep
2011-11-27, 04:04 PM
Why do we assume all the muggle-borns stay with the wizarding world, rather than helping out muggle governments?

hamishspence
2011-11-27, 04:05 PM
Are there any other instances of this happening, even in the background?

Yes- during year 5, when Harry was banned from the team- the Gryfinddor team only lost against Hufflepuff by 10 pts, because Ginny managed to catch the Snitch.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-27, 04:05 PM
Why do we assume all the muggle-borns stay with the wizarding world, rather than helping out muggle governments?

I don't think we are. In fact, several of our proposed plans depend on Muggle-Borns or Squibs aiding the muggle side, otherwise magically warded places like Hogwarts/Diagon Alley would be truly inviolable.

Starbuck_II
2011-11-27, 04:06 PM
Plus, Mages can learn to cast while silent or without a wand.

Granted, unless the reader reads all the books he wouldn't learn that.


The cursed green fire spell isn't forbidden but is strong enough to kill artifacts. Just has a chance of killing you if you stay in area.

Xondoure
2011-11-27, 04:18 PM
That depends on how wards work - for all we know, they affect material as well as perceptions. Depending on how you interpret things like the Fidelius Charm in book-portrayal (powerful "I'm not Here" spell) versus movie-portrayal (actual folding of space/pocket dimension-ish effects), when the bomb hits the wards (or, if it's aimed just outside the wards, the blast wave/shrapnel), it might just continue on "past" the warded area without affecting anything inside.

In book 5 Grimauld Place appears to do the space folding before Harry's eyes. And given what we know of how wizards go camping bending locations to fit their needs seems to be fairly regular.

Traab
2011-11-27, 04:20 PM
In book 5 Grimauld Place appears to do the space folding before Harry's eyes. And given what we know of how wizards go camping bending locations to fit their needs seems to be fairly regular.
Its also possible it was an illusion. Basically, the house was always there, but until he got the secret, all he could see were the two normal houses next to each other.

Xondoure
2011-11-27, 04:30 PM
Its also possible it was an illusion. Basically, the house was always there, but until he got the secret, all he could see were the two normal houses next to each other.

Possible. But then how do you explain walking along that street? Do the people just automatically walk across the stretch of sidewalk that isn't there unless you can see Grimauld place without realizing it?

VanBuren
2011-11-27, 04:33 PM
Ironically, the fact that large parts of it fall apart under observation is a large part of the idea behind Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (http://m.fanfiction.net/s/5782108/1/).
Amongst other ideas.

I generally avoid fanfiction, but for this I make an exception. It's good. And long.

Well it's OK... until he gets on his soapbox. Then it just gets preachy, arrogant, and annoying.

Traab
2011-11-27, 04:40 PM
Possible. But then how do you explain walking along that street? Do the people just automatically walk across the stretch of sidewalk that isn't there unless you can see Grimauld place without realizing it?

They just dont realize its even there. They dont notice anything odd about the missing number, they dont even see a spot where a house is supposed to be.

hamishspence
2011-11-27, 04:46 PM
On most streets, numbers going from 11 to 13 in one go would be the norm, not the exception (odd numbers one side of the road, even the other).

Grimmauld Place is a bit unusual in having numbers that go 10, 11, 12, 13 all on the same side of the road. Maybe the other side of it has no houses at all?

Zale
2011-11-27, 04:49 PM
Well, as many advantages as technology would give you against a wizard/witch, they do have some of their own in which they excell.

Mobility, for one. Being able to move instantly from one location to another has it's advantages. Not to mention their ability to enchant things to fly. Though with air to ground missiles that may be a bit.. disastrous.

Stealth is also on their side. They can make things nearly invisible or totally unnoticeable. Hide things so that you could never find them. Hogwarts, Diagonally, the Night Bus.. Then you have shapeshifting, polyjuice potions, people like Tonks (Whatever they are called. Metamorphagi?).

Extracting information would be easy with that Legim-whatever. Mind reading is always useful. Not to mention lots of charms to make people think you are their friends.. And after you have obtained what you want, all a memory charm can get rid of any recollections of them telling you anything.

Magic is nice for some things.

Mutant Sheep
2011-11-27, 04:55 PM
I don't think we are. In fact, several of our proposed plans depend on Muggle-Borns or Squibs aiding the muggle side, otherwise magically warded places like Hogwarts/Diagon Alley would be truly inviolable.

But were still drawing a line where one side uses magic and the other one is just muggles with bombs and guns. A muggleborn can blend in with wizards much better than a wizard with muggles (even with charms and such), and Imperio/kill a bunch of wizards with guns and/or magic. The muggles would have been warned about all the worst magic from the muggleborns, but I doubt any of the wizards would expect the muggleborns to use magic against them.

Gnoman
2011-11-27, 05:15 PM
Though with air to ground missiles that may be a bit.. disastrous.


Sure wouldn't. Even the most advanced stealth aircraft (which are nearly immune to radar guided weapons) give a radar image the size of a flock of birds. A guy on a broom or carpet wouldn't even register. Nor would he give off enough heat for an IR missile, which are designed to pick up high-temperature jet exhaust (the very best ones can pick up a signature as faint as steel being shoved through the air at transsonic speeds.) Not only that, but all antiaircraft weapons are fragmentation-based, designed to knock out a power source or shred enough of the airframe to eliminate the ability to produce lift, neither of which matter to magical flight, so anything that is large enough to track would be very hard to bring down, as it would be extremely easy to armor, for example, a small Ford well enough to protect the passengers. Note that this is something that wizards would not need to know anything about the non-magic world to think of.

KnightDisciple
2011-11-27, 05:17 PM
Well it's OK... until he gets on his soapbox. Then it just gets preachy, arrogant, and annoying.So about 1 chapter in? :smalltongue:


They just dont realize its even there. They dont notice anything odd about the missing number, they dont even see a spot where a house is supposed to be.I imagine it's a giant "not my problem" field. Basically, they just don't notice. I mean, do you know the number of the 5th house down the 7th street 3 miles over? Maybe you walked by it a couple of times, but do you have it memorized?

In this case, the magical field likely makes them think, at most "Huh, guess they skipped a number. Weird. Eh, city planners, what are you gonna do." and leave it at that.

druid91
2011-11-27, 05:19 PM
But were still drawing a line where one side uses magic and the other one is just muggles with bombs and guns. A muggleborn can blend in with wizards much better than a wizard with muggles (even with charms and such), and Imperio/kill a bunch of wizards with guns and/or magic. The muggles would have been warned about all the worst magic from the muggleborns, but I doubt any of the wizards would expect the muggleborns to use magic against them.

Because... we (at least I am) Assuming that for some reason all the purebloods have banded together. When they did that once, it took duex ex machina in the form of Mr Potter to stop them.

The muggleborns are dead. fled the country, or in azkaban.

It'd be near impossible for the muggle government to gaurantee a muggleborn operatives safety. And being used undercover just wouldn't work. As displayed by the last book.

Xondoure
2011-11-27, 05:38 PM
They just dont realize its even there. They dont notice anything odd about the missing number, they dont even see a spot where a house is supposed to be.

No what I mean is there is a description of there being a small stretch of grass betweent the two buildings, which then stretches out to reveal a full sized house. So we have point A. And point B. In betweent them is Grimauld place which is point C. When he first saw the house the distance between A and B was 1. Now that he can observe C the distance has become 3 or 4 to accomodate for the space that previously couldn't be seen. Assuming it is just an illusion that 2 to 3 extra units of space are still there. So what happens when someone walking along the sidewalk from A to B steps over it? Do the unconsciously move across it automatically and regain consciousness on the other side? Or is it a fold in space so the distance really is just 1 unless you can see the house.

VanBuren
2011-11-27, 05:39 PM
So about 1 chapter in? :smalltongue:

Basically. :smallbiggrin:

Though it was that awful Dementor bit that did me in.

Traab
2011-11-27, 05:45 PM
No what I mean is there is a description of there being a small stretch of grass betweent the two buildings, which then stretches out to reveal a full sized house. So we have point A. And point B. In betweent them is Grimauld place which is point C. When he first saw the house the distance between A and B was 1. Now that he can observe C the distance has become 3 or 4 to accomodate for the space that previously couldn't be seen. Assuming it is just an illusion that 2 to 3 extra units of space are still there. So what happens when someone walking along the sidewalk from A to B steps over it? Do the unconsciously move across it automatically and regain consciousness on the other side? Or is it a fold in space so the distance really is just 1 unless you can see the house.

They never notice the extra steps. It just doesnt exist in their minds. They walk, hit the hidden area, then as far as they are aware, take the next single step, and are past it.

Weezer
2011-11-27, 08:27 PM
Basically. :smallbiggrin:

Though it was that awful Dementor bit that did me in.

For me it's the increasing amount of the whole "it's a fanfiction, so we need to throw in gratuitous romances or at least hint very strongly about them" thing that's starting to get to me. I'm still reading because it's fascinating when it stops reading like a wish fulfillment fanfiction and sticks to exploring what would happen if you switch out Harry with an ultra-rational, quasi-psychopathic prodigy.

Arakune
2011-11-27, 08:32 PM
Give him a Mystic Eye of Death Perception, remove prophecy based plot armor :smallwink:

His Protagonist© issue Plot Armor™ still remains, though

Avilan the Grey
2011-11-27, 08:34 PM
The trick there is aiming the artillery/rockets, with it being Unplottable.

Is it unplottable though? Seems more like the kind of charm that makes you go somewhere else, since the GPS systems would all scream at you if there were really huge areas of "nothingness" in the world.

Xondoure
2011-11-27, 09:07 PM
Is it unplottable though? Seems more like the kind of charm that makes you go somewhere else, since the GPS systems would all scream at you if there were really huge areas of "nothingness" in the world.

And this is where issues arrise. The magic defense obscurations and how exactly they hold up against sattelites.

Gnoman
2011-11-27, 09:31 PM
A wizard did it.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-27, 09:35 PM
Is it unplottable though? Seems more like the kind of charm that makes you go somewhere else, since the GPS systems would all scream at you if there were really huge areas of "nothingness" in the world.

I'm pretty sure it was explicitly stated at least once in the books that Hogwarts is Unplottable.

Zale
2011-11-27, 10:28 PM
A wizard did it.

You get an internet cookie for amusing me. :smallsmile:

One thing about just carpet bombing Hogwarts- I doubt that most people would causally accept the idea of massacring a few hundred children.

And then the wizard parents would probably loose it and side with whatever Death Eater style group would form.

Coidzor
2011-11-27, 10:35 PM
They won't get it.
This is a dumb analogy, but you need to walk before you can run. High quality literature isn't appealing to kids.
I (for one) hate analysis of literature that is too in depth, noticing patterns that the author simply did not intend, but I don't expect a kid to get The Great Gatsby.

...You think The Great Gatsby is nice things? :smallconfused: I still don't understand how it could have appealed to contemporary readers. It was fairly well written, but not exactly a good read.

And literary analysis is a step beyond simply reading something, so going very deep into the analysis of the literature is unnecessary for it to be read and enjoyed, but by the same token, it's possible to write something enjoyable without having it be full of plot holes and broken aesops if anyone actually analyzes it.

ScionoftheVoid
2011-11-27, 11:06 PM
Quidditch - Some games have lasted for months, and seekers who are too focused on the snitch could well be bludgered out of play for a significant ammount of time. Not to mention the snitch not winning scenario was in the championship, so it wasn't simply incompetence of players these were the two best teams in the league. So the snitch ends the game, but other than that its only really important in games that don't make it past the first few hours of play.

I had a response to this, but the power went out and I lost it. I may or may not re-type it at some point. Sorry about that.

TL;DR version: Really long games mean more injuries, through the players tiring (bludgers never tire) and through just more time for them to happen. Fortunately, games rarely last more than a week, IIRC.

Even if it was in the championships, those things presumably aren't back-to-back. There's plenty of time for relative skill level to change. The Irish team could have been just that much better. Or maybe the other team had a bad game. Or, more likely, a combination of factors. Regardless, losing while catching the snitch is very rare by both common sense and, IIRC, Word of God.

Quidditch is the worst sport for spectators ever. You can't schedule for it, because games could be an hour or could be weeks or more. Games are at such high speed you're pretty much expected to have goggles to slow things to your personal preffered viewing speed (which both costs more and removes any sense of camaraderie of seeing a game live). Matches are apparently not recorded or broadcast, so you have to go live (which is a sucky way to see quidditch). If you go live you have to deal with not being able to see the actually important play because most of the things on the pitch are there as distractions, plus you get things like other spectators in the way. You don't even get the benefit of being with other fans, since you're all at different speeds (as I mentioned earlier). And that's when none of the things shooting through the air at ridiculous speeds goes into the stands (which can and does happen, IIRC). And that's if noone is being deliberately disruptive (e.g. cursing the balls during play, which has been shown to happen in (one of) the best school(s) in the country).

Traab
2011-11-27, 11:27 PM
And that's if noone is being deliberately disruptive (e.g. cursing the balls during play, which has been shown to happen in (one of) the best school(s) in the country).

I just wanted to point out that this was done by a house elf. I dare to presume that they have the balls protected from wizard spells. Otherwise every seeker in the game would concentrate on learning wandless summoning charms to auto win the game.

Starbuck_II
2011-11-27, 11:37 PM
I just wanted to point out that this was done by a house elf. I dare to presume that they have the balls protected from wizard spells. Otherwise every seeker in the game would concentrate on learning wandless summoning charms to auto win the game.

Yeah, House Elf magic is unwardable as well. At least no one has ever warded an area from House Elves in the books.

ScionoftheVoid
2011-11-27, 11:40 PM
I just wanted to point out that this was done by a house elf. I dare to presume that they have the balls protected from wizard spells. Otherwise every seeker in the game would concentrate on learning wandless summoning charms to auto win the game.

I had some wires crossed, I think. In the first film, at least, Quirrel messes with something during a match.

And I'm fairly sure there is mention that the ball has been magically tampered with, even in the book. That means either the protection against such things aren't unbreakable, that non-humans do this often enough that it's a serious hole in their wards or that they were just hoping that people wouldn't tamper with the balls in a highly competitive game. In any case it's still stupid, dangerous and completely underestimating what people will do to win. After all, people employ house elves, don't they? What's to stop them from having the elf curse the balls for them? It's not as if they ever found out who tampered with the match when Dobby did it.

Traab
2011-11-28, 12:13 AM
He jinxes harrys broom. The bludger ball gets jinxed by dobby the house elf.

ScionoftheVoid
2011-11-28, 12:41 AM
He jinxes harrys broom. The bludger ball gets jinxed by dobby the house elf.

So I misremembered the detail but got the theme (jinxing things flying round a pitch a few hundred metres in the air) right? Okay, I'm fine with that.

I still don't see why everything isn't warded to hell and back.

Psyren
2011-11-28, 01:12 AM
I still don't see why everything isn't warded to hell and back.

for teh lulz :smalltongue:

Tiki Snakes
2011-11-28, 02:24 AM
I really don't mind the preachy in the Rationality fic, actually. Though I can't help but chuckle at the Author's transparent terror of death. (It's not just that Harry views it as the only rational goal, it's that even in the list of other fics that might have been written, it always seems to be an element, the desperate search for immortality portrayed as rational and without downside).

Avilan the Grey
2011-11-28, 02:30 AM
I'm pretty sure it was explicitly stated at least once in the books that Hogwarts is Unplottable.

But forever, from wherever? Is it visible to the naked eye? From spy satellites? From the moon?

TheArsenal
2011-11-28, 02:33 AM
Can it fool Cameras?

How! Its not based on brain recordings but a bunch of light and stuff!

And they have no idea how that tech works!

GAH MY BRAIN!

Avilan the Grey
2011-11-28, 02:42 AM
Can it fool Cameras?

How! Its not based on brain recordings but a bunch of light and stuff!

And they have no idea how that tech works!

GAH MY BRAIN!

Send in a few unmanned spy drones and see what happens.

Of course this is only really interesting if say Harry Potter failed at the end. If Voldemort truly tries to take over the Muggle world. And in that case, even if Hogwards is untraceable unless you know where it is (or however that charm works anyway), his troops in the field are not.

Eldan
2011-11-28, 05:51 AM
I really don't mind the preachy in the Rationality fic, actually. Though I can't help but chuckle at the Author's transparent terror of death. (It's not just that Harry views it as the only rational goal, it's that even in the list of other fics that might have been written, it always seems to be an element, the desperate search for immortality portrayed as rational and without downside).

I honestly see it the same way. Death is humanity's worst disease, causes the most economical damage, the must suffering, the highest loss of skilled workers. Closely followed by ageing.
Plus, Death is scary. It is the end of conciousness. The only truly irreversible condition. The worst possible end one could suffer.

Avilan the Grey
2011-11-28, 06:12 AM
I honestly see it the same way. Death is humanity's worst disease, causes the most economical damage, the must suffering, the highest loss of skilled workers. Closely followed by ageing.
Plus, Death is scary. It is the end of conciousness. The only truly irreversible condition. The worst possible end one could suffer.

The problem is that death is NOT a disease. It's a feature. Besides, it's what makes children possible. Imagine the horror of everyone living forever, but no children are born?

Eldan
2011-11-28, 06:20 AM
To quote:


(pathology) An abnormal condition of the body or mind that causes discomfort or dysfunction; distinct from injury insofar as the latter is usually instantaneously acquired.

(by extension) Any abnormal or harmful condition, as of society, people's attitudes, way of living etc.


Death causes discomfort and dysfunction. It is harmful for society, people's attitudes and ways of living. The definition, then, comes down to if whether or not we see death as normal or not. Currently, it is. That doesn't say it has to be.

Avilan the Grey
2011-11-28, 07:11 AM
Death causes discomfort and dysfunction. It is harmful for society, people's attitudes and ways of living. The definition, then, comes down to if whether or not we see death as normal or not. Currently, it is. That doesn't say it has to be.


Not to get into a deep philosophical debate, but... If death (by age) is unnatural, so is eating and sleeping and anything else that causes us to not function at max capacity at all times.

Death by aging is not a disease. Neither is aging itself. You can quote definitions of what a disease is, it still doesn't make it so (edit: especially since the definition includes the words "Abnormal", which makes it irrelevant as proof anyway).

Tyndmyr
2011-11-28, 08:10 AM
The problem with that is you run into the diagon alley effect, where your artillery crews simply pass over the section of land like it wasn't there.

If it's an extradimensional space, it still has an opening. That opening is probably vulnerable to being blown to bits. Platform 9 and 3/4s and Diagon Alley...one of two things is going to happen. Either the entrance allows the force to enter or it does not.

In case #1, you have a massive blast wave/heat/fire going through the extra-dimensional space, and you win.

In case #2, you have destroyed the real world thing the extradimensional space is tied to. Results are undefined, but I submit that no extradimensional spaces exist in harry potter without a real world thing they're tied to. Given the number of them shown, that's fairly notable. Probably results in utter annihilation of everything within.


Yes, I'm actually 100 percent in agreement with you. I'm pretty sure I said they were decent.
And while I am a HUGE fan of the Dresden Files, "deep" is not something I would ever describe them with. Those books fill the same space in my mind as the awesome large budget action movies with intriguing ideas, but not depth (Inception, for example.) But they are fun, I care about the characters, and usually that's all you need.

Dresden Files are not the deepest books I've read, but I'd put them as deeper than HP. They're still pretty actiony, but the meta-rules are rather more coherent, and people tend to use their powers in a way thats a lot more intelligent(and thus, mundanes would stand rather less of a chance against them).

I mean, seriously, all these people pointing out broken things, and nobody mentions the TIME TRAVEL device? Can you imagine the possible repercussions of that used in a logical fashion(ie, probably abused by everyone who can get one. Considering a student without notable connections can get one...basically everyone).

I kind of want to write a fan-fic with muggles vs wizards now.


Sure wouldn't. Even the most advanced stealth aircraft (which are nearly immune to radar guided weapons) give a radar image the size of a flock of birds. A guy on a broom or carpet wouldn't even register. Nor would he give off enough heat for an IR missile, which are designed to pick up high-temperature jet exhaust (the very best ones can pick up a signature as faint as steel being shoved through the air at transsonic speeds.) Not only that, but all antiaircraft weapons are fragmentation-based, designed to knock out a power source or shred enough of the airframe to eliminate the ability to produce lift, neither of which matter to magical flight, so anything that is large enough to track would be very hard to bring down, as it would be extremely easy to armor, for example, a small Ford well enough to protect the passengers. Note that this is something that wizards would not need to know anything about the non-magic world to think of.

Both of those are incorrect. A flying person has a non-trivial radar signature. In fact, a pilots helmet alone has a notably larger radar signature than an entire stealth bomber. There's no reason to suspect they wouldn't be picked up unless you invoke some sort of anti-radar magic.

Also, fragmentation is notably bad on people, and systems such as the aegis missile defense system does not rely on fragmentation. A mini-gun to the face will do pretty horrible things to a ford, even if you do bolt on some improv armor. Or worse yet, the old russian AA system which basically consisted of lofting a nuke into the sky and blowing everything to hell.


I imagine it's a giant "not my problem" field. Basically, they just don't notice. I mean, do you know the number of the 5th house down the 7th street 3 miles over? Maybe you walked by it a couple of times, but do you have it memorized?

In this case, the magical field likely makes them think, at most "Huh, guess they skipped a number. Weird. Eh, city planners, what are you gonna do." and leave it at that.

That I can buy. If I personally saw a missing number, I would assume that perhaps an old house in between had been torn down or something. Non sequential numbering happens. Magic isn't even required to make people disregard the numbers.


I really don't mind the preachy in the Rationality fic, actually. Though I can't help but chuckle at the Author's transparent terror of death. (It's not just that Harry views it as the only rational goal, it's that even in the list of other fics that might have been written, it always seems to be an element, the desperate search for immortality portrayed as rational and without downside).

Meh. I'll be honest, if I found out tomorrow that magic was a real thing, I'd be happy as a clam, and looking for immortality would be pretty high on my list of things to do. And of course, minimizing downsides associated with that would be pretty important.


The problem is that death is NOT a disease. It's a feature. Besides, it's what makes children possible. Imagine the horror of everyone living forever, but no children are born?

It is a frequent result of diseases, and the process of birth is a separate one from that of death in biological terms. There's no real reason to conflate them. And even people who don't fear death would probably generally wish to face it on their terms.

Yes, eliminating death on a wide scale might have many social ramifications, but eliminating it for one person is...probably easier.


Not to get into a deep philosophical debate, but... If death (by age) is unnatural, so is eating and sleeping and anything else that causes us to not function at max capacity at all times.

Death by aging is not a disease. Neither is aging itself. You can quote definitions of what a disease is, it still doesn't make it so (edit: especially since the definition includes the words "Abnormal", which makes it irrelevant as proof anyway).

Er, death is not unnatural. Nobody claimed it was unnatural. It is, however, not a normal state of being, in a medical sense. Medicine treats the living, and death is considered an undesirable outcome of treatment. There may, in certain situations, be even more undesirable outcomes, but death isn't really the prize in the bottom of the crackerjack box. Plenty of people make notable efforts to stave off natural death for longer. At least a substantial fraction of the population would be quite interested in avoiding it altogether, and certainly many would be interested in reducing or removing discomfort and damage associated with aging.

Immortality is a really popular thing in fantasy, myth and legend. It's mostly viewed as a plus, with the only real downside being what you might do to get such a desirable thing.

TheArsenal
2011-11-28, 09:00 AM
Well, Cracked wrote articles that show immortality is not cracked up as it should be.

Eldan
2011-11-28, 09:19 AM
Well, Cracked wrote articles that show immortality is not cracked up as it should be.

And I disagreed with pretty much every point they had. But that's not really the point of this thread, is it?

We actually had a pretty long "Immortality, yay or nay?" thread once.

TheArsenal
2011-11-28, 11:11 AM
Well alright, lets not go into immortality even though I don't like the concept.

But whatever.

Lord Seth
2011-11-28, 12:09 PM
Death is humanity's worst disease, causes the most economical damage,Ignoring the already-discussed but still questionable assertion of it being a disease, how does it cause the most economical damage? I'm really not seeing how it's so harmful to the economy, let alone causing the most damage.


the highest loss of skilled workers.Who are then replaced by new skilled workers, and in fact possibly ones that are more skilled due to increased knowledge. Heck, if no skilled workers were ever replaced, then there'd be an oversaturation in the market and increased unemployment. In fact, now that I reflect on it, I'd think retirement is responsible for significantly more loss of skilled workers than death is...

Back on topic, I think my biggest issue with Harry Potter was the tendency to resolve plots via deus ex machina (the worst one being the fourth book...that comes straight out of nowhere), followed by the fact that even though J.K. Rowling seems incapable of writing romance, she insisted on adding more and more of it to the series.

warty goblin
2011-11-28, 12:33 PM
Ignoring the already-discussed but still questionable assertion of it being a disease, how does it cause the most economical damage? I'm really not seeing how it's so harmful to the economy, let alone causing the most damage.

Also, if one subscribes to a Kuhnian philosophical/historical view of scientific progress, death is pretty much the only way science can advance. Without all those old scientists dying off, there's no way for new ideas to gain credence because the old guard is always still there and won't be convinced to change their minds.


Who are then replaced by new skilled workers, and in fact possibly ones that are more skilled due to increased knowledge. Heck, if no skilled workers were ever replaced, then there'd be an oversaturation in the market and increased unemployment. In fact, now that I reflect on it, I'd think retirement is responsible for significantly more loss of skilled workers than death is...
The usual transhumanist counterargument for the rampant unemployment and general economic stratification and meltdown that immortality entails is some variant of expanding into space or other source of virtually unlimited economic expansion. Both of these positions are, insofar as I can tell, utterly stupid in the sense of being all but completely impossible.

'Cides which, it's a philosophy whose roots are essentially extreme cowardice and complete selfishness. I hold no truck with it.


Back on topic, I think my biggest issue with Harry Potter was the tendency to resolve plots via deus ex machina (the worst one being the fourth book...that comes straight out of nowhere), followed by the fact that even though J.K. Rowling seems incapable of writing romance, she insisted on adding more and more of it to the series.
I always rather liked the romantic subplots in HP. The endings pulled from thin air were a bit annoying at times, but a certain amount of nonsense is inherent in any fantastical work. The only interesting question is whether the nonsense gets in the way of the characters, which I never really felt it did in HP.

Weezer
2011-11-28, 01:17 PM
Also, if one subscribes to a Kuhnian philosophical/historical view of scientific progress, death is pretty much the only way science can advance. Without all those old scientists dying off, there's no way for new ideas to gain credence because the old guard is always still there and won't be convinced to change their minds.

Ahh yes, the paradigm shift, a classic. This can be seen today in the slow shift towards open scientific journals. The older scientists who are invested in the old, closed, prestige model of publishing are slowly being replaced by younger scientists who feel that scientific knowledge should be free to all and needs to stand on it's own merits, not the prestige of the journal.



The usual transhumanist counterargument for the rampant unemployment and general economic stratification and meltdown that immortality entails is some variant of expanding into space or other source of virtually unlimited economic expansion. Both of these positions are, insofar as I can tell, utterly stupid in the sense of being all but completely impossible.

'Cides which, it's a philosophy whose roots are essentially extreme cowardice and complete selfishness. I hold no truck with it.


It also refuses to admit that changing one of the fundamental aspects of humanity will change our nature in unexpected ways. We live our entire lives in relation to our deaths, whether we choose to try to avoid it through transhumanism or accept and take it up in the vein of the existentialists. If we remove one of the few constants of human existence, that very existence will be changed in a fundamental and profound way that will go far beyond relatively trivial things like economics and scientific progress. We will, in a very concrete way, no longer be human and that is not a step I'm willing to take without knowing the full consequences of immortality.

TheArsenal
2011-11-28, 01:24 PM
*Starts clapping*

We have lots of cool guys on this thread.

Eldan
2011-11-28, 01:59 PM
It also refuses to admit that changing one of the fundamental aspects of humanity will change our nature in unexpected ways. We live our entire lives in relation to our deaths, whether we choose to try to avoid it through transhumanism or accept and take it up in the vein of the existentialists. If we remove one of the few constants of human existence, that very existence will be changed in a fundamental and profound way that will go far beyond relatively trivial things like economics and scientific progress. We will, in a very concrete way, no longer be human and that is not a step I'm willing to take without knowing the full consequences of immortality.

I am. You know why? After dying you also are no longer human.

The economic damage I see mostly comes from these same lost skills. Education is expensive. We put ten years into educating someone who can then work for, perhaps, forty before we have to educate someone else. That's expensive.

My counter-argument for overcrowding would be the same that it is now already: reducing birth rates. It's the only measure we have now, and it would be the only measure that we'd have after immortality. Keep it on a level that advancing science can keep up with the demands of a growing society.

TheArsenal
2011-11-28, 02:01 PM
Alright guys STOP! This is a HP Thread!

Traab
2011-11-28, 02:06 PM
Can we get back on track here? Who would win muggle or wizard? I mean, how would harry potter have been much cooler? I say we make a list of plot holes, or even percieved plot holes and thrash them out until they make sense. Ill start with one I mentioned before, and even include a possible explanation.

1) If harry could make quirrell dissolve just by touching him due to his mothers sacrifice, then why was the chunk of voldemorts soul able to survive inside his head?

Possible answer. The killing curse is a nasty bit of powerful magic. It was reflected by lilys protection, but drained to the dregs, allowing the portion of voldemorts soul to attach itself while the protection was recharging. The problem with putting a bit of your soul into another body is that tiny bit will work to take over said persons body. Harrys protection kept that from happening. It kept the soul fragment from effecting him and reduced voldemorts influence to twinges or vague dreams as he grew stronger. It wasnt until voldemorts resurrection, which negated his mothers protection, that the soul fragment was able to grow stronger and have more of an effect on harry.

Eldan
2011-11-28, 02:07 PM
2) Why aren't they using the time machine in a sensible way?

Apparently, they can't go back and undo things directly. Fair enough. There's still a few thousand possible applications for a closed time loop.

Weezer
2011-11-28, 02:11 PM
2) Why aren't they using the time machine in a sensible way?

Apparently, they can't go back and undo things directly. Fair enough. There's still a few thousand possible applications for a closed time loop.

And they are apparently able to go back and do things to themselves so long as past selves don't know it's them (ex Harry as his "father" in the third book going back to cast the patronus to save himself). This means so long as you are disguised (via polyjuice potion, or even just a basic illusion) you can create any closed loop you want even if it involves crossing your own time stream. Again methods of rationality describes some of the good uses that unlimited time turner use can lead to.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-28, 02:14 PM
Ignoring the already-discussed but still questionable assertion of it being a disease, how does it cause the most economical damage? I'm really not seeing how it's so harmful to the economy, let alone causing the most damage.

The constant loss of the most skilled workers to aging and eventualy death is pretty notable.


Who are then replaced by new skilled workers, and in fact possibly ones that are more skilled due to increased knowledge. Heck, if no skilled workers were ever replaced, then there'd be an oversaturation in the market and increased unemployment. In fact, now that I reflect on it, I'd think retirement is responsible for significantly more loss of skilled workers than death is...

Retirement is tied to aging which is tied to death. If you lived forever, you'd need money indefinitely. You might take extended sabbaticals, but unless you were particularly wealthy(just like now), you have to work to get things.

Yes, you would have more people in the job market. However, you would also have proportionately more people buying things. So, that's no sweat. Overpopulation is a rational worry from the eventual outcome of this, but supply and demand continue to balance, so that's no sweat.

Now, note that the job market changes. Skills DO eventually decay and more training is needed...but most people at retirement have at least some useful skills, so it still is a loss.

Traab
2011-11-28, 02:17 PM
And they are apparently able to go back and do things to themselves so long as past selves don't know it's them (ex Harry as his "father" in the third book going back to cast the patronus to save himself). This means so long as you are disguised (via polyjuice potion, or even just a basic illusion) you can create any closed loop you want even if it involves crossing your own time stream. Again methods of rationality describes some of the good uses that unlimited time turner use can lead to.

The only two reasons I can think of why not are, 1) The idiot ball is grafted firmly to their hands. or 2) There are unknown limitations to time travel with a turner. Things like, repeating the same hour too often has nasty physical side effects, or the potential for paradox increases the more often you try to interfere with what has happened, and paradox = bad.

Weezer
2011-11-28, 02:29 PM
The only two reasons I can think of why not are, 1) The idiot ball is grafted firmly to their hands. or 2) There are unknown limitations to time travel with a turner. Things like, repeating the same hour too often has nasty physical side effects, or the potential for paradox increases the more often you try to interfere with what has happened, and paradox = bad.

With how the rest of the series is, the Idiot Ball explanation is most likely.

TheArsenal
2011-11-28, 02:34 PM
Maybe THATS the Danger of magic. Firmly placing idiot balls into every magic user in the world.

Traab
2011-11-28, 02:38 PM
With how the rest of the series is, the Idiot Ball explanation is most likely.

True, but id rather we close up the plot holes, so how about saying there is a limit to how often you can repeat the same hour that, once passed, has serious physical effects on the person? We cant use the paradox line very well here, as, whether original harry knew it or not, he was seeing himself save himself in an infinite loop that has no start or finish as if there was a time when he DIDNT go back in time, he would have gotten his soul devoured.

That whole thing was a paradox. He went back in time after the dementor attack and cast the patronus. But if he wasnt there originally to cast it, then the dementors would have eaten his soul and he wouldnt have been able to go back in time to cast his patronus! Its like going back in time and stopping someone from killing your mother when she is pregnant with you. How did she survive to give birth to you so you could go back in time and stop someone from killing her... if someone killed her because noone was there to stop it?

I give freeing buckbeak a pass though. Why? Because harry doesnt know for sure whether he lived or died originally. He heard the thunk, but after saving buckbeak he sees its macnair killing a pumpkin in frustration.

Emmerask
2011-11-28, 02:40 PM
Hope this hasn´t been posted yet :smallsmile:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-d96STP9Mcjc/TtM6Hb-lKsI/AAAAAAAAORE/bmozxs_G9ks/h301/how%2Bto%2Bupset%2Bevery%2Bgeek%2Bon%2Bthe%2Bplane t.jpg

Patrick Stewart makes everything better :smallwink:

Weezer
2011-11-28, 02:43 PM
Hope this hasn´t been posted yet :smallsmile:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-d96STP9Mcjc/TtM6Hb-lKsI/AAAAAAAAORE/bmozxs_G9ks/h301/how%2Bto%2Bupset%2Bevery%2Bgeek%2Bon%2Bthe%2Bplane t.jpg

Patrick Stewart makes everything better :smallwink:

That's Sir Patrick Stewart to you.

Eldan
2011-11-28, 02:47 PM
Maybe THATS the Danger of magic. Firmly placing idiot balls into every magic user in the world.

That was always my theory. Magic users have a mutation in which much of the Frontal Lobe is replaced by an additional Magic Lobe.

TheArsenal
2011-11-28, 02:47 PM
Those eyes. They speak of friendship and summer.

Traab
2011-11-28, 02:49 PM
Those eyes. They speak of friendship and summer.

His eyes seem to be crooked, his right eye seems to be further up his face than his left. Its creeping me out.

Psyren
2011-11-28, 03:24 PM
With how the rest of the series is, the Idiot Ball explanation is most likely.

This, honestly.

I mean, take Tom Riddle. "Golly gee, it turns out I'm the heir of Slytherin! Time to purge the school of Mudbloods! I'll just unleash my spiffy pet basilisk and... what do you mean you're closing Hogwarts? What, because some student got killed and you can't figure out who did it? That's ridiculous, why let a little mass murder get in the way of our academic future? You mean I have to go home? Screw that, I'll go find the scapego- er, I mean, culprit!"

"Whew, all set; I blamed it on the hairy special-ed with the big pet spider. I can't believe they bought it. I didn't even have to fake the spider bites on Myrtle or plant spider venom in her system (don't they do basic forensics in this school?) and I'm so lucky there aren't a bunch of books in the library about basilisks and how they love plumbing (she died in the bathroom, no hints there at all!) and hate chickens. Why, some uppity second-year might even read them and then where would I be?"


I mean, what did he think would happen when he let loose a monster designed to kill a bunch of students - more P.E.?

It gives "Special Services to the School" a whole new meaning in my eyes.

Forum Explorer
2011-11-28, 03:29 PM
This, honestly.

I mean, take Tom Riddle. "Golly gee, it turns out I'm the heir of Slytherin! Time to purge the school of Mudbloods! I'll just unleash my spiffy pet basilisk and... what do you mean you're closing Hogwarts? What, because some student got killed and you can't figure out who did it? That's ridiculous, why let a little mass murder get in the way of our academic future? You mean I have to go home? Screw that, I'll go find the scapego- er, I mean, culprit!"

"Whew, all set; I blamed it on the hairy special-ed with the big pet spider. I can't believe they bought it. I didn't even have to fake the spider bites on Myrtle or plant spider venom in her system (don't they do basic forensics in this school?) and I'm so lucky there aren't a bunch of books in the library about basilisks and how they love plumbing (she died in the bathroom, no hints there at all!) and hate chickens. Why, some uppity second-year might even read them and then where would I be?"


It gives "Special Services to the School" a whole new meaning in my eyes.

No there is a prefectly logical reason for this. Just not the one in the book.

I imagine it went something like this: Crap I haven't studied at all! My exams are coming up and I'm going to flunk so hard it will ruin the Slytherin's houses chance at the Cup and everyone will hate me! Crap, crap, crap, crap! Wait I have it! If the school closes down I won't have to take my exams and thus I'll have time to study. I'll just 'accidently' release a basilisk into the plumbing. Its the perfect plan!

Lord Seth
2011-11-28, 03:34 PM
The economic damage I see mostly comes from these same lost skills. Education is expensive. We put ten years into educating someone who can then work for, perhaps, forty before we have to educate someone else. That's expensive.That's a far cry from "causes the most economical damage."
I always rather liked the romantic subplots in HP. The endings pulled from thin air were a bit annoying at times, but a certain amount of nonsense is inherent in any fantastical work. The only interesting question is whether the nonsense gets in the way of the characters, which I never really felt it did in HP.Personally, I found practically all the romance scenes to range from pointless to cringeworthy. Hermione/Viktor ultimately was completely pointless and was resolved off screen...actually, I'm not sure if there was even any explanation for it, the couple just kind of disappeared without any real explanation that I remember. And I personally found Harry/Ginny to be honestly painful to read.

As to the the more general topic of the Time Turner...I think the Time Turner was just kinda stupid, even ignoring the somewhat deus ex machina nature of it (admittedly, it was at least kind of built up). You really shouldn't introduce an astoundingly convenient form of time travel then never make use of it again.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-28, 03:39 PM
That's a far cry from "causes the most economical damage.

The EPAs dollar value per human life is what, 8.7 million? Since that's a real world use to estimate damages, it strikes me as improbable that anything could be more costly than death itself.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-28, 03:44 PM
As to the the more general topic of the Time Turner...I think the Time Turner was just kinda stupid, even ignoring the somewhat deus ex machina nature of it (admittedly, it was at least kind of built up). You really shouldn't introduce an astoundingly convenient form of time travel then never make use of it again.

Aside from one offhand mention that all the Time-Turners were destroyed during the Book 5 battle in the ministry, if I remember right. Or maybe that was Word of God and not actually in the books itself.

Eldan
2011-11-28, 03:46 PM
The EPAs dollar value per human life is what, 8.7 million? Since that's a real world use to estimate damages, it strikes me as improbable that anything could be more costly than death itself.

Ahahaha no. Human lives are actually pretty cheap, if you look at them.

Well, there's two ways to look at them. Potential productivity a human could still have in his life (pretty high) or how much we are willing to pay to make the chance of someone dying smaller. You get the second kind of number from, say, emergency procedures, or medical insurance data. Which puts it preeeetty low. A few thousand dollars I think, was the number I saw floating around, in the worst cases. (That was, I think, building security. Fire exits and so on).

TheArsenal
2011-11-28, 03:47 PM
Aside from one offhand mention that all the Time-Turners were destroyed during the Book 5 battle in the ministry, if I remember right. Or maybe that was Word of God and not actually in the books itself.

HOWHE still shows how stupid the whole thing was.

Go back in time and just write a letter to yourself about Voldemorts resurrection. Then don't touche the cup ect.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-28, 03:49 PM
Ahahaha no. Human lives are actually pretty cheap, if you look at them.

Well, there's two ways to look at them. Potential productivity a human could still have in his life (pretty high) or how much we are willing to pay to make the chance of someone dying smaller. You get the second kind of number from, say, emergency procedures, or medical insurance data. Which puts it preeeetty low. A few thousand dollars I think, was the number I saw floating around, in the worst cases. (That was, I think, building security. Fire exits and so on).

Well, the problem is...those values are all based on current human lifespans. And multiplying ANY finite value by infinity results in an infinitely large value. And the difference between a finite value and an infinite one is...infinitely large.

Comparing to immortality, the cost of death is always going to be immense unless you say that life has no value whatsoever, or at least ceases having value at some point. Either one of those requires some rather notable justification.

Forum Explorer
2011-11-28, 03:49 PM
I imagine that asking people if they would like to be immortal is a good litmus test to see if they believe in an afterlife. Make for a fun study really.

Anyways personally I believe that humanity needs death and that immortality on a macro level would be disastrous with the finite resources that we have. In fact I imagine it would lead to an arbitrary 'death age' being chosen where an entire generation is destroyed after a certain amount of time.

On a micro level I believe that an individual would enjoy immortality for a while. However eventually they would seek to destroy themselves anyways.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-28, 03:52 PM
I imagine that asking people if they would like to be immortal is a good litmus test to see if they believe in an afterlife. Make for a fun study really.

How so? I mean, I agree it'd be a fun study, but I see no particular reason why those would have to line up.

I mean, the presumption of an afterlife does not presume that it is necessarily desirable, for instance.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-28, 03:52 PM
HOWHE still shows how stupid the whole thing was.

Go back in time and just write a letter to yourself about Voldemorts resurrection. Then don't touche the cup ect.

Yeah, deliberately incite a magical paradox. That'll end well.:smallyuk:

The Time Turners work in-story only because everyone involved is interested in following the rules placed on them, not breaking the rules to see what will happen; Hermione, at least, goes out of her way to avoid provoking even a hint of a paradox.

TheArsenal
2011-11-28, 04:01 PM
The story makes no sense anyway (If you start analyzing it) so why call me out on making no sense?

Lord Seth
2011-11-28, 04:10 PM
The EPAs dollar value per human life is what, 8.7 million?That number is used to try to get a cost-benefit analysis of whether steps to potentially save lives would be worth the cost. For example, if Regulation X would cost $400 million to enforce but would save three lives, it would be judged, at least by that standard, to not be worth it as $400 is a lot more than $26.1. As a result, the $8.7 million number is irrelevant to the discussion as far as I can tell.
Yeah, deliberately incite a magical paradox. That'll end well.:smallyuk:

The Time Turners work in-story only because everyone involved is interested in following the rules placed on them, not breaking the rules to see what will happen; Hermione, at least, goes out of her way to avoid provoking even a hint of a paradox.Which only brings up the question of what the heck happened the times people weren't using Time Turners in such a way (all we get is Hermione's really vague claim that sometimes wizards end up killing their past selves...which actually may raise more questions than it answers). Really, it's just a troublesome plot device that shouldn't have been introduced if the implications weren't going to be explored.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-28, 04:16 PM
Time travel in general is a troublesome plot device that's really, really hard to do right.

Traab
2011-11-28, 04:26 PM
Aside from one offhand mention that all the Time-Turners were destroyed during the Book 5 battle in the ministry, if I remember right. Or maybe that was Word of God and not actually in the books itself.

Yeah, it was covered. One of the death eaters, jugson I think, got smashed into the time turners and some magical device that made his head go from baby to full grown and back again. Pretty creepy since he apparently ran after them with a baby head.

Coidzor
2011-11-28, 04:27 PM
The economic damage I see mostly comes from these same lost skills. Education is expensive. We put ten years into educating someone who can then work for, perhaps, forty before we have to educate someone else. That's expensive.


:smallconfused: Because the system is not efficient, but, y'know, you can lay that charge at just about every current human endeavour because selfish actors greatly profit from this inefficiency and expense.

Weezer
2011-11-28, 04:29 PM
Really, it's just a troublesome plot device that shouldn't have been introduced if the implications weren't going to be explored.

That's a pretty accurate description of the vast majority of the plot devices in the books. Rowling created a wold that was undeniably fun but which upon further examination was very poorly thought out and inconsistently implemented.

Traab
2011-11-28, 04:30 PM
That's a pretty accurate description of the vast majority of the plot devices in the books. Rowling created a wold that was undeniably fun but which upon further examination was very poorly thought out and inconsistently implemented.

At least the time turner was more of a hidden chekovs gun than a deus ex machina. We didnt specifically know about it till it was time to use it to save the day, but the signs were all there for us to recognize in hindsight iirc.

TheArsenal
2011-11-28, 04:30 PM
That's a pretty accurate description of the vast majority of the plot devices in the books. Rowling created a wold that was undeniably fun but which upon further examination was very poorly thought out and inconsistently implemented.

Which wouldn't be a problem if the latter boos did not take themselfs so frikken seriously.

Weezer
2011-11-28, 04:33 PM
At least the time turner was more of a hidden chekovs gun than a deus ex machina. We didnt specifically know about it till it was time to use it to save the day, but the signs were all there for us to recognize in hindsight iirc.

True, the time turner wasn't near as much of an ass-pull as other things she did (e.g. 4th book duel with Voldy)


Which wouldn't be a problem if the latter boos did not take themselfs so frikken seriously.

Exactly my biggest complaint with the books, she tried write a series that "grew" with the readers and it is her implementation of that choice that ended up causing many of the major problems present in the last 2-3 books.

Starbuck_II
2011-11-28, 04:43 PM
That's a far cry from "causes the most economical damage."Personally, I found practically all the romance scenes to range from pointless to cringeworthy. Hermione/Viktor ultimately was completely pointless and was resolved off screen...actually, I'm not sure if there was even any explanation for it, the couple just kind of disappeared without any real explanation that I remember. And I personally found Harry/Ginny to be honestly painful to read.


Agreed on Harry/Ginny, I shipped Luna/Harry personally. I mean, she was easy to talk to, he liked being around her, and she never doubted him even when he sounded crazy (maybe because she was but I digress).

TheArsenal
2011-11-28, 04:48 PM
Back to the question: How harry potter could be cooler:

If they all wore sunglasses.

Weezer
2011-11-28, 04:50 PM
Back to the question: How harry potter could be cooler:

If they all wore sunglasses.

Especially at night. :smallcool:

TheArsenal
2011-11-28, 04:51 PM
And replaced brooms with flying Skateboards.

Traab
2011-11-28, 04:52 PM
Agreed on Harry/Ginny, I shipped Luna/Harry personally. I mean, she was easy to talk to, he liked being around her, and she never doubted him even when he sounded crazy (maybe because she was but I digress).

I felt the same way, luna needed a larger role in the story imo. Plus the ron/hermione last minute love fest was stupid as hell. They spend 6 and a half years making each other miserable, (more ron making hermione miserable but still) then suddenly because ron wants to warn a bunch of house elves she loves him? Stupid.

One thing I found hilarious in the movies was the obvious attempt to make sure we remembered the patil twins so we wouldnt be too horribly confused about who the heck harry and ron were taking to the ball 4th year. It was nothing more than tandem "Hi Harry!" lines as they roamed the halls, but it was still silly and forced.

warty goblin
2011-11-28, 04:52 PM
The constant loss of the most skilled workers to aging and eventualy death is pretty notable.

Actually according to a spot of light research, healthcare (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Health_costs_USA_GDP.gif)costs a hell of a lot more than education (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_edu_spe-education-spending-of-gdp).

This really isn't surprising, education is after all pretty close to a one-time cost; healthcare is ongoing, and tends to increase as a function of the age of the recipient.




Retirement is tied to aging which is tied to death. If you lived forever, you'd need money indefinitely. You might take extended sabbaticals, but unless you were particularly wealthy(just like now), you have to work to get things.
Hence the problem. At least in the US, the unemployment rate is already tending upwards (http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=z1ebjpgk2654c1_&met_y=unemployment_rate&tdim=true&fdim_y=seasonality:S&dl=en&hl=en&q=united+states+unemployment+rate) over the last 60 years or so.


Yes, you would have more people in the job market. However, you would also have proportionately more people buying things. So, that's no sweat.Overpopulation is a rational worry from the eventual outcome of this, but supply and demand continue to balance, so that's no sweat.
Rates matter, it's only no sweat if there's enough more people buying things to offset the increased size of the labor market. Given that the trend since the industrial revolution has been for fewer people to get more done, this seems unlikely to me.

It also assumes the ability for unlimited exponential economic growth, which is frankly dumb. Over the last thirty years in the US the growth rate is slowing (http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=ny_gdp_mktp_kd_zg&idim=country:USA&dl=en&hl=en&q=united+states+gdp+growth), and in real-dollar terms has been basically constant over the last sixty years or so (http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_real_gdp_history#usgs101).

Now, note that the job market changes. Skills DO eventually decay and more training is needed...but most people at retirement have at least some useful skills, so it still is a loss.
The problem with your economic argument is that you assume it's cheaper to keep an old person working than train a new one. Which in terms of training costs it is, but in terms of the actual cost of keeping that person in the workforce, probably isn't because you have to factor in healthcare for the older person. Healthcare costs, as previously noted, rise with age.


That's a far cry from "causes the most economical damage."Personally, I found practically all the romance scenes to range from pointless to cringeworthy. Hermione/Viktor ultimately was completely pointless and was resolved off screen...actually, I'm not sure if there was even any explanation for it, the couple just kind of disappeared without any real explanation that I remember. And I personally found Harry/Ginny to be honestly painful to read.

Rather a lot of young romances do just plain evaporate pointlessly, particularly of the long-distance sort. Absolutely pointless would be a good summary of my last relationship, although the dissolution phase was significantly less tidy...

Traab
2011-11-28, 04:53 PM
Can you guys please take this argument to another thread? Its REALLY off topic.

Weezer
2011-11-28, 05:05 PM
Can you guys please take this argument to another thread? Its REALLY off topic.

Agreed. It's a fascinating argument (and one that if it springs up in it's own thread I will almost certainly participate in) but it doesn't belong here.

Dienekes
2011-11-28, 05:25 PM
Can you guys please take this argument to another thread? Its REALLY off topic.

Unfortunately all Harry Potter discussions seem to lead to it. Someone starts talking about problems they have with the books, someone responds talking about the Methods of Rationality, someone retorts how they don't like it and calls out that they thought the Dementor moment was pretty atrocious, and then a full fledged argument on immortality takes place.

Zale
2011-11-28, 05:27 PM
I think Luna was my favorite character..

As for making them cooler..

Add random explosions. Everybody loves random explosions.

Lord Seth
2011-11-28, 05:34 PM
Yeah, deliberately incite a magical paradox. That'll end well.:smallyuk:Should've responded to this in a previous message. It actually could end well. Hermione briefly says that sometimes wizards who use it end up killing their past selves by accident, which is an obvious paradox. Therefore, time travel paradoxes have happened before, and not had any apparently negative effect (not counting the wizards who killed themselves).
Time travel in general is a troublesome plot device that's really, really hard to do right.Maybe. But if you have an easy way to time travel, it brings up all kinds of questions if people aren't using it. For example, Doctor Who has the TARDIS, but they use it all the time so it's not a problem. That's why, generally speaking, it's better to have the time travel be done by an accident or some other kind of one-time occurrence so that it doesn't bring up the "why wasn't it used any other time?" questions.
At least the time turner was more of a hidden chekovs gun than a deus ex machina.There's not really any such thing as a hidden Chekov's gun, though then again the term gets misused a lot. The idea of a Chekov's gun comes from stageplays, and the idea is that you shouldn't put something on the stage if it's not going to be used somehow, such as the eponymous gun. That's all. You can apply it to other mediums if you rephrase it as "don't set things up without payoff." For example, if you establish that someone is a really really awesome fighter, you should actually have them make use of that fact by fighting someone rather than just forgetting about it. You really can't "hide" a Chekov's gun when the whole point of it is that it's in plain view for the audience to see. People seem to use the term backwards; it's not about something happening and the reader/viewer looking back and seeing that it was set up, it's about making sure that if something is set up, there's a follow-through.
Agreed on Harry/Ginny, I shipped Luna/Harry personally. I mean, she was easy to talk to, he liked being around her, and she never doubted him even when he sounded crazy (maybe because she was but I digress).I liked Harry/Luna more as well, though I'm not sure I'd call myself a supporter of them...Luna seemed a little out there for Harry. But I will say I liked it more than Harry/Ginny, though I'm not sure that's saying much.

I'm more of an anti-shipper in general (that is, in fiction as a whole rather than just Harry Potter) than anything else, though. That is, I don't back any pairings, I just happen to dislike certain pairings.

Traab
2011-11-28, 05:43 PM
Should've responded to this in a previous message. It actually could end well. Hermione briefly says that sometimes wizards who use it end up killing their past selves by accident, which is an obvious paradox. Therefore, time travel paradoxes have happened before, and not had any apparently negative effect (not counting the wizards who killed themselves).

Its more likely that someone observed the wizard erasing himself from existence via paradox and reported what happened imo.


There's not really any such thing as a hidden Chekov's gun, though then again the term gets misused a lot. The idea of a Chekov's gun comes from stageplays, and the idea is that you shouldn't put something on the stage if it's not going to be used somehow, such as the eponymous gun. That's all. You can apply it to other mediums if you rephrase it as "don't set things up without payoff." For example, if you establish that someone is a really really awesome fighter, you should actually have them make use of that fact by fighting someone rather than just forgetting about it. You really can't "hide" a Chekov's gun when the whole point of it is that it's in plain view for the audience to see. People seem to use the term backwards; it's not about something happening and the reader/viewer looking back and seeing that it was set up, it's about making sure that if something is set up, there's a follow-through.

Then what do you call it? It isnt a deus ex machina, the device didnt just drop from the sky when they needed it, hermione had it in her possession all year and the clues were there the whole time. And the only thing that keeps it from being a chekovs gun is the fact that it isnt explicitly shown to us early on, even though its presence is hinted at during the course of the story. So what is the proper literary term for the time turner and how it was used to save the day?

Dienekes
2011-11-28, 05:48 PM
Which wouldn't be a problem if the latter boos did not take themselfs so frikken seriously.

Actually I'm ok with taking the ridiculous world seriously. I thought the later books actually did make some interesting drama and presented the wizard war in a style that worked with the series. Now I'm not a fan of some of the decisions Rowling made, but the seriousness was not one of them. Each of the books, even the early ones had serious moments that grew more prominent as the series took on story elements such as fascism, racism, murder, and wrongful imprisonment, and those are just the first three.

But then I've never felt there needed to be a strictly logical world. For example I know people who get completely hung up on the first Matrix movie because the Matrix breaks the law of thermodynamics. I know this, but honestly I couldn't care less, the story and characters they created where interesting enough (in the first movie anyway). Harry Potter is the same way, the story of a wizard war and many of the characters carried it through to be a fine read. Was it perfect? Of course not, Harry Potter can be an annoying git, the whole Deathly Hollows thing wasn't that well implemented, and riding out on an albino blind dragon always seems like going over the top.

Ultimately those problems I find far more trying than theorizing the potential uses of a time turner in organizing wizard society.

TheArsenal
2011-11-28, 05:55 PM
Its because it asks you to take it seriously and you do. Since its no longer offering much whimsy its asking me to rely on its merits as a story. And it sucks that way.

Nameless Ghost
2011-11-28, 06:10 PM
Then what do you call it? It isnt a deus ex machina, the device didnt just drop from the sky when they needed it, hermione had it in her possession all year and the clues were there the whole time. And the only thing that keeps it from being a chekovs gun is the fact that it isnt explicitly shown to us early on, even though its presence is hinted at during the course of the story. So what is the proper literary term for the time turner and how it was used to save the day?
Then it's just regular foreshadowing. No fancy name.

Aotrs Commander
2011-11-28, 06:12 PM
We will, in a very concrete way, no longer be human and that is not a step I'm willing to take without knowing the full consequences of immortality.

You say that like no longer being human is some sort of bad thing...

As someone who has already cheerfully traded away "humanity" for Spirit-Bound Lichdom, I can whole-non-heartedly recommend it. Not only are you immortal, and unbothered by all that fleshy nonsense, you get doody super-powers that steadily improve as you get older! It's fragging awesome!

Again, to bring us to full circle, Liching up the HP protagonionists would so totally make the books cooler!


Back to the question: How harry potter could be cooler:

If they all wore sunglasses.

Or...

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u172/AotrsCommander/AotrsAvatar2shades.gif

Both!

See, now this thread is already cooler, just through the osmosis of my Awesome!

Lord Seth
2011-11-28, 06:54 PM
Its more likely that someone observed the wizard erasing himself from existence via paradox and reported what happened imo.Either way, my point is that paradoxes have happened and obviously haven't apparently had any adverse effects on other people. Reality isn't going to break because of one if it hasn't already.


Then what do you call it? It isnt a deus ex machina, the device didnt just drop from the sky when they needed it, hermione had it in her possession all year and the clues were there the whole time.It's a light deus ex machina. It still feels like it kinda comes in just to be convenient, but it is at least kinda set up.


And the only thing that keeps it from being a chekovs gun is the fact that it isnt explicitly shown to us early on, even though its presence is hinted at during the course of the story.No, it was a Chekov's gun, as it was put in the story and then used later. Now, it wouldn't have been a Chekov's gun if Hermione had been shown to be going to simultaneous classes and then it was never explained how it was done. But it was something

Chekov's gun is a pretty all-encompassing term, really...it's more defined when something fails to be used in such a matter. For example, if someone learns some special technique and then it's never mentioned again, then it's not a Chekov's gun and it's probably a poor bit of writing, because there was no point to the setup if there was no payoff.

While Chekov's gun is a bit associated with foreshadowing, they're really only kind of related. If a protagonist finds a rock that looks interesting and pockets it and later on, when fighting the main villain, it turns out the rock was their one weak point and they lose because of it, the rock is a Chekov's gun. It's also a deus ex machina.


So what is the proper literary term for the time turner and how it was used to save the day?Foreshadowing. Just not as good a foreshadowing as it could have been.