This podcast takes Rationalist Fiction works that have been previously published online and converts them into audio format for your enjoyment. It publishes new episodes every other Wednesday while a work is being converted, with hiatuses in between.
Rationalist Fiction is a “thinky” sort of fiction, where a fair portions of the narrative is examination of the thought process that drives the protagonist. Much of the conflict resolution is via the intelligent application of one’s knowledge and resources. Conflict occurs as a result of clashing values between reasonable actors, rather than simple moralistic reasons.
The podcast began as a serial audio conversion of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, thus the domain name.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is a Harry Potter fanfic written by Eliezer Yudkowsky. It is intended to tell an entertaining and intelligent story, parody some of the aspects of Rowling’s wonderful world, and help spread rationality, all at once. To do so it takes the basic elements and characters from the canon Potter series but re-imagines them in a world where Harry was raised in a loving household as a child prodigy. It is utterly delightful.
This project was sparked when I was at work (as I oft am) listening to audio books and podcasts to hurry along the more boring parts of my day. I wanted to be reading HPMoR but my eyes were preoccupied with spreadsheets, and I wished it was available in audio format. This wish kept resurfacing over several weeks until finally I came to a realization. I can read, and I can talk, and a microphone can’t be that expensive. If the world is sub-optimal, and I see a way to make it more optimal in a way that I can personally execute immediately, what the heck is stopping me from improving the world? Sheer laziness? Nothing of worth has ever been born of that. Within a week I had a brand new mic, a copy of Audacity, and the first chapter print out in my hands.