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.
Originally my intent was purely to put some sort of audio version of the text out on the web that wasn’t as awful as the automated text-to-speech programs. It would just be me, some papers, and a microphone, for maybe an hour a week. But as I learned more I kept making little improvements and adding new touches, and it kept taking up more and more of my time. Nowadays I spend altogether too many hours on this, but I am much more satisfied with the finished product. :)
For info about the people who’ve contributed voices, art, or effort to this project, please see the Credits page.