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May. 25th, 2016 @ 03:51 pm Things Missing from the Harry Potterverse
1)SYSTEMS AND UNITS OF MEASUREMENT. They have magic. Yet they have no quantitative way of MEASURING magic.... to determine how much of a magical charge an artifact has, or how fast it is draining or recharging, no equivalents to volts, watts, ohms, amps.... seeing as this sort of thing is a matter both of human nature and utility, they should have SOME sort of system for measuring magic, if for no other reason than objectively establishing which wizard was "stronger" without a dueling tournament.

2)This is coattailed by ENERGY CONSERVING DESIGNS. Regardless of how endless or "free" magical energy is, wizards get tired and enchantments run down--- which means there's high motivation to produce designs that are more "fuel efficient." Take brooms: At least one person had to have hit on the notion of attaching a bicycle seat to a broom rather than waste magical juice on a cushioning charm, for example.

3)Expand into general DESIGN PHILOSOPHY, Other than tradition. Regardless of where you start, under the influence of individual need, FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION. A chair, regardless of culture, needs to be shaped to hold up a butt.....

Continuing with brooms, you don't see equivalents of headlights, navigation lights (port and starboard), luggage and cargo capacity (such as saddlebags), multiple passenger size. Magic carpets have that at least; it would take someone cutting off their nose to spite their own face to outlaw those things. Why not a flying la-z-boy recliner, for comfort?

Magical suits of armor make terrible guards-- what could be less well-thought-out than sending out a warrior to fight who was nothing more than a hollow metal shell? They should at least have an internal load-bearing "skeleton" to put weight behind their blows and enable them to hold up against blows in return without crumpling. There should be separate floos for communicating and traveling--- using the dual system in the book is just begging to be kicked in the face by someone going the other way. in fact using them to communicate should be outdated: Sirius' two-way mirrors should be common as cell phones in the muggle world. Large magic mirrors, rather than a Wizarding Wireless, for entertainment-- and why not 3d tv using illusions cast by the wireless, at that? and so forth.

4)there should be MORE INFLUENCE FROM AND AWARENESS OF THE MUGGLE WORLD. A smaller society that hides within a larger one is going to, by necessity, be more aware of the larger. The Potterverse is the exact opposite: Muggles, from folklore and popular fantasy, have a better overall picture of the wizarding world than wizards do of the muggle world, despite being literally engulfed and surrounded by it. The wizarding world should be awash in Muggle art, music, clothing styles, pop culture, etc. just from the debris and litter the muggle world leaves behind (newspapers, magazines, books, disposable goods...) If anything, the wizarding world should be a mish mash classical folklore and the wildest imaginings of pop culture--- futurism, zeerust, etc.--- because unlike muggles they are not constrained by the limits of engineering or physics or even three-dimensional space. Think either victorian sci fi, Spelljammers... or perhaps even Dr. Who.
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From:Kevin O'Hare
Date:May 26th, 2016 07:41 am (UTC)
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Mm hmm. And it makes me wonder how much of this is addressed in the fic "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality." I mean, I haven't read much of it, but I did see Harry analyze the wizarding currency and point out the system's flaws, as well as surprising Malfoy with talk of Muggle accomplishments (like the traveling to the moon). Among other things.

Though, it seems more like MoR does deconstruction of the canon 'verse rather than a "fixing" or reimagining of it (at least, from what I've read). I imagine there are such fics in the HP fandom that do that. Maybe you even thought of doing your own at some point, being a fan of that series as well. It seems rather strange that you didn't (from what I could find, anyway), given your willingness to craft your MLP fics even while you have your original works and commissions.

Edited at 2016-05-26 07:42 am (UTC)
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From:rhjunior
Date:May 27th, 2016 02:14 am (UTC)
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HP: MOR has its own rather glaring flaws.

For instance, an 11 year old thinking and reasoning like he's a 45 year old college professor. I don't care how abnormally SMART a kid is, a kid is still a kid, and is about as capable of using high-end objectivist rationalism in his day to day thinking as he is capable of juggling running chainsaws.
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From:deckardcanine
Date:May 27th, 2016 01:50 pm (UTC)
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I see that less as a flaw and more as acknowledgement that it is, after all, a fantasy.
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From:rhjunior
Date:May 27th, 2016 06:18 pm (UTC)
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The fact that a story is fantasy does not justify terrible characterization.
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From:deckardcanine
Date:May 26th, 2016 03:55 pm (UTC)
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Much as I like HP, you make good points.

For #1, I guess JKR didn't want to bog things down with more jargon than necessary. Besides, getting into fictitious units risks "OVER 9000"-type camp. As for dueling tournaments, I'd hate to use them as a measure of power when I'm sure it's quite possible to win by ingenuity, a la Disney's Merlin. But judging from Muggles' emphasis on standardized tests and award shows, that wouldn't stop many wizards.

I wonder what dingbat witch or wizard came up with the flying broomstick in the first place. The RL theories I've read for the origin of the myth are, shall we say, Freudian and would be awkward to explain to young children.

I never gave much thought to the empty armor. I guess that's why the enchanted suit in TotQ prefers not to enter an action scenario without a wearer. Not a problem for Iron Man, but all that tech must lend more stability than mere iron.

For #4, I can see the more Muggle-loathing wizards keeping as insular as possible. They might know as much about us as typical North Koreans know about the rest of the world. I'm not sure how much that is.
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From:rhjunior
Date:May 27th, 2016 01:39 am (UTC)
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welllllll.... that's the thing. NK is a nation, around which walls and fences can be built. The wizarding "world" is scattered, higgledy-piggledy, all over the place, in the cracks and crevasses of the "muggle" world. That level of insulation and isolation is just.... impossible.

And the TOTQ armor? It's actually more of a mecha suit-- you just can't see the pistons or gears or the internal framework. (note how short and small Squire Pelinor is compared to the armor, yet he can still wear it and move about comfortably.) it's more that the suit uses the wearer as a power source... it seems even non-wizards have a certain amount of magical capacitance, they just normally can't use it.
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From:tomyironmane
Date:May 28th, 2016 04:19 am (UTC)
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So... you make some good points. Why not write this book?