HackerNews Readings
40,000 HackerNews book recommendations identified using NLP and deep learning

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travisjungrothonJuly 3, 2021

Okay, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I’m legitimately trying to understand. Do you think after that book was published it should have no copyright protection? That it should be totally legal for me to print and sell my own copies?

bradleyjgonMay 8, 2021

First edition Harry Potter books are worth thousands of dollars?!? I’m assuming that’s only in mint condition but wow.

db48xonAug 7, 2021

You would probably enjoy Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality; see hpmor.com.

mrfusiononJune 6, 2021

I describe her books as Harry Potter meets game of thrones meets Thomas the tank engine. (In a good way)

NoOneNewonMay 10, 2021

Like I said to another commenter, avid readers know these publishers. Outsiders who would potentially read from them dont know they exist. Non readers think books like The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter are once in a lifetime books. They're actually fairly normal genre pieces. Difference was, these were marketed better.

rutierutonAug 10, 2021

I just finished this and as a big fan of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality I enjoyed this a lot as well.

Anyone with an analytical/rational mindset will probably love both, even if you're normally not into fiction.

Don't expect to be able to discuss it with anyone that hasn't read it - or something like it - though.

hardlianotiononMay 8, 2021

Harry Potter is not atrocious - lots of people read it and it has inspired a lot of people. I think it seems trite to people who have read a lot of the fantasy classics and are steeped in Wizard of Earthsea, Gormenghast, Once and Future King and the like, but to people that are looking for something different, it is imaginative and the characters grow in a realistic and interesting way.

caddemononApr 5, 2021

Yeah it's possible things have changed in the last 20 years but when I was growing up any pressure to read above grade level was purely social. I remember showing up to kindergarten very proud that I was reading Ramona, and one of my friends totally dismissed it because he was reading Harry Potter. So of course I begged my parents for Harry Potter after that, which lead to a pretty good run of advancing my reading over a couple years while "competing" with my friend.

It is true I read a bunch of books in early elementary years that I definitely did not have the ability to understand on a higher level, like Animal Farm and Frankenstein. But I still think I got a lot out of the experience. It's funny because I was totally glued to those books at the time, but then when we started reading "real" books for school around grade 7 I lost interest. Perhaps my early fascination was more with the mechanics of language than it was with any broader themes or symbolism. Or maybe I just hate being told to do things, probably a bit of both.

So yeah, I think reading early can be great and if the child is showing an interest in that it is great to encourage. I wish the teachers/admins at my school were as helpful as my parents/peers, but instead they forced everybody to do assignments using a particular pool of books each year based on age. In first grade my mom ended up doing a "book report" on Make Way for Ducklings because I straight up refused.

I do agree it shouldn't be pressured if the child isn't into it though. Different kids are different, so of course schooling is going to require different approaches.

skinnymuchonJuly 10, 2021

Harry Potter is my favorite book series in terms of personal enjoyment and memories, and one I re read every so often still. Is the author really cancelled if I’ve never heard about it?

I’m going to assume Rowling isn’t “cancelled”, but has a strong tiny population very upset at her. That’s usually how it goes for most “cancelled” people who aren’t already pretty old and retired instead of trying to continue in any limelight.

marvindanigonMay 26, 2021

> Except those web pages are broken into pages at arbitrary locations, rather than by chapter or topic like most web sites

Websites are not books. No one will read Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban like a website or a news article.

Books are also not files, going strictly by first principles.

> Another way to think of it is that a web page is one document, and so is a book.

One page is document. Multiple pages clipped together is a document. Website is a document. Video is document. Audio is document. Book is document. Manuscript is document. You are a living breathing document of your own life!

Everything is a document!

But history api on the web exposes useful methods and properties that let you navigate back and forth through the user's session history, and manipulate the contents of the history stack. It does not talk about the unit of transition within a session being a document. It stacks only webpages on the history api in the positive direction of time just like reading through a book. And that's what is implemented.

bluGillonMay 10, 2021

Closer to the later for most authors. Though every few dozen years there is another Harry Potter that everyone in the world buys and reads. For most you need to target those voracious readers and what they are willing to pay for - but be ever on the lookout as to how you can jump to the Harry Potter world where everyone buys your books.

Harry Potter was good (in the first few anyway), but if you like that type of thing there are ton of much better books that never made it.

mattkrauseonApr 6, 2021

The derivative work has to be literally derived from the original "such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted." (per 17 USC 101). https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/101

The merger and scenes a faire doctrine permit lots of overlap in terms of themes, tropes and set dressing. You could certainly write a coming-of-age story set in a magical boarding school; indeed, Harry Potter is neither the first nor the last such novel. One of the classic cases is Walker v. Time Life. The two works, which were found to be non-infringing, both start with a double murder of two cops (one Black, one white) in the South Bronx, both feature demoralized Irish-American cops, and both have similar tropes (rats, cop-talk, etc). A reviewer might reasonably describe it as derivative (and a few did, I think), but not legally so.

What you probably couldn't do is publish the (non-parodic) story of Perry Hotter and his substantially-similar adventures at Pigworts, though that's also absolutely spoiling for a trademark fight.

Music gets weird because it a) seems like there are a lot of possible note sequences but b) there aren't really.

NotSwiftonJuly 14, 2021

I happen to like the Harry Potter series. Yes, they are children books. There was a point when I wondered if it was worth reading the next one, but once I started reading it was immediately really fun to read.

The movies are also amazing. Most movies that are based on books are really inferior to the books. But the authors of the Harry Potter movies did an extremely good job.

Just remembering Alan Rickman for his role as Snape does not give him full credit. He played in a lot of other movies [0] and he did a lot of theatrical work of which there is no real record.

[0] https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000614/

rowanG077onJuly 2, 2021

And such a thing has never been achieved with code. Besides very often the texts such an ai creates are non-sensical. And they are very short. Writing a few pages of text would equivalent to small tool of a few hundred lines. Or about the same as building a wooden shed. You don't need much skill for that. Come back when an AI can write multiple internally consistent books such as LOTR and the Dilation or the Harry Potter series. That's the scale of architecting a system.
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