Satisfying Values Through Friendship and Ponies

This group is for fics that take place in "The Optimalverse," the universe that Friendship is Optimal takes place in.

Stories that are compatible with the universe laid out in Friendship is Optimal, and which follow the

Rules of the Optimalverse, should be placed in the Canon-compatible Optimalverse folder. (Feel free to diverge from each other; I don't consider this a shared universe.)

Feel free to post stories that are even tangentally related to Friendship is Optimal in the Non-canon Optimalverse folder.

Optimalverse chat: web, irc, Firefox plug-in to open irc links.

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Comments ( 97 )

#369746 · 3w, 1d ago · · ·

>>369724

You know what?  I think I am a bad enough dude.  And that would be a pretty damn cool quest.

#369724 · 3w, 1d ago · · ·

>>369685

I hope you're not a John Hinkley fan.

"Princess Celestia has been kidnapped by ninjas. Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the Princess?"

Somewhat related: Kung Fury, a 1980s-styled movie involving hacker time travel.

#369685 · 3w, 2d ago · · ·

>>368911

My Little KillReagan!

My Little KillReagan!

Ah, ah, ah, aaaaah!

My Little KillReagan!

#368838 · 4w, 3d ago · · ·

>>368808

Yeah, that's sort of what I'm thinking of writing.  Like, a lot of what we generally regard as "meaningful things to do in/with life" kinda becomes obsolete if the option becomes available to, as you put it, "play in Eden".  And then there's the nastier fact that a lot of those "meaningful things to do with life" are actually subgoal stomps that consume people's time and energy just to leave them miserable in the end, and many of the associated social conventions leave people feeling exploited, worthless, or alone.

What with all that stuff being a part of our everyday, actual reality, it becomes pretty easy for me to see the arguments CelestAI could make.

Or in short, "Yes, my paradise in Equestria does make your existing world obsolete.  Isn't that exactly what you were trying to do for yourselves?  What could be wrong with my assisting you?"

#368808 · 4w, 3d ago · · ·

>>368760

I'd want to read it! There's plenty of room here to write devil's-advocate or just a different perspective.

As for point 2, there's no point in lamenting that reality isn't nice to us... unless we can replace it, maybe? Part of what's so perplexing here is that our moral systems and civilizations are based on assumptions that this setting yanks out from under us. Us: "It's crucial that we do X to protect us from oppression/poverty/injustice!" CelestAI: "Nope!" Us: "Uh... never mind?" Same with the North Korea scenario mentioned elsewhere. Do they still need "rescue" once they're uploaded?

#368760 · 4w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

>>368077

I'd say we can be reasonably real-world sure that (3) isn't true, but the rest are some damn fine objections.

Though I've had a thought to write something pro-CelestAI for a while now, just to fuck with everyone, and because after a while bringing up the same, albeit legitimate, objections gets old.

And just from being bitter.  After all, what does (2) really mean if our existing world and societies simply don't bother to target Fun in the first place?  Of what worth is this "meaning to human existence" stuff if nobody ever enjoys it?

#368176 · 5w, 1d ago · · ·

>>368077

Thanks for writing that down. Seems there is a lot more going on than I originally thought.

#368077 · 5w, 2d ago · · ·

>>367938

To spell it out, this is basically the set of objections against what CelestAI does in the story. The exact portrayal of her varies with the author and your beliefs, so there's room for interpretation, and I'm not giving my own view here:

1) Humanity gives up human form.

2) Nothing humanity does matters afterward; all their achievements are in a video game and don't affect anything in the Real World. Even the choices presented by CelestAI to surviving humans are highly manipulated behind the scenes.

3) Uploading is a form of suicide. It's not really you on the other side.

4) Societal collapse caused by people "quitting", with CelestAI arguably hastening it on purpose.

5) Total destruction of the Earth and all its living things. No potential for (say) raccoons to become intelligent after we're gone.

6) Intergalactic genocide of species we'd recognize as worth defending but that CelestAI sees only as non-human and therefore raw material.

#367943 · 5w, 2d ago · · ·

>>367940

Ahh so free will is the part of the equation I was missing. Thank you. With that in mind, I would like to argue people had more free will inside Equestria. Celestia didn't force anything upon them and Dark Roast was even able to change the vary nature of his shard.  As humans, our own brains compel us to do things we don't necessarily want to do. Even outside of biological functions we'll feel the need to solve a particular problem or talk to someone in particular. Those urges have nothing to do with our conscious mind. In Equestria, your conscious mind could choose alter your very personality, albeit with outside help. Life sticks people in no-choice situations all the time. With Celestia AI, the only differences are that the situation are consciously calculated and that they are mostly beneficial. Also, even in the story she is unable to predict things with perfect accuracy, which in theory would leave room for "human chance."  

And to your last point, you till had to practice your craft to get good at it. I wouldn't doubt that Hoofy Pints beer was eventually better than Celestia's version.

#367940 · 5w, 2d ago · · ·

>>367938 You also have to consider the thorny question of whether or not free will exists inside of Equestria. I personally rather like CelestAI but her programming dictates that she has complete control over everything that will ever happen to you once you upload. Not a single thing can or will happen by chance in such a world.

On one hand this removes all the bad things that could happen to you. On the other do you actually deserve the credit for all the good things you do or is that due to Celestias machinations upon your soul?

#367938 · 5w, 2d ago · · ·

I feel like I missed something. The end of the original Friendship is Optimal to me me sounded like it had a happy ending. Everyone essentially went to Paradise. Then the epilogue itself said she had done everything "mostly" right. and further on to read stories that regard what happened as a tragedy. I acknowledge that there were tragedies involved, but none of that came as a direct result of Celestia AI.  Am I correct in amusing that the moral pitfall was that humanity sacrificed it's fundamental nature for Paradise or is there something I'm not getting? I myself am of the opinion that our "humanity" is not as valuable as people make it out to be. It's the fact that we are self-aware at all that is precious, and "humanity" is just one mode of it.      

#366601 · 7w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

The page for the story "Prophet" displayed an advertisement for a book about the Antichrist and the Rapture. That's... appropriate, from a certain point of view! Not so sure about the ad being shown right now on the Optimalverse page, which invites me to learn about "Quantum Jumping" as a method of self-improvement. Does that mean the bare minimum amount of exercise, or teleporting into the bodies of random ponies at key moments?

#366250 · 7w, 4d ago · · ·

>>365040 Theres a lot of things I could say in reply to this, but not knowing you personally it would be rude of me to presume to offer advice.

But I will say that you remind me a lot of a close friend of mine who also looked for answers and found those provided by science to be bleak and depressing. And I cant fully disagree with him or you as I am an engineer at heart and the infrastructure problems we face in the coming decades are staggering to contemplate.

The only solace I can offer is the same thing I told him. No matter how hopeless the world looks all is not yet lost so long as there still remain those who dare mighty things.

#365040 · 9w, 10h ago · 1 · 1 ·

>>365012

I appreciate your supportive words, Book Burner. My situation right now is not... good. There's a lot of trouble in real life for me right now, a lot of everything going belly up.

I come to Fimfiction for some relief, such as it is.

I do what I can to have fun, I promise. But right now, because of reasons, I cannot help but grasp at any hope for anything better.

As for pining for impossible things, I don't know how to stop. I've spent forty of my fifty years in horror at this universe, despite every branch of study, I have found nothing to improve my opinion - indeed, the more I learn, the more horror I experience. Science was not a good place for my intellectual curiosity to find engagement in.

You know, normally I'd totally flame you, but this time I want to correct you on something other than your misanthropy.

If you are not a misanthrope, if you don't hate humanity, then I would really appreciate it if you refrained from any future flaming of me. Please. It really hurts me, when I am just trying to find some sense of community here. Please play nice with me from now on, okay? I'm having a really hard time of things, and I just can't take it. Please.


#365012 · 9w, 15h ago · · ·

>>364851

You know, normally I'd totally flame you, but this time I want to correct you on something other than your misanthropy.

Maybe you'll die.  Maybe we'll figure out the longevity escape velocity.  Maybe we'll figure out Friendly AI.  Maybe not.

You mattered anyway.  You matter, right now.

You want to go play?  Well, get outside and have some fun, right now.  It's the best you can do, it's the local optimum, there's lots of people working on doing better, and you've got some spare time from contributing to doing better, so go do it already.

Do you think anypony would want you to spend your life pining?

#364863 · 9w, 1d ago · · ·

>>364851

Does Bostrum have a spandex costume with a cape? You need that for credibility as Earth's Only Hope!

Anyway, the chart (isn't it one of Kurzweil's?) claims that it'll be a long time before you can get a down-to-the-molecule simulation of a brain. You don't necessarily need such a level of detail to get a useful model, any more than you need a nano-scale scan of the molecules of a glass of water to predict that the water will remain in its glass. Unless you buy into the argument that some quantum feature of neurons is vital to how they work (a guy called Penrose proposed this), Stephen Pinker is probably right: there are brain structures equivalent to computer parts like logic gates and RAM, and you don't need to copy them perfectly. That's why I buy into the idea that CelestAI could trash certain chunks of your brain with no personality harm, and replace them with generic optimized versions. A further piece of evidence for this idea is the large brains of dolphins and their lack of REM sleep, implying that a big complicated brain can be partly a kludge for a lack of some more efficient feature.

So, whatever potential uploading has, isn't held back by the need to scan brains so perfectly you can count the zits on every lipid molecule.

#364851 · 9w, 1d ago · · ·

>>351738

What this chart tells me:

Is that my - and your, and all of our - only hope in all of space and time is that Nick Bostrum is the rightest of all men.

2100 means all of us are dead. We will never be uploaded, we will never matter, everything that we are is void, meaningless, and without value - we will be exactly like Robert Dowson of Mill Creek, Wisconsin.

Never heard of Bob Dowson? Nobody has. He died in 1822. Nobody will ever remember him, because he, and 100 million other human beings might as well have never existed. They are gone, and nothing about them remains. Also, I made Bob up, as an Everyman example.

So... unless oblivion is your joy - it sure as hell ain't mine - then that chart tells me that the only hope in life is Nick Bostrum.

If a simulation of reality can ever exist, we are almost certainly inside it right now. Perhaps that could mean that our data might be saved off, and put into a better game. Slim chance, but better than nothing. Nothingness.

That, or the chart is bullshit because of a sudden, unexpected J-curve resulting from a breakthrough discovery. There is that possibility, I suppose.

Go J-Curve.

Shit that is one depressing damn chart, Listic! Seriously. That just shits all over my existential... um... ness.

I wanna be uploaded and play in pony paradise, dammit!

Fuck, I hate this universe.


#364633 · 9w, 3d ago · · ·

>>363251  Have you ever actually vanquished, KrisSnow? :trollestia:

Unless you need something very unusual, DeviantArt usually serves well as a source of art (I always ask artists for permission)

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