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Oliver


Let R = { x | x ∉ x }, then R ∈ R ⟺ R ∉ R... or is it?

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Jul
25th
2016

Points of Canon: S5x18 - Crusaders of the Lost Mark · 12:24pm Jul 25th, 2016

Somehow, the longer and more intense Aporia gets, the more downvotes it manages to accumulate in the brief time it stays featured. I need to get my mind off that.

The CMC are historically very important for solving the episode ordering problem, because they are characters who appear frequently and show some clear progression, both in objective events – like the CMC clubhouse – and in less definite changes in their behavior. This episode continues the trend. In terms of general worldbuilding, it offers some interesting insights into the school life as well as into the Rich family lifestyle.

  • 1. Library work is the only activity I can think of which involves a hardcover book and a rubber stamp. Notice the rubber stamp, which otherwise, never shows up on screen!

    The list of crossed out activity icons on CMC clubhouse walls includes: A book with a rubber stamp,1 a mountain, mask with a snorkel, bowling pins and a ball, a singing face, notebook with a pen, thread and needle, dancing ponies in a group, a solo dancing pony, photo camera, a pig, a wrapped candy, a chicken, a map. This is a considerably shorter list than you would expect, and half of it we never actually saw them do.

  • I question the use of “pony” to substitute for “body” in “Student Body President,” but apparently, nopony does, so oh well.
  • Sweetie Belle is capable of lifting the entire Pip Squeak to hoofbump with the trio. The guy has to weigh something like thirty or forty kilograms at minimum, knowing what we do about pony scales.
  • Pip Squeak explicitly references Twilight’s battle with Tirek in his campaign speech, settling not just the upper bound in the timeline for this episode, but also the fact that Tirek’s name is public knowledge now, and even the foals know that kind of detail about the incident. It remains a bit unclear to me just how the playground equipment got damaged in that battle, though, but since the swing breaks just as he mentioned playground equipment, there has to be some truth to it.
  • Ponies have school boards. This is one of those things that are not a given, even among human cultures there’s a multitude of traditional methods of managing education. And Spoiled Rich is the president of the school board, which kind of explains a lot about how Diamond Tiara could get away with so much throughout the series.
  • Diamond Tiara references the fact that Twist proposed to repair the window that Discord destroyed. We never saw this action on screen if my memory serves me right, but there’s a question why was it even necessary for Twist to worry about it. Diamond Tiara’s speech implies that she is the current Student Pony President, since replacing the said window with a stained glass image of herself would require this.
  • 2. Notably, Gabby Gums accused Fluttershy of using tail extensions…

    Diamond Tiara’s song mentions super strength as “creepy” – I wonder why – as well as mane extensions,2 and “freakish large teeth.” Foals can be ashamed of the weirdest things.

  • The actual voting process is surprisingly human, with ballots, ballot box, and a voting booth. All of these are not actually a given when voting.
  • There’s a foal with a tractor on his cutie mark. Does that mean tractors exist, or is it actually an overly stylized locomotive?
  • There is a beauty salon in town – I don’t know how else to interpret this sign – that is not Aloe and Lotus’ spa.
  • The Rich family employs at least two maids in addition to the butler. And the maid dress in Equestria involves a frilly saddle rather than an apron. Makes me wonder if Royal Ribbon is actually into maid cosplay…
  • Once again – though chronologically, this has to be the earlier time – I notice someone in Equestria is using the Chanel logo.
  • Fancy Pants and Fleur are in Ponyville again on this day for whatever reason.
  • The Cake twins show up, out of nappies and with no pacifiers in sight, though as far as I can tell, they don’t walk on their own hooves just yet.
  • It’s interesting to note that the entire town ignores Diamond Tiara’s sad song, but the CMC don’t.
  • Diamond Tiara refers to “Class President business” – whether “Student Pony President” and “Class President” are synonyms or not is anyone’s guess.
  • There’s no money in the school budget to replace the playground equipment. I do wonder how exactly schools get financed in Equestria, but later on Diamond Tiara solicits her father for a donation.
  • Pip references “peggy bank” rather than a “piggy bank.” Notably, it’s not a pig, but a pony, and I’m not sure how that name ended up on a pony, because supposedly it’s a diminuitive for “Margaret.”
  • I really wonder if ponies can generally gallop backwards when not singing.
  • It is worth noting that the scene with her parents by the fountain (which is, incidentally, empty, suggesting we’re seeing autumn here) that Diamond Tiara observes while running to school includes numerous well-dressed ponies and what has to be Canterlot unicorns. It’s also worth noting that Spoiled Rich somehow got to school ahead of DT.
  • One of the expressions Diamond Tiara uses when telling her mother off is “acting like a high horse.” The possible origins of that phase have got to be interesting.
  • Best way to force an earth pony to shut up: Give them a small item to deliver to somepony else.
  • How exactly did Twilight end up participating in delivering the playground object is never explained, but there she is.
  • Apple Bloom’s speech before the cutie mark epiphany implicitly references the Trouble Shoes incident in Appleoosa’s Most Wanted, but not clearly enough to make it a hard lower bound. That would be redundant, though, since this episode is already an upper bound for every appearance of mark-less Crusaders.
  • All the small things in this episode – term limits for the presidency, the fountain – make me think that the proper dating of this episode is beginning of the school year in autumn.

If there ever was a canonical confirmation of the idea that a cutie mark is a magically supported declaration of intent, tattooed onto the butt in a moment of spiritual epiphany, and only produces a “destiny” indirectly by making it easier for the pony to go along with the supportive magic, rather than against, it’s this episode.

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Comments ( 12 )

Presumably, "peggy bank" is short for "pegasus bank." Note the wings.

Possible sources for "acting like a high horse":

* Acting like a pegasus - the expression dating back to an earlier era, when earth ponies (like the Rich's) stereotyped pegusi as stuck-up.
* Acting like the tallest horse around, Princess Celestia - which also means being stuck up.

4111980

...Or, acting like a horse on drugs... j/k. :)

4111980 the high horse phrase may have evolved from unicorn culture, since towers and castles seem to be a thing with them, and the highest horse would have the tallest keep/tower.

It remains a bit unclear to me just how the playground equipment got damaged in that battle

Well, there were bits of tree flying around during the battle...

I suspect Fancy and Fluer are Rarity's Canterlot contacts. Her in with Fancy is likely a big part of why she was able to open a shop in a place that probably has:
A) Limited space,
B) very high property values before anywhere else.
(She may have negotiated a loan.)
And perhaps Fancy simply likes to come to Ponyville to talk shop (Or simply make a social call with a business friend) because it's a fairly pleasant place. :raritywink:

Somehow, the longer and more intense Aporia gets, the more downvotes it manages to accumulate in the brief time it stays featured.

C'mon Oliver, you're a statistician (at least an amateur one). More content>Another chance to appear on the feature box > More views > A percentage of those will always be downloads. It's not a reflection on your fantastic story, just a numbers game.

a cutie mark is a magically supported declaration of intent, tattooed onto the butt in a moment of spiritual epiphany, and only produces a “destiny” indirectly by making it easier for the pony to go along with the supportive magic, rather than against, it’s this episode.

Maybe Twilight and/or the Mane 6 could be different, what with their marks appearing on the Crystal Tree, but certainly for everyone else I agree that most ponies aren't effected by "destiny magic" forcing them to a certain fate. On the other hand, Troubleshoes certainly didn't pick the magic of his cutie mark, it was basically assigned to him against his will. I feel like whatever force is handing out the magic of cutie marks doesn't always get it right, and ponies sometimes completely ignore their cutie mark magic (looking at Rarity, who clearly has a miner's cutie mark and special talent) without consequence though.

4113233

C'mon Oliver, you're a statistician (at least an amateur one).

I'm a sociologist. That, by definition, means I'm an amateur statistician who doesn't know what he's doing and doesn't trust numbers too much. :)

The problem with this numbers game is rather the fact that in the global story ranking -- which affects search -- one downvote is worth somewhere between seven and ten upvotes, and it's not getting new upvotes at the same rate.

On the other hand, Troubleshoes certainly didn't pick the magic of his cutie mark, it was basically assigned to him against his will.

Speaking of Trouble Shoes, I don't think that's what happened to him. I believe that for that brief moment, he was happy, he knew he likes making people laugh. But then he was embarrassed of it and spent most of his life deluding himself about what the mark really meant, until the CMC came along.

Rarity doesn't exactly ignore her cutie mark talent, by the way. Rather, she reinterprets it in a more general sense, as a talent for finding things for other people, and the magic still works to support it. ("That hat clashes with your mane, not to mention it's far too large and will undoubtedly obstruct your vision. Oh, dear, none of these will do." -- etc.) See Fallout: Equestria for an interesting take on that.

4113498

I'm a sociologist.

That explains so much! Now I wish that I had saved that comment I made on a different story about the technology and wealth level of isolated villages (the town in the Fire Swamps, the compounds of the Hooffields and McColts) compared to Canterlot and Manehatten indicates Equestria has a higher GINI coefficient than South Africa for here. :twilightsmile:

it's not getting new upvotes at the same rate.

Because when you initially posted the story, your followers all saw it first, and we're disproportionately likely to upvote it and not downvote it.

But then he was embarrassed of it and spent most of his life deluding himself about what the mark really meant, until the CMC came along.

Maybe. It's telling that Troubleshoes had bowling balls on a high shelf in his wagon, and they had been placed there long enough to grow spiderwebs on them, but he immediately knocked them down as soon as he received visitors.

Rather, she reinterprets it in a more general sense, as a talent for finding things for other people,

Oh I totally agree on this part. I think a lot of ponies are like Rarity. They get a cutie mark with a special talent, and if their career doesn't really fit said talent, they "reinterpret" it to fit whatever they want. If Rarity had wanted to be a nuclear engineer, she'd have some great line about how the three diamonds represent matter compressed down under tremendous pressure, and her gem finding spell lets her find key gemstones that can be used to help build nuclear fusion reactors. Perhaps Cheerilee wanted to be a daisy gardener as a kid, but after she got her cutie mark she realized she loved teaching more, so it got "reinterpreted" as a metaphor for making her kids bloom.

the magic still works to support it.

This is where we disagree. I don't see the magic of Rarity's cutie mark helping her make better dresses or pick better pairings between dresses and ponies or the like, that's just Rarity's own hard work and talents. Similarly with the S5 finale, where the Mane 6 earn their cutie marks under different circumstances and lead vastly different lives, but they still have identical butt tattoos. I think there is a destiny that says "your but tattoo will be X, and grant you Y spell-like ability or skill bonus," but there is no hand of fate that penalizes you for not using your talent.

...indicates Equestria has a higher GINI coefficient than South Africa for here.

Gini is not an acronym. It's named after Corrado Gini, a sociologist who proposed it in 1912. :) Gini coefficient being through the roof is not, per se, bad, by the way. For example, equality is not necessarily a determining factor in happiness. I'm sure any reasonable happiness index measured on a reasonably canon Equestria has to be better than most developed countries on our Earth.

I say it works for them, even if it probably would never work for us, their culture simply doesn't value wealth quite that highly. :)

I think there is a destiny that says "your but tattoo will be X, and grant you Y spell-like ability or skill bonus," but there is no hand of fate that penalizes you for not using your talent.

Well, maybe. I don't think we're likely to receive any decisive evidence to settle this one way or the other before the season is out, though. On Your Marks is basically an admission that the show staff doesn't really know what to do with the CMC anymore. And while it is a possibility they become Generation 4.5 one day, that day is still far off.

Best way to force an earth pony to shut up: Give them a small item to deliver to somepony else.

…except they are the tribe that obviously has magical hoofgrip power, and trotting on 3 hooves is illustrated in the show.

4312870

…except they are the tribe that obviously has magical hoofgrip power, and trotting on 3 hooves is illustrated in the show.

Can’t be terribly convenient though, and this is exactly what Diamond Tiara does to her mother anyway.

4312908
Well, yeah, that's obviously so, and they do tend to default to the mouth…but I'm just pointing out it's not foolproof, and is avoidable, if one wishes. On the other hand, DT's talent is immediately called out as "getting ponies to do what I want", so whether it's a good way or not, she can obviously make it work one way or another.

My favored role is Devil's Advocate.

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