• Member Since 22nd May, 2016
  • offline last seen 18 hours ago

Lemma Prism


My goal in life: To visit Andromeda. I'll do everything else during the journey.

More Blog Posts2

  • 274 weeks
    The Elements I Love

    It must be the ideals. Rainbow Dash is loyalty; Rarity, generosity; Fluttershy, kindness. Very explicit and obvious virtues that most people hold up as good to the point of being stereotypical. But it's more than the obvious labels, it's latent. There are ideals in Equestria that I deeply believe in, running the groundwork of the show and its world. But, at its most fundamental level, it's

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    3 comments · 328 views
  • 391 weeks
    My Element of Harmony

    Pinkie Pie's element is laughter. Laughter? That's silly, I thought, it doesn't even fit the pattern! But then I remembered that humor is indeed a social activity. It works its strongest magic with friends and it loses its power when you are around untrusted strangers. I know this effect very well on account of my shyness; it can be quite hard to make me laugh when you first meet

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    4 comments · 455 views
Dec
12th
2016

My Element of Harmony · 11:30pm Dec 12th, 2016

Pinkie Pie's element is laughter. Laughter? That's silly, I thought, it doesn't even fit the pattern! But then I remembered that humor is indeed a social activity. It works its strongest magic with friends and it loses its power when you are around untrusted strangers. I know this effect very well on account of my shyness; it can be quite hard to make me laugh when you first meet me. And even when nopony is around, to have humor, there generally needs to be some sort of friend-surrogate in the form of a jokebook's author or the imitated relationships in a story or even pretending to have a conversation with somepony in your head.

The other elements are more obvious; Applejack's element is Honesty and Rainbow Dash's is Loyalty. Those are clearly social and having them is a sign of a strong friendship. Next, we have Rarity's element, Generosity, while Fluttershy has Kindness—the most obvious of the bunch, I'd say. They embody these elements better than anypony. But that doesn't mean that the elements are not also embodied, if to a lesser degree, by anypony else. No doubt the rest of the Apple family also values honesty very highly, and Cheese Sandwich may well have been a bearer had he been in Ponyville during that fateful Summer Sun Celebration.

But all this leads me to wonder… what is my element? For this purpose, let us expand the list beyond the original six. I am very bookish and meticulous, so could it be Curiosity? Exactness? Cleverness? None of those really have anything to do with friendship or harmony. I could consider breaking that pattern so I can claim Discovery or Writing as my element, but there are plausible reasons for sticking with the pattern of friendship.

Human society, in my imagined ideal and pure form, doesn't have any need for a great many of the things which I value: cleverness, knowledge, diversity, rationality, curiosity… Those traits may be necessary for our survival but if all external factors were resolved—as they are in FiO—then they become unnecessary. Rationality isn't an end-goal, it is a means to an end. Society's true values, its terminal values, lie elsewhere in concepts like kindness and loyalty. But, unfortunately, none of those are my element! I certainly value them, but I sure don't embody any them. While I have very rarely told a lie, it is not as though I berate myself for the few that I have told. (Though, that said, I am obsessed with accuracy and exactness, and I get a feeling of disconcerting wrongness when I fail to be accurate, which is similar to honesty.) My deepest values are, in a society in want of nothing but itself, valueless.

Are none of my deepest values social? Would my optimal world leave me as a loner in the Optimalverse, if it weren’t for CelestAI’s friendship stipulation? A world where I would be left alone to study and explore and read as much as I could possibly want, with nopony around to distract me and no social mentality to make me feel lonely? Is that where my deepest values would lead me? I hope not, the thought that I might not belong with anypony makes me sad.

You may have noticed at the beginning of this post that there was one element and one bearer whom I made no mention of. The Bearer of Magic, Twilight Sparkle. She is the Bearer most like myself—studious, ever curious, talks a lot about her interests—so obviously my element must be her element, right? But I left her out for a reason. Magic is not social. You might say that in actuality Twilight's element is Friendship because Friendship is Magic and they are clearly intended to represent one another, somehow.

But I don't see that. Twilight's literal magic certainly has nothing to do with friendship. If anything, it is just the opposite. Twilight gets so absorbed in her studying that she has a tendency to reject friends in her pursuit of knowledge. I am intimately familiar with this behavior and can say that there is most certainly no friendshippy silver lining to it. Twilight Sparkle and I are in the same boat here and it is important to answer the question "what is our element?" To do otherwise suggests that we are truly nothing but asocial anomalies in a world intended for social beings. Maybe, if Twilight had an equally studious companion to study with… but neither Twilight nor I have ever had such a companion. Besides, that doesn’t make it a social element, merely a common interest to aid in socializing.

Perhaps Twilight has a quality that is figuratively magic? I am unsure, at this moment, what that could even mean.

What social element does Twilight most deeply value? Seemingly nothing, just like me. We both do value the elements of harmony, all of them, but no one element makes up our core and we could do without it if need be. The closest we come to deeply valuing a friendshippy element is our value of friendship itself.

...But you know what? ...Maybe... maybe there is more to that statement than I'd ever realized. I want friendship, but the only thing I want in it is the friendship. No distractions, no caveats, just a strong connection to somepony.

Twilight has been spending all of her thoughts on learning everything that there is to know about the world, just as I have—as best I can. And just as Twilight has now turned her focus on becoming a dependable princess, I have turned mine on how humanity might survive the singularity. That is seemingly all we do, with books mounting high and our schedules binding us ever tightly. But just as food tastes best to those who are starving, asocial loners such as Twilight and I want nothing more than to have a deep and meaningful friendship. Nor would we ever consider denying it to somepony else. We would never force somepony into isolation even as a punishment for terrible crimes unless we had no other choice.

We don’t value any one element, we value the thing that they bind into, their whole. It is okay if a few elements are defied now and then, just so long as the alloy they form remains strong. In the show, the element of Magic only shows up when the other elements are present, and when I look at it in this way, that begins to make sense. Magic is the word for the alloy that the elements form together. Perhaps her magic is figurative. It is her inborn curiosity that led her to her love of magic—and her loneliness. This, in turn, led to her love of friendship. Perhaps that is why Twilight's element of harmony is Friendship.

And Friendship is Magic.

Comments ( 4 )

Pinkie Pie's element is laughter. Laughter? That's silly, I thought, it doesn't even fit the pattern! But then I remembered that humor is indeed a social activity. It works its strongest magic with friends and it loses its power when you are around untrusted strangers. I know this effect very well on account of my shyness; it can be quite hard to make me laugh when you first meet me. And even when nopony is around, to have humor, there generally needs to be some sort of friend-surrogate in the form of a jokebook's author or the imitated relationships in a story or even pretending to have a conversation with somepony in your head.

Humor can be how somepony goes from being a stranger to somepony you are friends with! Remember that of all the element bearers, Pinkie Pie is the one with the most friends, actually being friends with everypony in Ponyville. And I'm pretty sure a lot of it was because everypony thought she was funny.

She's actually kinda important to holding Ponyville together. Remember how everypony was grumpy and unhappy without her spreading laughter and making them smile?
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The other elements are more obvious; Applejack's element is Honesty and Rainbow Dash's is Loyalty. Those are clearly social and having them is a sign of a strong friendship. Next, we have Rarity's element, Generosity, while Fluttershy has Kindness—the most obvious of the bunch, I'd say. They embody these elements better than anypony. But that doesn't mean that the elements are not also embodied, if to a lesser degree, by anypony else. No doubt the rest of the Apple family also values honesty very highly, and Cheese Sandwich may well have been a bearer had he been in Ponyville during that fateful Summer Sun Celebration.

The funny thing is that when they were thinking up the show, Rarity wasn't actually Generosity originally. She was originally going to be the element of Inspiration. Generosity probably works better, though.

I think there are multiple ponies that could've been each element, and that they aren't necessarily always representing their elemnt. Applejack's lied a number of times, for example. That's probably what each of them brings to the friendship between the six of 'em, though, and I'm sure they all value the things their element represents a lot.

What social element does Twilight most deeply value? Seemingly nothing, just like me. We both do value the elements of harmony, all of them, but no one element makes up our core and we could do without it if need be. The closest we come to deeply valuing a friendshippy element is our value of friendship itself.

I think the biggest thing with Twilight is that she's the one that brings them all together. Without her, they wouldn't have come together, and while I'm sure Pinkie was friends with all of them, it wasn't exactly a close friendship. They may have all lived in the same place, but most of them didn't actually spend much time with each other before Twilight came to town. She's sort of like the glue that sticks 'em all together...

--Sweetie Belle

4337717

Humor can be how somepony goes from being a stranger to somepony you are friends with! Remember that of all the element bearers, Pinkie Pie is the one with the most friends, actually being friends with everypony in Ponyville. And I'm pretty sure a lot of it was because everypony thought she was funny.

She's actually kinda important to holding Ponyville together. Remember how everypony was grumpy and unhappy without her spreading laughter and making them smile?

A feat that would utterly overwhelm me. What is that, a hundred friends, minimum? Oh, but wait, Dunbar's number is around ~120. :trixieshiftright:

Anyway, I do remember that. I can see humor being important, it's just I have lots of friendship studying to do. :twilightblush: So it's just not obvious is all.

The funny thing is that when they were thinking up the show, Rarity wasn't actually Generosity originally. She was originally going to be the element of Inspiration. Generosity probably works better, though.

Ooh? Interesting. I like inspiration, but for the purposes of this post I would categorize it as one of the many non-social 'elements.' I.e. It doesn't relate yourself to anypony else, it is solitary. (Speaking of which, I should have defined that explicitly in my post, but forgot.) I wonder if that is why they changed it to Generosity?

I think there are multiple ponies that could've been each element, and that they aren't necessarily always representing their elemnt. Applejack's lied a number of times, for example. That's probably what each of them brings to the friendship between the six of 'em, though, and I'm sure they all value the things their element represents a lot.

Yeah, nopony is perfect. But Applejack hates doing so, right? That ties into... Oh. I cut that. Um...
>> Cut Snippet

If Rainbow Dash's wings were injured during a changeling invasion of Cloudsdale, her inability to fly there to aid her friends does not in any way signify a lack of Loyalty. Likewise, Applejack would still be Honest even if she were a pathological liar, though that sounds strange. To illustrate this, notice that such an Applejack would likely hate herself because of her inability to demonstrate her deepest values. It is likely to be very similar to how Rainbow would hate herself if she had been disabled since birth and forced to watch her friends struggle without her. On the other hoof, notice that an alternate universe Applejack who cares little about honesty would not hate herself for being a pathological liar. So, I shall treat mental constraints as no different from physical ones.

Not a useful interpretation in most cases, of course. If there is no cure, then a kleptomaniac must be treated just like any other thief no matter their feelings on the subject. But in this case I was looking specifically at values, not actions. I cut this because it made no difference in the end, but it is an interesting idea to follow.

I think the biggest thing with Twilight is that she's the one that brings them all together. Without her, they wouldn't have come together, and while I'm sure Pinkie was friends with all of them, it wasn't exactly a close friendship. They may have all lived in the same place, but most of them didn't actually spend much time with each other before Twilight came to town. She's sort of like the glue that sticks 'em all together...

How could she do that? And also, how can bringing this one set of friends together be important? It wouldn't define much of her, surely. If she went around bringing ponies together all over the place like some kind of matchmaker, then I could see that, but she doesn't do anything like that. Pinkie does, though. She reintroduced Matilda to Cranky Doodle.

Something that I'm wondering about this post is simply how I can improve upon it. There are a couple of specific issues that I'm seeing/expecting. First of all, this has too much focus on me. I should generalize it somehow! Of course, that was also the point of this whole write-up: to explore aspects of myself. That is, in fact, how I think sometimes; I go over my thoughts 'aloud' (in writing) as a way of helping me make sense of them. It's just that this time I did a ton of editing and turned it into a public post.

But, being public, I feel like I should generalize it so it isn't about me. dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/Emoticons/misc_Octavia.png Hm... but maybe I'm worrying about nothing. How acceptable is it to write about yourself in blog posts?

Another issue is that I should probably have introduced myself better; but although public, it is technically intended for friends to read and you'd probably already have a general idea of what kind of a pony I am.

Yet another issue is that I'm probably going to embarrass myself when I reread it in a week. :twilightblush: But... this is all part of Operation Outgoing. :derpytongue2: So I figured that I should just do it anyway.

...Is there anything I should fix before they embarrass me later? roundstable.com/forums/images/smilies/modestshy.png

Merry Christmas.

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