• Member Since 10th May, 2012
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silverspawn


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  • 126 weeks
    Okay let's wrap this up.

    My attachment to the franchise has obviously declined, and I commonly feel guilty about not continuing writing projects but am rarely inspired to do so. It is actually true, at least for me, that being more happy, more hard working, and more functional is all bad news for creative writing. It’s time to change things.

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    4 comments · 136 views
  • 158 weeks
    Dystopias in Black Mirror

    (Black Mirror is a series consisting of self-contained 1-hour long episodes that usually contain a science fiction element. It’s on Netflix and it’s very good.)

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    0 comments · 172 views
  • 205 weeks
    A history of FimFiction (2017 to 2041)

    This is a work of fiction. Any references to real persons, industries, communities, or websites are a product of the author’s imagination and are included only to disturb or to give the story the false appearance of authenticity. The author denies intent of any kind of commentary, social or otherwise, which the reader may interpret into the story, and reserves

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    3 comments · 434 views
Nov
12th
2017

A history of FimFiction (2017 to 2041) · 1:37pm Nov 12th, 2017

This is a work of fiction. Any references to real persons, industries, communities, or websites are a product of the author’s imagination and are included only to disturb or to give the story the false appearance of authenticity. The author denies intent of any kind of commentary, social or otherwise, which the reader may interpret into the story, and reserves the right to be shameless in every conceivable aspect. Nothing of the following is necessarily predictive of the future.

In the fall of 2017, there was still a fairly active fanbase on FimFiction, even though it was in a steady (if moderate) decline since 2014, a fact which was only slightly affected by the release of the first official movie. It was at a point where most of the users were fairly familiar with the site’s mechanics; groups launched with the ambition of steady commitment only to quickly degenerate when it came to actually doing the things they were founded for were a common sight. Others, such as the Shameless self-promotion bureau and the writer’s group were still seeing high activity with around five new threads daily. Many of the once prolific authors had left; shortskirtsandexplosions was the main guy who was still active and regularly hitting the feature box. silverspawn, who at this point was still almost perfectly irrelevant, had already figured and pointed out the holes in the subscription system, which at the time still sustained itself in a state of being highly flawed yet not totally broken due to most users not being savy enough.

The first big turning point came when ocalhoun published a tool to artificially drive up personal subscriber counts by automating the follow / unfollow mechanic. Unsurprisingly, the tool received enormous tractor, to the point that literally every user got spammed with notifications. It soon became a regular sight to see subscription counts vary by over a hundred over just an hour, based on other users with the same tool renewing or cancelling their subscriptions.

ocalhoun renounced any moral responsibility upon receiving backlash from the community, pointing out that any system which was breakable in this way deserved to burn, and offering to design a better system himself, a position which as time went by was backed by an increasing majority. Instead of taking them up on the offer, however, the admins decided to hide subscription counts all together, thus entering a period which would later be called “the FimFiction winter.” Meanwhile, Strategy received a slight increase in attention based on the moderate amount of traction related to the subscription incident, putting it close to a thousand clicks with a like-dislike ratio of 7:1.

Later in 2018, cries for a new system to replace the old one were getting louder, particularly when the relative main stream success of season 8 managed to unexpectedly cause total activity to rise again for the first time since 2011. But it took until February of 2019 for the staff to put a new system in place, which implemented a modified version of the basic search-engine algorithm. For this, one lets the value of one follow from one user be her total value divided by the number of users she follows, and let her total value be the sum of all values from follows she receives. This induces a set of equations whose solution that can be obtained by solving an eigenvalue problem for quadratic real matrix with one row per user on the site. Additionally, there was a timely penalty introduced for unfollowing other users, thereby rendering the previously used strategy effectively useless. This proved to be stable and impossible to exploit effectively, and near the end of 2019, the site had regained over half of the activity it had lost since 2012.

The years that followed were in some ways reminiscent of “the good old days,” even though several users found that the certain “magic” that had used to be there was still missing. What is clear is that things were changing; whereas in the early days, one would find sad, romantic, and some comedic pieces when viewing a list of the most popular stories to be published, nowadays there was a shift towards more obscure, conceptual, and ambitious pieces. In Summer of 2021, skirts finally finished the Austraeoh series, a 5 million word monolith split into twelve parts, which had only become longer near the end. Cloudy Skies, in an unexpected return to form, had also published a 200 000 word story, for the first time in his FimFiction career exploring a darker angle to his work. Strategy was now 20 chapters deep, still not to be found on a list of top viewed stories, but due to its unconventional nature still a source for controversy, with a loyal fanbase but also no shortage of users condemning it for its pretentiousness, its dismissive handling of non-rationalist worldviews, and the supposed mischaracterization of “literally the entire cast”. Meanwhile, a new-comer called ”Rising Summits” managed to rise in popularity at a speed unrivalled in FimFiction history thus far, using a clever mixture of highly accessible material mixed with differing amount of surreality and unseen ideas, yet never being dark or gruseome.

In 2023, Hasbro, after many internal changes, shocked the world with the release of the release of the second movie, a high-budget, overlength piece that ended up as controversial as it was successful. Despite a 53% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, there was no shortage of people in the MLP community, and even some outside, who were praising it as a masterpiece. Harmony Pie made a brief return to comment that was “CRAZY OH MY GOD.” skirts wrote a 5000 word blog post about it and silver voiced his definite approval, while a-hoof-full-of-dust merely made a short statement stating they thought it was asinine and terrible. Many speculated as to how it had come to be, but it wasn’t until 2025 that an internal interview shed light on the issue.

Throughout the mid 2020s, the site largely kept the size of its audience, but many of the most popular writers had moved on (to witchcraft), and while there were no shortage of lesser-known writers eager to take there place, only four of them managed to stay relevant across time: shortskirtsandexplosions, who at this point had finally (despite having given up on it before) began to continue the infamous End of Ponies series; Cloudy Skies, who after finishing his novel darker project had moved back to writing romance, though occasionally one would find unconventional elements that weren’t present in his older work; Rising Summits, the new most popular writer on the site, his relevancy rating output by the new system more than 40% higher than that of skirts; and silver, who in between publishing new chapters of Strategy was regularly using his newly developed audience to spread awareness of AI risk and AI safety policy. Conversely, it was around this time that neural networks trained in writing fiction did a considerable jump in quality, to the point that about three of four sentences in their stories were grammatically correct and longer than just a few words, although though they still were easy to distinguish from even the worst human writers. Nonetheless, one would occasionally see fanfiction written by neural networks uploaded to the site as a joke, or put in as the newly added “bonus chapter” feature.

In the spring of 2027, Hasbro released two more movies. One was a return to old form, a classic, cute, and harmless film aimed at children and the adult fanbase alike, which was in many ways similar to the first one, albeit with considerably better visuals. The other was in the style of the second, only more extreme, and even more successful. This time, perhaps due to expectations having already changed, critics viewed it much more favorably, even though the overall reception was still mixed, with some claiming it to be even worse than its predecessor. Still, its relevance is hard to overstate, because at the end of the day, it was a boom at the box office, grossing almost three times as much as the other, more conventional movie, begging the obvious question of whether Hasbro would continue to go down this route (which, as we later saw, they did). It was at this point, decades after the fandom’s inception, that it had finally garnered the level of cultural significance where there was no-one left who hadn’t at least heard of it.

In 2030, the site got yet another major redesign, adopting the popular (though still contentious) technology of tailoring certain design elements to the specific taste of users who participated. Design of websites in general (particularly websites for entertainment purposes) was getting more diverse, and consequently a more important point of consideration for a site’s appeal. Even after the redesign, FimFiction was a far way from the top in this regard, a fact which slowly began to eat at it’s popularity. It was at this time that Strategy was really becoming a big deal, now widely considered to be the primary rationalist pony fiction. While it could not do enough to stop the viewer base from slowly declining, it kept it from ever falling as low as it had been in early 2018. In 2032, it passed My Little Dashie as the site’s most popular release. Meanwhile, speech recognition software had become powerful enough to make spelling errors a dying breed, regardless of a story’s quality.

Building on the success of the previous movies, Hasbro launched an alternate-universe series of MLP in 2035, which aired alongside season 14 of the regular show, in the style of their two infamous movies. Many popular writers were put under contract, alongside a number of specialists for the growing art of so-called “AI animation”. A relative mainstream success, it nonetheless had a surprisingly small impact on FimFiction’s viewer numbers, perhaps because there was only little awareness left to spread. Strategy was now more and more associated with the site as a whole, partially due to its notable impact on the viewerbase, enough that an unrelated popular news outlet did a short segment mentioning it after the new show’s season finale.

2038 brought with it such significant advances in AI capability that discussions about it were becoming common sight anywhere on the internet, particularly on a site whose most popular author was a full-time AI safety researcher. In a world-shaking move, the Ocasio-Cortez regime had decided to seize control over Google, which had been deemed to powerful for a privately run organization, particularly in light of it still narrowly leading the charge on AI technology. None of this, however, prevented a seizable portion of people participating in the discussion to claim that general AI was still at least thirty years away, not even as, in 2040, Strategy received mainstream attention for its commentary on AI risk, sparking the rumor of FimFiction somehow having been associated with that topic all along.

In 2041, the now nationalized Seed AI project from Google finally launched. Due to a number of issues caused by insufficient safety mechanisms, one of the AI’s goals remained entirely open-ended, causing it to reshape the earth into a state that better maximized its utility function, a state which did not include any life. It proceeded to build a large number of Von-Neumann probes, sending them through the galaxy with as close to the speed of light as it could manage, aiming to reach all of the still accessible galaxies in the pursuit of further resources. This was the end of FimFiction.

Special thanks to Γ ɐ ə ∪ ∀ Ξ ɘ ε ⊥ for prereading and editing. Check out Strategy here, the story that will shape the future of FimFiction. Also check out stories from Awaclus, All Art is Quite useless, RisingSummits, ErrinF, Enigma, Elfenlied, Eevee, silverspawn, Miri, MIRI, Nothing is mere, Mermaids, MythrilMoth, Scott Alexander, RawCringe, Raw Cringe, Craw Ringe, Raw Story, Story Light, Saber Spark, Twilight Mid, Eclipse, Eevee, Enigma, Elyot, Night Light, MV, theory, and Eliezer Yudkowsky and Mark Z. Danielewski. Follow me on youtube, Dominion, Instagram and Patreon and subscribe to me on Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, Colors.de, PredictIt, wikileaks, snapchat, FimFiction, Patreon, Social Media, and Evictus.

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