• Member Since 28th Oct, 2012
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Particle Physics and Pony Fiction Experimentalist

More Blog Posts417

  • 3 weeks
    Constitutional monarchies

    Yesterday, I had an extra day’s holiday, thanks to the King choosing this weekend to get crowned. This has caused all sorts of admin problems, as he decided to do so in the middle of a busy university term, but it meant I had a bit of time to write a short blog post. Apologies for not writing anything for the last two months. I have been busy doing various complicated, and mostly boring, particle

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    9 comments · 181 views
  • 14 weeks
    Lepton Flavour Universality

    It must be time for me to write another particle physics blog post, telling a story from the quest to find new scientific phenomena and resolve the mysteries of the universe. With pictures of ponies. So here we go. Prepare to learn all about Lepton Flavour Universality. To enhance your blog reading experience, first go and get a smoothie.

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    19 comments · 226 views
  • 16 weeks
    Hearts and Hooves and Carnivorous Plants

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    3 comments · 199 views
  • 20 weeks
    Pinkie’s Antimatter Adventure; Rainbow Magic – Writing pony science stories with Chat GPT

    Yesterday I decided to investigate this Chat GPT thing that I now hear so much about. And wow—this technology has really moved on since I last looked at it. We now have an AI engine which, given a simple prompt, will write a story for you in seconds.

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    22 comments · 363 views
  • 22 weeks
    Wishing Star Scouting

    At this time of year, there is a tradition of planetarium shows about possible astronomical explanations for the story of the Star of Bethlehem, which guided the Magi to the baby Jesus. Scholars have been pondering this for centuries. It’s a fun question to ponder as it mixes biblical scripture, history, astrophysics, and lets us talk about comets, novae, supernovae, planetary conjunctions, along

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    5 comments · 185 views

Legacy · 9:55pm Oct 16th, 2019

While watching that final episode, with tearful eyes, the thought that was put in my mind by all the Moving On / Growing Up / Over-To-The-Next-Generation stuff was the realisation that there is now a generation of children who grew up with these little ponies. Children who were six when Twilight Sparkle was first sent to Ponyville to study Friendship are now fifteen as she is crowned ruler of Equestria.

And this is very exciting as it means in a few years’ time they will be applying to university, and before too long we will see these super girls (and boys) ruling the world. Maybe the best is still to come.

A lot has changed in nine years. It’s easy to forget that before the show aired, “girls” shows still tended to have a cast of uniform little figures in frocks, who spent a disproportionate amount of time getting their hair and nails done. The more progressive shows might have had a token tomboy. Lauren Faust changed this by creating a diverse group of kick-ass female characters and sending them on real adventures. It was quite radical at the time. It took the toy makers a bit of time to catch up and replace the crystal princess dolls with Twilight Sparkle scientist and Sunset Shimmer motocross figures. It took some feminist critics time to recognise how the show had changed. Yet it surfed the tide of fourth wave feminism and by the time Faust did the same thing with DC Super Hero Girls this year, it had become the expectation. Meanwhile the fandom helped fracture the patriarchy along a different direction as it became okay for boys to like rainbows and unicorns.

The last few years have not been a smooth ride for those of us who wanted young girls to see the first female US president elected, instead of the one we got. There are plenty of other problems: Brexit, Hong Kong, the climate emergency… Whenever I get depressed by the state of the world, I am encouraged by the attitudes of young people. I like to think that just as the lessons at the School of Friendship let the Young Six save Equestria, Friendship is Magic will mean the next generation in our world will defeat the villains, spread harmony across the globe and let the magic of friendship grow.

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Comments ( 9 )

Getting to the point where we are having to rely on Arthur C Clarkes predictions. Which is never really a good thing. His and compatriates prophesies were mainly warnings of why not to do such things, not, this is what to do. :twilightoops:

At the same time to quote the young firecracker Greta Thunberg, we should not put our "hopes" solely in the hands of the up and coming young leaders, while she is a tad bit more direct than I myself am comfortable with, she does have a point, we can hope all we want but we also have to do something besides empty talking points (I am merely parroting what I've heard her say as I am hardly innocent on just ducking my head and floating along.) In any case, FiM is a wonderful amazing thing, that goes beyond the confines of a mere cartoon, it has inspired countless pieces of art, music, writing, animation, charities, and much more besides, and from what I've read, it has even saved some peoples very lives, people who were in the throes of deep depression feeling completely worthless were given hope and a renewed sense of life I can't think of very many television shows that have done that (maybe one or two others but that's it). I can only hope that whoever is charged with G5 has the same level of love and dedication as the amazing cast and crew from G4.

Children who were six when Twilight Sparkle was first sent to Ponyville to study Friendship are now fifteen as she is crowned ruler of Equestria.

literally yesterday I was talking to a 15 year old in the “My Little Pony: Friendshitposting is Magic” Facebook group who said she started watching the show when she was six and now can’t wait for G5. While I’m not sure I’m super comfortable with a young teenager being in a shitposting group considering the weird (though still appropriate by FB standards) content that gets posted there, I’d say on the whole the kids are alright.

Could Arthur C Clarke have ever predicted a phenomenon like MLP:FiM?


I may be wrong, but I get the impression by the time they are fifteen, most kids are already familiar with much worse


I cant remember teh quote correctly, but it was something along the lines of swamping the new TV channels with ours of mindless loq quality quick produced drivel to keep the idle rich occupied.

Soap operas for those who didnt have to spend 18 hours plus a day gleaning or link collecting etc for poverty pay?

Interesting how so many future gazers in the 1950's predicted that we would all become passive TV-watching zombies, but few if any realised that once we had an interactive medium it would lead to new forms of culture like fan fiction.


Maybe because they didnt like the idea of loosing their current employment and payment methods?

Their thinking? Computers create infinite duplicates for zero cost, why pay for someone to do something when someone else will get frustrated enough to do it for free? :pinkiesad2:

Well, I mean. In the 1950s, the connective device that was revolutionizing the world was a passive broadcast medium. People could all see the same shows and the same news events, they were becoming more culturally unified, but the reach of any individual person hadn't actually been extended (except for the very few who made it onto TV). The first "TV dinner" was 1953. ARPAnet didn't even adopt TCP until the 1980s. The idea of a truly social worldwide network was still a fever dream at the bleeding edge of science fiction.

Broadly speaking, with visionary exceptions, science fiction has a tendency to react to the advances of its own era rather than the one around the corner we don't know about yet. I think the cyberpunk movement is the exception that proves the rule: look at how much our current slide toward dystopia resembles the stereotypical cyberpunk setup, but also look at how absolutely absent such simple and revolutionary things as cell phones are missing from old settings. Much less always-on worldwide instant messages. Certain structures such as the rise of unchecked corporatism were already in place dating back to the Reagan era and before, but inventions completely upended the social landscape in the meantime.

And this is very exciting as it means in a few years’ time they will be applying to university, and before too long we will see these super girls (and boys) ruling the world. Maybe the best is still to come.

This is a very interesting thought. I wonder how these 6 year old children to 15 year old teenagers (who I'm now jealous of, I wish I could have grown up with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic like that, even though I learned a lot from it and it gave me many gifts, as well) will apply the lessons that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has taught them.
Will they change the world and bring the great revolution to everything? To be honest, I doubt it. It would be wonderful if the spirit of Equestria would ultimately change humanity for the better. But I've seen firsthoof on more occasions than I care to count how stubborn and learning-resistent humans are. Humanity always makes the same mistakes over and over again, Trump himself is a prime example for that, of history repeating itself, and the worst offenders of humanity sit at the top and also groom others to be their successors, so that they will continue their work in the same backwards fashion.
This sounds depressing, but I'm not getting my hopes up, then I can't get disappointed either.

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