Twilight decides to see what happens when you take off one's mental limitations.

Now featured in Nonpareil Fiction!

Preread by ZOMG and Ayemel!

Thank you to Ayemel for the cover art!

Now with a youtube reading!

Chapters (1)
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 66 )

Definitely an interesting vignette.

Wow. It is one of those idiotically stupid "only using 10% of the brain" stories.

Well done Jumbled! It's begging for more!:heart:

That escalated quickly. I liked it but I'd also like some closure. :fluttershysad:

Really interesting story. To me, it sounds like the movie "Lucy". Meh. Still like this, though.

5557682 The concept of 10% brain power is from the commercials from Lucy, but I've never seen the movie and I tried making it more realistic as to what the effects could be.

You know the whole 'We only use 10% of our brain' stuff is total bullshit, right?

Have you ever considered submitting this story to Equestria Daily? You can find out how to do so here.

5557726 I'd run it through a much stronger editor first. But thank you for thinking so highly of it!

So... she can't handle thinking about everyday threats to her friends and all the ways things can go horribly wrong?
And her solution is to throw away her ability to see these things, because she can't handle the revelation?

I think the root of the problem isn't being too smart, but rather the fact that she's got some pre-existing anxiety issues she needs to work through first.

5557838 It is all of them coming together. Think about it, how would you react if you saw how your friends could die, 500 different ways, in the span of five seconds. Her body and mind literally can't take it and they shut down to protect hersefl. Hence the end scene. Celestia is trying to save Twilight, not just take the power away.

So I like the story and I like the idea of enhancing our brain power and would upvote this except...

I am afraid I am I am another person bothered by the 10% brain power. It really is not that big of a deal, but I'm growing tired of seeing it perpetuated.

The concept that humans only use 10% of their brain in their life originally came from a mistranslated German study. Interestingly enough this is also where the idea that our tongue can only taste salty, sweat, and sour and only in certain regions come from (also false).

It is true that at any given moment you are only using a fraction of your brain. There is a way to increase this percentage. It is called having a seizure. Your brain is remarkable for its flexibility, but also its ability to differentiate. While you are reading this, it is unlikely that portions of your brain that have become adapt at math are being activated. If you are sitting in silence, your brain is not processing any sound. When you blink, you have a huge drop in brain activity as your brain is not processing any images.

There are no great swathes of your brain that you never tap into. It's all about how efficient and effective your brain is at making connections. We like to think that it would be great to have perfect memory, but it turns out that it wouldn't be all that hot. People born with memory disorders that prevent them from "forgetting" tend to have trouble living functional lives.

Intelligence is a complex and nuanced topic.

So unfortunately I will need to leave as neutral.

5558046 How about I offer you this to make you oaky with it? The idea that an author might take an old concept and use it to make an interesting story you liked, even if the old idea may be technically wrong. I don't entirely believe it myself, but you hear it often enough that I thought it would be a harmless reasoning to get Twilight to do somethign like this.

5557892 Yeah, but out of everything her brain could have been calculating or simulating, it was horrible things happening to her friends. She got fixated on the horror of it, when a more experienced Twilight might have also dreamed up practical ways to prevent or fix what went wrong in those scenarios, and worked on how to ethically implement those precautions.

The extra brainpower is a tool, one that apparently must be used, and she wasn't prepared to use it on that subject. Now that she's aware of the dangers, it opens up the opportunity for her to approach the spell with an informed respect for the nature of the tool she's working with. (Maybe next time she could stick to 20% for a few months, before upping it to 30%, and so on.) This first time, she just jumped in the deep end with no training and no life-guard on duty.

I did not mean any offense. It is just that I am sensitive to seeing bad/pseduo-science propagated because many people do not know any better. For example, I did include some bad science in a story I wrote recently (the idea that bone marrow donation is painful), but I made sure to clarify it in the author's notes. It may not seem like that big of deal, but I guarantee you that there are people out there not away of the fact that it is a bogus idea. The fight against ignorance is not one that is easily won.

To be clear, I have nothing against Twilight making her self smarter. I think its a great premise (and I think the story comes together well enough, with it being her dread that gets her). But the 10% to 100% adds nothing to the story. You could have just as easily made it a spell that encouraged neural growth or gray matter density or something like that and it would have worked just as well. It's practically a throw away line.

Once again I liked your story, but just felt like I couldn't thumb up it.

I know how this is. Intelligence is the doorway to madness.

Well damn. Is she ever gonna wake up? :fluttercry:

5557692 on average I find most people I come across running on five% the rest hitting between 7-23% of their mental capacity for thought.


That's why I called those stories stupid and idiotic.

Well this was interesting fic, not one of the most awe inspiring stories out there but interesting nonetheless. By the looks of the comments below me, the movie 'Lucy' keeps coming out and I have a question related to this: What about emotions?

I'm asking this because 'Lucy' did explored this. I'm not going into full detail but all I can say is that Lucy, as in the character who had unlocked the potential to reach 100% brain capacity, had somehow able to control her mind to the point she was emotionally detached. Fear, love, anger, sadness, regret, every single emotion that made her human was essentially shutdown manually. All of this so she could archive her goals.

What I'm saying is this: Could Twilight have shut her emotions and intentionally close off her relationships with her friends and family?

P.s I might have possibly gave out a potential squeal idea. Yay me!

I honestly don't care how science-accurate things like this are. Just how much I enjoyed it and/or how much it appealed to me. Yes, those are different things. I liked this story, and if the faulty science utilized here is too unappealing to you, then please refrain from trying to change my opinion at the very least.

Saw Ayemel post her cover art for it, which is excellent work as usual, so I was intrigued. I get the general complaints over the whole '10%' thing, but I also agree that you can take old, outdated ideas and explore them as if they were true. Or utilize them for the 'common knowledge' aspect. Either way, like with the movie Lucy--which I thought was pretty solid and very interesting, despite coming from an incorrect premise--I can get behind the idea. While you can't really divide the brain's usage into a hard percentage, there are clearly immense swaths of untapped potential within our minds. Hell, we see examples of it in reality of individuals who have extraordinary mental faculties that science can't even begin to explain yet. So, in the premise, while it could certainly be explained better with a little research or perhaps a little more handwaving fictional science, I grant you I was intrigued.

The story itself, however, was a grave disappointment, and largely committed the great sin of making me feel like I wasted my time. There just was no real point to it. Not in three thousand words, not the direction you were taking it. The core idea here is worth at least 10K words, probably a full run 50K short novel. Things just happened, with little real exploration or depth as to the whys, the hows, and the consequences. Even the ending is unsatisfying, as it's plain and simply not an ending. On the technical side, it's in strong need of another edit or two. But above all, just massive, massive expansion.

It's clear you've got it in your headspace. I wouldn't have been able to even finish the story if I didn't get the feeling as I was reading that this was just the absolute surface of your thoughts on the idea. But to release it like this was premature, doing no service to you or the idea. I would urge you to revisit it. Expand upon it. Really get to the nitty gritty of what could happen. You'd have one hell of a story there and clearly have the capability to pull it off.

Whatever you decide though, best of luck to ya.

Fully agreeing with you here. It felt extremely rushed, and there is soo much wasted potential.

Then again, this could be a teaser, and 'Completed' could be a troll.

You know this is actually pretty accurate of what happens when you can't turn your mind off (from personal experience), except I also get a fever when my mind is racing (and I've never blacked out from it).

5558046 "People born with memory disorders that prevent them from "forgetting" tend to have trouble living functional lives."
Of course it is "troublesome" to have any trauma in your life fresh in mind without being able to really distance yourself from the events. stress keeps pilling up till you shut down for a while and just lay around doing the minimal effort to stay alive, trying to prevent any new input from the outside world while you sort yourself out.
In my case the lack of stimuli send my mind racing much as in this story except i only wish i could drop into a state of nothingness sometimes. Instead the anxiety and thoughts continue even in my sleep, turning dreams to night-terrors.
Incidentally the fact that I'm able to accurately remember pain means i can feel pain in my dreams, i did not understand why people would pinch themselves to see if they were dreaming till i was 13.

Anyway sorry for the rant, but seeing this struck a cord with me and i really needed to vent it.

not bad thought she would end the world with the last place she went.

have you ever tried guided meditation?

5561583 From Halo? Yes, but that had nothing to do with this.

In a way, Twilight is a cheater. Potential is all about being the best you can be and, traditionally speaking, that entails the extensive use of trial and error to improve oneself. The journey to the pinnacle is just as important as getting there, as that's what gives you the temperament to continue improving. When you finally are able to fully capitalize on your potential, you should be able to refer to the way you got there as a means to controlling it.

The spell - which I presume had something to do with unlocking your full potential - was a cop-out for life experience. Twilight had full access to the utmost she could possibly achieve, but didn't have a clue as to how it was controlled. (I'm trying to think of a good allegory to summarize the story, but I just can't think of anything that can catch all the minutiae in one simple, quotable phrase.)

Please pardon the wonky wording: I'm only half-thinking right now. That's a good thing. Your story made me think, and that's deserving of some credit. Have a moustache. :moustache:

EDIT: Never mind. I felt that would have been a good analysis, if it wasn't a bogus one. Removing mental limitations =/= maximizing potential without effort. I no reed gud. :ajsleepy:

Among other things, yes. Zen-meditation is the only thing that seems to help somewhat. I am trying out some medication though, but it's very hard to say what works when you're very neurologically-atypical with some minor chemical-imbalances.

Thanks for your concern, it's good to see some caring on the Internet (Though I've seen almost nothing but kindness from the brony-community).

you nailed the 100 percent brain power concept right on the head, The body would not have the energy to keep the brain working at 100 percent for a very long. The more brain power, the more energy needed. Great story:pinkiehappy:.

this sounds too much like how I think. I over-analyze everything to the point i go mad. Bombarding myself with dozens of different scenarios, outcomes and what-if's all at the same time in so many situations, it does actually get depressing.


Actually a 100% would lead to near instant death or insanity. Since a good chunk of the unaccessable part of hte brain is the autonamous processes that run the body. Having to control actively all the little subconscious actons needed to liv would quickly drive one insane, or a simple slip from controling the heart rate, breaking, digestive processes, and what not would kill someone in an instant. Then you have the areas of the brain that are responisble for perciving time, one slip up would make one feel as if they were trapped for eternity in frozen time, or as if the world was speeding past them at light speeds. Or the Temporoparietal Junction which could cause a whole slew of problems (Including Schizophrenia).

That and Brain Percentage isn't what control limitations / power. It's ridges / grey matter. A Spell that enhanced grey matter or the ammount of ridges in the brain (like the Observers in Fringe.), now that would boost processing speeds and parts of the brain needed to work at higher limits. Possibly even something that did those while speeding Neurogenisis to create more and more neurons (the bits needed to use one bit or the other). That's about thinking faster, being smarter, having greater mental powers.

That and tehcnically all parts of the brain are used, but only 20% Of the Cerebrum at a time is consciously used at one's max. The Cerebellum / Brainstem and associated components, are techncally always active, since they are always working in the background to keep the body running.

I'm sorry, but this story was just far too anti-intellectual for me.

There's no real hint that Twilight 'just' screwed the spell up, but instead being super-intelligent is in itself some type of living hell you wouldn't want on your worst enemy.

I'm sorry, but... WHAT?!

5571909 It wasn't that she was too smart. She didn't break due to finding the secrets of the universe. She broke due to her mind working so fast in tandem with her paranoia that her body shut down due to fear, dread, and stress caused by her imagination. It is by no means trying to say that being smart is a death sentence. If anything, it mocks people like me, those who have too strong of imaginations to the point of not getting them to shut up.

Story Scout Foals Errand here to award you this for writing a dark story that had me enchanted the whole way through. The idea of Twilight driving herself to turn her own brain off is terrifying yet believable.

Silly Twilight, you cant overclock an organic processor, it starts to bake. Literally. Next time try implanted hardware. Works much better.


Edit; I deeply apologize if you read this before I edited it. I just read it and Twilight even says this

A true test of my steady growth from ten percent to a hundred percent would be more fitting. Here, I only need ten percent of my brain to answer these. .

I assumed that you assumed the story was about it, and I didn't even read it yet. Now that I have, Twilight, or the author, seems to believe in psudo science.

5581419 It is in the story. Sorry dude.

5566147 The brain has access to 100% of the brain, it just doesn't use it all at once because then all information would just contradict itself. Using 100% at once, meaning the brain is all firing at once, would kill you instantly. That's why the 'You only use 10% of your brain, if only you used 100%' thing is bullshit.

5581435 One of the biggest pet peeves of mine is the '10% brain' thing, and anything that uses it as a story point more so. I physically cannot read it because it is in there. I don't know why it bothers me so much, but it just makes me watch to face-palm so hard. It's like someone saying 'If only we has access to 100% of our muscles, then we could lift buildings over our heads!' when in fact we do have access to our muscles (Bad example, but the only one I could think of at the moment...). I bet this is a good story, and I really do want to read past what I read, but I just cannot because of this...

5581480 Really if we only used 10% of our brains we'd be as dumb as sheep.

5581996 Sheep aren't dumb. You are confusing herding instincts with stupidity.

5587471 I meant in comparison to our level of intelligence. My phrasing could've been better there, I guess.

5587570 Ah, I understand. In that case, yes.

Your story would work exactly the same without the bad science of brain percentages. I recommend you rewrite your story and replace all the "brain percentages" with what others have suggested, such as grey matter or more ridges, or whatever. It wouldn't even take you very long.

If you insist on using the idea of brain percentages, then you first have to establish that unicorn brains are different from human brains, and that for them they indeed only use a portion of the brains at any one time. You could even speculate on unicorn neurophysiology regarding how the conscious use of magic requires that parts of the brain be left "empty" like I dunno RAM or something. And Twilight's experimental spell could be a part of her research on what happens to a unicorn if the organic limiter is removed. And then she finds out that evolution gave unicorns a limiter for a reason.

We accept that the sun and moon revolve around Equestria, even though that's science that's as bad as they come, because the show offers an explanation. The princesses move them. The princesses are powerful immortal alicorns who rule Equestria. Their cutie marks are the sun and moon, etc etc etc. It's integrated into the worldbuilding. If you also want to use bad science you'd have to do some building-up.

5587590 This story is a week old, has had 90% of the attention it ever will, and I have stuck to my guns this whole time. There mere fact that this one point apparently can ruin this fic for so many baffles me, and I am one fucking hell of a critique, especially on logic. People don't seem to understand that this wasn't about 10%, it pretty much never was. It was about what would happen if you suddenly gained processing power without more things to process. The 10% bit is me paying homage to what inspired me to write this in the first place which was a conversation with a coworker about what the real reaction to something like this would be. Didn't matter if fact or not, just is.

Also, if you want to know why I haven't been commenting more when this obviously has annoyed me, it is because shortly before I posted this, I developed carpal tunnel. So please, there are more important things to worry about then two lines in a 3k fic about the dangers of imagination.

Too bad it isn't dark. If it was I could do a youtube reading of it. :fluttercry:

5588277 Eh. One could debate the dark tag. I simply felt it had too much comedy to justify a whole tag for it. One could say the end is VERY dark.

Login or register to comment
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!