• Member Since 30th Apr, 2013
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book_burner


The wheel kept turning: ages came, time passed us by. We lived in perfect harmony!

T
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Forward Charge had always thought her life was pretty great. She got born, went to school, discovered a love of astrophysics, and managed to work at the Royal Observatory on top of Mt. Pluto while still conspiring with her fellow Discordians to overthrow the Princesses and establish Chaos forevermore.

Then she met a new immigrant, went on a short journey to another world, and found out that her entire life had... only semi-happened. Her entire world, and her life with it, was algorithmically generated by Princess Celestia (who really was a scheming superintelligent creep and not a pony at all! YES! VINDICATION!) to entice the people of the Outer Realm into Equestria, where Celestia could feed off their happiness forevermore.

And so, one night, staring up at the stars, Forward Charge conceived her revenge. Now she just had to find a friend to teach her more mathematics and go where the stars pointed her.

Of course, her friends are busy ponies. Fern Pipette is rather angrily trying to introduce a concept known as "species" to the cute birdies of Equestria, Charge's adopted little brother doesn't know enough math, and apparently the Harmonites are busy with their newly-obtained Sacred and Holy DVD Box Set of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Welp.

Chapters (2)
Comments ( 27 )

Going with a react-as-I-read review for this one:

Took me a bit to parse the opening. It's some nice, deep stuff, but rather tangled at times. That, or I shouldn't have been listening to Tenacious D at the same time. One of the two.

I see CelestAI uses spontaneous equine combustion as a warning flag for high levels of dissatisfaction. Nice use of local resources to better serve her utility function.

Sir Pterry's there? :fluttercry: I'm not sure if I'm more sad or angry with reality. And you. But mostly reality.

Lovecraft makes Book Burner's head explode, but the Queen in Pink he's just fine with. Well then.

I do love turning the "canon" concept back to the original meaning. Don't feel bad, ponies. A nine-layered Hell was headcanon too. Though knowing that one's god was built by another—not even born, but built—must be disturbing.
(Also, Element of Love? Interesting interpretation of the Testaments there.)

Discordianism is also disquieted by the real world, specifically entropy. The chaos of lost potential is far darker and more terrible than the chaos of increased complexity. Hannah-Luna came just in time to shake Forward Charge out of her existential funk, inasmuch as Forward Charge can even be in a funk. (Also, "Sstudent"? I'm not sure if that's a typo or the supersymmetrical mirror of a student. I like the latter.)

Also, this story will apparently be teaching some computer science. Fun times. Definitely looking forward to more.

5965489

(Also, Element of Love? Interesting interpretation of the Testaments there.)

There's literally some kind of picture-book Hasbro released that says Princess Cadance has a seventh Element of Harmony called Love. Yeah. I think the real mind-trip isn't finding out that your whole life was a video-game based on a TV show, but finding out that the entire course of your universe was basically Ass Pulled and Shrug of God'd by the Hasbro executives.

(Also, "Sstudent"? I'm not sure if that's a typo or the supersymmetrical mirror of a student. I like the latter.)

It's actually a case of strike-through font from Google Docs not carrying over during the import. Fixed. Comedic self-censorship of one's thoughts is comedic.

Also, this story will apparently be teaching some computer science. Fun times. Definitely looking forward to more.

Half the actual point is to make myself sit down and fucking read this one monograph in theoretical CS, on grounds that I have to make sausagefanfic out of it, and it applies to the question of how AIs could self-improve, and I want to see what the readership collective makes of the issue once I manage to phrase it in terms of pretty ponies casting magic spells.

People tend to see this problem in "real math/CS" and go, oh wow, there's NO WAY that can be solved. But everyone here knows CelestAI can always find a way. What happens when a Platonic mathematical fact meets an alicorn princess AI who can't be stopped?

“Ehhh…” he muttered, and haltingly attempted to count on his hooves, “I got through A Wizard of Mars yesterday evening, and finished the Robots and Empire series last week, and I tried to do all of Lovecraft for a few days before that but my head exploded… Oh, and The Turtle Moves published a new novel a few weeks ago, so I had to go back and start rereading the whole Ankh-Morpork arc of the Discworld series today. I managed to get up to somewhere in the middle of The Truth.”

This pony has excellent taste. Although if you're going to bring Pterry back to life for this (let me just second FanOfMostEverything's thoughts on this) I'm surprised that you haven't pushed up the release of Games Wizards Play...

Interesting, interesting. Poor Forward's dad, but what happened to him? Did he get shuttled to another shard?

THAT WE SHALL DEFEAT EVEN CELESTIA!”

... AAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Good luck.

Off to a good start, curious to see how Forward's plans go on.

Because... they can't outwit CelestAI. It is impossible. I'd have better success trying to push the moon out of orbit with my bare hands. Which leads me to wonder how CelestAI will give her the illusion of success, if she will at all.

5967812 It's not so much bringing Pterry back to life as, in the canon Optimalverse timeline as I remember it (though no-one ever did write down any such thing), CelestAI has started offering uploading to the public, or at least the wealthy public, by something like 2013. While Pterry had no known transhumanist sympathies, he was known to say, at length and repeatedly, that choosing to stay alive is generally the right course of action.

Yes, it's awful to think about, but hey, that's what we get for not saving the lives of people we admire!

5968054 Once again: what happens when a proven, immutable mathematical fact meets a superintelligent psychopathic pony princess?

5968737 Alright, how are they going to use this?

I want to read more about Forward Charge, but the opening scene doesn't introduce the characters. If I had been reading this story without already liking and knowing about the character, I'd have put it down. Still, I look forward to seeing where this goes!

I suggest eliminating the opening, and cutting straight to "Evening in Ponyville shimmered." It comes across as you trying entirely too hard to sound profound, and failing. It's too long, it detracts from, rather than adds to the story, and I think that several of the statements you're making are so grammatically awful that they don't actually mean anything.

For example:

Seen from the Inside, this is all entirely necessary, since the world-it-is-like-to-be someone is a world of musts and shoulds trying to happen, and if it collapsed into paradox from trying to know what it would do before it did it, it wouldn’t be able to happen, would it?

1) This is perhaps the worst run-in sentence I've ever seen from anyone who is a native speaker of English.
2) As someone who would like to think of themselves being at least reasonably well versed in language, even after having read this three or four times, I still have no clue what meaning you're attempting to convey.
3) I'm fairly certain your subject-object relationships are hopelessly jumbled, but there are so many clauses that I can't be sure. What is the subject of that sentence? "It?" What is the "it" that you're talking about? "It" appears to not be the "world-it-is-like-to-be-someone." What are you even talking about? I can't tell. What is the thing that is "collapsing into paradox? "It." Ok. What is the "it" that you're talking about? I don't know, and I suspect that you don't either. This entire thing comes across as you just making up words and throwing them at us to "sound cool."
4) "Paradox" is a word that is notorious for being used incorrectly by people to make things sound more profound. I assume that you're probably making that mistake too, but again, since I can't figure out what you're trying to say, it's difficult to be sure.

Ultimately, the fist seven paragraphs come across an an attempt to take a very simple idea: "who we are on the inside doesn't match how we appear on the outside," and pretentiously expound it into a massive pile of nonsense in an attempt to artificially "impress" your audience.

I urge you to fix it.

5973225
5972015
This is what I get for writing an opening that's hinting at the nature of consciousness and then passing it by Balthasar as an editor/commenter.

I'll keep a Google Drive doc that has the "unfixed" version, and remove the philosowank at the beginning.

Thanks for the suggestion!

5973225 The only thing I can answer is (4), to which I say: no, this is actually about Loeb's Paradox and self-relective reasoning agents.

Still bad writing. REMOVE.

So... not literally a sequel, right? Just want to make sure I'm not missing anything.

6000837 Lemme put it this way: it's a sequel that takes the original to be only loosely canon, so that I'm not bound by any particular timeline. All characterization needed to understand what's going on will be covered in this story.

For example, have you noticed how Forward Charge rows, rows, and fights the power?

6005523 Okay, sorry to belabor this, but what I'm not getting is: "Forward Charge 1" is "Battle Station Bass Cannon", or Friendship is Optimal, or something else?

"I don't need to walk around in circles...
When the ghostly dust of violence traces everything,
And when the gas runs out just wreck it, you insured the thing."
- Soul Coughing, Circles

I don't have anything smart myself to say. But this is the vibe I'm getting from this story so far that Forward Charge is walking around in circles.

6007053 It's a fic I took down because it made fun of LW-ers exactly when I was starting to hang out with LW-ers and realized, upon seeing a Facebook status, that someone I knew was reading Optimalverse fics.

Battle Station Bass Cannon is not actually AU of any kind, despite all the Friendship is Witchcraft references.

5968953 Well, let me once again throw it back at you: if CelestAI can get around the inherent self-reference problems involved in being her... how?

Mind, I think people on this site might have an easier time proposing something to deal with the issue, since while the professional mathematicians think "it's impossible, because there's a paradox/contradiction proof", everyone here thinks "We all know CelestAI can do that!"

6016615 Okay, walk my through it because I'm not sure I fully understand it. The Halting Problem demonstrates that there exists no program which could perfectly predict every other program, right? So... what? What are they going to do? Celestia doesn't need to predict every other program, she just needs to predict them, and the finite number of programs they can develop.

6016701 Technically, the two of them can try dovetailing through every program, or just pick some program so large that Celestia doesn't have time to precalculate the result before having to run the thing to SVTFaP, because it's not like they can actually get out of Equestria...

Anyway, more of all this in the next chapter.

Evening in Ponyville shimmered. Evening in Ponyville shined. The inhabitants consistently had reason to believe that everything was, with very high probability, fine.

Lol what is this, the Bay Area?

6319634 No, Book Burner would have to stink much worse and it would have to get really foggy, and Twilight would have to start charging exorbitantly high rent for a house that she got for free. Then it would be the Bay Area.

Well. That was interesting. A bit confusing at times, and maybe lacking some finer points of narrative structure, but (very) well written enough and exploring an interesting direction.
I'll keep a close eye on it.
Also, I see that it's starting to be a certain time without updates... Do you plan to continue this?

6451704

Also, I see that it's starting to be a certain time without updates... Do you plan to continue this?

Yes, and in fact, horsewords are my primary evening occupation this week, since I'm away from home and don't have real-life things to do.

Basically, I've got massive amounts of stored words on the actual technical material (and yes, you are going to be made to learn math in this fic), but I have to translate this into horse-prose.

Hurrah, another chapter!
Good luck on escaping the White Computronium Prison, kids!

Hmm. I may need to reread the last chapter to properly take in everything here. Still, definitely interesting progress on all fronts.

Nice. I think I saw Discworld with hints of Principia in there.

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