• Member Since 5th Jun, 2015
  • offline last seen 10 minutes ago

Shrink Laureate


“Trixie hates to interrupt a good monologue,” said Trixie, interrupting a good monologue, “but maybe we should continue it somewhere not on fire?”

T

A collection of short, bad story ideas, updated unpredictably.
The Silent Patient, read by Dr Wolf himself

Thanks to Solstice Shimmer for editing.


Join The Herd
Applejack is blessed with a big family. Can she convince Fluttershy to join it?
(A misguided attempt to turn Lauren Faust's trolling tweets into a serious story)

You Were Killed By
Button Mash is an online gaming legend, until he gets his flank kicked by a newcomer claiming to be Princess Luna.

The Silent Patient
Dr Wolf recently opened his psychiatry practice in Ponyville, but his latest visitor isn't what he expected.

Raising The Moon
Celestia encounters a young soldier while raising the moon. First chapter of a story project that is on hold.

.eq - Preamble
A conference on how to bring the internet to Equestria. First chapter of another long-term story project.

The Truth
An older professor confronts his former student over a question of science, progress and the truth.

Second Best
Twilight and her friends have competition.

Stranger Than Fantasy
A struggling author receives an unusual offer.

Chapters (8)
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Comments ( 58 )

I came here from Dr. Wolf's reading of the story, and I have to say, this is a great exploration of both characters. I'll be sure to read the rest of the anthology soon.

Huh. That was a nice little detour from the norm.

Many, many thanks to Dr Wolf himself for doing such an incredible audio reading of this. It sounds fantastic.

7405673

I'll be sure to read the rest of the anthology soon.

Be warned, this is where I put my random. There are no promises of quality here! :pinkiesad2:

If she ended up sleeping with him, it would be the damnedest twist on the Red Sonja scenario I've seen "In principle I'd only have sex with someoen who beats me but that's so impossibly rare just making me work up a sweat is enough to make me want to work up a sweat another way" :trollestia:

...quite the variant on Couchtavia scenario. Unless you think Gummy _is_ communicating here. :pinkiecrazy:

Adds Couchtavia to reading list

7406172
No promises, yet I found it anyway. Definitely going to check out your other stuff.

:rainbowlaugh: (intended in good spirit) Shrink Laureate, you lucky :yay:! Your story had less than half a dozen likes before it went viral on DrWolf's YouTube channel, you have less followers than even me and barely a year's membership on this site and yet you still get your story read on YouTube.

Apparently I need to take notes on how you write. I made a small story involving a character implied to be DrWolf to any that would recognize him with some relatively good reviews, but it still didn't go very far.

:rainbowwild: It's good to know some little guys still manage to get recognition with all the big shots hogging the spotlight.

No offence taken at all, I'm certainly feeling lucky :coolphoto:

a/s/t/l

OK, that one was clever. :pinkiehappy:

GAMER LUNA STRIKES AGAIN. I love it. i did a sketch of her raging over being sniped by somepony. XD

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

I honestly wish there were more to this, you did a great job. :D

Well, that's an interesting take. Even when Lauren's trolling, we get good results. I love this fandom so much.

7787074 Thanks. I wasn't able to get all of her evil tweets into it, but I think the bounds of credibility are stretchy enough as it is. :applejackconfused:

I'm not usually a fan of Gamer Luna, but this is pretty cool.

I missed one...

@Fyre_flye
regarding pegasus helium farts: I think we finally know what Derpy's cutie mark is.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Wait, this isn't shipping at all!

I'm not sure if I should be disappointed, because it would mean she's trolling online for underage colts. >.>

7998867
Yeah, only in the absolute broadest definition of the term: pick two characters, and try to write something about them, not necessarily something romantic. For example, my pile of nonsense prompts contains < Spike + Steven Magnet >, which would be more of a mentor / apprentice than any form of shipping.

I went back and forth over the dialogue here, trying to decide exactly how antiqued to make it, and whether that would be sustainable for a longer story, and trying to make it vaguely consistent. I'm not certan I got it right.

An interesting glimpse into a neglected period of history. Your description of Celestia moving the Sun and Moon is evocative and inspiring.

8217859
The antiquated speech looked good to my eyes, with one exception. The ponies consistently addressed Princess Celestia as “thou” instead of “you”—but in Early Modern English, one would address a superior (such as the head of state) as “you”, even if they’re alone. Or was that an intentional change? I noticed Celly doesn’t seem to use the royal “we”, either.

8218144
An interesting point. All the ponies she speaks to in this chapter are in her direct employ, but she does directly mention feeling isolated.

8218144
It's in character for Swift Justice to be overly familiar, but the other guards probably should not be.

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but she does directly mention feeling isolated.

I don’t know if it’s what you intended for Celestia, but I could imagine her asking all her staff to just address her as “thou”, formality be hanged.

It's in character for Swift Justice to be overly familiar,

And I get the impression that Celestia doesn’t mind? There’s just enough ambiguity in “but I tolerated it” ...

8218638
This is something she’d do. She’s a lot less enamoured of formality than the aristocracy who are desperately scrambling for respect.

I suspect, if I mixed ‘thou’ and ‘you’, readers not familiar with the rules would get confused.

I was going to mention the finer points of thou vs. you, but I see Meta beat me to it.

In any case, fascinating stuff here, from Celestia's magic forming a long enough lever and a place to stand to her ruminations on the necessarily finite nature of her reign. A shame this project has fallen so far down your priority queue. I'd love to see what else you make of it.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

I am very sad you didn't continue this, because it's off to a great start.

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Thank you both for saying that. It's not that I've given up on it exactly, but this story is larger, darker and more subtle by far than anything I've written before. I'm just not ready for it. I have a lot of learning to do as a writer first.

There are particular challenges that emerge when you tell a larger story. The project I'm currently working on will be at least 55k words when it's finished, or 4x longer than anything I've published before, and I'm finding it hard to keep all the story threads and every character's emotional state in my grasp at once. Many of the individual pieces are good, but slotting them into a whole work with the right pacing, no jarring shifts of perspective or plot holes, is a lot to get right.

Some day.

To be frank, cables under the Everfree don't sound like a good idea anyway. Not unless you're willing to offer the workers hazard pay and/or manticore insurance. I assume one or both diarchs are standing in the way of the satellites. I get the feeling that they'll be easier to budge than Fluttershy.

This sounds well and truly fascinating. I look forward to seeing where you go from here once you have the necessary research under your belt.

8288898
Since it'll be a while before I get to address these questions in story form...

To be frank, cables under the Everfree don't sound like a good idea anyway.

In this story the portal to Earth is in the Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters, and that's where the net connection has to come through. So one way or another they need to get an entire continent's worth of network traffic from out of the middle of the Everfree to wherever it's needed. The current system of radio relays on clouds is too unreliable and low bandwidth.

The next chapter features ping, traceroute, tcpdump and time travel.

btw, if anypony knows a lot about networking and would like to consult on this story I'd be glad of it.

I assume one or both diarchs are standing in the way of the satellites.

Actually there's a specific reason for that. The launch system for a satellite being basically the same as for an ICBM (that's where our space program came from, after all), it falls under the treaty condition that forbids any firearms of any sort from crossing the portal. It includes anything from a paintball gun to a railgun, The question of whether that umbrella is overly broad will continue to be debated.

In theory, a non-rocket launch system would get past that condition, such as spaceplanes or underwater acceleration. In practice, we don't actually have any of those working yet, and most proposals still require rockets. Getting to orbit is hard. I've elsewhere discussed the idea of a chain of unicorns teleporting an object into orbit, and the fact that the horizontal component of orbit is the harder part of that.

As anyone who's played too much Kerbal knows, any orbit that starts on the ground will inevitably intersect with the ground again unless you accelerate at or near the top of the arc. No amount of energy at ground level results in a stable orbit. Doing that without a rocket is challenging.

8289081

As anyone who’s played too much Kerbal knows, any orbit that starts on the ground will inevitably intersect with the ground again unless you accelerate at or near the top of the arc. No amount of energy at ground level results in a stable orbit. Doing that without a rocket is challenging.

Actually…

With a purely ballistic object, yes, this is correct. But a sufficiently large amount of energy at the ground level plus wings might, because they will provide vertical lift. Potentially enough of it to put the periapsis above the atmosphere.

But if you want to be serious, in Equestria’s particular situation, EME has to be the obvious, most natural thing to do, and yes, I expect ESE is also possible, though on different frequencies. No need to launch anything, those lamps are already nice and close.

P.S. Oh, and IPFS was made to solve precisely the portal kind of problem.

8348109

But a sufficiently large amount of energy at the ground level plus wings might...

...do permanent damage to said wings?

EME is potentially high bandwidth and reliable, but introduces delay as the signal has to be bounced off the moon (depending how far away their moon is). IPFS is a good base protocol for high lag systems. Unfortunately, our present day internet largely doesn't play well with high lag like that. Streaming video, AJAX interaction, even the SSL handshake all assume you do get multiple rounds trips in a short time. An everyday internet experience such as "scroll down Facebook, watch a silly video, click the 'like' button" would be impossible in a high lag environment.

It's possible to imagine an internet that does play well in a high lag environment, and that's exactly what IPFS is planning for, but it's not the one we have.

8348109
Also, the moon and sun move. Sometimes erratically.

8348219

…do permanent damage to said wings?

Which you don’t need in space, so they might as well burn as long as they give you the boost required.

EME is potentially high bandwidth and reliable, but introduces delay as the signal has to be bounced off the moon (depending how far away their moon is).

Close enough that two princesses and a rope are sufficient to travel there, remember?

Also, the moon and sun move. Sometimes erratically.

Nothing an auto-tracking system can’t solve. However erratically they move, they remain the brightest objects in the sky in a number of frequencies emitted.

8348226

EME is potentially high bandwidth and reliable, but introduces delay as the signal has to be bounced off the moon (depending how far away their moon is).

Close enough that two princesses and a rope are sufficient to travel there, remember?

Nope, that was all a cheese-induced dream sequence. I don't believe a pixel of it.

8348261

Cheese-induced radio propagation, now that sounds like an idea. :pinkiehappy:

8348226

…do permanent damage to said wings?

Which you don’t need in space, so they might as well burn as long as they give you the boost required.

I assumed you were talking about launching a pegasus at high speed.

vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/mlp/images/2/2b/Sweetie_Belle_suggesting_"a_flock_of_birds%3F"_S7E7.png/revision/latest?cb=20170521105132

Science is finding the best explanation we have for the world around us given all available data. Even if that means throwing out the old ones. Heck, especially if that means throwing out the old ones. But in a world with far less easily discarded symbols...

Of course, at some point, some hippologist is going to look at that very phenomenon and posit a very dangerous question indeed: "If our cutie marks reflect only what we think is true at the time rather than some greater universal truth, what does that say about the marks themselves?"

Love the pony physics here, even if they're in the background only.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Not sure what's being invented at the end there, but I do love the message about science and truth.

8586130
Radiation and gold foil: they're about to discover that atoms have charged nuclei. Which is a fair way beyond the periodic table being discussed before then, but pony science doesn't have to mirror our own exactly.

This chapter just makes me want to read a longer story derived from it. Gamer Luna appeals to me.

I imagined that Discord would approve of both the stupid prank and the uproar regularly created in his name.

Approves? He's probably cheering them on. Both sides. For maximum entertainment. The durian was inspired. An extra special treat for whomever has to clean it off. Heh.
An yet another story that I want to read more about. I like the inclusion of what would most certainly be exotic fruit in that time.

8586356
The experiment reminded me of some stuff I read out of a biography about Marie Curie. :)

8547253 Cutie marks are communicative symbols, so they must be relative to the symbol-system in use by the ponies who look at them. The first writer's cutie mark was, perhaps, a stick with a triangular end for marking clay tablets; it may be a quill today, a ballpoint pen next decade, and a typewriter further in the future.

The components of theories, like the two sets of elements, are also communicative symbols. Communication means the communication of information, which means a message which reduces the entropy of a probability distribution in the receiver's mind. The value of scientific theories may be stated in terms assuming infinite time and computation power (as the measure of how much they reduce this entropy), or in terms that don't (e.g., subtracting the entropy produced by the computation needed to interpret the message using the theory from the entropy reduction given by the message, and giving a result in bits per second).

These theories can have statistical truth, given in precise statements about how the theories change the probability distributions of predictions, but there is no "truth" in the Platonic sense that non-scientists mean by "truth". Scientific theories are nominalist, and don't refer to entities in the world but to entities in the theories. So while "electron" in atomic theory corresponds more closely to some regularity in reality than "earth" in alchemy does, it would be wrong to say that electrons are "real" but alchemical elements are not.

But there is a critical difference, because if you measure alchemy's value in information-theoretic terms, it's zero or negative. Alchemy isn't a theory, but a mnemonic device. It makes no predictions in information-theoretic terms, meaning it adds no information to what the alchemist already knew. It provides rules in terms of alchemical categories, but these rules are never able to generalize beyond what the alchemist could have inferred himself from the observations which led to the construction of the theory. E.g., an alchemist would look at a shiny metallic material and predict that sulfuric acid would dissolve it, because sulfuric acid dissolves metals--but he would have categorized the shiny material as a metal based on the fact that similar-looking materials had a set of similar responses to various tests, including being dissolved by sulfuric acid. So he already had all the information necessary to make the inference before knowing any alchemical "theory"; the labels simply make this knowledge easier to organize and remember.

Phlogiston theory, on the other hand, is a scientific theory with positive value, because it provides accurate numerical predictions in many circumstances, which are imposed by abstract equations operating on abstract data, not by human pattern-recognition acting on sensory observation.

(I'm distinguishing between sensory and abstract information because otherwise you end up saying everything is a theory, because brains are theory-constructing machines. E.g., categorizing a material as a metal may involve, among other things, unconscious theories that give discriminant equations based on correlations between object properties. This distinction between the sensory and the abstract is a little bogus, but useful for honing in on what science adds above and beyond what the brain does automatically.)

Technically, the distinction I'm making is that alchemy is just a linguistic tool. It fits no curves and eliminates no degrees of freedom--it does not add information to observations AFAIK. This is the distinction between zero and one--a small difference numerically, but you can keep adding ones (theories) together and keep getting larger numbers, while adding zeroes together never gets you more than zero. You don't have anything qualitatively similar to modern science until you have theories that provide more information than they took to build. (This usually requires mathematical notation and expertise that was absent from Europe from ~500-1300 ACE.)

8876089
I was generous in my characterization of how productive earlier alchemical taxonomies were, partly because I needed to underline the very point you made, that the value of a theory is distinct from any requirement of abstract truth, if such a thing even exists, because that was key to resolving the conflict between the two characters; and partly because this is a world of ponies and magic, where the course of science need not follow the same exact lines as our own. When you have an organ capable of reshaping chemistry and physics, who's to say a classification like the five elements wouldn't be exceedingly useful?

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When you have an organ capable of reshaping chemistry and physics, who's to say a classification like the five elements wouldn't be exceedingly useful?

... or even that their reality wouldn't be socially constructed?

I wonder whether it would've been better for Button to have gotten a few victories along the way. It just seems "unrealistic" for me that a player new to a game would never lose (unless Luna had experimented with the game at length under a dummy account). Even with vastly greater overall tactical experience, an entirely new environment is such that a longtime player will be able to spring a few surprises. Magnus Carlsen or Lee Sedol would surely be able to play another game at a very high (if not world-class) level given some practice time, but there would still be things they'd be unprepared for.

Every student should have a teacher this good, and vice versa.

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