• Member Since 9th May, 2012
  • offline last seen 6 hours ago

silverspawn


24, utilitarian, rationalist, effective altruist, writer, vegetarian, atheist, INTJ

T

On a day like any other, Fluttershy finds a unicorn filly sleeping on the ground near the Everfree Forest. This has a remarkable effect on future events.

This is a rationalist story. It is directly inspired by Methods of Rationality, following an alternate progression of the show upwards from season 2. It is also about friendship, honesty, utilitarianism, Bayesian Probability, and polyphasic sleep.

Chapters (16)
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 69 )

What's polyphasic sleep?

8403824
It's sort of like sleeping multiple times throughout the day. Monophasic sleep is the eight hours of sleep/rest at night we usually get. Another form is biphasic sleep which is to sleep/rest twice over a 24 hour period. However, polyphasic sleep is to sleep/rest multiple times through the day with each lasting like 2 hours.

8403824
8404351
It doesn’t have to be 2 hours, otherwise you’re right. Here is an overview: https://www.polyphasicsociety.com/polyphasic-sleep/overviews/

A summary of why you do this: you undergo several sleep phases during the night. One is REM, the rapid eye movement phase, where you dream. Another is deep sleep. Those are arguably the only two you need and they make up less than half of the total time, and the rest is a waste. Polyphasic sleepers claim that you enter REM and deep sleep much more quickly and waste less time in other phases if you cut your sleep into multiple parts (with at least a 2 hour waking period between them, it doesn’t count if you wake up for 2 min :ajsmug:). One of the craziest schedules is sleeping for 20 minute chunks 6 times a day, with only 2 hours total.

I’ve experimented with the simplest 2-phase schedule, and still can’t say if I believe it or not. I’ve slept less than I do now with monophasic sleep, but there are a bunch of variables. But in-universe of this story, it works.

Intriguing. And now we have a definitive time frame too. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Another enjoyable update, thank you for continuing to work on this.

Will you continue?

8513234
I think so. I’ve already begun and will for sure try to continue. It’s difficult in part because of which episodes are next and because there need to be new directions otherwise it’ll start feeling stale.

Well, I for one am looking forward to where this goes, though I do hope the issue of Vi's origins is fully addressed once circumstances demand it.

I doubt that she's a changeling, however. If Chrysalis were a rationalist, then things wouldn't have been nearly as exciting.

8548942

Well, I for one am looking forward to where this goes, though I do hope the issue of Vi's origins is fully addressed once circumstances demand it.

They are next chapter! (Which is kind of finished but there are some issues I need to resolve...)

I doubt that she's a changeling, however. If Chrysalis were a rationalist, then things wouldn't have been nearly as exciting.

Very true, though note that since this takes place mid season 2, the Canterlot Wedding episode hasn’t actually happened... yet.

...many instances of "mare" should be "mayor".

:rainbowhuh: Okay, what did Vi do wrong again?
If the matter of her yelling at an adult is a matter of respect for the elderly, as Twilight said Vi is practically an adult mentally-wise, and even adults don't respect adults unless their in positions of authority. Rarity didn't have authority (as she was barrowing a royal tower and made herself untrustworthy) so she was Vi's equal.
Also, I don't think it is right for Vi to be scolded in this situation. She has already explained multiple times that she Despises lying, and she has shown to be fairly in control of her magic when she jumped down the stars and used it to cushioned her fall, these two things tells me that a lie is a very emotional topic for her if an acquaintance lying could put her off the edge this much. So I don't think it is fair to blame her for something that has obviously scarred her emotionally and instead needs to be addressed in a more controlled environment where she can vent out why she hate lies so much. You know, unless that is secret too.:unsuresweetie:

8563475
Ah. Yes, they should. Thank you!

8563939
Yeah, but she’s also only been around for a week and only lives in Ponyville because of Twilight’s generosity.

If this happened a year after she moved in and everyone knew each other at that point, I’d agree with you. But as is, you have the strange filly who moved in with Twilight a week ago, whom four of the elements barely know, and who usually seems good mannered, SUDDENLY OUT OF NOWHERE SCREAMING AT RARITY WHO IS IN AN EMOTIONAL STRUGGLE ANYWAY. It didn’t come out of nowhere for her, and perhaps not for the reader, but it certainly did for Rarity.

Like, the Vi / Twilight dynamic is sort of about bringing the idealized and the practical together. Vi is going to show Twilight how to actually use her brain more and that rationality should be applied all the time, not just in research, and Twilight is going to show Vi how to communicate with the outside world in a way that is socially accepted. I might agree with you that she was justified based on my values (I always had a problem with what Rarity gets away with in Sweet and Elite), but given the characters and the context, I believe her being scolded is what would actually happen, even if it isn’t ‘right’ (just think about whose side Rainbow and AJ are more likely to take). Do you disagree with that?

8564079
No, no I do not disagree with you. (You have no idea how much I love to say that right now, I really needed a more reasonable debate.)
I suppose that I was foolish not to consider the others point of view in that light, Vi was only there for a week so trust hasn't been that strong as of yet. Makes since, I guess my experience with some fics that makes characters scolded/punished unjustly for lesser crimes have soured my expectations; for that I'm very sorry for not taking consideration on all points and made assumptions instead.

Still, it would be nice for Twi' to at least make note of this behaver for the future, it may fit into the theme of a smarter main six that your trying to imply.

Finally, I would like to take this chance to congratulate you. I have read several stories like this one, were the author creates an extra OC for the sole purpose to 'fix' one of the glaring flaws of the show, most of the time however is that they just scold the main six over and over again with little to no development of their own. Worse, the annoying scolding just flies over everypony's ears just to force the story into exactly how the show entailed, when their sole purpose in fictional life is to case the Butterfly Effect.
You, however, not only have the Butterfly Effect evident in this story, but a mysterious and interesting OC child whom is (quite possibly) Thrawn level of intelligence yet has worse social skills than season 1 Twilight. Very interesting turn of events and I'm looking forward to see where to next.
Though, it would be nice to see a chapter or two that was solely Vi and her building relationships out-side the episodes, just to let her explore and have a bit more freedom of what her character is capable of.

There's a part of me that's always wondered about the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000...did Flim and Flam cook it up themselves, or did they swindle the prototype away from the original inventor?

8564120
No problem at all. And thanks :twilightsmile:

I’d also like to see pure slice of life scenes, but writing slice of life is so hard! :applejackunsure: (for me, anyway). That said, the distance to the show is inevitably going to grow larger,.. and I do have at least one slice of life-y scene in my head... it could happen.

I have actually never read any other such story... although I consider this a rationalist story foremost and a “correcting the show” story mostly as a means of having a source of conflicts to work with.

8564472
Just goes to show how much effort your putting into your story.
I'm very exited about the next chapter.

Thank you for the update. This continues to be very engaging. Since it is some time between updates I do find myself losing the plot of the story, for example I have completely forgotten what Vi's condition is. I'm not sure how to address this other than by waiting for the story to be complete. Keep up the good work!

8637464

his continues to be very engaging.

Glad to hear that! I wasn’t sure about how this one would be received, hence the poll...

Since it is some time between updates I do find myself losing the plot of the story, for example I have completely forgotten what Vi's condition is

Her condition is that her mind ages more quickly... and that something really strange is going on with her mane that makes it feel all coarse and weird.

The main implication of this is that, in terms of raw intelligence, she’s got as much as she’ll ever get. Otherwise you’d expect a nine year old to get a lot smarter as she gets older...

... which she can’t get, because if she did, I wouldn’t be able to write her any more. Of course, she can still grow in a lot of other ways.

I’m not sure how to address this other than by waiting for the story to be complete.

Complete? :applejackconfused:

I can’t say for sure, but I don’t expect this to be completed... pretty much until the singularity. Conceptually, this is meant to go on for a very long time, longer than I will realistically ever get. If it doesn’t, then that’s probably because I am not able or willing to write more for whatever reason, which I don’t expect to happen anytime soon.

Keep up the good work!

Thanks! I have big plans for the chapter after the next one...

This is really sweet. I love the concept within this, it certainly is interesting and fun to see how it plays out. It's really cool to see how Vi interjects herself in here and wonder if it'll build up to anything as she basically shifts of what would occur to be a friendship problem and solving it at the root and such as what her story is about lying and how it all comes together! Woo, definite wonderful job with crafting this!!

8771437
Your comments were very nice to read. Thank you for taking the time to write them.

(I’ve skimmed through your favorites library. Did you actually read all of those? There are so many :rainbowderp:)

Strategy has new chapters coming in... err... probably a few weeks. It’s been a while since the last update, but I haven’t stopped working on it.

8773154
Heh, glad to hear, your stories are wonderful! I definitely am more in favor of your TwiShy stories for my bias and how excellent you pull of the interactions with those two <3 AND I GUESS IT'S JUST all the stories over time I've read that've built up heh. I do enjoy reading lots of fics!
Woo & always excited for recent stuff from you and definitely look forward to the next installment of a intriguing concept!

Well...

Vi seems to be an interesting character. I'm going to not assume 'reincarnation' or 'Human in Equestria', partially because there's nothing in the tags or story synopsis to indicate it, and partially because that'd be a lazy plot in a story if not integrated in a way HIE or reincarnation fics usually aren't (though the part about not answering where she's from kind of hints to something of that ilk). Still, somebody had to give her training in her ways to make her like this, especially if she's only 9 years old. Still, I like her. I have no reason so far to assume she's lying, as she seems entirely willing to take the hard knocks of admitting to things that open up tough lines of questioning, as well as holding her ground on things that she doesn't want to speak of, such as where she's from.

Still, Vi gives off a bit of a 'creepy child' vibe during her early interactions with Fluttershy. Of particular note is how she interrogates Fluttershy about the barrier between sentience and sapience in a lot of the common animals. Fluttershy is rather true-to-form in how she admits to not wanting to think about it, and how she gets relegated to the lesser role in the conversation. It still feels a little weird with her being passively talked down to by a nine-year-old filly.

But in the end, she's how a rationalist should be in the strife-free circumstances most ponies usually have in Equestria: not an asshole. It's something I have seen on a common basis in rationalist fics with protagonists who usually are a bit of jerks, but they also have far greater pressures on them than somebody living in sunshine-and-rainbows Equestria would.

Well, I see now we get a pretty blatant idea of where we are in the timeline. In the events of Mysterious Mare-Do-Well, with Sweet and Elite to come up.

You can add diplomatic to Vi's list of characteristics, though she also acts a little disturbingly robotic at times. Her personality comes through sometimes, but certainly not very strongly.

Something I noticed in the last chapter and which is a bit more obvious here is that Vi has never actually said that her name is Vi. She just says 'call me Vi', and variants thereof. Even her introduction to Fluttershy would seem like she's introducing herself, but the English language is of course nebulous enough that saying it the way Vi said doesn't mean 'My name is Vi'.

Vi nodded.

“Can you tell me?”

“That depends on you. If you think you learned something important, you should write one. It doesn’t have to be long.”

“Um,” Vi said, “I can, but I don’t want to.”

This block of dialogue gets confusing. The middle line of dialogue is from Twilight Sparkle, but because she's speaking in a conversation in the background, it should be identified as such so the reader isn't thrown off, as the foreground conversation is between Pinkie Pie and Vi.

8871531

Something I noticed in the last chapter and which is a bit more obvious here is that Vi has never actually said that her name is Vi.

That’s actually a remnant of an older version of the first chapter. One of the things I changed was that I originally had her named Morning Dust and use Vi just as a nickname. In the first version of the upcoming chapter she was asked why and said Morning Dust is too long and ‘Dust’ for short isn’t great, hence the more pragmatic one syllable name.

But later I looked at that and found that mentioning it at all is stupid. Like, rationality isn’t about taking things overly literally, if you don’t want to use your birthname, then there’s no reason to mention it just because someone is asking. So I cut it – but as an implicit explanation that still works, so she doesn’t say it’s her name because that would technically be a lie. I haven’t taken the step from ‘never lie’ to ‘never lie unless it really doesn’t matter’ myself, either.

This block of dialogue gets confusing. The middle line of dialogue is from Twilight Sparkle, but because she's speaking in a conversation in the background, it should be identified as such so the reader isn't thrown off, as the foreground conversation is between Pinkie Pie and Vi.

Thanks for pointing this out. I have a strong desire to optimzie ‘X said’s away as much as possible, but it’s the second time someone points out that they find it unnecessarily confusing. This part should probably be changed.

You can add diplomatic to Vi's list of characteristics, though she also acts a little disturbingly robotic at times. Her personality comes through sometimes, but certainly not very strongly.

I think that appearance is something many similar minded people in the real world suffer under. Acting based on thoughts more than emotions and being introverted rather than extroverted can give that impression, but it’s generally a false one. In the real world, such people won’t usually seem awkward but may have trouble connecting with others. In Equestria that’s less of a problem because everyone’s more accepting.

I think that impression generally goes away when you get to know those people better; hopefully that will be the case here, too.

Well, Vi sort-of stopped one thing from happening:

derpicdn.net/img/view/2012/12/5/173005.gif

The destroyer of the worlds, the abyss itself.

While it's fairly obvious that Vi has a strong set of rational principles and priori, she's still quite rough around the edges when it comes to her functioning in society. She may or may not have a point about Rarity lying. Getting into an outburst the way Vi did isn't going to change minds, though, and cooler minds prevailed there.

Still, pretty cool to see her her Bayesian theory to postulate the odds of Rarity's letter being a lie, and I can see Twilight uneasily seeing and accepting her reasoning, even with the implications Twilight wouldn't like.

Hah. Well, I'm sure that's the first time in the history of FIMFiction that somebody has managed to rationally argue Spike into giving up all his birthday gifts. Too bad he never does get his ruby back, at least. Or have his character development moment with Rarity.

This and the last chapter seem to have caused the story to devolve into an episodic flick though, a 'how would a rationalist bystander character act in each episode' story. Hopefully it doesn't continue that way, even if it does force some detours. Real attempts at making for want of a nail should see real changes to a storyline, even with something like Twilight questioning how sensible her own actions are before going through with them (oh hello there It's About Time).

8873774

This and the last chapter seem to have caused the story to devolve into an episodic flick though, a 'how would a rationalist bystander character act in each episode' story.

That was intended, but it didn’t carry things too far. Chapters V and onward still go along episodes of the show, but the tie becomes pretty loose.

There are also fairly few episodes that even work. It’s about Time, for example, can’t possibly be part of this story’s canon.

I can see how Vi wasn't really satisfied with the conclusion to how this episode panned out in-story. I wasn't quite happy with the actual episode either, because it deploys what the tropes calls 'Debate-and-Switch', which is to present a dilemma only to basically sideswipe the whole issue with something that derails the strength of one half of the argument. In the case of the episode, the argument about tradional hoof-made cider vs. automation never really panned out, because in the event Flim and Flam's particular machine broke down at high speeds. The Cutie Map episodes (Season 5 premier) is far worse for this, but that's another issue.

Still, at least that gives some more background to Vi, though of course she still hasn't said the why of her coming to Equestria. Get close to the Elements, self-improvement, research, sure. But there's quite obviously a deeper underlying reason to her needing to come to Equestria specifically.

Well, that's certainly a lot different from the last couple of chapters. I like it as a progression of events in the friendship between Vi and Fluttershy, and since I think there's a couple of Fluttershy episodes coming up here shortly, it'll definitely be useful as a counterweight to canon events.

Of course, Fluttershy is still Fluttershy, so even with some social lubrication she'll still shy away from some of the tougher confrontations. Though Pinkie Pie is always a great friend to have.

Well, we certainly don't get any inspirational moment now where Fluttershy faces her fears...on the other hoof, it can be easily argued that for Rainbow Dash, who was busy all that week, there was a pretty high opportunity cost for getting Fluttershy up to snuff and trying to get her in to help. With the time spent elsewhere helping other pegasi get faster and stronger, the whole 800-wingpower vacuum plan should have gone off without a snuff.

It's good to see that (like Vi herself said earlier), being good at thinking doesn't necessarily make her the uberpferd, talented at everything. In fact, the story would have been worse for it if she was naturally good at everything she attempted, or her rationalist skills at least let her basically think well enough to be artifically good at everything as well. She's not a prodigy at magic, and so she'll take longer than actual prodigies would.

8881344

it can be easily argued that for Rainbow Dash, who was busy all that week, there was a pretty high opportunity cost for getting Fluttershy up to snuff and trying to get her in to help.

That’s a reasonable point I’ve never considered.

Even if I had gone there, though, it probably wouldn’t have been close enough for Fluttershy to make the difference, because I don’t do convenient coincidences if I can avoid it. But more importantly, I think the episode has it wrong in making Fluttershy participate at all, as I’ve expressed here.

This habit you have of commenting on every chapter you read is neat. It’s one more bit of motivation to finally get the next chapter released, it’s been far too long.

8883305

This habit you have of commenting on every chapter you read is neat. It’s one more bit of motivation to finally get the next chapter released, it’s been far too long.

That's definitely about 50% of why I do it. The other 50% is because I'm a writer too so I know just how dang nice it feels to get a slew of comments all at once.

Huh. I guess the wedding's going a little differently in this version of events.

We were standing close, and suddenly he kicked me.

Well, there goes my theory that Vi was Chrysalis all along... :pinkiecrazy::rainbowlaugh:

If the main OCs in this story were voiced, what would they sound like?

Yep, definitely a different take on the wedding.

8895072
That is a great question. Unfortunately I don’t have an answer at all in regards to Vi (who is the only OC, right?). I can’t think of any voice I know that seems like a perfect fit.

God dammit, Twilight... :facehoof:

well, actions have consequences I suppose.

Now for an inappropriate comment:
Cadence x Twilight OTP!

Huh. Feels like I missed a step. Still, interesting

This Discord needs the Prevention treatment.

8937323
Well, you missed three steps...

8938185
Huh, didnt even notice the chapter numbers. That'll teach me to not pay attention.

8938668
Yeah, and I do worry that quite a lot of people won’t notice, either. At least not immediately.

What's Bayesian Probability? Does it have any relation to Micheal Bay?

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