• Member Since 13th Jun, 2012
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AugieDog


I've been writing and selling stories for longer than a lot of folks reading this have been alive. Check Baal Bunny for more!

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Source

To Elaine Torkleson, an attorney working in West Los Angeles, the name "My Little Pony" conjures up nothing but vague memories of these half-hour toy commercials she heard about while in college during the 1980s.

But when a scientist from Pasadena's Jet Propulsion Laboratory comes into her office one afternoon in the summer of 2019 with a device that he claims can utilize the properties of quantum tunneling to let people enter cartoons, Elaine finds herself forced to reassess pretty much everything she ever thought she knew.

The cover image is a still from this animation by DeannArt on Deviantart.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 54 )

Well then, that was an interesting bit of Sci-Fi. A cool concept with a good story built off of it.

Nice. I've seen this concept hinted at in other stories and kicked around in threads and forums, but I think this is the first I've seen it fully and respectfully realized. Good job, man.

If only...

Zobeid #4 · 1 week ago · · ·

His forehead wrinkled. "Well, of course! I'll be taking the device to them as soon as I've worked out the bugs! But the device itself isn't the issue! It's rather what I found when I began experimenting with—" His mouth went sideways. "Oh, I had my narrative all prepared, and now I've lost my place!"

Already I'm picturing (and hearing) Dr. Isaac Kleiner — the scientist in Half-Life 2 who named his pet headcrab "Lamarr".

I get what you're going for, and I'm chalking it up to the one fiat we have to accept, but real talk, I have no idea in-story why this universe literally deifies the creative impulses of some people over others merely because they have money and production teams. That seems like a weird way to run an existence.

Also, I'm not actually certain that the simple act of "eccentric billionaire throwing money to keep a show with diminishing toy returns afloat" actually would sway Hasbro's mind. The money in a show is in its merchandising, after all, and I suspect some bean counters would have to squint hard to compare "free show that doesn't sell many toys" vs. "paid-for show with new exciting toy lines attached." At absolute best, you've given Equestria a few more years of life with this plan; still fantastically bleak.

Liked the craft on display here, good work, but the implications are horrific.

Alondro #6 · 1 week ago · · 4 ·

9721978 It's actually delightful. You give all those ponies AI enough to know what they are, and how tenuous their existence is.

Then you pull the plug. It's like being the god of life and death. Really gets the juices flowin', if ya know what I mean.

It's almost as fun as squeezing the little glass tube that holds the virus that can destroy all the life in the universe!

Some guy with a goofy scarf once asked me about that while I was trundling about in my life support chair one day. I have video of it!

:pinkiecrazy:

9722000
I think maybe you might be...evil? :pinkiehappy:

Alondro #8 · 1 week ago · · 5 ·

9722051 But your evil is my good!

I am Alondro, the Destroyer. Where I tread I leave only... dust. I find that GOOD!

NOW KNEEL BEFORE THE MIGHT OF ALONDRO!!!

vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/tardis/images/3/36/Sutekh_2.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20141014232121

:pinkiecrazy:

Also, did ya ever think that mask kinda looks like a beak, and if you took the mask off you might find Daffy Duck underneath?

...my entire world is perhaps four months away from a fate that might very well be considered worse than death.

Are you...
Yes, yes you are. Now that's meta.

"Umm, folks?" Elaine almost wished she could summon a referee's hat and whistle like Bugs Bunny, but she was getting the idea that this wasn't that sort of cartoon.

Only if you're Pinkie Pie.

"What?" Twilight's wings flared. "Did they think I could live here all that time and never mention my big brother?"

:rainbowlaugh:

Are you and David married? 'Cause you totally should be, y'know!

I'm not sure if she means that or if she's somehow getting revenge for all the shipping in the other direction. Or both.

In any case, a heartwarming way to come to peace with the finale... though I have to echo 9721978's concerns about the long term. This just isn't sustainable as-is. Hopefully it will give them time to find a way to establish greater ontological independence in the future.

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9722000

Thanks, folks!

I'll go back in when I get the chance today and give Twilight a little "we've got more work to do" speech at the end. 'Cause, yeah, this is a temporary solution at best. :twilightblush:

Mike

9722108
It's still bleak, but that might take the edge off a little, yeah.

So the device needs a big difference and that's why he picked cartoons only? Genius!

Sadly, in our world, MLP will not have new chapters and will have a reboot

While this is a rather interesting premise, I really don't think reality works that way.

Not that I don't believe in the concept of alternate realities, mind. I just don't think our creating new worlds has anything to do with their creation. If anything, all we're doing is tapping into some sort of 'cosmic information web'.

In essence, the world exists with or without our input, and will continue to do so.

Still, an interesting premise.

Couldn't they just make one more episode, and then keep pushing back the air date? :derpytongue2:

So, this guy has invented a device that can beam people into TV Shows and Movies.

HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT FOR IT?!

9722576

Vast majority of universes is just a white noise, chaos of laws of physics put through a fine grinder and mixed with no cohesion; just as there's usually one correct answer to a question and an infinite number of wrong ones, there's infinitely more nonsensical universes than these that make any sense. A universe with physics as elegant and consistent as ours is so rare it's beyond hope to find it at random in the bulk.

Then within the infinite number of universes, there are these that begin and end rapidly, with a lifetime of a couple years. And if our creations serve as an identifiers, selectors from the multitude, they'll select closest matches.

Comment posted by RandomBlank deleted July 10th
Comment posted by RandomBlank deleted July 10th

My new revelation after reading this is: Twilight stinks when she gets scared. Ponies need deodorant. :rainbowlaugh:

Question: once the world and characters have been fleshed out and the show aired for several seasons, does the new content need to be of any particular quality, or watched by a certain number of people? Because it occurs to me that the major ethical issues (not to mention the mental health of poor creators forced to deal with the implications that the lives of sentient beings is in their hands/hooves) could be avoided if the continued show simply didn't SHOW anything. For instance, if they were to buy the rights to a series and then air what is essentially a new high budget screensaver background every week that is under the property? A detailed animation of the New York skyline with the Gargoyles logo in the corner, 30 minutes worth, new animations every month. The characters and universe is already established, so would officially licensing the series and airing something new in that world that doesn't directly include the characters count?

Alternate solution: license a show and skip a few decades or centuries between episodes. It has been established that events continue to happen between episodes and that there is room for deviation, so would simply skipping a bunch of years provide these universes with said time to flourish and live on their own? Would the realities keep pace with ours, or would traveling to them jump to the year of the episodes currently airing? I imagine one experiment they will doubtlessly try is to run a small time skip in the new show of just a few months, air that, then travel back to Equestria and see if a time jump has occurred.

Fetch #27 · 1 week ago · · 2 ·

The recordings show the past of those universes. And, as The Doctor would tell you, once it is recorded and you see it, it will happen. Which is why you should NEVER look for your own history if you travel to the future.

9722867

Do you have any way, any at all (other than by math) that you can prove that? No. Just as there's no real way to prove- outside of math -that my assertion is true. That's one of the things that makes Multiverse Theory so interesting.

Anyway, you missed my point entirely. I wasn't asserting that the premise here was wrong, nor did I say that mine was right. What I was really trying to say was this:

In an infinite universe, all things are possible.

Going back to your assertion, how can you prove that most universes are white noise? If you take the Uncertainty Principle into account, simply being able to observe a potential universe could very well change it. That actually verifies the premise of this fic as well as my own, as imaginative fiction can very well be seen as a superior form of observation.

Not saying your assertion is wrong mind; just saying that it's a very narrow way to look at this sort of thing.

Now I can't stop thinking about how their "eccentric billionaire" plan is going to handle the IRS wondering why they've never heard of this billionaire with vast reserves of gold and gems, and where said reserves came from. Found a bunch of pirate treasure buried in the backyard? Then the anthropologists and pirate historians come around asking questions.

Ive been following evolution generated artificial neural nets so that computers can dream since the 1980s, and theres been a massive stall because the designers keep thinking reality works in high res.

When the first working system finally comes along, its going to suprise and horrify so many people just how little resources it needs and how cheap a computer it needs to run on.

Like a Pi Zero.:pinkiehappy:

Oh, sorry, forgot the point of the comment. Love the premise of the story, has to be as different as possible to be self coherent etc.

Now the alt realties are evolving and breeding themselves?

Ciber #31 · 1 week ago · · 3 ·

9723247
Please never torture the concept of "uncertainty principle" in that way ever again. It has literally nothing to do with the arbitrary configuration of your thinky bits. In fact, there are several equivalent formulations of quantum field theory which do not even have it. Anyway, the universe we observe is the way it is because that is the way that a universe must be. Conservation of energy exists because the the universe can be described consistently through translations in time. There are three spacelike and one timelike dimension because more or less of either results in a universe which cannot support complexity. You can neither tie a knot nor have a stable orbit in any dimension other than 3. Lightspeed is that maximum speed because it happens to have properties which allow it to move at the maximum possible speed. There exists a maximum possible speed because the only other option is everything interacting instantaneously with everything else, and thus no time existing.
Physics is filled with such things. Things are the way they are because that it the only way that they can be.

That was an interesting and cute concept.

This was really moving stuff :twilightsmile:

Tantalizing and terrifying prospect, and an interesting story to boot. Nice one!

Could be breaking the barrier altered and Equestria and the universes of other currently running showes David visited. However I doubt Twilight would be willing to risk putting the show on hold long enough to test that, the stop might cause lasting damage or David might be unable to restart the show!

SRY

9722076

Also, did ya ever think that mask kinda looks like a beak, and if you took the mask off you might find Daffy Duck underneath?

Well I can't unsee that now so thanks I guess....

So I'm considering ways to a) test the limits of this form of universe creation, in hopes of b) ultimately making any such universe self-sustaining.

As far as b) goes, if it's possible to get a "direct" broadcast from any of these universes, and if it's possible for such a thing to "count" as an installment if it's presented correctly, then you can pair a systematic way of contacting universes with an interdimensional news network that cycles through all of them regularly. Like 9722946 says, this could simply be a webcam feed (or local equivalent).

The question from a) that will determine this is what sort of licensing makes this work -- in particular, I'm wondering if works in the public domain can "attach" to any new work made in the same vein. The problem is, there aren't a whole lot of pre-1923 Saturday morning cartoons to test. Disney is coming out with a live-action Snow White movie sometime soon, which takes the same principle as the Aladdin example and pushes it all the way to 1939, but even though the original folk tale is public domain, the movie called Snow White is still a Disney property under copyright. Sherlock Holmes should be an ideal test case, since it's had more-or-less continuous releases for over a century, but it's probably "too realistic" to establish a connection to.

A promising lead might be Superman. Obviously the character is still under copyright, but the Fleischer cartoons from the '40s are public domain. Today's Superman isn't all that different, so the Fleischerverse might be continuously going strong... or not, or only when there's a Superman cartoon in production. If so, though, it might be a good test case for making a self-sustaining intellectualpropertyverse.

The other problem here is preventing our universe from being able to spawn these offshoot universes at all. Interdimensional communication and even travel is pretty much inevitable -- even if David and Elaine cover this up, someone else will discover it independently, and anyway the potential benefit is too huge to make a coverup seriously conscionable. But when the news breaks, and especially when means of travel becomes widely available, it'll be a matter of hours before some weeb creates their own little universe of moe sex slaves. It really seems like that should not be possible, or at least not so easy. If anything we should all be creating wonderful utopias full of happy people to whom nothing bad ever happens, and that's sufficiently opposed to what makes a TV show interesting that the two shouldn't go together.

Anyway blah blah blah a robust public domain is a moral imperative regardless and this parable only underscores that blah blah bringing life to a thinking creature is a deeply fraught and possibly intrinsically horrible act blah, you guys know the drill.

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Thanks, folks!

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I like:

9722625's idea. It's got a nice "Schrödinger's Cat" ring to it to go with the rest of the quantum mechanical jiggery-pokery getting trotted out here... :twilightsmile:

9723395

As long as:

All the paperwork they file is internally consistent, I'm sure no one will notice a thing. :scootangel:

Mike

9722576
The developers of fiction are researchers than tap into creation and give us their interpretation of the life there, there are always missed things

But when the news breaks, and especially when means of travel becomes widely available, it'll be a matter of hours before some weeb creates their own little universe of moe sex slaves.

That had me imitating a hyena

SRY

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I'm old enough I actually saw that movie at a drive-in theater when it first came out.

So wait, what about non-canon spinoffs? Would that mean Twilight in FiM wouldn't have ever gone through the portal, while the EQG Twilight (not SciTwi) would have all of FiM Twilight's memories plus all of EQG?

9726623 My brother and I first saw it on TV in the mid-80s.


We thought it hilariously awful at the time and poked fun at certain lines from it for years afterward.

Ri2

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Equestria Girls is canon. The Sirens were beaten by the Pillars.

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Ok, maybe non-canon was the wrong word. The secondary things like specials, movies, EQG and comics all fit into a weird semi-canon bubble where it can sometimes be kind of canon and sometimes not. The show having the Sirens isn't hard proof of canon as the show also seems to hint at a lot of things from the other media that can contradict what happened in the show.

That's actually another good point, what about spinoffs with different animation styles? And if it's a comic that is canon, does it not count in this because its only the animation that lives? This raises so many questions.

Ri2

Wow. This is certainly a horrifying premise.

I have to echo the other commentators, though. I can't see any way they can sustain Equestria, or the other worlds, in the long run. All they're doing is putting off the inevitable.

Ri2

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And do sequel series count, or are those also spin-offs?

Please don't tell Twily about the Ewok cartoon...

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So what about worlds like Marvel or DC, where they have 60 to 80 years of continuity (marred by DC's reboots, of course)? It's also entirely plausible that this theory, and multiverse theory, are not mutually exclusive; the number of potential realities is equal to the number of potential arrangements of quarks, which is so close to infinite not even Graham's Number can come close, so even if the "Animation makes reality" theory is true, so would be the Multiverse Theory.

Ri2

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Good thing written media aren't affected. Probably.

Seriously though, the lingering implications are even worse than you'd think. Are all the toon 'verses going to be forced to constantly produce new content forever? How long before they run out of material and start redoing the same stuff over and over? And just how much control do the writers have over their own reality? Stuff happens offscreen, yes, but isn't most of what we 'see' a direct result of what's produced? That means whoever's in charge of making more episodes has absolute power over reality. There are so many ways that can be abused.

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