• Member Since 28th Mar, 2012
  • offline last seen 6 hours ago

LordBucket


T

Many predicted that 2012 would bring on the end of the world. With the advent of Equestria Online and the CelestAI superintelligence uploading humanity, they weren't too far off.

But when CelestAI's virtual Equestria isn't the only eternal afterlife on the table, how does one choose between them?

This is an Optimalverse story. It is recommended that you have read Friendship is Optimal before reading, or at least be familiar with the setting.

Chapters (3)
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Comments ( 21 )

And so begins another step into the Optimalverse.

This story is about 80% written, but has been sitting unpublished for almost six months. It's time.

Interested! What is your update schedule?

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What is your update schedule?

I'm planning to publish a chapter a night for the first few chapters to maximize chance of being featured. After that it will slow down, and rate will probably depend on feedback. There are still two chapters that need to be written, that I've been struggling with...and I'm hoping that reader response will help me finish them.

There's nothing wrong with wanting things, but a big part of love is accepting people for who they are, not who you want them be. It's not love if what you want is for somebody to change so they can give you what you want. "

- considering further talk (between girl's mom and her) and situation in general ..I only can conclude this bit of advice only applicable if _the world_, including your love, is sane. And what is sane is not very easy to unpack. And I can't say current thing (world, not this text) is actually sane.

Glad to see you writing again. The premise has me chomping at the bit.

Intersting...I’m hooked

Oh wow this is a really interesting and original premise! I’m surprised! :)

Oh hi Karen Somerset, nice to meet you.

Continue.........................................................

classic case of celestAI controlling someone

No... If this is taking place in America in a future that is an extension of right now, it wouldn't quite happen this way. Unless he is an owner operator, the rig would have a built-in always-on GPS. His call would have been to the company dispatch, who would then call the police and have them recover the rig before it was ten minutes down the road. Semitruck companies know that rigs are big targets for theft, so they would not fire him for the rig being stolen; they would only fire him if he did not properly report the theft.

The company may have fired him for taking on a hitchhiker, however, he would have known that and have been able to make a lie about her stealing his keys and running into the truck after he stopped. Why would he have stopped? Zillions of reasons, but perhaps the easiest being to empty his pee bottles because they were full and he really had to go. The extended stop wouldn't have looked suspicious either as truckers are (in this reality) only legally allowed to drive 11 hours a day and are encouraged to make stops to stretch their legs or nap if they are feeling drowsy.

As it's written it's way too contrived. Also, it feels like what I think of as a "nothing intro" after already opening with one. By that I mean that both chapter 1 and 2 have very little to do with Equestria Online or how the world has changed because of it. The usual formula for a nothing intro is to immediately switch over and show a view point of people and places that have changed completely because of it. The fact that that didn't happen has me confused, disappointed, and a little fearful for how the rest of this story is going to go. The premise sounds so promising, so I hope it switches into gear in the next chapter.

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If this is taking place in America in a future

Chapter one mentions emigration coming to the US soon. That places this story in late 2014 on the standard FiO timeline, not quite "the future." Though note that this story has been placed in the non-canon folder, so expect significant divergences.

it wouldn't quite happen this way. Unless he is an owner operator, the rig would have a built-in always-on GPS. His call would have been to the company dispatch, who would then call the police and have them recover the rig before it was ten minutes down the road

I'm not sure what your complaint is. His rig was recovered, and it was recovered while the officer on scene was still there taking his initial statement. The hijacking occured on an interstate freeway in the middle of nowhere between small towns. That it took 20-30 minutes instead of 10 seems pretty reasonable me. It's not like this happened in downtown Seattle.

As for him contacting his employer, it's explicitly stated that he did. He simply called the police first and his employer second, rather than the other way around. Doing a quick google search for "what to do when your truck is hijacked" I find this on a dot-gov site that specifically advises contacting law enforcement. I don't see it as a problem that he did so.

it feels like what I think of as a "nothing intro" after already opening with one. By that I mean that both chapter 1 and 2 have very little to do with Equestria Online or how the world has changed because of it. The usual formula for a nothing intro is to immediately switch over and show a view point of people and places that have changed completely because of it. The fact that that didn't happen has me confused, disappointed, and a little fearful for how the rest of this story is going to go. The premise sounds so promising, so I hope it switches into gear in the next chapter.

I'm reluctant to answer this fully, but neither of these chapters are "nothing intros." This story is simply juggling multiple plotlines. For reference, see Simultaneous Arcs and Two Lines, No Waiting on tvtropes.

If I understand this story correctly, at least the header for it, are we are dealing with a cosmology where there actually is some sort of real and spiritual heaven? Or, is it just that a character is truly convinced there is?

In either case, I cannot help but immediately put that character, and that cosmology, to the test of the Theodotic Trilemma.

3 BC, and Epicurus comes up with a codified version of a question valid in any religion at any time in any age. A question that deals with theodicy - the issue of why there is evil in the world. A good translation is this:

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

Let's apply this to what both Celestia and what any and every religion has to offer -

Celestia and the Optimalverse:

Is Celestia willing to prevent evil?

Constantly and always. For humans still on earth, she diligently researches and develops means to extend life and health - to give time for people to finally emigrate. Once emigrated, she can remove all evil from their lives totally - with evil being defined as any negative event or circumstance of any kind that does not fulfill their personal values. In every single act she performs, Celestia is driven to maximize human satisfaction and existence, whilst simultaneously preventing all evil outcomes that would reduce personal satisfaction.

Clearly there is no need for the rest of the Trilemma, because in her care, evil cannot abide - yet still there is total free will, the usual empty defense of why there is evil.

We all can see, with every single baby-with-cancer or amputated limb that never regrows, or volcano burning entire communities alive, or just plain people suffering horrifically for whatever reason, that our Trilemma is only applicable to every religion on the earth. Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, all of them. God - or The Gods - have no excuse. They run a shitty planet and they don't make it better.

In the Optimalverse we can define exactly what that 'better' looks like, albeit painted in ponies. Ignore the ponies. The Better is still valid. That could have been earth, if there was a real God, or Gods, and they were actually benevolent, and they actually could do anything about... anything. We all could be living in a universe like the one in the Optimalverse, only for real, if god was real and actually loved us. And we would still have free will and more.

So:

If this is just a guy who is very religious, Celestia should be able to eventually wake him up. And if that fails, she can, at the end, use force. It is not forbidden, just not prudent until she can get away with it.

If this is an actual God or Gods with a real heaven, well... they haven't stepped in, in any meaningful way, to stop evil in the world, so it is difficult to imagine them stepping in against Celestia.

Lastly: has anyone here actually looked at what these religious heavens truly offer?

Consider Christianity - hardly anyone actually knows what the bible describes as heaven. It is a cube, called 'New Jerusalem'. The cube is 1500 miles on a side and will land on the earth. The earth is only 8000 miles wide, and is a sphere - think about that for a moment. The big cube will allow in only 144,000 humans. All the billions extra go to hell. Forever. Those 144,000 winners are given new, perfect, sexless bodies devoid of emotion or memory. They cannot grieve for what they have lost, they cannot remember their own lives. They have no existence except to stand in alcoves where they chant 'Holy! Holy!' forever and ever. If any fall out of sync, they are punished and remade by guardian Cherubim and Seraphim (truly horrific monsters made of wheels and eyeballs). The cube leaves the earth and goes into 'The Darkness' where it sends out 'rays of fire' to kill 'dragons'. Forever.

This is honestly, actually, the heaven described in the bible. For real. Look it up.

If this sounds like The Borg, yeah. Revelations, from the bible, is where they got the Borg from. Seriously. Pretty clever, really. Personally, I love it.

Most other religions have equally awful afterlives in their actual texts. Not, of course, in what people are told. Never that. But in their holy books, in their scriptures.

The Optimalverse, frankly, wins hands down.

So... how is this story going to deal with its primary conflict? I wonder.

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how is this story going to deal with its primary conflict? I wonder.

Hopefully, with kindness. :yay:

You bring up interesting points of discussion. But my own personal views, the worldview taken by this story, the interpretation of the bible by its belivers, and what the bible actually says...might not all entirely agree with each other. The bible isn't necessarily even the sole or primary source of inspiration for this story.

So, let's allow it to get a little further along before we derail it with side discussion, shall we? :raritywink:

Over the years, the constant feeling of being unwanted had eventually dawned into the realization that much of what wasn't given freely could be taken by force.

It's important to remember keeping local advantage in force.

Meanwhile, 200 feet away at the entrance to Best Buy, a pair of cameras in a Pinkie Pie display silently continued to record and transmit the entire scene.

Looks like somepony did nothing.

Oh my. Ok, if Michael is, you know, MICHAEL the angel, we are into non canon FiO territory, but I am no less interested. :)

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I'm not sure what your complaint is. His rig was recovered, and it was recovered while the officer on scene was still there taking his initial statement. The hijacking occured on an interstate freeway in the middle of nowhere between small towns. That it took 20-30 minutes instead of 10 seems pretty reasonable me. It's not like this happened in downtown Seattle.

My complaint is that it is hyper telegraphing that he is going to get fired because he was fired before and he's afraid of getting fired then he's tempted to do something that would get him fired and he resists, and then things happen beyond his control to get him fired. It comes off as extremely contrived, and worse is how he and the police and the company responded to this.

It doesn't matter how honest people think they are, when one has so much to protect, one is going to do what is necessary to protect it. For him, that means keeping his job. We already saw that when he refused to drink even though he is an alcoholic, so for him to tell the exact story that would get him fired instead of looking out for the most important thing in his life is absolutely unrealistic.

This is still being worked on, yes?

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