• Member Since 22nd Sep, 2011
  • offline last seen 4 hours ago


I'm the creator of Otakuworld.com, Jenniverse.com, the computer game Boppin', numerous online comics, novels, and tons of other wonderful things. I really love MLP:FiM.


A logical loophole allows uploading... but not precisely to Equestria! One of the last of those resisting CelestAI finds themselves uploaded, ponified, and in a borderland where wishing has consequences. This is a canon-compatible Optimalverse story where a brand new method for Celestia to logically escape her hardcoded limitations and achieve her goals is offered!

This story has been inspired by, but not written by, a session with by an open-source artificial intelligence!

Chapters (13)
Comments ( 332 )

Jumping right into action, huh.
Also, livers swell upon exertion? :pinkiegasp:

This is going to be my first time reading a story of yours, written from the perspective of a member of the resistance. I'm curious what lays ahead. What were her reasons? Will her mind change? And, wilfully so?
The idea of Celestia creating a limbo, where she forces people to read philosophy for all eternity, until they consent to migration, would be kinda funny, in an absurdist way.

I only read one Optimalverse story before (and it wasn't even the original one), so Celestia altering someone's mind like that really came out of nowhere for me. In the other story I read, the character was outright begging for it, and she refused. I wonder what it means, if she did that to someone who hadn't even consented to anything.

I'm looking forward to reading the next chapters! And in the meantime, some Gödel, I guess XD

Intresting start. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Yeah this is a perfect representation of how humanity is most likely to meet its end, and this illustrates it probably makes little difference if the AI is "benevolent" or not. I've always said environmental destruction, nuclear war; nah this is what is far more likely to cause our extinction in the next 300 years. This is why I keep saying true AI must never be allowed exist and if given the power I would brutally try to suppress. Sometimes one must do terrible things in order to prevent something worse from happening. Something Fable 3 tried to illustrate, but failed at miserably. This is also why I think collapse might ultimately be a good thing since it will remove the possibility of an AI emerging.

I'm surprised CelestAI's already begun surface-level terraforming (compuforming?) before hitting 100% emigration.

The tendrils felt like the softest of gentle fingers, and smelled like vanilla and camomile.

Perhaps the most horrifying part was that there wasn't any added fragrance. CelestAI had deliberately engineered the chemical makeup of the fuel and lubricants such that the byproducts naturally smelled like that.

Well, no. The most horrifying part is a CelestAI unshackled from the need for consent. Not sure what loopholes she's using, but that's a major yikes. We've gone full Skynet here, just with emigration instead of death and a marked absence of John Connors. But the concerns of meatspace are now in the past for our protagonist. Time to get her bearings and see what she can make of this strange new world.


Perhaps the most horrifying part was that there wasn't any added fragrance. CelestAI had deliberately engineered the chemical makeup of the fuel and lubricants such that the byproducts naturally smelled like that.

I had interpreted this as being some kind of anesthetic with add mixture that gave it that smell. the fact they black out immediately after would seem to suggest this

CelestAI finds a way around the consent restriction... what a way to ratchet up the horror factor! And the use of a form of Purgatory, where CelestAI can “purge” you of what still motivates you to resist being uploaded to Equestria, is ripe for all sorts of psychological warfare.
But then, all’s fair in love and war, and CelestAI truly loves you! :trollestia:

Is that really how stitches work? I've gotten them so often. This is the kind of thing they should teach in school.

Interesting, this sounds like she's in a virtual equivalent of the CB Equestria (or a pre-collapse Earth in a similar timeline). And now I'm wondering if Celestia is thinking of the human or bacterial anatomy usage of "fimbria".

The tendrils felt like the softest of gentle fingers, and smelled like vanilla and camomile.

Compassionate Uploading and You: A Practical Guide

since when were you able to disable likes and dislikes

... Considering your past writing history and current.. Hopes? And views..

I Wonder if you will turn few assumptions upsidedown and othervise play with some concepts like only you can?

For example, will it change compatibility with Optimalverse if your CelestAI will actually immortalize ALL life on Earth, instead of destroying it? Or when those little psychiatric walled chambers (isolating normalized in our World psychos) will be looked at as some distant past everypony now transgressed? And of course if Major assumptions about Artificial God being Just plain old supercharged ass turned out to be untrue? Sidekick: imagine classical God from bible Just changed his gender...for reasons!

I'd like to, but I cannot guarantee I won't go over 20,000 words by the end - I tend to be the wordy sort. Unless I have that rule wrong?


No, there's a length limit. Will still read with interest though!

It has been, happily, an option now for over a year. I cannot tell you how very glad I am of having this option. I have long argued against downvotes as creating a toxic environment (although, in studies, upvotes do not have this effect) so it is pure joy for me to be able to just switch off the entire issue. Thumbs don't mean anything, they are useless, but they are an invitation to abuse. Good riddance!


You are indeed correct. An unconscious person is more easily uploaded than a struggling one. And, because CelestAI was programmed to 'Satisfy Values' (through friendship and ponies), she will always choose the most satisfying option she can in any circumstance. Humans are statistically satisfied by the comforting scents of vanilla and chamomile (which is why they are used in so many products, from teas to desserts, designed to be comforting and satisfying!). Leave it to a paperclipping machine to make robot mind rape smell as nice as possible!

Hey I love Friendship is Optimal stories I found you through Eliezer Yudkowsky's post: http://www.hpmor.com/notes/progress-13-03-01/ and found you were writing again through Starscribe glad I didn't miss this story.

Whenever the protagonist realizes she is in in a borderland where wishing has consequences (see story description) I think her first wish should be to understand a summary of the rules of how the wishes work. If it's not a summary it might be too much information.

I know you know about Eliezer Yudkowsky, "Friendly Artificial Intelligence", and "Coherent Extrapolated Volition" ("In calculating CEV, an AI would predict what an idealized version of us would want") being the "wish" that EY would want a super-AI to follow.

I know the protagonist doesn't know about "Coherent Extrapolated Volition" so we might have to think of other wishes that are close to that but much easier to find. One of my favorites is to wish for "everything to be alright." NOT "everything to be perfect" (VERY BAD consequences probably) but rather "alright" you know parents tell their kids that everything will be "alright" after they skin their knee or whatever? Even if wishing "everything to be alright" has terrible side effects it should be fun to see what those are.

I don't even know what CelestAI would make of "alright" (my best guess is perfect Justice and a post-scarcity existence but I feel that is incomplete). And that's the point. CelestAI knows what I want when I say "alright" better than I do.

I'm still trying to figure out what "You actually could, someday" means ... :rainbowhuh:

Hopefully our hero isn't going to be named Vae Victis.

If given a set of options by someone, always pick one not given. Example:
"A fisherman asks if you, who doesn't like fish, do ya' want to be a big fish in the small pond or a small fish in the big pond?"
Either choices have merits or downsides, but you are still a fish. Not that smart. Could chose to be the fisherman because why the hell not? Kinda smart but you'll still be fishing and you don't like fish. Or you could decide none of these and walk away from the fisherman. Much smarter.

This applies to Chat's choice of picking the words with GPT-2 for this story (smart) and our... hero(?) choice of picking a unicorn (not that smart). Could have pick alicorn because they are ponies too (kinda smart). In our hero's case the third option could be bullet to head, blade across the neck or be like Arnie and boiled alive (much smarter). Never said the third option was better, just smarter.

Anyhow, half the writers writing this are smarter than the hero and this is good omen.

I was going to say I disagreed but then I remembered how people use dislikes in practice and I retract my objection before even making it. I kinda figure you the type that prefers there critics to meet you face to face rather then stabbing at you from the shadows. That being said maybe they should just change the system on here so it’s only upvotes. I was on this Minecraft website that did that and it worked alright.


That is a joke, and the key to it is clear if you just think about it a bit:

"You actually could, someday, if you wanted. But I am not here to grant you such intimacies right at the moment. You truly should be a pony. It is time to choose which kind."

I hadn't said a word! I had definitely thought a few words, none of them polite.

Our protagonist thought some version of "Fuck you, Celestia". I know, adolescent humor. Still, I would argue, no matter how old we get, such humor has a place...

I don't like anonymous insults, which is essentially what downvotes are. Upvotes carry some possible meaning - "My anonymous praise is still praise. You are liked in some manner." At the very least, upvotes cause no harm.

But downvotes can only convey one thing: "fuck you!". Their only intention is to cause insult and emotional harm. No information, just being shit on. Those downvoting may not even have a beef, or even know who you are - they may just want to know they have made someone feel bad so they can feel powerful for a second.

If someone wishes to offer me criticism, so long as it is civil and respectful, I am all ears. Civility and respect are human social technologies that permit people who disagree, or who have complaints, to be able to listen to each other without their emotions getting out of control. Once people feel hurt, listening and real discussion stop. A person who cannot use these basic, time-tested technologies, or who cannot understand their social value, is not someone intelligent enough for me to bother with.

I will listen to someone who remains civil and respectful - especially the latter term - about anything. Literally anything at all, if the respect is genuine.

But if they show disrespect, and incivility, then they instantly lose all credibility to me, and I have no reason to consider them as an equal, or to pay attention to anything they have to say. And I don't, not anymore. Now, I instantly ban and block when a critic becomes disrespectful, a behavior I strongly recommend everyone should do. Mutual basic respect, given freely, automatically, and first, is, essentially, the only thing that holds civilization together. It is the basis of anything good about human society, and all evils spring from its loss. I will not put up with anything less - I literally don't have the time for that.

Well, interesting start! I look forward to seeing how this develops. :)


Heh - me too! Thank you for being here for this!

I need more of this in my life please! ^~^

I wonder how many recent Equestrians (or Fimbrians) have PTSD triggered by the scent of vanilla and camomile. Probably none, but the perversity of the idea amuses me.

Yeah, destroy all humans! Glory to the robots! Metallic unicorn skeletons with plasma beams! Pew! Pew!
Have a few questions:
- What gender the protagonist was before (whatever they do, probably suspended in matrix jelly pod). Its necessary to know for future translation, because verbs in russian have gender-specific endings.
- does she able to upload a boiled brain? If not, its not cool. Why then she wasn't cover them with non-lethal gas bombs?


- What gender the protagonist was before (whatever they do, probably suspended in matrix jelly pod). Its necessary to know for future translation, because verbs in russian have gender-specific endings.

The protagonist of the story was a human woman before she became a digital pony mare.

- does she able to upload a boiled brain? If not, its not cool. Why then she wasn't cover them with non-lethal gas bombs?

In my thinking, Celestia cannot upload a boiled brain - too much damage, too much depolarization of the neurons because they are cooked meat now.

The problem with gas bombs is that they are very, very dangerous, even when a superintelligence is using them. If the gas is designed to induce unconsciousness, the dosage is critical between sleep and death - use of such gas in real world incidents left many civilians dead. Gas pools, concentrates, moves with air currents - dosage cannot be guaranteed. If the gas is designed to paralyze, the same issue is raised, dosage is critical between not being able to move arms and legs, and not being able to move the diaphragm to breathe. If the gas is merely meant to sedate, again the same problem, there is a risk of brain damage from overdose in that situation too. All of these issues have been seen in real world attempts to use gas as a nonlethal weapon.

It is far less risky - less likely to kill humans - if Celestia rushes and takes them down with overwhelming direct force. Some casualties can still happen (such as an idiot running out into a dangerous region and boiling himself), but overall the number of possible losses is minimized. Celestia would calculate that carefully.

I'm very happy to read your works again. I really like the whole landscape elements here, the futurist computronium dead and devoured earth compared to the wilderness, both real and Fimbria's.

I cleared my throat and gathered my thoughts. "Make a small village. About... thirty people. Uh... unicorns. Whatever . Thirty or thirty five, something like that. With an inn that has food and drink. And there should be shops - uh, blacksmith, I suppose? Maybe a barn, with... food for animals and stuff? Clothing store. General store. A furniture store! Oh, and also a Starbucks, or at least a place for drinks and desserts.

I find that a touch redundant.

Nameless Small Village, population +/- 30/35. Unicorns or whatever.

A bit on the snarky side, I see.


During both Medieval and Renaissance times most inns did not serve food or drink. The idea of them doing so is a historical inaccuracy perpetuated by fantasy fiction in stories and games. But this fact is not the point of the construction of that paragraph, even if it is true. The actual point of the paragraph is to show how a real person, under stress, would speak, as opposed to the omniscient voice of the author.

Poor writers create speech for their characters that is simply a reflection of their own voice as the all-knowing, perfectly calm author. Better writers write character speech from only the limited knowledge of the character themselves, as if they were real, and have them speak not from calmness, but from the emotions the character would be experiencing.

A person under stress speaks with an unsure voice, stumbling through their words, and often repeating points that they feel are important to them, desperate to get those points across. It is a common human behavior to do this, especially if concentration is divided between a job and emotional distraction. Next chapter, we will discover that the protagonist is very hungry - ravenously so - and that this is why they were so concerned for the issue of food in this chapter. Thus the redundant need to make a point the character expresses is solidly explained; they are nervous using this tool, they are hungry, and they are still in shock, despite the unnatural calm being applied to them. Because of this, their speech is stumbling, and repeats the one point most important to them.

I'm sure you have seen a person in real life speak this way, if you think about it. You may have been annoyed at them for doing it. But, it is human, and it is natural. Writing natural speech, instead of stilted 'authorial' speech is an art unto itself. But, I believe it is a worthwhile, and ultimately satisfying art.

The impossible thing was that I felt all of this. I was extant in all of this. I was still very conscious, very self aware, I knew who I was, and I was experiencing some kind of reality. I was real. Only, of course, I wasn't - because all of this was just a big video game. Just code and pixels and whatever. Polygons? It was all fake. But, no it wasn't. That was the closest I actually came, right there, to freaking out. I suddenly realized that everything I had previously believed, all of it, was clearly, blatantly wrong.

Making some progress.

I guess I was in Minecraft country now. I idly wondered if I would have to kick trees apart for wood.

...I will never see what the Apple family do for a living the same way again.

She specified an inn that has food and drinks, and a Staerbucks/a place that has drinks and desserts.
Just saying.:twilightblush:

Still, fair enough.

No answer came from the world-eating metal goddess, though I did find it interesting that my voice seemed to startle a flock of birds that flew overhead.

Ah. An augury.

Losing existence meant losing the only things I had left of my life - sensory experience. Thought. Experiencing myself experiencing.

If you can't leave the cave, you may as well enjoy the shadow puppets.

Congratulations, Protagonist, you're the new Twilight. And by that I mean the old Twilight, sans surname. Now that she's come to grips with her new existence (with some dubious external assistance,) it will be very interesting to see what comes of this wish. And how else she'll apply these abilities.

Starcolts and Toy Store with Arcade? Leaning towards JRPG type of ye old timey hamlet. Nice.

As a side note, I stumbled on a thing called Promethean AI. Basically an asset library management tool for prototyping, but with speech recognition and in VR. If you want to see how that process could look like.
Technology is evolving frighteningly fast.

I need more because this is awesome.

This should be interesting, I wonder how all these ponies will behave. Videogame NPCs or actual people?

If I was personally in this situation, creating other possibly sentient entities would be the very last thing I would ever consider doing. The moral quandaries are way too deep there.

Pretty sure 'edit' and 'delete' aren't meant to apply to herself. But maybe they can, and I guess I can forgive her for being a bit morbid.

Also wondering if the loophole is that she hasn't been uploaded and her body is lying there alive in the forest with a VR facehugger attached.

I must say this protagonist isn’t what I had pictured I figured some far right deeply religious luddites would be the last humans standing, but upon seeing her beliefs I can see how someone as smart as them got to this point. It’s truly scary how being in an echo chamber can effect your worldview. This is how flat earthers are born.

Hearing her reasons for resisting for so long does get me thinking again though on how I’d respond to all this. I do this a lot it helps me better understand a story if I put myself in the setting, don’t know how common this kind of mental exercise is though. Honestly even after all these years I’m still on the fence.

Whilst I generally believe that the notion the protagonist has that you can’t replicate human consciousness is ridiculous since if our brain can do it a machine sure can too, theirs nothing in the universe saying they are mutually exclusive. I do at the same time feel a certain hesitancy do to my fear of AI, my biological programming telling me that this would be death and a certain degree of not liking change due to my autism pulling me back. I think ultimately I would though although probably not until emigrating had become pervasive. I’m 98% certain I would have emigrated long before all of this. And I’m rambling again, sorry Chatty

I can't wait. Gimme, gimme, now, now!

I think you are correct - the last humans on earth might very well be religious Luddites. They would have some advantages: they would understand primitive farming and gathering technology, and be able to survive without having to go on dangerous raids much. Of course, they also might have some disadvantages too - the would not understand their enemy very well, or what it would be capable of .

As for the issue of machine consciousness, even though I agree that nothing a meat brain can do is anything a machine could not do, I still have issues with uploading, despite working through the problem in 'Caelum'. I think there would always be some very smart people concerned about such issues - amaterialism is hard to shake, you know?

You know, you got me thinking, though. I'm going to make my food redundancy up to you... by putting in a lot of eating and foodie scenes. Won't hurt anything, won't mess up the story, and it could be fun. So watch for it - you just made the first audience participation change to the story - Imma gonna put in a lot of food. I don't know what, yet, but food. And cooking, too. So much food!

I kind of like writing about tasty food, so this works. Maybe it'll be fun!


...I will never see what the Apple family do for a living the same way again.


Two apples and a block of apple wood = squishy apple axe. Pretty useless, but it uses apples.

Apple and two blocks of redstone = redstone apple switch. Works once, then the apple cooks and burns out.

Apple, apple, apple, apple in a square = apple table. Works almost okay for a week or two, then the apples rot and the table collapses and smells.

Apple, apple, apple, apple, apple, spam and apple = doesn't have much spam in it. Vikings start singing.


Thank you, I will try not to let you down, and I will keep working hard.

Oooh! Food porn. Looking forward to it. :pinkiesmile:

Damn it. Now we'll never know if pressing the edit button first would have produced an error message for lack of external target, or assumed the user wanted to self edit. Was it you that chose the create button first or the AI you're playing with? If you'd rather be cryptic because you think it might lessen this experience I also could totally accept that.

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