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Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "jordan179" journal:
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"Feeling Adrift" (2013) by Jordan S. Bassior MLP Fanfic up on Fantastic Worlds|
Jordan S. Bassior
After looking at the Moon long and lovingly, then lowering it for the night, Luna retired to the relatively small snack room that both of them preferred to any of the great formal dining halls of the Palace. and long sat there. The servants moved very quietly around her: it was plain to them that she was not in a mood to be disturbed. She was glad when they left.
Luna sat there, eating corn chowder with little crescent-shaped crackers, and sipping hot chocolate. She only peripherally-noticed the taste of her meal – her mind was very far away, in times when her life had been very different.
I’m sitting here in a palace, she thought to herself. I’m the Princess of the Night in a kingdom run by magic and technology which has just gone through its Industrial Revolution and will probably start building its first real computers in a few decades I just put away the Moon for the night, which I do every night, so why does it suddenly feel so strange? And before that I was a madmare living alone on the Moon, for a thousand years. And before that I was the Princess of the Night, in the same kingdom, only it was more like being a medieval queen, like something out of one of those swashbucklers we’d see at the drive-ins. And before that, my sister and I were wandering heroines in a world riven by chaos. And before that, we lived in a mystical house, older than known history, in a post-apocalpytic wasteland. And before that …
Before that had been the life she had relived for a moment, when she had been talking to Twilight Sparkle, when Luna had been Moondreamer and Twilight had been Dusk Skyshine and everything seemed so damned simple because the Universe all made sense and magic and demons were safely relegated to the pages of mythology and weird fiction. Simple, she thought wryly. I was the world’s top astronautical engineer, and the fate of all Ponykind depended on my designs. Most people in that age wouldn’t have considered her life “simple.”
And before that …?
Her mind reeled as it flitted across all her past lives, her other lives, all the people and things she had been, all connected through the matrix of her oversoul. Ponies. Humans. Far less describable beings. Some in appearance would have terrified the little ponies. Some would have terrified them in personality. Some terrified her, from the point of view of her current personality.
What is the nature of Princess Luna's identity crisis? Find out on Fantastic Worlds.
Tags: fan fiction, fantastic worlds, mlp g2, mlp g4
"Sun Atoms" (2013) by Jordan S. Bassior, MLP fanfiction up on Fantastic Worlds|
© 2013 (*)
Jordan S. Bassior
Sweetie Finemare had packed her three-year-old twin daughters into her big green car to take a trip into town for shopping. There was a promise of ice cream involved if her daughters could be good.
Her daughters were playing at being scientists like their mother.
“I figgered it out!” crowed Sundreamer. “I know what the Sun’s made of!”
Sweetie turned and glanced back at her daughter. “And what’s that, angel?”
“It’s made’a sun atoms!” the little filly cried out as if this was the most profound physical discovery of the century.
Sweetie smiled at Sundreamer. “Yes,” she said, “You’re absolutely right. It is.” She turned back to adjusting her rear-view mirror.
“Yeah,” agreed Moondreamer, “lots an’ lots a’ Sun atoms, cuz the Sun’s so big. An’ they all squish togther real hard cuz’ there’s so many of ‘em!”
What world-shakingly cute thing will Sundreamer and Moondreamer say next? Dr. Sweetie Finemare says that you really have to see what her adorable little foals are doing, up now on Fantastic Worlds!
Tags: fanfic, fantastic worlds, mlp fanfic, science fantasy
Why Homosexuality is NOT Unnatural|
I have long heard the argument that homosexuality is "unnatural" and hence inherently inferior to heterosexuality. And it is certainly true that, were all or even a great minority of humans homosexual, the ability of the human race to replace its numbers without extreme technological intervention would be at serious risk. The argument then goes on to say that, therefore, homosexuality is evil or at best some sort of psychological illness.
However, this argument has two major flaws.
The first is that, if homosexuality really was so inferior, one would imagine that it would be strongly selected-against by biological evolution. After all, an abnormality which directly makes one MUCH less likely to successfully breed is almost the definition of an evolutionary handicap. While it's true that some homosexuals (and many bisexuals) do manage to sexually reproduce (through occasional heterosexual acts), it's also certainly true that homosexuality and even bisexuality greatly reduce the expected reproduction rate, without greatly increasing the chance of survival of the offspring. So it is neither a good r- nor k-based evolutionary strategy.
And yet homosexuality and bisexuality are extremely common. These are behavioral continua rather than discrete states, so with this understanding, most estimates show something like 1-5 percent of the population is exclusively homosexual, and 6-10 percent is bisexual. This means that up to 1 in 20 of the population is unwilling to have sex with persons of the opposite sex, and up to 1 in 10 is willing to have sex with persons of both sexes, in terms of orientation (obviously, a monogamous bisexual is having sex with persons of only one sex during the duration of that relationship).
For a "defect" to be that common, either there is something profoundly broken in human sexuality, or it is not as much of an evolutionary disadvantage as it appears.
The reason why I believe that the latter option is true -- that the trait of homosexuality is not the tremendous evolutionary disadvantage that it appears at first glance, is based upon the second problem with the homosexuality-as-defect theory.
This is that in numerous other mammalian species, at most times of the year, homosexuality is normal.
These are species that have fixed mating seasons, and in which the two sexes do not remain together save during the mating season. This means that insofar as they are social animals, they spend most of the year traveling in groups of same-sex adults -- in the case of the females, accompanied by their pre-adolescent children. This is especially common among pinnipeds and ungulates -- creatures which tend toward strong sexual dimorphism and mating polygyny.
Now, sexual attraction is a powerful social force, and evolution frequently uses the strategy of "pre-adaptation" -- which is to say, taking something which has been evolved for one purpose and re-using it for another purpose. What sexual attraction is used for in those species, out of the mating season, is to help socially-bond same-sex groups so that these groups will cooperate in meeting various survival challenges, such as avoiding predators or helping injured members of the group.
How does this work? Most mammals have evolved the tendency to find stimulation of primary and secondary sexual zones pleasurable. This creates an emotional reward, so that the mammals will in season exert themselves to seek out sexual partners.
If, out of season, the members of the same-sex survival group stimulate each other sexually, then this pleasure is added to the emotional bonds originally based on maternal and sibling love, strengthening them and increasing the chance that group members will love one another and hence be willing to exert themselves to protect other members of their group. This increases the chance of survival for all members of the survival group, so that this behavior will be strongly selected for.
There is another advantage of doing so in these polygynous groups. In such groups, only a few males -- generally those in their physical prime -- get to mate each mating season. The males first compete with one another, often in ritual combat, to select who gets to mate. The winners of these contests get to mate with numerous females. The losers do not get to mate at all this season -- and hormonal flows in the males reinforce success and punish failure.
Younger males have not completed their growth, so it is unlikely that they will win such contests. They should try -- because they might win, and in any case will learn ritual combat skills even if they are defeated. But of course, they should not try if they are killed or severely injured in the contest.
This means that they have to know when to give up.
Now, if their only chance at erotic stimulation came from successfully mating females, they might try too hard. They would stand a high chance of dying, or being crippled, and they might cripple worthier males. What's more, their rivals may well be siblings or cousins -- they might even be males who would out of the mating season be their survival-group friends.
This is the second advantage of homosexual affection among these creatures. It serves them as a consolation prize -- they are thus not as likely to kill or cripple themselves through over-exertion in mating contests. This makes it likelier that they will succeed in mating in some future season.
How does this apply to humans? We are not, after all, creatures who normally live in sex-segregated groups save for a specific mating season: we instead normally live with members of the opposite sex in year-round mated groups, once we have attained adulthood.
First of all, homo-erotic bonds can be used to strengthen group cohesion in the specific instances where we do split into sex-segregated groups. Originally, we were hunter-gatherers, with the males mostly hunting and the women mostly gathering, which meant that our typical work day involved splitting into sexually-segregated groups. Obviously, there was a survival advantage in mutual affection within these groups, which meant that members of the same sex could not be regarded merely as rivals for mates, they had to be seen as "mates" in the Australian sense of the word.
Actual gay sex was not required for this. All that was important was that we see close friends of the same sex in somewhat eroticized or (more precisely) romanticized emotional terms -- what the Japanese call nakama -- we needed to love them. Assuming that this tendency was genetically-encoded, that it was encoded by at least one and possibly more genes, it is obvious that it would be possible to receive stronger or weaker doses of this emotional instinct. Under this theory, gays get too strong a dose, and bisexuals an unusually but not overpoweringly strong a dose of the same-sex attraction -- and it isn't selected against evolutionarily, because at average levels the result is that one is motivated to bond with one's team mates.
A second possibility is that the ability to generate homosexuality as a human variation is selected for by kin-based altruism. Consider this: each individual in a group is strongly motivated to support her (and to a lesser extent his) children. That individual will help his own mate and children first, and anyone else second.
But what happens when those who care for the children are killed or injured, or some other crisis demands that a reserve of effort be available now to stave off greaer losses later?
It is extremely likely that the person who helps in such a case will be someone who despite being an adult has NO CHILDREN OF THEIR OWN. And such a person, for obvious reasons, is disproportionately likely to be homosexual or bisexual. In this theory, homosexuality creates an economic reserve for the benefit of the whole community.
Thirdly, homosexuality can serve as a consolation prize, as it does with the pinnipeds and ungulates. Adolescent human males, like most adolescent males, are very motivated to seek out sex but are at a severe disadvantage in competing for it. The situation is not quite as bad in humans, since humans are not strongly polygynous -- but we are WEAKLY polygynous, and in some human cultures it is quite normal for successful human males, often in or beyond the prime of their lives, to have numerous (usually younger) wives, depleting the supply of adolescent human females for the adolescent human males to court.
What do the angry young man do about it? One possibility is that they become extremely violent. This seriously destablizes such societies, unless they can bend this violence to socially-useful ends (such as forming the young men into an army to raid or conquer other societies). Another possibility is that at least some engage in homosexual behavior. (This is probably why homosexuality, while deeply-hated by Muslim religious authorities, is extremely-common in the Muslim world, perhaps even more common than in the liberal West).
I believe that all three theories are correct. The capability for homosexual affect strengthens nakama, it helps generate a creative and economic reserve, and it seves as a consolation prize for men and women unable to find mates.
So let us celebrate the existence of homosexuality, which helps bind our cultures together. May we always have it with us!
Tags: cultural, evolutionary psychology, homosexuality
"A Meeting by Moonlight" (2013) by Jordan S. Bassior, up on Fantastic Worlds|
"A Meeting by Moonlight"
Jordan S. Bassior
Spike yawned and opened his eyes. Something had roused him. It was still before sunrise, but the night-light was still on in the library loft. He glanced at the bed: it was empty, and the door to the balcony was half-opened.
The small dragon stepped into the gap. As he expected, Twilight was standing on the balcony next to her telescope. A notebook and quill were on a small table beside her. The telescope seemed to be aimed at the Moon.
Spike was about to speak when the air shimmered beside his adopted sister. Without warning, a dark-blue alicorn, bearing the mark of the crescent moon, stood there, her mane shimmering with the night stars.
Spike nearly had an early molt when he jumped out of his skin.
I wish she wouldn’t do that, he thought to himself. Princess Luna had been officially one of the good guys again for almost three years now, but her penchant for dramatic entrances could be annoying. Spike wondered if she knew this and did it on purpose.
Twilight turned and did a little half-jump, gasping. “Oh!”
“Greetings and well-met, Lady Twilight Sparkle,” Luna said, in a calm clear voice like liquid starlight.================================
What does the Princess of the Night want with Twilight? Find out, on Fantastic Worlds
Tags: fanfic, fantastic worlds, mlp g2, mlp g4, science fantasy
A Curious Lunar Symbol in "Castle-Mania"|
I am curious to know if anyone else sees what I see when they look at this scene from "Castle-Mania." It's at 14:53. There are two tapestries in the throne room, one over Luna's and one over Celestia's throne, and obviously symbolizing the two sisters. Celestia's is a fairly normal solar symbology depicting the Sun nurturing the Earth's life. Luna's, on the other hand ...
... Is that a stylized atomic symbol (and for deuterium at that) showing something being launched from Earth orbit toward the Moon? So, am I seeing Moondreamer's old obsession here, somehow telepathically transported backwards in time to our universe (shades of hyper- and tachyspace) to affect an episode shot long before I even had my idea? Or have I just been working way too hard on Trinity?
Remember kids, Dr. Finemare says that D+T=He+neutron+energy. Don't try this outside a containment system, and remember to shield against those happy fun free neutrons!
Tags: mlp, mlp g4, princess luna
Trinity Chapter 2: "Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Natural Law" up on Fantastic Worlds|
© 2013 (*)
Jordan S. Bassior
Chapter 2: Possession Is Nine-Tenths of the Natural Law
“Mechanical separation of hemispheres,” said a technician, checking a bank of lights. “Shielding disengaged.”
Das gutt, thought Schwarzwalder Fuchs to himself as he examined the counter. Even before implosion, each plutonium half responded energetically to the neutrons emitted by the other half. Responded well … perhaps too well …”
“Woops!” said Dr. Finemare. “Wow, that’s a bit hotter than we predicted!”
Smartass! flashed through the mind of the Lippanzer-Evelander expatriate. Finemare was always leaping for the spotlight. Though his constant probing at security is very useful, Fuchs allowed. If he stopped annoying Green Groves, the General might instead pay more attention to…
As if the thought had been a switch, the General himself spoke.
“Do we abort?”
Of course not, dummkopf, thought Fuchs angrily. The device can’t possibly go critical without the halves in actual contact. Always it is the stupid military who must run everything, both in Eveland and here in Amareica …
“Continue,” said Oppenhorser. “Just a small surge.”
Fuchs was not sure of Oppenhorser. His heart was in the right place, but he loved his status as a respected scientist. Even had it not been against procedure, he would not have trusted him.
But he was glad that Oppenhorser had made the right decision. Fuchs wanted the device to work. If it didn’t work; if it couldn’t work; then all his efforts had been for nothing –both those for Eveland, and those for his real masters.
Finemare and Oppenhorser started joking about burning the atmosphere. That was of course scientifically absurd: light elements couldn’t support a fission chain reaction. They were just doing it to terrify everyone in the room.
The countdown reached zero. A technician threw a switch.
For a timeless moment, everything was still.
Then something exploded invisibly inside Fuchs’ head, and the stocky brown-coated stallion collapsed in a heap.
Given that this happened at almost the exact moment that the bunker was suddenly bathed in the light of a thousand suns, nobody noticed the unconscious scientist until the test was over.
Oh my, what has happened to our favorite Pony atomic spy? Find out if he can play the hospitable host on Fantastic Worlds!
Tags: fan fiction, fantastic worlds, mlp, mlp g2, mlp g4, science fantasy
Introducing MLP's to Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror|
I commented on FIMFiction Net on Xepher's story Three Wishes: the Hole in the Sun (sequel to another excellent story by the same author), that if I wanted to introduce Rainbow Dash to genre science fiction I'd start with E. E. "Doc" Smith's "Galactic Patrol," which our favorite supersonic pegasus would probably consider "AWESOME!" That led me to thinking about which science fiction, fantasy and horror stories would be similarly beloved by other MLP's (particularly the Mane Six).
I figure that for RD the ideal fantasy would be some kind of sword and sorcery, preferably with a lot of action: something like Robert E. Howard's Conan tales, and the ideal horror one of the ones where the heroes fight back hard, like Mike Mignola's Hellboy or Larry Correia's Monster Hunter series. And of course she'd go for Tarzan, Doc Savage, and the other interwar pulps (plus their more recent imitations such as Indiana Jones) on whom the writers actually based the concept of Daring Do.
Twilight would be interested in stories about scientists, mages and scholars overcoming their foes or learning secrets through cunning and reason: she might like L. Sprague de Camp or Harry Turtledove, and possibly even the more optimistic work of Arthur C. Clarke, H. P. Lovecraft or Stephen Baxter. Generally, anything where intelligence is the defining attribute of the protagonist.
That's as far as I've gotten: any criticisms or suggestions here?
Tags: fantasy, horror, meta, mlp, mlp g4, science fiction
"Trinity" (2013) by Jordan S. Bassior up on Fantastic Worlds|
Jordan S. Bassior
The land was barren and parched, sand relieved only by stray scrub bushes and the occasional stunted tree. It was a wasteland, good for little save the purpose to which it had now been dedicated.
The diplomats – representatives from Lippanzer and Neighpon – moved uncomfortably in their silken formal coats in this desert. They were in an unfriendly land, a country which they knew to be on the brink of war with their own. War – almost unthinkable in this modern age, this age of steamships and railroads, airships and airplanes, in which the arts of industry had been applied to make weapons far more destructive than the sabers and lances or even the flintlock pistols, of old.
It had been over a century and a half since the last major war between civilized Powers – and that had been an affair of lines of ponies, away from major towns – shooting at each other on a chosen field by mutual consent. Thousands had perished. Should war come now, in a time of aerial explosives and automatic-loading rifled musketry – hundreds of thousands might die.
It seemed impossible.
But the Leader of Lippanzer had made his demands in the lands over the eastern sea; the Shogun of Neighpon in the lands over the western. Between them, Steellion marshaled his forces. Armies, fleets, and air-squadrons were massing. There had already been violent incidents – only a few deaths, but harbingers of what might come. The part of the world still under sane leadership had trembled in growing fear for the last five years.
Trembled – and acted. The Ponies of the West had studied certain advanced physical theories, worked in secret for that half-decade. Now, the fruits of their labors would be revealed.===
Of what fruits do I speak? And what rough beasts slouch toward this desert, waiting to be born? Find out the answers to this and much else on Fantastic Worlds
Tags: fantastic worlds, mlp, mlp g2, mlp g3, mlp g4, science fantasy
Geert Wilders' Declaration Regarding Islam|
Full story here: :"Let Us Raise a Flag of Truth and Liberation" by Geert Wilders, translation on Gates of Vienna.
The money quote:
The flag of Saudi Arabia proudly proclaims the Shahada or the Islamic declaration of faith: “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”
In remembrance of the past nine years, in remembrance of the thousands of victims who were murdered in that period by Islamic assassins, in London, in Moscow, in Mumbai, in Nairobi, and in countless other places, and in remembrance of the millions of people — women, apostates, non-Muslims — who daily suffer discrimination and humiliation from the evil ideology of Islam and oppressive Islamic Sharia law, I offer the Islamic world a new flag — a flag with a declaration of truth and liberation: “Islam is a lie, Muhammad a criminal, the Koran is poison.”Islam is a lie. Muhammed was a criminal, by the standards of any sane society. And the Koran is pure memetic poison.
I salute Geert Wilders for his courage and honesty.
Only when we stop pretending to ourselves that Islam is truthful, sane or decent will we begin to be able to fight back against this evil.
Tags: geert wilders, islam, terrorist war
Clark Ashton Smith
Quanga the huntsman, with Hoom Feethos and Eibur Tsanth, two of the most enterprising jewelers of Iqqua, had crossed the borders of a region into which men went but seldom — and wherefrom they returned even more rarely. Traveling north from Iqqua, they had passed into desolate Mhu Thulan, where the great glacier of Polarion had rolled like a frozen sea upon wealthy and far-famed cities, covering the broad isthmus from shore to shore beneath fathoms of perpetual ice.
The shell-shaped domes of Cerngoth, it was fabled, could still be seen deep down in the glaciation; and the high, keen spires of Oggon-Zhai were embedded therein, together with fern-palm and mammoth and the square black temples of the god Tsathoggua. All this had occurred many centuries ago; and still the ice, a mighty, glittering rampart, was moving south upon deserted lands.
Now, in the path of the embattled glacier, Quanga led his companions on a bold quest. Their object was nothing less than the retrieval of the rubies of King Haalor, who, with the wizard Ommum-Vog and many full-caparisoned soldiers, had gone out five decades before to make war upon the polar ice. From this fantastic expedition, neither Haalor nor OmmumVog had come back; and the sorry, ragged remnant of their men-at-arms, returning to Iqqua, after two moons, had told a dire tale.
What secrets of vanished Hyperborea will its great chronicler here reveal? Find out, and in my comments learn of some others who have prophesied the same doom, on Fantastic Worlds!
Tags: 1930's fantasy, 1930's weird fiction, 1933, clark ashton smith, fantastic worlds, fantasy, weird fiction
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