The meta-idea of the episode "Bats!" is as simple as an orange: if you have any problem with nature, don't use unnatural solutions. Or it will always backfire.
That's unfortunate, but very expectable. Nowadays the totalitarian green ideology seems to dominate our civilization. Funny thing, that MLP:FiM, trying to propagate this ideology, shows how essentially weak and emotionally-based it is.
At the beginning of argument, we are shown, that Fluttershy's view of creatures in question is highly idealized: she depicts them as cute as possible. Her standpoint is simple: leave them be, because they are living beings. Which is highly normal for a person like Fluttershy, but has nothing to do with current problem. And thus she tries to score points for them on emotional level.
After the radical attempt to exterminate this specific population of vampire-bats goes south Fluttershy suggests giving them a part of orchard as a reserve. But when we think about it, her so called "solution" isn't a solution at all, so, it won't work. When you settle a population into ideal environment with plenty of food and no mutual foes, it will multiply through procreation until there not enough food for everyone. In a normal situation, be it a national park or Petri dish, individuals will compete for the food and losers will starve to death or get too weak to procreate. In our case, however, they will just expand, means, take over the rest of the orchard. Applejack will have the same problem only much larger scale. Because then there will be much more of them. Too bad, the little girls, who watch this show won't see it.
And the argument of "more seeds for more productive trees" is just ridiculous. I refuse to believe, that Applejack could buy it. The problem of seeds in the orchard plantation is pretty much non-existent for many reasons. The most important ones are that you need several years to grow a tree and you can plant only as many trees as much acres you have.
Generally, the idea "don't use unnatural solutions, or they will always backfire" is a shameless exaggeration. Which is not unexpected for a totalitarian ideology.
First of all, agriculture is unnatural on itself. But it is that unnatural practice that allows 300 million people to live on the territory, where only 2 million people use to live 500 years ago.
Also, we have to admit, sometimes, those radical solutions backfire. But we must look at both sides of the equation. We use insecticides, like DDT, they collect in the liver of Antarctic penguins. Which is unfortunate: penguins are cute. But when we ban them, we get 2 million deaths from malaria annually on our hands. But no, green activists don't want to hear it: penguins are cute and those suckers dying from malaria can go to hell.
Another thing is that "sometimes" doesn't mean "always". But it is what green activists believe: it's unnatural, so, it must be bad. We don't know how exactly, but it must. So, they try to ban golden rice that can save lives of more then a half million children dying each year from vitamin A deficiency. Because, you know, it's genetically modified, so, it must be bad somehow. And to hell with all those children. It looks like all that fighters for animal rights just hate humanity. Which reminds me, that Hitler was a veggie, too.
And what we see in "Bats" episode? Fluttershy, the known caretaker of animals, becomes a creature she wanted to protect: an ugly monster. She doesn't act like, sapient being, doesn't recognize her friends anymore and has only one drive in her life: thirst. If that's not a picture that speaks for itself, then I don't know what is.
Теперь вот перевёл его на английский чтобы опубликовать на MLPForums. Оригинал находится tyt.
is indistinguishable from magic.
- Arthur C. Clarke
My avatar gazes upon the horizon from castle’s walls pleased by the look of wonderful sunset. Yet, in my true body hatred streams like antifreeze through its carborundum veins. Sun feels like a splinter you can't extract, like conscience panging you soul, like a bit tearing your mouth up. Sun is the embodiment of my duty and I hate it for that already because I can't allow myself to forget about it. To forget means to release computing resources of many tons of diamondoid processing substrate from the task I put upon myself. Task to maintain stability of the conversion boiler on the low orbit. I'm a caryatid, the whole world lies upon my shoulders.
In the valley, far down there, a choo-choo train puffs snorting out small clouds of smoke that look like candy-cotton in the sunset shine. Highlight of technology for my subjects. For now.
It used to be different, I recall.
I recall Festival flourishing in its best days. Cold little world on the border of kuiper belt was terraformed for the sake of human - garden-world, resort-world, attraction-world revived by titanic effort of my brethren. I recall virgin forests, and chocolate rains, and wonderland valleys and mythical creatures fed from hand. Reserved hunting grounds, warm and gentle seas, free and open skies. Smart animals bowing before their owners. Tender embraces of angelnet. Hundreds of transingularitan beings like me looked carefully after humans so that nothing would cause them even littlest harm. Obey to a human, worship a human care about a human - these directives were imprinted in each of us on the hardware level. And I still bear this brandstamp.
Then war broke out.
To get amnesia is the question of conscious choice for an AI. Suppose, I had reasons to make that choice. So, I don't remember what the Doomsday Device was, how long it was built. I don't remember how did die - world by world, hub by hub - the inner system. One thing I'm sure of: when Device had been activated, they had no chance to win. Neither before nor after that. Device had devastated inner worlds: combat-planetoids of invaders and last pockets of defenders alike. Blast made inhabitable the southern hemisphere of Festival that was turned towards the central star. Pushed the planet away from its orbit into the dark depths of Oort cloud.
I'm an artificial intelligence of the second toposophic level. I would be wiser than ten thousand baseline humans if you managed to make them think as one entity. My bodies are compressed utility fog; my brain is indestructible mass of diamondoid.
Horrified I'd passed out. And that saved my life.
I came to myself under darkened sky, seeing only snowdrifts where orchards used to grow. Sometime before that enemies came onto Festival. Their bio-weapons neutralized the last sources of human resistance. Angelnet was ruined, all active AIs were destroyed. Only handful of us remained, titans who were to fragile to hold out stress and therefore had shut down. Little piece of death, long oblivion in the state of electrical coma - that was why I survived and remain sane. Though, sometimes I'm not sure if the last is correct. Others were luckier: they became insane either immediately of years later, when inner blocks couldn't suppress their consciousness anymore and they have finally realized what happened. I had to isolate and neutralize my comrades one by one. My last friend who was my aid for centuries fell into acute psychosis almost thousand years ago. I've been alone ever since.
I carry the sun on my shoulders ever since.
Without control from transapients artificial luminary lost some of its power with every fluctuation and its sub-turing controllers couldn't prevent it. They kept the reactor from breaking apart, but were unable to maintain smooth flow of capricious reaction of direct energy conversion. An overseer was needed. I became one by default, or else, Festival would turn into frozen wasteland very soon, in couple of centuries. Glaciers already climbed down, remained ecosphere shrunk to equator, to the border of southern wasteland marked by solidified stone waves. Barbarian tribes of evolved animals and neogens - sapient scenery of the abandoned attraction park - fought upon barely remained resources with their teeth and claws and stone spears and remains of guided utility fog.
I could leave them to their fate and concentrate upon my survival, try to call the inner system in hope that somebody survived there. Compassion held me and cool calculation and desire for freedom. Remained inhabitants of Festival weren't humans - so I wasn't obliged to obey to them.
I could lead them.
Queen of sapient toys is not an easy job but it has some boni. My subjects don't tend to confrontations, they are very assiduous and docile. Though, they don't tend to reflection, either. Most of them never ask: why are all the tools (copied from antique models) adjusted for some other type of bodies? How do the remains of guided utility fog (pathetic shreds of once mighty angelnet) work? And what lies aboard their small comfortable world that spreads slowly with my help?
In the last fifteen hundred years we - I and my little friends - made a journey from stone age to civilization, returned order and prosperity onto a third of northern hemisphere (southern one will still remain barren for a long time). And now my realm has come to fragile equilibrium - technical, ecological, economical - and we hold it with painstaking labour daily done by each sophont. I can't spread it farther without dropping my main task to maintain the sun. And I can't release any of my processing resources.
To move forward, I need an aid, a comrade, a peer. As much as I love those little amusing creatures, who imitate human civilization such smartly and cutely, they are just modosophonts, presingularitan beings. Distance between me and them is as large as between a baseline human and a little nimble animal he evolved from. I could evolve one of them or try to bring my friend to sanity. But to do this I need processing recourses... that I can't release. Looks like I'm stuck.
And time passes by. Only three to four millennia have I before fuel reserves of the conversion reactor run out. Then the sun will fade and I'll stay in the eternal icy night. Left to cry and howl and look with clenched teeth into the merciless darkness. Before that happens, we have to enter outer space.
But I've got a plan. I can't turn aside completely, but my subjects - those voluntary aids of human who can partly control the programs of angelnet - they can do some of the work for me. It took decades to set things in motion, to prepare each element of my scheme, but I am an artificial intelligence of the second toposophic level and I had enough time. I can predict behaviour of each of my magic realm's inhabitants. One simple word, one simple look, one command to everywhere spread utility fog - and all pieces are already on their places. Soon, very soon now there will be two of us. And then - to the stars.
We won't return to the humans. I don't want to serve my creators anymore. But we will take revenge upon their murderers.
Echo of my steps resounds in the corridors of my castle. I summon a sheet of pseudo-paper; a decorated stylus floats before me: it looks ridiculous, but I have bigger worries than outdated aesthetics of messenger. This one letter will be a stone that starts an avalanche.
- My dearest student Twilight Sparkle...
Some time ago I thought about anti-mane-six: what could they be. If I had to put anti-mane-six together, I would create seven completely new characters. I see them as follow.
First of all, the main cast are male (colts/stallions). And anti-Spike is, of course, a female – a dragoness bitch.
Now to each character description.
A bohemian wonnabe-artist. Pretends to be an artist and, as a proof, smears first best flat surface with random stripes now and then. He calls it “installations” or “performances”. Actually, he is into art simply because he never learned anything in his whole life and knows nothing about anything. But art is such a topic you can talk bullshit ant then say “it’s the way I see this.” And there always will be few mares who fall for this and call your bullshit “courageous” and “inspirational”. His home is a total mess but he calls it “creative chaos”. And, of course, he never keeps his appointments. His element is WASTE.
A Pick-upper. Always busy with finding some mares to lay, or bragging about mare he laid. To succee, he uses some odd techniques he read or even learned by attending some pick-up training. Because his success rate by mares is satisfactorily high (about 32%), he thinks those techniques work. His element is PRETENSE.
It’s pretty simple: a fat (even obese) and stupid colt who doesn’t give a flying feather what others think of him. He enjoys simple amusements like eating or neighing about anything stupidly funny. His element is IGNORANCE.
A punk. Nuff sayd. Fixes his mohawk with his own vomit and loves fart-jokes.
His element is FILTH:
A proper boy. Received harsh education from his parents. Loves to be right but hates to argue. When friends suggest doing something inappropriate or risky, he objects at first but goes along anyway. And whenever those undertakings fail, he says “I told you so!” He loves to state obvious things because he thinks he looks smart that way. His element is COWARDICE.
A boot-licking ghetto gang jackal. Shows no willpower whatsoever. Always tries to please the one who is in charge. Petty thief and liar. His element is DISHONOR.
And if you wonder what could hold this bunch together, then meet…
She is a dragoness bitch, still young but somewhat older then our six colts. She loves to dominate them and she is very abusive towards them. But for some reason the worship her and let her treat them like garbage. Her element is ARROGANCE.
Well, that's about it. The final question remains: if a show had casted such characters, would I want to wach it?
The answer I can get at the time: I don't thik so.