Simon

Retired Staff
  • Content count

    1726
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

4358 Brohoofs

Recent Profile Visitors

29876 profile views

About Simon

  • Rank
    The Killjoy
  • Birthday 04/27/1992

Profile Information

  • Gender

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

  • Best Pony Race

MLP Forums

  • Opt-in to site ads?
    No
  • Favorite Forum Section
  1. Simon

    To the Future

    It's been 6 months since I posted a blog. It's kind of strange looking back at my old blog post from April - it was all about how much BABSCon meant to me - about the new friendships I had formed there and realizing that my life was changing. Needless to say thinking my life was changing because of BABSCon was the understatement of the century. A few months back I moved in with the delightful Nervous Stitch and SFyr. It's honestly kind of hard to describe what the last 6 months of my life have been like. We've been friends for about a year but I connected so well with Stitch at BABSCon and the trip to Las Vegas our group took aftewards that I knew right away she was someone important to me. Not long after BABSCon I took a 4 day trip out to Texas to visit with her and SFyr - I never left. I extended it once because I wasn't feeling well - then again, and again. Not long into my stay we had a chat and I decided to move in. We all moved to a larger place together, and not long after we began dating. Everything moved so fast - I'm not one to jump into relationships like that, but something was different with Stitch. We connected in a way I never had connected with another human being. It was an incredible feeling - I was living in a new state with the love of my life and only a few months earlier I didn't even know what she looked like. And things have never stopped moving fast... About 2 weeks ago we got engaged. After BABSCon I felt that my life was changing for the better, but I had no idea how true that was. It's an incredible feeling really - a few years back I joined this forum and this fandom as an escape from a relationship that had turned sour, and because of my love for something as silly as a cartoon about colorful equines my entire future has changed for the better. It's hard to imagine what my life would be like if none of the silliness of the past few years had happened. From the bottom of my heart - thank you to this site, to its members, its staff - everybody. You all have had such a positive impact on my life - not just my close friends but every person on this site, every post, everything that's happened has shaped my life and brought me to where I am, and all I can do is give my eternal gratitude to the thousands of people on MLPF who have contributed to me being the happiest I ever have been. This place will always hold an important place in my heart. Now I just need to plan a wedding, what could go wrong?
  2. Like others pointed out, the finale wasn't leaked. And really we haven't seen genuine episode "leaks" as that requires an extraordinary amount of backhanded work in Hasbro for an entire episode to be leaked early. Episodes that get released prior to their US showing have consistently been because Hasbro / the HUB / Discovery Family and the other corporations involved in release have had extremely poor planning and protection over their IP. We've seen issues with foreign release dates, episodes being programmed to release on the wrong day on sites like iTunes... that's not anybody's fault but Hasbro's. Now I totally agree I'd love to see Hasbro and the corporations behind MLP's release put in the care and effort to not have that happen, but the fandom unilaterally agreeing to close our eyes and pretend content released early doesn't exist is silly and infeasible. Few people are actively hoping or looking for episodes to get leaked, particularly a finale, for all the reasons you cited, but it's hard to say that the fandom's individual participants shouldn't participate in watching an episode that's released early for whatever reason. If they don't, they risk having the entire episode spoiled for them. Now I actually did wait for the US release date to watch it due to the quality (sure enough there were upload issues and I was with a group so we ended up watching the UK version anyway, but that's besides the point.) But while I would love for these types of things to not happen, I don't expect anybody to not watch an episode early - but ultimately making sure releases happen in a logical manner is on Hasbro, DHX, Discovery Family, and all the other networks and corporations shoulders, and the fandom will never have control over that aspect of our community.
  3. Simon

    Visual Art Jeanette

    Chipmunks art, must comment Adorable art, the forums need a little more Jeanette <3
  4. Simon

    Mods, we need to talk.

    Warnings must be acknowledged before users are able to post to make sure the user has actually read and has been made aware of the issue they were warned for. This isn't you admitting you were wrong, just you acknowledging that you read and received a warning. You are still able to file a dispute after acknowledging through the ticket system or at disputes@mlpforums.com..
  5. Simon

    Does anyone know how much it costs to go to Babscon?

    Hey Babyyoshi! Since BABSCon is one of our partner organizations we have a dedicated forum for them, so I've moved your thread to that section. Last year, standard badges sold for $60 after early bird registration, so you save a bit by registering early, but it's definitely still affordable afterwards. The higher badges definitely will sell out before the convention once they open those up for registration (Particularly the High Society badges tend to sell out fairly quickly), but standard badges have always been available all the way up to at the door of the con.
  6. Actually just read this case for my Juvenile Justice class about a week ago. I think the big frustration is that while the courts permit a mens rea defense for cases like this since the imitation that's happening takes out the intent from the crime, but where the observational learning causes genuine aggressive tendencies there's really no route for the defense. Yeah I could agree with that even from my own life experiences. Won't go into too much detail on that front, but needless to say the aggressiveness I experienced in my youth very much inspired me to be the opposite way. Definitely. And I think the other part of it is that for the vast majority of kids watching the show, they won't grow up to be a judge figuring out punishments for a murderer, they're figuring out whether to be a forgiving human being and that's an excellent lesson to teach people. Yes - rehabilitative approaches don't always work out, but a strictly retributive approach in criminal justice or in a day to day life is rarely a winning strategy. Influencing people to actually consider the consequences and benefits of all the potential ways to respond to a persons negative actions is a hell of a lot better lesson to give kids in their media than punishment for the sake of punishment.
  7. I am , I've always been a big proponent of social learning theories. I think particularly when you start looking at some of the demographic statistics in criminology it becomes apparent there has to be a very heavy social factor in criminology and behavior in general. I mean bias can only explain away the demographic disparities so far. I've always found the bobo doll experiment interesting. I think the biggest weakness of the experiment as a model, at least in terms of criminology, is that it doesn't demonstrate longevity which has always been the big dispute on the criminal justice end. It also was done with an age range that makes it questionable how strongly the data applies to the older age ranges that juvenile justice covers. At least in the criminology circles some level of social learning is relatively accepted, but there's a much larger dispute on how social learning impacts punishment theories. That's another tangent for another day though. On they psychology/child development fronts though it's a pretty invaluable experiment. I mean that's quite a bit out of my area of expertise, but it's always been an extremely interesting experiment from that perspective. I think the general existence of imitation is something even most lay people accept as a truth for kids, particularly in that age range, but the severity and degree that Bandura demonstrated it was quite drastic. Honestly, some of them have had a lasting impact on my life so I don't think it's much of a stretch that younger viewers who are far more prone to developmental influences are going to be impacted in a large way. Again, a bit outside my area of expertise, but personally I think in general media - and how that media is presented to the child - has a lasting impact on development. Particularly when you're talking about Bandura-esque social learning, the show takes a far more demonstrative route than other media for that age and gender range, so if you subscribe to observational learning it has a pretty strong approach in influencing children. In terms of the actual topic of villain reform, I mostly appreciate it for the perspective of exposing children to a non-retributive approach. I think as a society we have far too strong a tendency to acknowledge things like social learning, and then not apply the causal factors when we look at punishments in criminal justice. Exposing children to a system in which it's not necessary to take a retributive stance is such an invaluable thing to expose future generations to. Far too often there's an emphasis on just deserts in children's media imo. I really appreciate that :3
  8. Simon

    General Internet Friends or Real Friends?

    I'm literally sitting in another state hanging out with @@Nervous Stitch and @@SFyr after spending the weekend at their house. The best friends are the internet friends who you care enough about to talk to them any way you can
  9. Simon

    Some Clarity Please?

    It's definitely the staff. Let me take a moment to give a bit of insight on the staff process for locking threads and rule violations in general: -A staffer or Member reports a thread they feel should be locked or they see problems in. This alerts every global moderator to the report. -For what to do with the thread, we usually have a discussion in one of the forum staff skype groups (either between all the staff or the staff of a particular section) -For rule violations, the global moderators and admins discuss those in a separate skype group and/or on the report itself. Warnings don't happen without several staff (usually around 3-4) agreeing, more if there's a dissenting opinion. -Similarly, users who just need to be told 'hey don't do that' without a big formal warning will get pm's after about 2-3 mods agree they broke a rule. -Thread gets locked, all of the rule violating posts get hidden, moderator posts the reason why in the thread for the members In all, it's a fairly lengthy process. Very rarely is a thread locked without a discussion and when that happens it's because it's painfully obvious to most everybody on this forum what needs to happen with it and the types of posts the thread will get are things we don't want to expose members to (for instance - someone posting a "Which mane 6 would you want to beat to death with a stick" thread is going to have about an 8 second life expectancy with me) Greatest advice I can give on avoiding problems with abuse is discuss ideas not people. The second your post is commenting on the person who made the post you're responding to, instead of the concepts in the post it's going to be abusive. Here's what I mean: Abusive: Not abusive: That's why the rule's language focuses on the old "love and tolerate" ideas. The idea of steering clear from attacking people, and instead discussing ideas maturely and calmly. Keep in mind, the abuse rule also does extend to attacking groups of people including those not on the forum, that's why we've shut down threads on subjects like the WBC for instance. It's not that the forum loves Westboro's actions or ideals - trust me when I say that's definitely not the case, it's that this isn't the place to attack people in general regardless. I can always respect wanting clarity. I'll bring this up to the staff and see if we can further define the abuse rules. Whether we lock a thread versus taking some other action is purely a weighing mechanism of how bad its gotten. If it's 1 or 2 users causing problems in an otherwise fine thread, those users will most definitely be banned from the thread and have their posts hidden to allow everybody else to continue discussing. This happens far more often than people realize, we do hide abusive posts so it's easy to not know when these sorts of things are taking place. Chances are if you've ever seen a mod post something like 'Keep it cool guys" in a thread, a bunch of posts got hidden along with that in an attempt to keep the thread alive. When a thread gets so overrun with people causing problems of any kind, however, that the staff feels there's no reasonable way for us to keep the thread alive without spending the rest of our lives micromanaging every post, it will get hidden. Yes, it sucks that we ever have to shut down a discussion that could theoretically be appropriate for MLPF, but this is one of the sad limitations of an all volunteer staff. We have to choose our battles. Remember, the entire staff does this to allow people to discuss things. If we wanted to shut down threads and got joy out of it, this forum would be a much different place. When I joined staff I specifically requested to work in debate pit because I wanted to try to protect those sorts of discussions on MLPF, but not every thread is salvageable. What I will say is just because a thread gets shut down does not mean it's permanently barred from discussion. There are many threads that get shut down and a similar one gets made a few weeks later with a perfectly acceptable discussion going on. But when a certain topic is particularly heated and piles of abuse warnings are coming out of it, it's best for everybody if we take a short break from discussing it. Oh hey I answered this already There are a few topics that have resulted in thread locks so many times that they will likely be shut down from the beginning. Westboro threads are an example I used before. The reason we don't have an outright list of 'banned topics' is because there really isn't such a thing. Even topics we usually take down threads on we occasionally will allow one through to test the waters a bit. Fantastic example - the most blatantly 'banned' topic forever was Clop threads. Those got shut down as soon as we saw them. We occasionally tested the waters and they still never turned out. So we tried making a highly regulated and monitored thread in the debate pit and it worked extremely well. It was a lot of work for the moderators to pull that thread off and quite a few PM's reminding people of the rules have gone out in there, but we've kept it open and alive because it's a topic we want people to be able to discuss in some capacity. tl;dr: Nobody on staff likes silencing people, and we do what we can to keep threads alive whenever possible, but when the staff simply don't have the resources to keep up with the problems a thread is causing it's our only option.
  10. Like I said in the OP, whether the stories themselves were written well is a subjective thing. To me they were, to another they weren't and that's fine. Some people don't like the show at all... our taste in art is always going to be subjective. The main point I'm trying to address is those people who dislike the redemption stories altogether. I can totally agree that the ending montage kind of sucked and would have been better spent time other places, but the fact that the show is bothering to allow villains to reform instead of just permanently casting them into bad-guy land, and moreover the fact that they're willing to take a villain and bring them in as a full-on protagonist in future seasons is awesome to me. Whether a particular moment is written well is something far too subjective to really discuss as a right/wrong thing. I absolutely agree, but I think that's also one of the strengths in the show. You can't show the right way to respond to something as a moral lesson unless you show the wrong way first. They showed the city not taking the time to listen to his point of view and immediately locking him up, and then the show made it clear that those people were in the wrong for doing so. No different than the show having one of the mane 6 make a bad choice to teach a moral about their mistakes. Had the show simply ended with him sitting in a jail for something he didn't do, then I'd agree they screwed up, but that's simply not what happened.
  11. Restitution is the weird step-child of punishments. It is largely retributive on its face, though as many retributive punishments do, it has some utilitarian elements - for example, knowing if you're caught means you will have to pay back monetary damages from the loss helps to disincentivize stealing acting as a deterrent. Frankly though, that's more of a civil component that we sometimes blend into the criminal trial purely for the sake of expediency. There will always be a need to repay actual monetary losses from crime, so lumping this into the criminal trial expedites the process in a meaningful way. Larger monetary disputes that aren't as clear cut as an actual financial loss such as for loss of life are best handled in a civil setting post-conviction. That's the real-world answer. As for the pony examples you mentioned, I go back to the notion of MLP being an idyllic society. An important trope in media portraying idyllic societies is the notion of community. The idea that when bad stuff happens, the community simply gets together and fixes the damage together, whatever that damage may be. I think the society focus for Equestria is far less on monetary concerns and far more on banding together to fix wrongs. When a society is able to progress to the point that its citizens no longer have to worry about recovering monetary losses from things like this, that's a pretty magical attitude. I'd also point out that there likely is minimal monetary losses in most of these instances due to Equestrian magic. As non-magical humans, we think in terms of broke = expense. But when you have magical powers that let you un-break a wooden wheel on a taxi, for instance, suddenly it becomes much more about labor than money. So as soon as you have that society willing to band together and work to fix things, the notion of it being necessary to recoup monetary losses is significantly lessened. In terms of the moral of the show - I'm glad they're not showing reparations or restitution in the show. While I do think it's a great lesson to kids that you need to fix damage you cause, we live in a sue-happy society and frankly that's not an attitude we need to pass on from generation to generation. I'd much rather have fixing mistakes be taught in ways like it was with Diamond Tiara where she joined with her new friends to build the playground than to show Rainbow Dash being forced to work at a Hayburger stand to cover the 300,000 bits in property damage she was assessed with So while in our real world where we don't have magic unicorn powers it probably will be necessary to have a civil court system and some sort of restitution option for those who need it, I think it's a wonderful thing when we're able to not have that as a focus in MLP.
  12. In an idyllic society, the question of why would be something people would genuinely ask before punishing someone. There are a lot of people who care in the criminal justice system, but the system is so poorly designed and overloaded that it doesn't really permit people to care like they want to - that's the big reason I'm working towards teaching criminal justice to others instead of actually practicing law right now like I planned. I wasn't about to work in a system where I knew I couldn't do good. That's why I love so much that MLP isn't falling into the normal traps of how we like to handle villains. I know the staff probably aren't sitting down with criminal justice textbooks and theorizing about justifications for punishments at this level, but they are trying to teach a lesson of forgiveness and reform which is invaluable for our future generations to be taught. I don't know if I'll ever see the day where rehabilitation and understanding are forefront attitudes in the criminal justice system, but the fact that it's being taught to our youth on a show like MLP gives me some hope that we'll reach that point.
  13. Penance probably isn't the right word for this conversation to be honest. Penance speaking from a strict definition is self-inflicted, and while we see an excellent example of that happening with Luna with the Tantabus, it's not something you'd necessarily expect to have happen in most or all cases, certainly not something necessary. That's something we do to ourselves. Rehabilitation in and of itself *is* a form of 'punishment'. It just doesn't have the retributive taste that makes us feel they got what they deserved. Instead, it responds to a crime in whatever way best creates the likelihood of them reforming, whether that's confining them to the moon or inviting them to a birthday party. There's no need for someone to suffer so long as the rehabilitation is successful.
  14. Again, that's why it's so important to understand why you're punishing someone. Why do we need penance? Penance is by its very definition, retributive. It's a punishment that only exists to cause them pain, because they caused pain to others. It's a very human thing to want but it serves no realistic purpose. In modern day society, we don't - or at least we aren't supposed to - use penance as a measuring for punishment for criminals. It's not about giving them punishment they deserve, it's about preventing future crimes. Prison isn't to hurt someone, it's to keep them in a place where they can't hurt others until such a time we believe it is no longer just to confine them compared to their crime or that we believe it is no longer necessary due to them changing. In a society like Equestria, penance would serve no purpose so long as there is reason to believe the rehabilitation is genuine. In Discord's case, that proved to not really be 100% the case until after Tirek, and that's also a great lesson - sometimes people don't change as quickly as we think. But you know what? Someone changing for the better is worth the risk.
  15. Nightmare Moon was controlled by an extrinsic force created by her own emotions, once she was removed from that it made sense that she would be instantaneously open to reform. Trixie was never really a villain, she just had a moment of wanting revenge for Twilight showing her up. When she went a step too far and Twilight freed her from the Alicorn Amulet, she, again, had no reason not to reform to the degree she did. And the newest episode showed she still hadn't been 100% 'reformed', she just wasn't under the control of an evil mind control necklace Diamond Tiara spent years trying to live up to the standards of her parents, and her reform episode took place when she hit rock bottom. She didn't like or understand her cutie mark, and the CMC showed her a bit of kindness and understanding where her mother only showed contempt. That's more than enough for a child to change their ways. - Great example of this in real life: one of my best friends in elementary school was a kid who picked on me relentlessly for the first half of the year. It finally blew up when I tried to help him up in the playground after he fell, and he responded by beating me up to look like he didn't need my help. After he apologized a few days later, the two of us became genuine friends. Sometimes all it takes for a child to reform is being forgiven by someone they think can't forgive them. Starlight Glimmer never saw herself as a villain. She made a lot of bad choices because of her past, but she never had an intention to hurt someone or cause harm. She genuinely believed the world would be better in total equality without cutie marks or unique talents. The show makes it painfully obvious that she had no idea what her time travel was doing to Equestria... she was not living through or seeing the results, only causing the changes in the past. So when Twilight showed her what was happening, she initially went through denial, which is a completely normal reaction, then once she started to admit to herself that her actions truly were hurting others, she stopped herself. The point? Fast transitions in a character's behaviors don't mean they're unrealistic or badly written. There's usually a turning point... a tiny brief moment where all our experiences tell us - alright it's time to make a change right now. The fact that the show does not show us every single event in their lives that may have influenced that turning point is only because the show can only tell so much, so instead they show us the last piece of the puzzle - the big event that pushed the character over the edge into realizing they need to make a change. I'll also mention that there have only been a handful of characters that are genuinely evil for the sake of being evil - Discord, Sombra, Tirek, and maybe Chrysalis, the only one who was reformed being the one you said was fine. All of the other characters who were 'reformed' are people whose motives were such that it made perfect sense that they'd be open to reform at some point. As long as a character is not hurting people purely because they want to cause pain on a broad scale, there's no reason to believe they can't be reformed.