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About Taialin

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  • Birthday 03/04/1994

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My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

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  1. Random Hi!



    1. Taialin


      0_o How did you find me literally minutes after I logged in after a multi-month hiatus? And then you just had to post my favorite ship and make me squee? U r evil jeric

  2. I would recommend you reboot it with your new skills, without question. One can't go several years writing and practicing without learning new things, gaining new skills, and generally becoming a better writer. I look back at my old stories and cringe at how poor they were—you may very well do the same. Looking at the plot summaries for your new and original stories, the new one is much tighter and is more defined. I understand that you have an emotional connection to your old story, but by starting writing it, you set yourself on the path to your future. That's all you did for the story—wrote the start—and that's all it gave you—the start to your future. You should owe it nothing more. While things may differ in the workforce, while you're still writing for enjoyment, why would you devote a significant amount of time developing something you very well know you could do so much better? If it's only to fulfill a supposed moral obligation to a old story idea that already gave you what you needed, go no further. Better to leave it as is—unfinished—and just save and remember it for what it gave you. Also better to write a new version to prove to your story and yourself how much you've grown and developed your skills. (This is so​ off-topic, but your properly spaced ellipses make me happy. )
  3. You deserve a lot of credit for posting something like this, given that you're basically right on all of it. You are right that roleplaying well entails giving a "hook" for other players to use to drive their own story along, and to me, that's the principal reason why I don't enjoy roleplaying with some folks. Not necessarily too much fat, but not enough meat. Though it is a lot about style and preference. Coming especially from the writing side of things, I do prefer a lot of things more "fatty" than it seems like you do, though for good reason I'd like to believe. Because writing as a mode of expression is actually very different from roleplaying. For the record, I don't believe that all good roleplayers are good writers since bridging a roleplay directly into a story tends to lend it a very "ping-pong-y" feel, where the prose is disjointed and switches back and forth between vantage points without interleaving description or continuity. Which, let's face it, that's how roleplay works. The reason writing tends to be a lot more "fatty" than roleplay is because of the nature of the audience. Roleplay doesn't really have an audience, aside from the roleplayers you're playing with, so priorities are generally to driving the story along (by providing "meat"). Stories, however, do have an audience, and importantly, an audience who should be invested in all characters in the story, not just their own. That's why "paragraph after paragraph of mental masturbation" can be tolerated—even celebrated—in writing (it's called stream-of-consciousness narrative) but is just so much noise in roleplaying. Part of the joy in writing and reading writing is getting invested in other characters and their motivations, whereas roleplay is a more self-interested art (not inferior or more selfish, just different). Of course, mindless tangents about authorial interest are often irrelevant to both roleplay and writing. "Cutting the chaff" happens in writing, too, and quite a lot. In my opinion (and in a lot of writers' opinions), the best story is the one where everything in the story has a purpose and reason to exist. Every element must drive the story forward; otherwise, you're just wasting everybody's time. In the case of poor stories that I often see on Fimfiction, they're filled with no meat nor fat; just sand, really. What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that writing and roleplay require different mindsets and are different art forms since they're trying to accomplish two different things. Of course, I am a writer, so you'd have to expect me to defend myself. Even in roleplay, I like my posts "fatty." I'd like to think evocative description and non-verbal communication is its own form of meat that people may find relevant to their own roleplay e.g., there's a reason my character is distracted, but she's not going out and say it—only be fixated on something and provide ample description on it. Something tells me you'd find my own roleplay posts rather "rich" for your liking, though!
  4. Hee! I would say that I'm surprised, but most genes and the proteins they encode are named pretty cryptically like that: with some three-letter descriptor followed by a number identifying how many proteins are in that class (in this case, the paraoxonase family, protein or gene 3). I worked with dozens of these guys about a year ago doing some epigenetic research, so I know way more of these than I really should. Especially if the scientists who discover them don't care to give them a nice name (case in point, the JAK kinase family, originally coined JAK to stand for "just another kinase"). But if those scientists do want to coin a name for proteins, you get gems like pikachurin, aerodactylus, sonic hedgehog, and robotnikin. (And no, I did not make any of those up.)
  5. @@sound_of_fire: I would say yes, normally, given that Fimfiction is essentially the only place where you could post a story and gain any amount of attention, sometimes from well-founded critics, sometimes from fandom celebrities, and sometimes from published writers. (And keep in mind that that is a distinct advantage that the MLP fandom has that almost no other fandom in existence has ever had.) Though only sometimes. It does have what I like to call a skill floor that's higher than many would think, which lends its own advantages and disadvantages. Essentially, what I am saying is that while posting your story to Fimfiction will get you some attention, if it's not "good enough," it won't be a lot, and it may not be the attention you want. Fimfiction is generally pretty good at telling you the true quality of your story, though it will also typically offer you very little in terms of how it went right/wrong. That's why places like this where you can ask for help can be particularly useful. If you're writing for personal interest and that reason alone, it really doesn't matter where you post it. But if you're looking for some to read your story (as most writers do), or get feedback on it, Fimfiction is the place to do it. Just mind the foliage; it can sting a wee bit.
  6. @@C. Thunder Dash: Ah, yes, that does make sense. Didn't know that II-I-IV-V was a bridge cadence, but I do quite like that chord there. Thank you!
  7. @@AyoMistadurrk: Huh. I can't discount the idea, given that I haven't studied modes. (My education is self-taught, which means my music theory is very pick-and-mix.) And Rarity does play around with the augmented fourth in the phrase. The very first notes she sings to start ("but this") are on the augmented fourth (B♮) . . . but then she switches back down to B♭ for the rest of the phrase ("I'm not about to fold"). And putting the whole thing into Lydian means the final chord would be C diminished, which sounds . . . not right. (Of course, it could be a borrowed chord, just not borrowed from the parallel minor. And how the heck do you notate that?) I'll need to look into this further, methinks. Thanks! @@Bass Concerto: That solutions seems perfect, if not for one problem: the chords fit in the progression, but they don't feel like they should. The very first chord of the progression conveys remarkable stability, and that's not a characteristic of the dominant chord, which really wants to resolve to the tonic. Nor is the final chord (which you say is the tonic) particularly stable. (It sort of feels like a subdominant, if you ask me.)
  8. This is going to be an interesting inquiry, as it has to relate to chord theory and not so much music construction as it does analysis of existing music and why composers did what they did. Specifically, this is a case study on "Generosity" of Rarity Takes Manehattan. (I'm sorry to those who don't understand basic chord theory because this discussion will seem a bit unnecessarily esoteric.) I've started taking up guitar, and playing guitar sort of necessitates at least a passing knowledge of chord theory. (I mean, I'm pretty sure just about every guitar player has heard of I, IV, and V chords before.) Though in trying to learn and transcribe songs by ear from MLP specifically, I've run into some . . . interesting idiosyncrasies. For one, a lot of MLP songs really like using the flattened seventh chord (♭VII), apparently. (To name a few, "The Magic Inside," "Generosity," and "Let the Rainbow Remind You.") Though this isn't so much mysterious as just interesting: to my knowledge, the flattened seventh is a borrowed chord that serves as a dominant. What I can't get my head around, though, is one specific cadence in "Generosity." It's in the key of F major (with a modulation halfway through). Most of it is pretty normal stuff (save that flattened seventh again), but at the phrase where Rarity starts, "But this is how I play my cards / I'm not about to fold," that's where I'm confused. Because the very first chord to start that phrase is G major. That is, the II chord. I don't . . . I just don't understand it. Like, the chord sounds wonderful there, but I have no idea why it's there or why it works. It's clearly not diatonic, otherwise it would be a ii chord or something. It's not a borrowed chord because the parallel F minor doesn't have a G major chord in it. And it's not an applied chord (V/V), since, well, it doesn't sound unresolved at all (that is, it doesn't play the role of a dominant). Best I can tell, it behaves like a modulation to G major . . . but every other chord in the phrase is in F major. (The chord progression, best I can tell, is II (G)→vi (Dm)→IV (B♭)→V ©.) And if I treat it as one, that means the song modulates back to F major before modulating back again long-term to G major. I dunno, can someone explain this to me?
  9. @@EmeraldStar04: I'm not offended by strongly-worded debate. I make no ad hominem arguments. If you were going to be reported for abusive behavior, the redaction of your language is unlikely to change that. I have not reported you and will not report you. This will be my last statement on the matter. I defend the Fimfiction community only insofar that it tells the truth. In a lot of other places, including, as you mention, mentoring for beginning and inexperienced writers, the community fails. Badly. The administration, too, could use some spiffing up. But it's a good place, and considering MLP fanfiction and fanfiction internetwide, it's essentially unparalleled. (This isn't so much praise to Fimfiction as it is lament for other fandom's fanfiction repositories, which, in many cases, just don't exist.) I do not dislike OCs as a rule, and there are plenty of OCs that I do like (Nyx, Little Pip, and a few other more esoteric ones). They all have a common factor that other OCs, ones that, as you say, I dislike share: reason within the story. In all cases, OCs there have a reason to be because the story would necessitate them to be there. "Past Sins" is about a young Nightmare Moon absolving for crimes she didn't commit, and that young Nightmare Moon character comes to fruition as Nyx. The story necessitates the character, not the other way around. Most importantly, the story is what would get me or any reader engaged in the character and their future dynamics. In exempli gratia, Pen Stroke, the author of "Past Sins," doesn't introduce Nyx as a character for a few chapters; he first introduces the story. Thus, when filly Nightmare Moon does come into play, we have a reason to be emotionally involved in the character. This is the case for almost every published work. (Though most stories do it concurrently.) When a character is introduced first and the story is not introduced at all, the reader is left in the position where they have no reason to continue reading unless the story gives them a reason to. And if it doesn't exist, then, well, you know what happens. First and foremost, an author has to give the reader a reason to care, to continue reading, to see what happens next. (This is commonly known as a hook.) A character by themselves is an exceptionally poor hook, especially within the fanfiction community, where there are a lot of bad ones. Perhaps even worse if they're in the title, because that would suggest that the story is the character, which as I've expounded on previously, is generally a bad idea. (And titling something like [Character's] Crazy Adventure is no remedy.) Again, the story should be first. That's why a story is called, well, a story. Perhaps I didn't make it clear (in which case, I apologize) that I'm only especially skeptical of OCs as they apply their use in stories on Fimfiction. I do and have interacted with many OCs on this site as well. (I am a MLPF roleplay staff mentor, and I'd be silly not to know about OCs and how they work here.) When not used within the scope of a story (such as in roleplay and art), I find OCs are generally less poorly received, because to attack an OC in such a position would be to attack their, um, right to exist (which you actually can attack in some cases). But within a story, readers attack an OCs right to be in the story. That is a lot more difficult to justify.
  10. You might classify me as a "BINO" after I'm finished with this discussion, because this discussion will be a bit (maybe a lot) more cynical than I normally write. Let it be known that for a lot of purposes, especially writing, I really have a problem with OCs. (Though I've never been called a BINO before.) But I have a background in writing on Fimfiction, and I know all too well the hate that spins around OCs, some of it well justified, some not. On Fimfiction especially, there's a very good reason why most readers are quite averse to OCs, and that's because the vast, vast majority of people can't write them correctly. (Including me, actually.) I don't mean that the OC is overpowered, red and black striped, an alicorn, or is beloved by all the Mane 6; there are many subtle ways in which an OC can (and almost always does) go wrong, and all those wrong ways sort of jade us to any story with OCs in it. I am well aware that there are some very good stories with OCs in them ("Past Sins" is not a perfect example, but it's generally pretty good), but we generally obey Sturgeon's Law for this one: 90% of stories with OCs are crap. First off, I would actually argue with your point that an OC creates new interactions, changes dynamics, and is interesting for that reason. I mean, in theory, yes, everything you said is correct, but if the extent to that "new interaction" is the OC making friends with the Mane 6 (or whatever other place they find themselves in) . . . well, that's not really new interaction. And perhaps more importantly, it's not interesting. This actually brings me to the main point against OCs that makes stories incredibly hard to write: why? For an OC to be justified in a story, one needs to answer that question. Why should we care about this OC, who needs more development since we don't know anything about them? Why should we care about their conflict line? Why do they have a place in the MLP world? Why do they need to interact with other characters? And perhaps the utterly unanswerable question, why does the OC need to ingrain themselves in the Mane 6's dynamic? That last question is almost impossible to answer from a story perspective. You may answer it in the way that "the OC was searching them out" or "the OC has a love interest," but that goes back to why we should care about the OC in the first place. (And the dynamic between the Mane 6 is so deep that it's almost sacreligious to try and add to it with an OC.) The point is, for an OC to be justified in a story, the story must require there to be an OC in it; the OC cannot be the story. New interactions cannot be the purpose of the story or the purpose of the OC. Because we read that purpose to be "because the author wanted those interactions," not because the story necessitated them. Obviously, with everything writing, there are exceptions. It is possible to write a good story with OCs, and it is possible to answer all those questions and make a good story. Fimfiction has actually hosted a couple contests to that effect, challenging people to write stories that broke these rules. But it is exceptionally difficult, and near impossible for a beginner to do so from the get-go. I'm a veteran writer on Fimfiction, and even I don't dare touch OCs yet because they're very difficult to manage. I generally don't advise writers on OC matters, either (except to tell them that it's really hard). Convincing readers that an OC is required for the story and not because you want the OC to interact is incredibly difficult, and when you get it wrong, you get labeled a "self-insert." That's actually why many elite writers on Fimfiction don't use OCs, either. They'd rather write original fiction, with all OCs and nothing else, separated from the stigma that comes with MLP and OCs, at least on Fimfiction. I agree with you that Fimfiction is hostile to novice/inexperienced writers. But what I can credit Fimfiction with is that it will almost always tell you the truth.
  11. @ Celestia breathed a silent sigh of relief as nopony appeared to be too put off by her unorthodox entrance, least of all her sister. But with the retreat from the strange came the advance of the serious, and her sister indeed had some serious things to discuss with her. In a lot of ways, the fact that one of them was younger was merely a semantic fact but not a practical one. Over the scale of thousands of years, a difference of a few scant years—or even a few scant centuries—was nothing if not petals in the wind. It was more the thousand year exile that her sister experienced and what she missed in the meantime that meant one of them was more inexperienced than the other. And that cute look her sister gave her certainly factored in as well, as it seemed to turn on some protective instinct in her. "You underestimate your own power and poise, I think, dear sister," Celestia began. "The impressions you've made in recent times in your dream wanderings speak for themselves. They love you, and it is that part of you that you may show for those at the party to love you as well." She sidled closer to her sister. "I have full confidence that what you have learned in our modern times and your personality will win over our subjects if you simply be yourself. "All I would recommend is to keep your temper in check." Celestia hesitated to mention this fact, but her sister did ask for her help. "There are certain . . . expectations that are expected of us princesses. And that does include keeping our composure in trying circumstances." But then Luna revealed her evening garb. She smiled. "You are quite lovely, I think. Perhaps you will need to fend off potential suitors before I am able to join you?" Celestia jested. "Go, sister. I will be with you soon, and I trust you to be the magnanimous Princess of the Night you've always been able to be." And she gave her dear sister of many millennia a little squeeze.
  12. @: That would be what the abstract is for, darling. Below the spoiler tags. @@AlbaTross: I find myself much more at home pushing numbers around and spouting words like Mantel-Haenszel stratification than running a focus group, as a matter of fact. Could never get my head around qualitative research, honestly. :3 @@Chuckles4lyfe: Those analyses that you mention are exactly the ones that'd be trivial to do with just a touch more data on writers. Plus an ANOVA or multiregression on the writers. I'm burned from too much number-ing to do that at the moment, but that is definitely a question that I could answer. Whether I would want to or not, that's a different story. I'll be honest, I can't really think of much good that could come out of objectively proving that one writer is better than another. It's an easy way to start arguments, that's for sure.
  13. Taialin. Answering the Question: Is the Show Deteriorating? A Descriptive and Analytical Statistical Summary of MLPForum's Polls Concerning Six Seasons of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Journal of Poniverse 2016: 1(5) ANSWERING THE QUESTION: IS THE SHOW DETERIORATING? A Descriptive and Analytical Statistical Summary of MLPForum's Polls Concerning Six Seasons of Episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Taialin DISCLAIMER This post models scientific literature in structure but is not, in any way, a scientific piece of literature (for obvious reasons). This piece was written in an informal manner and partially for comedic effect. I am a scientist, but I was not trying to be very rigorous in this study. Pastel ponies brimming with magic generally don't respond to scientific rigor very well; just ask Sunset Shimmer. Reader's discretion is advised. PS. If there actually will be a Journal of Poniverse in the future though, I want to be in it! Oh, and if you're wondering why this isn't the first issue of the journal, well . . . this isn't my first "study" on pony and fandom matters, either. If you're curious, have a look around. ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION I don't know about you, but around about June 2016, I was getting pretty tired of all those "The show is jumping the shark" posts and "The show is going downhill" threads concerning Season 6 [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14]. Even our own Shadow the Hedgehog didn't appear to be a big fan [6]. Of course, there are also a handful of posts and threads that defend Season 6 [6, 7]. I've heard from some friends as well that MLP should have ended at Season 6 because it's already "jumped the shark." At this point, I haven't heard quite so much about it, but even so, what with all the vitriol and vitriol-defense being thrown around, it's hard to come to a definitive conclusion regarding whether Season 6 has actually gotten worse compared to previous seasons. I think it's an interesting question to answer. There is some evidence pointing to the fact that Season 6 is an inferior season. M.A. Larson, a writer since Season 1 and the writer of the venerable "Amending Fences," was not involved in writing any episodes from Season 6 [10], and Amy Keating Rogers, another veteran writer and one whose episodes I enjoyed very much, left in mid-2015 [11]. Whether that amounts to an "inferior" season is up to you, but the change in writer lineup [12] certainly amounts to Season 6 being "different" insofar that different writers were making the scripts. There are also numerous plot-related elements that may point to Season 6 being inferior [13], but those elements are almost entirely based on subjectivity and personal taste and will not be discussed here. The fact is, everyone's personal tastes and personal preferences for episodes and seasons will differ (and if you need a citation for this, you need to get out more). Whether you think the show is deteriorating is not what this paper seeks to answer, as that's almost entirely a subjective measure. The question I seek to answer is this: among bronies, what is the general consensus regarding Season 6, and how does this consensus compare to past seasons/episodes? This may appear to be an impossible question to answer . . . and honestly, you'd be completely right. Naturally, taking a simple random sample of all bronies is not feasible. But MLPForums, being home to some sizeable number of bronies, lends some resources that makes answering this question easier. Namely, the fact that the episode discussions concerning each episode also play home to a poll of general satisfaction of that episode. To be frank, the question I have set out to answer (that one in the title) will not be the question I'm actually answering. Rather, I can answer this one: considering data gathered from MLPF polls concerning each episode, collectively, is Season 6 significantly more poorly rated as compared any past seasons, and on a grander scale, what are the differences between seasons and episodes? . . . Yeah, it's a more unwieldly question, but it's the more accurate one. Let's get started. METHODS Within the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic section of MLPF, the Show Discussion section includes one thread concerning each episode, typically posted near the time the episode is released. On each thread as well, there is a poll for the purpose of gauging public response, for which results are publicly accessible. Data from the polls were generally gathered over a few days in two periods: June and November 2016. Poll responses for each episode were recorded and adapted to a five point Likert scale [15], with labels "Emphatic Like," "Like," "Ambivalent," "Dislike," and "Emphatic Dislike." Data were imputed where missing. Data were organized and recorded into Microsoft Excel. Two descriptive metrics were then derived from this data. "Rating" was computed to be a measure of general satisfaction with the relevant episode, with values ranging from -100% to 100%. "Polarization Factor" was computed to be a measure of amount of disagreement of opinion with the relevant episodes, with values ranging from 0% to 100%. Descriptive metrics were averaged by season. "Rating" and "Polarization Factor" were computed according to the below formulae: Here's where I drop a load of stats on you; don't worry if you don't understand everything in it. For analytical statistics, I used SAS 9.04, a statistics coding language and program. I repurposed the data gathered into comma-separated values that SAS could understand. From there, an Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) statistical test with independent variable "Season" and dependent variable "Rating," plus an analysis for homogeneity of variance. Based on those results, a Welch's ANOVA was conducted. A 5% alpha level was used for all tests. To take into account individual votes at each level, a chi-square test was also conducted. RESULTS A depiction of the Rating and Polarization Factor of each episode is shown below, grouped into seasons, along with a graph of Rating. The Average Rating and Polarization Factor for each season is also noted. Figure 1. Rating and Polarization Factor per episode by season. Episode numbers appear across the top row under its corresponding season. Rating and Polarization Factor in each cell are color-coded such that green items represent relatively high ratings or low polarization, red items represent relatively low ratings or high polarization, and white items represent medial ratings and polarization. Figure 2. Boxplots of the Rating by season. The results for the ANOVA run on the vote data is shown below as well. The results showed that there was a marginally significant difference between group means (F(5, 137)=2.48; p=0.035). The homogeneity of variance, test, however, also concluded that there was sufficient evidence to conclude that homogeneity of variance was violated (F(5, 137)=2.78, p=0.020). This indicates that ANOVA results may not be trusted and may yield spurious results. In response, a Welch's ANOVA was run, which is nonparametric and does not require variance to be equal between categories [16]. The results of this test showed that insignificance, indicating that there is not sufficient evidence to reject the notion that there is a difference between seasons in terms of rating (F(5, 55.86)=1.96; p=0.099). Figure 3. One-way ANOVA of rating by season. Rating was the dependent variable and Season was the independent variable. Figure 4. Levene's test for homogeneity of variance of rating by season. Rating was the dependent variable and Season was the independent variable. Figure 5. Welch's ANOVA of rating by season. Rating was the dependent variable and Season was the independent variable. A chi-square test of independence was conducted on the data. Results were significant, indicating that there is reason to believe that Season and Rating may not be independent variables (χ²(20, N=22148)=357.606; p<0.001). Figure 6. Chi-square test of independence. Table of opinion votes crossed against season is shown first, followed by summary statistics on calculated chi-square values. DISCUSSION Caveats So, before I actually begin discussing the results proper, I need to address the elephant in the room: the integrity of the data. Because by the nature of this data and the way it was gathered, there's quite a few problems with the data that may hamper my ability to draw valid conclusions. Unfortunately, by the time I'm done with this, you may wonder why I bothered to do a study in the first place. First, there is a critical liaison between consensus opinion of an episode and the data I gathered: the poll and whether it was an accurate metric of consensus opinion. In one way, it is, given that the possible responses to the polls were generally kept constant, which allowed for consistent data (with one exception, which I'll get into). What I cannot guarantee is that popular opinion towards the poll itself and voting behavior did not change through all six seasons. Unfortunately, I have reason to believe that this may be the case. The number of total votes between Seasons 1–3 was typically under 100, but vote count in Seasons 4–6 were much greater. This indicates to me that either the response rate increased between Seasons 3 and 4 (generating a response bias) or population sampled changed. As a result, cross-comparing between Seasons 1–3 and Seasons 4–6 may not be valid. Analyses were done on all seasons for completion, but I advise you to interpret pairwise differences between those two macrogroups described with a grain of salt. Subsequent potential sources of error I'll note pose a lesser to risk to validity, but I'll mention them for completion. Given that I collected all the data in this study at the same time, polls for older episodes had a longer period of time to accrue votes, which may skew results. While I cannot discount the notion, I don't consider this effect to be that significant. The polls were designed to glimpse general reaction to an episode immediately after it aired, and after a poll is up, after a short period of time, response rate drops off precipitously. I conducted a sensitivity analysis on this (in layman's terms, a let's-see-how-the-data-screwed-up analysis), observing how votes changed between June 2016 and November 2016. I observed no significant difference, so I have no reason to believe that votes changed significantly between the time the poll was posted and the time I gathered data. There's a small risk for recall bias, as prior to Season 2 Episode 3, all threads were posted retroactive to the episode airing. That is, current policy of posting a reaction thread immediately after an episode airing was not in place at the time. Expected, given the fandom wasn't that big at the time. But it means that all people who voted in those polls did so some time after the episode aired. Even so, the data between Seasons 1 and 2 are similar enough and the sample sizes are similar enough that I don't believe that bias occurred. Finally, Season 4 Episode 1 through Season 4 Episode 9 saw a small change in the poll structure: the "Ambivalent" option was removed. Given that people will generally respond differently if they're not given an "Ambivalent" option as compared to when they are, there is reason to believe these data were collected differently. But I conducted a sensitivity analysis on this data as well and found that only "Polarization Factor" appeared to be affected. I then imputed data for those nine episodes only so that their data was comparable to the rest of the episodes. Huff. Excuses over. It's unfortunate that I have to mention all this and provide all these excuses on the data, but it underscores the nature of data collection; it's problematic, however we may wish it to be otherwise. And this is, unfortunately, the only data set I believe that I have access to. Anyhow, on to the numbers! Analysis of Variance On cursory inspection, one may be led to believe that Season 3 is far more poorly rated than any other season, and Season 6 is marginally more poorly rated (Figure 1). But that would be cheating. In science, we don't "guess" at whether something "looks" different; we evaluate whether it honestly is via statistics or if the results we've found are better attributed to dumb luck [16]. Specifically, if the data is such that there's less than a 5% chance that what we've seen could be attributed to luck, there's reason to believe that luck isn't the culprit behind the difference. Much of statistics falls into answering that question, and indeed, all the fancy names I listed above attempt to answer that question. We'll address them in order. The ANOVA conducted attempted to analyze whether the variance between seasons is so great as to conclude that at least one season's rating differs significantly from at least one other. Straight ANOVA suggested this might be so (p<0.05), but this is misleading (Figure 3). ANOVA is a parametric test that depends on a few assumptions, specifically, (1) the data are normal, and (2) the variance between groups are equal [16], otherwise, results can't be trusted. While I didn't evaluate all of the assumptions, the second was determined to be violated by Levene's test of homogeneity of variance (Figure 4). When that assumption is violated, it's best to conduct a non-parametric test, or one that doesn't depend on those two assumptions. Welch's ANOVA is one such test. And what do you know, it found that there was a 10% chance that the differences between seasons in terms of rating could be due to chance (Figure 5). That's small, but not small enough. In pretentious language, this result means that there is not sufficient evidence to conclude that any group differs significantly from each other, and thus we would fail to reject the hypothesis that they are equal. In layman's terms, it means based on this test, it'd be best if we say that all ratings between all seasons are the same. Chi-square Test of Independence Something about the above test bothered me, though. While it did use most of the data I gathered, it didn't really take into account voting differences between episodes of seasons. That is, more Likes than Emphatic Likes, etc. To alleviate that, I ran another test, this one the chi-square test of independence. It's a non-parametric test (remember those?) that evaluates whether two categorical variables (in this case, season and opinion ratings, ranging from Emphatic Dislike to Emphatic Like) are independent and do not influence each other. And by the results of this test, it was found that they do influence each other (Figure 6). Conclusively. The problem with this test that I don't like about it either that it may be too granular for this application. Consider that two episodes may have the same rating and same general consensus, but there may exist small differences in individual votes (for instance, more Ambivalent votes in one and less in the other). While the general Rating consensus for both episodes would be identical, the chi-square test would nevertheless indicate that the two weren't independent, based on those individual vote distribution differences. It seems to me that that's not the question I'm trying to answer. Conclusion So while it's possible to say that season and voting opinions are not independent, there's no reason to believe that season has any influence on rating, at least at this point. And here's the thing. Even if I did find a significant difference, let me ask you this question: who cares? I mean, this conclusion is on past data, and you already watched the seasons and episodes, didn't you? Did you enjoy it? If you did, keep watching. If you didn't, don’t. It's as simple as that. As I said before, it's impossible for me to answer the question of whether you would enjoy the episode or season or if you should continue giving MLP a chance. That's up to you to decide. On my part, I found that watching other people's analyses of each episode didn't really enhance my viewing experience. On the contrary, it diminished it. If I hadn't watched the episode beforehand and people said it was bad, that would influence my own disposition. And if I had watched the episode, enjoyed it, but people still said it was bad, that would still influence my own disposition. As in, because other people didn't enjoy the episode, I should have reason to dig into it more heavily and identify those flawed parts. And that is exactly what happened every single time. That's one of the reasons why I stopped watching analysis videos. That's also one of the reasons you probably won't see me on this forum very much; I'm averse to letting other's opinions color my own. That being said, this study is a sort of 500-foot view from the whole matter. While some episodes are certainly more poorly rated than others, there are always those who enjoy it, even enjoy it emphatically. All I can say is to keep the 500-foot view in mind, but enjoy each episode on its own terms. Future Studies While I found all this data on rating and season and whatnot, there's a lot more in this set that remains to be observed. Is there any difference between those episodes where songs appear and songs don't? Is there any difference between Amy Keating Rogers' episodes and other writers'? Is there any difference between episodes where Fluttershy is given a central position and others? I've only just scratched the surface of what could be analyzed and given the science treatment. That's only a small selection of the questions you could ask with this data, and this is only a small amount of the data that could be collected on the brony fandom as a whole. I didn't do any qualitative research, see. And I didn't collect data on anything else besides votes. If you want to use this data for some other purpose, get in contact with me. Or if you have ideas for other studies, get in contact with me. Let this not be the last paper in the Journal of Poniverse! WORKS CITED [1] meduni. Does MLP deserve to be cancelled right now/abruptly/etc. for being imperfect? (MLPForums, 2016). https://mlpforums.com/topic/156148-does-mlp-deserve-to-be-cancelled-right-nowabruptlyetc-for-being-imperfect/ [2] Gamer_KM. Did Hasbro really throw plot out the window? (MLPForums, 2016). https://mlpforums.com/topic/156553-did-hasbro-really-throw-plot-out-of-the-window/ [3] VG_Addict. Has the show jumped the shark? (MLPForums, 2016). https://mlpforums.com/topic/155424-has-the-show-jumped-the-shark/ [4] onlyone. Has My Little Pony been nothing but a joke all this time? (MLPForums, 2016). https://mlpforums.com/topic/153789-has-my-little-pony-been-nothing-but-a-joke-all-this-time/ [5] Calpain. Synopsis for Episode 16 Revealed - 28 Pranks Later. (Equestria Daily, 2016). http://www.equestriadaily.com/2016/07/synopsis-for-episode-16-revealed.html [6] TheAnimatorOfficial. How would you rate the show in general? (MLPForums, 2016). https://mlpforums.com/topic/151067-how-would-you-rate-the-show-in-general/ [7] OmegaBeamOfficial. What's With All The Season 6 Hate? (MLPForums, 2016). https://mlpforums.com/topic/155866-whats-with-all-the-season-6-hate/ [8] Loganberry. The My Little Pony Movie is coming! (In two years' time…). (Louder Yay, 2015). http://louderyay.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/the-my-little-pony-movie-is-coming-in.html [9] Loganberry. Thoughts on the mid-season hiatus. (Louder Yay, 2016). http://louderyay.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/thoughts-on-mid-season-hiatus.html [10] Loganberry. No more M.A. Larson to blame! (Louder Yay, 2016). http://louderyay.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/no-more-m-larson-to-blame.html [11] Sethisto. Amy Keating Rogers Becomes Full Time Disney Writer, Leaves My Little Pony For the Near Future. (Equestria Daily, 2015). http://www.equestriadaily.com/2015/04/amy-keating-rogers-becomes-full-time.html [12] Loganberry. Episode review: S6E07: "Newbie Dash". (Louder Yay, 2016). http://louderyay.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/episode-review-s6e07-newbie-dash.html [13] Loganberry. S6 coming this spring! Oh, and about that royal foal.... (Louder Yay, 2016). http://louderyay.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/s6-coming-this-spring-oh-and-about-that.html [14] Rainbow Dash. Why do people call a season bad before it's over? (MLPForums, 2016). https://mlpforums.com/topic/153231-why-do-people-call-a-season-bad-before-its-over/ [15] Likert, R. A Technique for the Measurement of Attitudes. (Archives of Psychology 140, 1–55, 1932). [16] McDonald, JH. Handbook of Biological Statistics. (Sparky House Publishing, Baltimore, Maryland, 157-64, 2014.) http://www.biostathandbook.com/kruskalwallis.html
  14. Randomly saw your av. Thought I'd say I like it!

  15. @@Hypn0ticD, @@Randimaxis, @ Celestia blinked a few more times. It wasn't necessarily a rare occurrence when she became confused—long meetings with advisors about funding magical research would do that to a pony—but it was rare that she was ever so flummoxed as she was currently. Just recently off the fetlocks of the instinct that somepony was getting awfully close to becoming a princess, followed by one of the worst headaches she'd ever had, then followed by seeing the aftermath of a pony she'd long known as exceptionally poised and well-spoken apparently almost break somebody else's jaw . . . it was enough for Princess Celestia's normally well-composed mind to throw up its hooves and say (metaphorically) "I give up!" It took her quite a bit longer to unroot herself from the ground and comprehend what had been said in the interim. "Yes, my little ponies," she said to no one in particular, hoping it would be suitably relevant to whatever she had missed, marching her hooves on the ground like she needed to go to the restroom. She hadn't felt this out of place since she had accidentally decided to take an impromptu nap during that foreign policy review all those years ago. While she couldn't be certain of what anypony else had said during her . . . sabbatical, it was impossible to miss what that guard was saying. "Princess Celestia, you're needed in the ballroom," an armored pony beside her said for what was probably the sixth time. Guards were trained to be stoic at all times, but even this one had an air of concern on their face that their princess was so apparently indisposed. "Ah, what?" Princess Celestia returned, still trying to gain her bearings. She looked around at all the empty space around her. Wasn't there a considerable crowd around just moments earlier? "Princess Celestia, Princess Luna has requested your presence in the ballroom." "Y-yes, of course," Princess Celestia said, trying to regain a semblance of composure. Once she was suitably lucid, she lit her horn and teleported to the ballroom vestibule entrance, hoping she hadn't been needed there for too long. At least, that was where she had hoped she would teleport to. It took another moment for Princess Celestia to regain her balance when she did indeed appear in the ballroom with a flash of light, albeit on top of a small table. She tottered on two hooves momentarily before jumping off. That was what unreadiness and fatigue costed her when teleporting: inaccuracy. She let out a quiet sigh of relief that she hadn't appeared inside the table. That would have been . . . problematic. "You requested me, sister?" she said to whoever was in the room, again hoping that it would be suitably relevant to whatever she had missed. Rarity let out a quiet sigh and mentally put her mind at ease that she wouldn't have to employ her hooves physically again for at least a little while. Instead, she just followed where her friends and everypony else were going. She realized a moment too late what exactly it was that they were all going to see, and once she did, she distinctly aware that she'd rather not see it. Colette didn't strike her as the kind of person she'd be ecstatic to get to know well. And once she opened her bedroom's door, it wasn't hard to imagine why. Gaudy posters hung on one wall, all attached with varying degrees of levelness that she could not ignore. They showed images considerably darker and grittier that she was accustomed to seeing, all terribly designed. The only time in recent memory she had seen such awful motifs was when she had been asked by a mare of questionable sanity to design a spiked collar for him. "Emo" and "goth," she remembered she described himself as. She was the same one who appeared in her Canterlot branch and couldn't stop speaking in that terribly croaking voice. Rarity was open to new ideas and new markets for her designs, but she was fairly certain it would be a long, long time before she ever delved into that particular market. There were some instruments near the foot of her bed, instruments that most looked like the guitars she was accustomed. These, however, were shaped much more aggressively and what looked like large speakers. Rarity couldn't be sure what sound those instruments could make, but if she needed to guess, it was probably something loud, grating, shrill, and distinctly un-musical. That same description could be applied to Colette, certainly, so they matched in theme, at least. Unfortunately, it was a theme and matching Rarity would rather have nothing to do with. And her wardrobe . . . Celestia, her wardrobe. All her colors were so drab and inelegant, and her garment choices were those she wouldn't be caught dead wearing. Those colors! Why was Colette in the apparent business of dressing up in the colors of dirt and slate? That was more something she'd take Maud Pie to be akin to. And was that a hoodie? She had never seen anypony anywhere wear that even for an instant, aside from Pinkie Pie, and that was for a joke! And those pants! Rare enough in Equestria as they were, but to her knowledge, pants (and all clothing, for that matter) was supposed to be thrown out or repaired when it was torn. Then why was it that the majority of the pants she saw there were torn in several places? Nopony in their right mind would choose to wear something in so desperate need for repair. Except Colette, apparently. Rarity could feel the bile coming up in her throat. She brought a hoof to her mouth and averted her eyes, trying not to vomit. If not for that and what social ordinances she still had to abide by, she would have said something like, "Can I arrest you for committing these ineffable crimes to fashion?" She was thankfully spared from the ongoing torment of seeing the wardrobe for any longer as Colette closed the door. Hopefully, she'd choose to wear something at least somewhat tolerable for the party tonight. And as they retreated and headed to her home to ready themselves for the party, her friends started a heated discussion on Colette and Discord. Rarity and Rainbow Dash rarely agreed on much of anything, but here, they could at least agree on their distaste of Discord. He did have a tendency to make every party he attended intolerable by the very act of, well, being there. Plus, it appeared as if Discord and Colette were well on their way to getting along. It was like having dinner with a date who was both a lout and had terrible fashion taste. They had come to the consensus that Discord should be at least tolerated, and though she agreed with it, she didn't necessarily like it. "It would be quite rude of me to simply abstain from attending this party, would it not?" she mused aloud to her friends. She knew the answer already, even if it wasn't the one she wanted. What she wanted was not what society wanted or demanded of her. The troubles of a life of popularity and social clout.