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 The Mechanism of Academia

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PostSubject: The Mechanism of Academia    Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:54 pm

Five years ago, you were a fool. This will not change in five years time.

It was almost certainly biased and unfair, but it seemed that shortly after Intel stopped being a student, the quality of students declined considerably. He was quite sure that he and his peers did not muck about and procrastinate as much as the students that he lectured nowadays.

Oh, that wasn't to say he didn't muck about and procrastinate, but somehow it a more productive mucking about, and a more sensible amount of procrastination.

He swore that half of the class didn't even want to be there. And it would be those uninvolved unicorns that would begging for an extended deadline, or that one or two extra marks, or Celestia forbid, a letter of recommendation.

Having an office to himself was nice, though. The nameplate on the door was a special touch. And soon he'd have minons (properly known as graduate students) to do his bidding. It was all part of the mechanism known as academia.

Said mechanism currently involved hiding in his nice office hoping that he could finish his lunch without a student barging in with... Well, he was supposed to say that there was no such thing as a stupid question, but some questions that he had been asked certainly challenged the notion.

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The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mechanism of Academia    Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:32 pm

Destiny Seeker was a rather recent addition to the roster of professors executing magical research and giving lectures in the current academic enviroment. In truth, he had only finished his own studies two years ago. As student, he was nothing short of exceptional, and this continued on into his life.

He was astonished when he saw how modern students behaved themselves though. This was a prestigious location to be and study... and yet to have the gall to slack around and attempt to barely pass? It confused him, and made him notice how little attention he had paid to his surroundings during his own study, no doubt due to his fascinations.

Destiny Seeker was looking for some help with a certain experiment a student had asked him to help with. The experiment included both different types of spells and the use of magical apparatus, Destiny Seeker was far better with spells than with apparatus, and knew practically every other spell in the library, and could cast a surprising amount of them. He couldn't cast all of them to useful avail, but nonetheless, he was a master with spells himself.

His other professors, all the while ridiculing him slightly for being 'the new guy', told him that the assistance he would require could be found with Intelligent Design. Destiny, Being a nervous type, especially when it came to meeting new people, carefully and slowly knocked on the door of Intelligent's office, Opening it slightly and peeking his head inside, if he were given permission by Intelligent Design.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mechanism of Academia    Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:25 am

"Mmph!"

On hearing the knocking on his door, Intel fumbled his lunch back into its container, swallowed his food, and brushed himself off to make himself halfway presentable. Typical. Of course a student would knock during lunch. Probably to ask about the assignment on transmutation. On one hoof, he couldn't fault students for seeking clarification. On the other, he was seriously thinking about eating outside the campus...

Except that this time it wasn't a student. Surprisingly. Intel's relationship with his colleagues was a complex one. It was a friendship with an undercurrent of intense competition. Competition for funds, students, resources, peace of mind... He was of the mind that the school would be an extremely potent political force throughout all of Equestria (well, moreso), if it's members weren't put against each other.

Alas, one of the first things you learnt at this school, even as a student, was that the subject of magic was vast and complex, with many different aspects, and aspects within aspects, so that it was impossible to master it all. As such, everypony pulled in every which way they wanted and...

Ah, no time to complain now. There was a fellow professor at his door.

"Oh, hello!"
What was his name, what was his name...
"Come in, come in, I was just having lunch."

Pushing his lunch aside Intel had an expression that in no way expressed his inner turmoil of trying to remember this pony's name. He knew he was a professor that specialised in spellcraft (something he only dabbled in), and he also knew that this particular pony was new. Aside from that...

"So! How may I help you?"


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The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mechanism of Academia    Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:08 pm

Destiny Seeker had stepped inside, a few papers levitating aside his head. He was no good with people's expressions, or at the very least, not good enough to recognize anything in intel's expression.

"Hello, Sir" He quite simply said, before Intel asked the question and he continued on. "Well, i was wondering if i could have your assistance for the experiment of a stu-" He looked to his papers and his face turned a little sour. "Two students, rather."

It didn't take a genius to figure out that one of these students were not studying with Destiny Seeker's full graces, good chances are that they are the same procrastinating, deadline-extension begging type that Intel's been noticing.

"I have a quick synopsis on both of their researches, if you'd like to hear those first." He said, in a slightly less irate tone, his eyes focused on the papers he had brought with him. He separated them into two piles with his levitation, one evidently thicker than the other.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mechanism of Academia    Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:44 am

Raising an eyebrow, Intel took the thinner of the two folders, saying, "Please, call me Intel. Formality never settled well with me." Upon opening the folder and reading its contents, he emitted a sound similar to that of a dying baby seal.

[Author's note: I have thankfully never had the displeasure of hearing a dying baby seal, but I imagine such a thing would sound very similar to what Intel emitted on reading a synopsis of a experiment that managed to both be meandering and too brief.]

"I sadly can't help with G. Cage's proposal, as it were," he said, "I'd advise her to focus on something more specific. It would be easier for us all in the long run."

He then turned to the thicker folder. Reading the title, a frown appeared on his features that only deepened when he read the student that proposed it. He opened the folder and leafed through it. For many tense moments it was silent, except for the flipping of pages and the occasional murmur of concern. Finally, the unicorn closed the folder and glared at the title and author.

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Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mechanism of Academia    Sun Dec 25, 2016 8:02 am

Destiny watched as intelligent design suggested the name. It didn't sit well with Destiny, though, as he had a childhood friend he had called by that name... drama aside, he watched as Intelligent Design disapproved of the procastinating student's completely lackluster and dull report, which was already late, as it was a project due this semester, which was ending within the coming season. The longer research was for that of a hard working student, obviously.

It was the research she planned to do for her final thesis, and it was a compliciated research to a interesting question, said question being 'Does magic think for itself and respond to it's surroundings based off of our expectations?'. Her theory was that magic somehow 'knew' what something as supposed to do, and if you twisted the magic to try and force unexpected results,, that magic adjusted itself in such a way that the results are indeed unexpected, but still within the realm of logic for the onlookers. She wanted to test it in different conditions to see if magic always behave consistently, behaves completely randomly, or shows different behaviour based on which unicorns were present. She needed a simple device which has a magical input and a magical output. something that converts one spell to a different spell, like a device that would convert a beam into a shield. She would be casting different spells inside of it, under different conditions, to see if the magic she uses would 'know' what the device is supposed to do.

It was a very abstract research, but she already had done as much as preparing as she could, and already had the calculations prepared, even already having empty tables and a space to write her conclusion prepared for the moment she had done her research. And this was only supposed to be done in half a year. The student making it, Gleaming Grinner, was a bit of a nutter. Crazy and loopy, but dedicated to researching the mysteries and strange rules of magic which others have not yet straightened out.

"i admit, Gleaming has a very strange proposal for a research, but her hypothesis and suggested method are a flawless fit, and integrate well with the theory she had added onto it. It really is researching magic on a level outside of the common research and logic behind magic. i was astonished to she that she even had taken into account what magical floes there may be during her experiments, and already has theories as to what positive, negative and lack of results mean. She may be borderline insane, but she's a born scientist." Destiny stated. He was astonished by the research, for it was very alternative to what any normal and practical wizard may want to research, and it was far more interesting than even his own thesis. he felt she was onto something, and was glad she was working so properly ahead of time. He however would not be surprised if the experiment would be deemed too dangerous or there weren't any artifice that could be given for this kind of experiment. He knew she was prepared for that answer aswell. Destiny gave a calm stare, waiting for Intel's further response.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mechanism of Academia    Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:17 am

'Insanity assists,' Intel muttered under his breath, as he turned and started opening his filing cabinet. Gleaming Grinner, Gleaming Grinner, he had heard of her, but never in much detail. He thought she attended his lectures on Advanced Transmutation or possibly Introduction to Ambience, but she hadn't really stood out in lectures, assignments or even the final exam. To suddenly produce this...

'Well, it is an absolutely massive question,' Intel said, 'The observer query, "Does magic only resolve when one is there to witness the results?" Ms Grinner's proposal is essentially stating, "Yes, because magic is its own witness, but is heavily subject to peer pressure." Which..."

S...s...s... Ah. Shifting Stones in Relation to Translational Magic by M. Pie was tossed onto Intel's desk. The study of rocks...it wasn't seriously considered in Canterlot. It was, after all Earth Pony stuff and to study it in a school of Unicorns felt wrong. It was only through his heritage of builders and architects that he was able to oversee that particular paper. But it was only one of the folders he wished to find.

'...I am not quite sure if the experiments will answer to her satisfaction. Many experiments have been taken already...'

Persistence of magical flame in containment chamber by R. Lamp fell on the desk.

'But I think Gleaming should look at the High Energy Labs here in the school, and this.'

On the Design of the Magical Dampeners in the HEL of the SoGU by I. Design, fell onto the desk along with a frame of a cylinder with a slowly rotating ring inscribed in it.

'Are you familiar with these magical dampeners?'

_________________
The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mechanism of Academia    Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:38 am

"Truthfully, no. i've never been to the high energy labs, spellcraft on a personal level rarely indulges so deeply in magic that you get high energy readings. It is practically unheard of, even when attempting to weave spells together. I believe one professor showed interest in my unique spells to see if they would result in different energy readings, but i was not avaible at the time he needed." Destiny's eyes scanned over the book's title and author. "this is your own personal analysis on the design?" he levitated it to himself and looked to the opening pages, the introduction and a possible summuary.

"i'm sure she will have no issue expanding her research and cross-referencing your findings to formulate a proper experiment. Did you already have something in mind with the magical dampeners that you might want me to relay to her?" Destiny asked, turning his attention back to intel, since he mentioned the dampeners so specifically. There was something of a shine in Destiny's eye. Truthfully, He was estatic that Intel was willing to help and come with possible ideas and suggestions to gleaming's research. Destiny himself was more interested in just helping her and any other students he might have, as it gave him a great deal of fulfillment to do so. Nonetheless, right now he had to listen to his fellow professor.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mechanism of Academia    Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:30 am

A small smile faded onto Intel's face. He took off his glasses and stared at the ceiling and said, 'It's strange looking back at it now, really.'

'I must be the least magically talented unicorn in the entire school. My family never was good at that stuff. Most get into this place by demonstrating their magical potential through an impressive spell. I couldn't do that, and I think I still cannot. I simply don't have the magical strength.'

His horn glowed, and the ring inside the cylinder started to spin rapidly, creating a small sphere of energy.

'The old magic safety dampeners were essentially magic absorbing crystals that have to be replaced every so often, and if they overloaded, they had an unfortunate explosive quality. Inefficient and ineffective. So I knocked together this little thing, and presented it to the school, gaining admittance and a cutie mark.'

He motioned to said cutie mark, a circle inscribed inside a cylinder. His horn started glowing different shades, and the device replied by rotating at different speeds and forming spheres of different sizes.

'Any magic, telekinesis, transmutation, conjuration, even magic that hadn't been discovered at the time, is automatically converted into energy that spins the ring, forming a magic attraction sphere, drawing in even more magic. The magical energy is used all up in spinning the ring, leaving...'

Intel's horn stopped glowing; the sphere dissipated after a brief few moments, and the ring slowed to a stop.

'The device to be used again for future experiments. A joke I sometimes like to do is to challenge other unicorns to pick one of these up telekinetically. It is impossible, no matter how much effort one puts into it, no matter how much energy is used. These are now used in the High Energy Labs, as both dampeners and measuring tools. If Grinner wishes to experiment with different types of spells be converted into something else, she can do worse than starting there.'

_________________
The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mechanism of Academia    Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:54 pm

Destiny looked at the sphere, with much fascination and a smile. however, a thought crossed his mind when Intel described as any magic being converted into the sphere. "A fascinating invention, worthy of admittance." Destiny said firstly, leaving a compliment for Intel first and foremost, before moving on. "But i do believe you're quick to expect null results. It is great for testing the magical energy emittance level of different spells should those be relevant, but if it indiscriminately changes magic into movement, then she will either have to cast very drastic spells, those i cannot approve of, or she won't have much interesting results, i believe. It is important for her to know they exist, But i believe we are looking for a more A to B conversion, not a conversion which converts every possibility to X." he said, rubbing his rounded chin with a hoof. He was deadset on helping Grinner as best as he could, and he believed this object could assist but would not suffice for the primary experiment.

"Ha-hm.. Perhaps i'll ask that later." He continued on, letting his own interest jump ahead for a moment, before deciding it wasn't the place or time for that interest. Destiny took his word for it that these objects are very functional for the high energy labs, it seemed that the amount of energy needed to overcharge them was so ludicrously high that it was not relevant, not possible. At least, not for the coming dozens of seasons.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mechanism of Academia    Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:01 am

Intel hummed up at the ceiling. 'So you want something that usually takes spell A, converts it into spell B and use it in an environment that needs spell A and see if the spell ignores the presence of the device? Or do you wish to conduct the experiment in an environment that needs spell B and see if the device is automatically utilised?'

'The only thing that immediately comes to mind would be a lock-and-key seal, you know, seals that require a specific magical condition to be fulfilled to unlock. Of course, by their very design they do not react to other magical stimuli, so I'm not sure if that will actually be helpful.'

'In short, I'm not certain that what Grinner needs precisely is available, something that casts particular spells in reaction to a particular spell cast on it.' He paused. 'Unless, of course, somepony was to build one.'

_________________
The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mechanism of Academia    Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:38 am

Destiny nodded. He expected there to be a chance that Grinner's needs could not be meant. A device which uses a specific magic input to create a specific magic output sounded silly, after all. Why have smoething that can warp the spell your casting when you could cast the different spell in the first place? Even if it would be a great boon to the science behind magic in the particular given situation. "Of course, any device will be of aid to her, she's surely able to improvise to such a degree that her rersearch comes off as passable enough for her to pass her thesis, but if we personally were to actually know the answer to this conundrum and give us all the results that actually mean something,, such a device would have to be made." he paused himself. He spoke from experience here, having to make likewise sacrifices for his own research, as both the use of his magic and the use of pony test subjects were both very frowned upon. Luckily he was no mad scientist and was aware of this as he went into his research at the time.

"How long do you think the creation and testing of such a device would take? A as simple as possible device which say, changes simple spells like a light spell into a levitation spell or vice versa?" he asked Intel with intrigue. Grinner was well on time with her research proposal, so if she had to do with minor tests for one or two months, she'd be fine. The minor tests might even let her discover a few snags early on.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mechanism of Academia    Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:15 am

Intel closed his eyes, and started muttering to himself. His horn hummed with magical energy as he muttered running through the various calculations and conundrums in his mind. As paper and pen were levitated towards him, he opened his eyes, put on his glasses and started scribbling.

'Start with a lock-and-key seal to recognise a particular spell which would then unlock a magic conducting gem to absorb the remaining energy from the spell to activate runes to emit light and heat. This conversion is incredibly inefficient, by the way. One would need to expend enough energy to unlock the seal, absorb the magic, and then cast- no, lock the seal, then cast the output spell...there.'

He stopped sketching and flipped the paper to show to Professor...he still didn't know the name of.

'Something that should be able to convert a relatively medium intensity spell into a spell that emits a weak light and heat. A brute forced, inelegant solution, yes, but a functional one nonetheless.'

He smiled.

'Now all that's needed is to request usage of said bits and pieces from the inventory, and fill out all the paperwork and stuff which will take anywhere between three days or three months. That's something I can't help you with. In the meantime, I'd have a word with the Lecturer of Recent Runes to see if there's a better way of activating a spell through energy.'

_________________
The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mechanism of Academia    Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:51 pm

Destiny observed the design and nodded, listening to Intelligent as he finished explaining the situation and added a suggestion too, which pleased Destiny greatly. "Do you suppose you could have a full schematics done and sent to Grinner at your earliest convenience? It would assist great in explaining all of this to her, when i contact her the next time. Knowing her, she'll have the minor pre-experiments written out and sent to the HEL for review and permission by next week, after my approval, naturally." Destiny beamed a joyous smile, as the opportunity to help others towards their research and possibly their destiny pleased him greatly. He might also learn some more about his own personal research by observing her...

"I'll make sure to see him. For now, i believe lunchtime is ending soon. Do you have a lecture to give directly after lunch?" Destiny reminded Intel. He felt Intel might be the type to forget the time and lost sight of larger picture when focused to his work, so he felt it could do no harm to remind Intel where and when he was.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mechanism of Academia    Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:39 pm

'...'

Intel did not have a clock in his room. For reasons. Painful ones. He kept time other ways, such as when he finished his lunch, when Professor Petal walked by humming out of tune...in short, things he wouldn't have noticed now.

'Bugger. Ah, yes. I'll send something over as soon as- damn, just wait.'

A whirlwind of papers spontaneously erupted where Intel sat, and disappeared just as suddenly, leaving the now disheveled unicorn with a leaflet of lecture notes on...was it Ambience Theory? Yes, yes it was.

'Right, Professor S...eeker. Destiny Seeker, yes? Spellcraft department? I'll send over the suggestion as soon as I am able. Good day to you. Um, if you can close the door behind you, I would be thankful.'

And with that, he left.

_________________
The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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