How to participate in the liveblog chat: Option 1: Whenever you watch the episodes, comment on this post as you watch with whatever responses you feel like posting! Option 2: Go to http://webchat.freenode.net/. Enter a nickname, then for the Channels field enter ##rabbitcube, and finally fill in the Captcha and hit Connect! We’ll be watching MLP there starting at 2:00 p.m. EST.
Afterwards, I’ll update this post with the chatlog.
ETA: Chatlog under the cut!
[14:07] <Sylocat> “Buckball Season.” I wonder what sports movie this is gonna be a parody of
[14:07] <Sylocat> Aside from “every sports movie ever,” I mean
[14:08] <Sylocat> …That sounded very oddly like Rainbow Dash pronounced it “fuckball.”
[14:08] <Sylocat> “What’s buckball?”
[14:08] <Sylocat> Called it
[14:08] <Sylocat> (I mean, that was a pretty obvious one, but still)
[14:08] <Whammy_> Seems I a second or two desynched. Was reading something. No big deal though, seen the episode already
[14:08] <Whammy_> So no need to wait on me
[14:09] <Sylocat> I’m surprised Rainbow Dash doesn’t already know all about it
[14:09] <Sylocat> Jennifer Skelly, new writer
[14:09] <Sylocat> Ohhhhh, biological favoritism…
[14:10] <Sylocat> Can’t Pinkie just use her Pinkie powers?
[14:10] <Sylocat> Pinkie has a univorn costume? Kinky
01[14:10] <Froborr> I’m pretty sure Pinkie Pie powers are banned from every sport in Equestria.
[14:10] <Whammy_> Not so much favoritism, I think, than taking advantage of different skills.
[14:10] <Sylocat> Wait, no Twilight and Starlight?
[14:10] <Whammy_> Kind of like pro-bending in Korra
[14:10] <Sylocat> Ah, shades of Quidditch when Pegasi are playing
[14:11] <Sylocat> Wait, what? That sounds like a really interesting twist on the rules
01[14:12] <Froborr> Ah. Applejack turns out to be the worst of them.
[14:12] <Sylocat> Er, “awfully”
[14:14] <Sylocat_> Snails? He gets an episode of his own?
[14:14] <Sylocat_> Interesting
[14:14] <Whammy_> What’s amazing is he kept all the water in the buckets.
[14:14] <Sylocat_> He’s carrying one of those old-fashioned water transport bar thingies.
01[14:14] <Froborr> Wow, Applejack and Rainbow Dash have come a long way.
01[14:15] <Froborr> Back in first season they NEVER would have let Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy do it without an episode-long struggle.
[14:15] <Sylocat_> Indeed
[14:15] <Whammy_> Welp, to pull from social identity theory, the current mindset is Ponyville versus Appleloosa.
[14:16] <Sylocat_> Whoa, that looks like fun
[14:16] <Whammy_> Favors group advancement over individual.
[14:16] <Arrlaari> This is a mistake
[14:16] <Arrlaari> at least it is regarding Fluttershy
[14:16] <Sylocat_> Ah, this is going to be a “Find the fun, and snap, the job’s a game” thing
01[14:17] <Froborr> I think it’s going to be the other way around, “don’t get so competitive you forget to have fun.”
[14:18] <Sylocat> How does she time the balls getting released from the wagon like that?
01[14:18] <Froborr> Lol Guru Snail meditating there.
[14:18] <Arrlaari> Yeah Snail is the only one whose chill is not being ruined by social pressure packaged with training
[14:18] <Whammy_> Yeah, Snails has some amazing control over his telekinesis
[14:19] <Sylocat> I like the contrast between what motivates Rainbow Dash and Applejack versus what motivates Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie
[14:19] <Arrlaari> Also, all of a town that has never heard of this game is counting on a win
[14:19] <Sylocat> Reminiscent of the moral of “Testing, Testing, 1 2 3”
[14:19] <Sylocat> Uh oh
[14:19] <Arrlaari> SOON:
[14:20] <Sylocat> You’d think Pinkie would be more genre savvy than that
[14:20] <Sylocat> “The whole town?” I only count like a dozen ponies on the platform
[14:20] <Arrlaari> It turns out that Applejack and Rainbow Dash are national celebrities and can sell their hometown on a game overnight
[14:20] <Whammy_> It doesn’t take a lot to get people into a group mindset.
[14:20] <Whammy_> Look up minimal group experiments sometime.
[14:21] <Sylocat> …The team doesn’t even have a NAME?
[14:21] <Whammy_> -happens to be taking a Group Processes class this semester-
[14:21] <Sylocat> Whammy, remind me to talk about the Robber’s Cave experiment (I think that was what it was called) afterward
[14:21] <Whammy_> Yeah, that’s a good example.
[14:21] <Whammy_> Read some of the original work for class.
[14:22] <Sylocat> Angry Fluttershy is the best
[14:22] <Whammy_> Snail still chill as heck
[14:22] <Arrlaari> It’s nice that they are figuring this out on their own
[14:22] <Sylocat> Whoa, only 2/3 of the way through the episode and they’re already having the epiphany?
[14:23] <Arrlaari> Did they stop the train for this
[14:23] <Sylocat> This is uncharacteristically subtle for Applejack
01[14:23] <Froborr> Based on the cacti and rocks I think they’re probably just outside Appleoosa.
01[14:24] <Froborr> Did FLUTTERSHY just trash-talk?
[14:24] <Sylocat> Whoa, that was Fluttershy being catty
[14:24] <Sylocat> And she wasn’t even in rage mode!
[14:25] <Arrlaari> So they are winning without a unicorn moving the goal for them
[14:25] <Sylocat> lol Snails is my favorite part of this episode
[14:25] <Sylocat> This is a really good moral too
[14:26] <Sylocat> AHAHAH
01[14:26] <Froborr> See! Snails has attained a state of perfect samsara!
[14:26] <Sylocat> lol Equestria really is a Utopia if the crowd cares more about their wellbeing than about their success
01[14:26] <Froborr> Also: Whoever noted the similarity to “Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3” was spot on.
[14:27] <Sylocat> Thank you, thank you *takes a bow*
01[14:27] <Froborr> That was about different learning styles, this is about different motivation styles.
[14:27] <Sylocat> lol Braeburn has no idea what’s going on
[14:27] <Sylocat> Great character design on the goalie…
[14:27] <Arrlaari> Who is cheering ponyville
[14:27] <Arrlaari> Did people ride out to see the game
[14:27] <Sylocat> A big old lady character was a way bigger challenge for them than Applejack and Rainbow Dash
[14:28] <Sylocat> I like the mixture of good losers and sore losers on the Appleloosa team
[14:28] <Sylocat> That was a good one!
01[14:28] <Froborr> Yes, that was good!
[14:28] <Arrlaari> Also, I note that their pegasus is an elderly woman built like the bodybuilder pony from ponyville
01[14:29] <Froborr> Yep, that was one of the best new character designs in a while.
[14:29] <Sylocat> I caught a couple of Bad News Bears references as well, which now makes me even sadder that dad couldn’t make it today, he’s really going to like this one
01[14:32] <Froborr> What’s the next, we can preload while discussing this one.
[14:33] <Sylocat> Hmm, apparently it’s not on YouTube, this is the only one I can find: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4suxpl
[14:34] <Whammy_> br
[14:34] <Whammy_> *brb
01[14:34] <Froborr> So yeah, acknowledging different motivational styles, neat!
01[14:34] <Froborr> Even if it only had the two, that’s still pretty good.
[14:35] <Sylocat> That’s a lesson that comes in very, very handy, sadly very frequently in life
01[14:35] <Froborr> (Personally I’m a crisis person–I hate competition, but “I enjoy X” is not enough motivation to get me to actually do X. “If I don’t do X, I’m in trouble” is.)
[14:37] <Arrlaari> Hm
[14:37] <Arrlaari> I know that I put things off, but rather than “I’m in trouble” it’s “This is starting to bother me”
[14:38] <Arrlaari> Like, I’ll put off vacuuming until I can see a wad of my hair built up in a corner, but it’s not like I’d put it off until I’m expecting someone to visit and oh no the shame of an unkept home
01[14:40] <Froborr> *looks around apartment*
[14:40] <Arrlaari> I’m also a sucker for limited time offers, both in terms of buying things and in terms of playing MMOs to pick up the periodically available bonuses
[14:40] <Whammy_> looks at giant stack of laundry next to computer desk
[14:40] <Arrlaari> My mother was big on “people are visiting we have to clean before they get here”
01[14:41] <Froborr> Yeah, that’s more me.
[14:41] <Arrlaari> Oh yeah, and I can stick to a weekly routine, I always laundry on Saturday, even if I forgot and I have to stay up late, I’ll stay up late to do my laundry before I go to bed today
01[14:41] <Froborr> I’m feckin AWFUL at sticking to a routine.
[14:41] <Sylocat> I confess I’m shamefully vulnerable to motivation of the “Hey, a chance to show off” variety
[14:41] <Arrlaari> More than a week it’s not a routine, I need reminders or auto-pay for monthly bills
01[14:42] <Froborr> What!? Someone who does theater finds attention rewarding? Perish the thought!
[14:42] <Sylocat> Ahahah
[14:42] <Whammy_> I basically need deadlines
[14:42] <Sylocat> Deadlines can also help for me
01[14:42] <Froborr> Yeah, that’s me. And specifically HARD deadlines, none of this “Oh, you know, just when you get a chance” shit.
[14:43] <Arrlaari> Also, I have been an eater of habit for a long time
[14:43] <Whammy_> Anyway, my only main contribution for this episode is briefly talking about social identity theory and the ease of forming group identities.
[14:43] <Sylocat> Oh yes, regarding the Robber’s Cave Experiment, I remember something I read in su3su2u1’s review of HPMOR…
[14:43] <Arrlaari> I can basically segement my life by events which changed what I eat every day
[14:45] <Sylocat> Like, the most common interpretation of the Robbers Cave is that “Humans split into fiercely competitive tribes with little to no provocation over the silliest and/or completely nonexistent things”…
[14:45] <Whammy_> -in fact my entire dissertation is going to be somewhat built of social identity theory-
[14:45] <Whammy_> -and relating it to affective polarization in the United States and possible intervention techniques to reduce it-
[14:46] <Sylocat> …except that’s not really what happened in the experiment; the two groups didn’t really form competitive ingroup/outgroup behaviors until the researchers (IE, people with power and authority) provoked conflcit by artificially limiting rewards and resources with the deliberate aim of provoking conflict
[14:46] <Whammy_> Yeah, one of the key points of Tarjfel’s work on SIT is that identities aren’t inherently conflict oriented.
[14:46] <Whammy_> Development of identity more out of positive psychological benefits of distinctiveness; competition, outgroup hate result of other conditions
[14:47] <Sylocat> So really, the moral of that study could just as easily be “People actually get along as a default until they are artificially set at each other’s throats by people with agendas”
[14:47] <Whammy_> If you want to read up on SIT, Tarjfel basically the guy to look at.
[14:47] <Sylocat> I will look up Tarjfel
[14:48] <Sylocat> Er, Tajfel
[14:48] <Whammy_> And by “guy to look at” I mean “guy who created the entire theoretical framework”
[14:48] <Whammy_> Also Holocaust survivor
[14:49] <Whammy_> Actually, darn, can you upload things to here?
[14:49] <Whammy_> I got a PDF of the book chapter where he outlines the major theoretical framework.
[14:49] <Whammy_> Older work from 1979, still highly cited.
[14:50] <Sylocat> Hmm, you could put it on Google Drive or something
[14:51] <Whammy_> https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3lQ4OgdlukcRFQ5WXRiSmVOa2M/view?usp=sharing
[14:51] <Whammy_> There we go, that should work.
[14:52] <Whammy_> May have a bunch of notes and comments rom when I was reading for class.
[14:52] <Sylocat> Cool, thanks
[14:53] <Whammy_> Yeah, it’s one of those foundation pieces that’s been worked on and revised a little but core still good.
[14:53] <Whammy_> -has a stockpile of those pieces-
[14:55] <Whammy_> But yeah, social identity theory doesn’t suggest that humans immediately group into competitive groups that dislike one another.
[14:55] <Whammy_> Predicts that people will like their group more than other groups.
[14:56] <Whammy_> But yes, usually doesn’t take a whole lot for identities to form; strength and duration is a different question
[14:56] <Whammy_> Fortunately for us political scientists, partisanship is one hell of a social identity. Seriously, only identities more stable than it tend to be race/ethnicity.
[14:57] <Whammy_> Usually picked up young, very stable throughout lifetime, predicts behaviors and attitudes for a crapload of things…
[14:58] <Whammy_> …so we were talking about ponies or something right? XD
[14:58] <Arrlaari> Is there a paper somewhere about how sports got tied up with local identity?
[14:58] <Whammy_> -shrug-
[14:58] <Whammy_> Sure there’s paper on sports identities out there somewhere.
[14:59] <Arrlaari> I know that it wasn’t inevitable because recently invented sports (i.e. competitive video games) aren’t organized around municipalities
[14:59] <Sylocat> Unless you count websites as municipalities…
[14:59] <Sylocat> Which one could make a convincing argument for, in some cases at least
[15:00] <Arrlaari> Instead, teams are divided into regions, but there isn’t a permanent NA team – there’s an NA circuit and the top X teams from the NA tournament go to the global tournament
[15:00] <Arrlaari> And generally people don’t seem to have trouble rooting for an out-of-region team
[15:00] <Whammy_> Yeah, the group doesn’t have to be tied to a certain geographic area.
[15:00] <Whammy_> Local sports is probably just the convergence of two identities being tied to another.
[15:01] <Whammy_> Liliana Mason at University of Maryland has a good series of papers related to identity convergence and social sorting boosting the effects of identity.
[15:01] <Whammy_> Of course its from the perspective of the sorting of the political parties into clear liberal-conservative camps with liberal Dems and conservative Reps.
[15:02] <Whammy_> Lack of cross-cutting pressures compared to past where you could liberal Northeastern Republicans, conservative southern Democrats.
[15:02] <Whammy_> POINT IS
[15:03] <Whammy_> AJ and RD getting Ponyville excited over a new sport that they can compete with Appleloosa with is probably the most realistic thing in the episode Xd
[15:04] <Sylocat> Indeed
[15:05] <Arrlaari> Shakespeare reference in next episode title
01[15:05] <Froborr> I hope it’s referencing that and not Nick Sparks.
[15:06] <Arrlaari> Who?
[15:06] <Sylocat> Sadly it’s probably the latter…
[15:06] <Sylocat> But we’ll see.
[15:07] <Sylocat> “Petunia?”
[15:07] <Sylocat> Ah, the CMCs are counsellors now! They went pro!
[15:07] <Arrlaari> These actual children are now recognized cutie mark experts
[15:07] <Sylocat> AHAHAHAHA
01[15:08] <Froborr> Cute opening!
[15:08] <Sylocat> Oh, this is gonna be a fun one
[15:09] <Sylocat> That’s some awesome music
[15:09] <Sylocat> …Was that colt supposed to look like Scootaloo?
[15:09] <Arrlaari> The tap dancer?
[15:10] <Sylocat> Huh, I like the color scheme
[15:10] <Sylocat> She’s more forward than Pinkie Pie
[15:11] <Sylocat> Ooh, are they going to help her become the first griffon ever with a cutie mark?
[15:12] <Sylocat> Well, I appreciate that they didn’t magically solve ALL griffonkind’s problems in that one episode
[15:13] <Whammy_> Ugggh, even watching this a second time through I get tired listening to Gabby ^_^”””
[15:13] <Sylocat> I like how they’re exploring the mechanics of cutie marks
[15:13] <Arrlaari> It’s an investigatory thing, what they do
[15:14] <Sylocat> Indeed…
[15:14] <Sylocat> (hmm, I wonder if the next My Little Investigations chapter ever came out, I should check)
[15:14] <Sylocat> Ahaha, I like the callbacks
[15:15] <Sylocat> Awwwwwwwkwaaaard
[15:16] <Whammy_> Crystal clear
[15:17] <Whammy_> No, there isn’t a first time for everything
01[15:17] <Froborr> Oh shit, Scootaloo feels out of nowhere.
[15:17] <Sylocat> So she’s going to learn that she doesn’t need the cosmos to validate her in order to thrive?
01[15:17] <Froborr> I did NOT see that little punch to the heart coming.
[15:18] <Sylocat> Dang, I didn’t realize how much I’d missed those charts
[15:18] <Whammy_> -has flashbacks-
[15:18] <Whammy_> You guys see it as a hit to the heart, I get it as a flashback to the flack I got saying I didn’t like “Flight ot the Finish”
[15:19] <Sylocat> Great music in this episode
[15:20] <Arrlaari> She’s so hype to do anything
[15:20] <Sylocat> …great twist that she’s actually GOOD at all this stuff
[15:20] <Whammy_> Which in my view helps make a note that special purpose =/= simply being GOOD at something.
[15:21] <Arrlaari> We’re stumped
[15:21] <Whammy_> Which tends to be my biggest issue with common discussion on cutie mark that suggest that because a pony is talented at doing something that it automatically means thats their purpose.
01[15:21] <Froborr> Yep! Although I feel that point was already made given that the CMC didn’t get their marks in singing/construction/stunts.
[15:22] <Whammy_> Yeah, that’s biggest example
[15:22] <Sylocat> Yeah, that was an elegant red herring way back in S1
[15:22] <Sylocat> (except it probably wasn’t MEANT as a red herring, they were probably planning for that to be their actual destinies)
[15:22] <Arrlaari> Shifty
[15:22] <Sylocat> Uh oh, it’s a forgery, isn’t it
[15:22] <Sylocat> Aww, Gabby did this to avoid hurting THEIR feelings?
[15:23] <Sylocat> That’s really sweet and really sad at the same time
[15:24] <Sylocat> “I smell something fishy, and I’m not talking about the contents of Baldrick’s apple crumble”
[15:24] <Arrlaari> Also maybe you had better alert Twilight that the claim is doubtful
[15:25] <Whammy_> Yes
[15:25] <Whammy_> Academia does not look kindly on people faking data
[15:25] <Sylocat> Ouch… this one really, REALLY hits home for me
[15:26] <Whammy_> -see the saga of the guy who faked data on an experiment that contact with an LGBT+ canvassar greatly increased support for gay rights
01[15:27] <Froborr> Hey, they made it explicit!
[15:27] <Whammy_> http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-two-grad-students-uncovered-michael-lacour-fraud-and-a-way-to-change-opinions-on-transgender-rights/
[15:27] <Sylocat> Ah, she’s an old-fashioned CMC, from the era before they had their cutie marks
[15:28] <Whammy_> Yes, come back soon. There’s monthly dues.
[15:28] <Whammy_> That club house takes some effort to maintain
[15:28] <Sylocat> Wow. That was probably my favorite of the season so far
01[15:31] <Froborr> Really? I was pretty meh on it, mostly due to finding Gabby annoying.
[15:32] <Whammy_> Same
[15:32] <Arrlaari> I liked her but I also anticipated that a significant subset of people would find shouty hugmachine offputting
[15:32] <Sylocat> Well, I never said I had good taste
[15:32] <Whammy_> I mean, as much as I wrote on Pinkie she’s also my least favorite of the Mane 6 for similar reasons so -shrug-
[15:36] <Arrlaari> I see they elided breaking the news to Twilight that they did not, in fact, get the first non-pony cutie mark in history
[15:37] <Sylocat> Well, don’t worry, Twilight would never publish a research paper without quadruple-checking the data and variables, so her reputation is safe
[15:44] <Arrlaari> That’s not a concern, but often in an episode like this they would do the “trying to solve a social problem with dishonesty compounds the problem” subplot
[15:44] <Arrlaari> In this case, Gabby tries to spare the CMC disappointment in a way that leads to Twilight being disappointed
[15:45] <Sylocat> Ah, good poin
[15:47] <Whammy_> Don’t really have much to add for this episode.
[15:47] <Sylocat> Next week, we have “Viva Las Pegasus” and “Every Little Thing She Does”
[15:48] <Whammy_> Both good episodes.
[15:49] <Arrlaari> What could Pony Vegas be like
[15:49] <Arrlaari> are they going to elide the casinos are pretend that casino is not a fundamentally shady operation?
[15:49] <Sylocat> I’m intrigued as well
[15:50] <Sylocat> (I’m reminded of that fanfic where Twilight and Applejack wind up getting blackout drunk on cider, waking up the next day with hangovers and finding out that at some point last night they got married)