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Equestria’s technology

Discussion in 'General My Little Pony Discussion' started by sean retro, 28 September 2014.

  1. sean retro

    sean retro Honorary Pony

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    We all know Equestria makes good use of magic, but we also seen some form of technology.
    We saw steam locomotives, vinyl’s, X-rays etc. But what else do they have? What powers them and what do they make them from? Do they use beetle shells to make them or have they found a use on boiling oil? Also with them having a film projector will it be a matter of time for the Power Ponies to come the silver screen for them?

    What do you think they might have we don’t know about?
     
  2. vaska00762

    vaska00762 R6 Siege fan

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    We know that they definitely know how to generate electricity. As we see, they have lamps (with lamp shades) and also there was that Super Squeezy thing. There are also some miscellaneous applications of electric current as seen, but listing them all would take all day. I would be tempted to say thay they've developed internal combustion engines as we do see some vehicles which would probably need some sort of small but powerful source of energy.
    Also with reference to Tank, and that helicopter we saw in that episode, "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3" we know that they have knowledge of aeronautic engineering. But why no fixed wing aircraft? I suspect that they're in the Zeplin era of aviation (we've seen airships in various episodes) but that raises another question. What gas are they using? Hydrogen or helium? If it's the latter then they have quite some scientific development that we clearly don't know about. Though we did see a gyrocopter in the Friends Forever issue 8... In one episode, we see a pony using a pneumatic drill on a cloud for.... unknown reasons, but that shows that such technology exists...

    I suspect that they have a lot of technology that's been rendered irrelevant, or redundant because of magic from unicorns, flight from pegassi and whatever earth ponies have... Stuff like steam engines, x-rays, vinyls and what not are probably used as either there's insufficient magic for that, or it's just much more convenient. Then we get more questions... if they are very advanced technologically, then why do we see things like steam locomotives? Why not diesel, or even electric locomotives? Why a lack of fixed wing aircraft? If they can make helicopters and airships, then surely we would have seen someting more than just hand gliders?

    The more I look into it, the more I'm confused by the likes of the canon, and the more I become disilusioned with the analysis of the show....
     
  3. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    I have the headcanon that Equestria is technically advanced, probably more-so than Earth, but also being a much more advanced and enlightened society than Earth they've chosen not to use technology to its fullest extent in order to prevent wars, environmental destruction, etc.
     
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  4. F.I.N.E.

    F.I.N.E. Less than 50 characters.

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    I seem to recall reading somewhere (can't find a source) that magic takes the place of electricity, and any technology apparently using electricity is powered by magic.
     
  5. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    (From the point of view of my headcanon) maybe magic, in this case, is a metaphor for technology. If ponies don't have to know about the technology to use it then it may as well be magic to them (I'm assuming this technology has been around for centuries and is not actively being developed because it's reached the point where it's no longer useful to have technological progress). This is perhaps a bit different from unicorn magic, which has to be studied/learnt.
     
  6. -.:Baron:.-

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    They have apple, means just look at AJ's farm, it's practically an apple store.
     
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  7. The Hindmost

    The Hindmost I believe in Cranky Cool

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    This has always been my headcanon too.

    Could be Clarke's third law rearing it's head.
     
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  8. Danishbrony2011

    Danishbrony2011 Honorary Pony

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    I thought that Rarity had a monitor in Sisterhooves Social.
     
  9. Cuttleshock

    Cuttleshock Shuffle Champion (and Celeste!)

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. vaska00762

    vaska00762 R6 Siege fan

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    That's a dad joke.
     
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  11. Cuttleshock

    Cuttleshock Shuffle Champion (and Celeste!)

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    No it's not, it's a monitor.
     
  12. vaska00762

    vaska00762 R6 Siege fan

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    You've become a dad, it's official.
     
  13. Redback Sigil

    Redback Sigil Resident brony sage, writer and on/off artist

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    Aaaand back on the rails with this discussion!

    I honestly still go by Lauren's orginal idea, that any object that appears high-tech or electronic in Equestria is actually powered by magic. From what I've seen it all seems to hold up, I think the most high-tech stuff we've seen are the scientific equipment Twilight had in her basement, and even that looked old-fashioned and steam powered.
    So yeah, I'm going with a steampunk/magitech sort of setting. They have fancy technology, it's just powered by either steam or magic. In fact, I believe I heard Dave Polsky at BUCK talking about how, in his eyes at least, magic is basically Equestria's equivalent of physics, it's a scientific study that no doubt is used for technological reasons.
     
  14. Coastie

    Coastie Aerospace Pony.

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    I think that it makes sense that in a world which contains magic, that it would adjust all the physical laws and take the place of most of the things we would do by technology. That said, perhaps it's more convenient not to use magic for some things (steam trains?, lighting?).

    Although you could always power a steam engine with magical fire, which would beat digging coal out of the ground.......
     
  15. CuteHornyUnicorn

    CuteHornyUnicorn [enter title here]

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    just as @Coastie mentioned, most likely their 'technology' is still powered by magic.
    Equestria is inhabited by Unicorns, Pegasi, Earth Ponies and many other creatures. Of which only unicorns can do magic, and even that varies. Most of unicorns can't do much more than simple levitation of objects. So apart of pegasi, who can fly, other ponies do need some form of transportation, like a train. (Even Princesses don't teleport, and use pegasi to pull their chariots)

    Communication - they still use traditional post to send letters. And they use quill, as if there's no pens/pencils. Only Spike can send message to Celestia using magic, and there's one more magical comms device, which shows up in EqG:RR.

    First EqG - Twilight trying to use computer (and some other tech like copier, vending machine, etc), and how surprised she is that she can find everything with just a few clicks instead of digging in the books for hours. And her total inability to use it.

    'Maybe this place does have magic' sums it up really well.

    so...

    They're not technologically advanced. At all.
    There's no tech research whatsoever, because of 'laziness', it can be done with magic, so why bother working hard to develop non-magical way of improving it?

    I know it's non canon, but Fallout: Equestria shows this really well. Only Earth Ponies, when cut out from unicorn magic and pegasi air transportation, managed to develop really advanced high-tech devices. And it's stated that it happened only because of their hard-working nature and stubbornness, so they did it properly without cutting corners.


    Dunno if all above makes much sense, my brainz are still asleep :p
     
  16. The Hindmost

    The Hindmost I believe in Cranky Cool

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    The Hindmost would like to provide the following warnings to all readers of the following post:
    WARNING - Text wall incoming
    WARNING - tvtropes.org links incoming
    WARNING - Barely joined up rambling incoming

    There's a page on TVTropes that neatly sums up why technological solutions would (oftentimes) be better than magical ones called 'Muggles Do It Better', that posits that whilst being able to do something using the flashy magic is more impressive, using a technological solution is more effective. To provide an example: a wizard could learn long and hard how to generate fire from their fingertips - or they could pop round the corner and pick up a zippo ;). Contained within this is the idea that whilst a magical technique might be impressive (well it is magic after all) a technological solution would be more available for use by the general public with less training. Good examples from human history would be the invention of the gun (rendering the noble knight on horseback utterly irrelevant, despite their years of training, as they can now be killed by any old peasant), or the printing press (now we don't have to wait for Brother Philip to manually copy the book I want to read).

    This is not to say that your idea doesn't have merit - far from it, I just feel that Equestrian society might be applying technology in a way that to us appears to be magic (WARNING - Clarke's Third Law incoming).

    So what does this all mean with regards to technology within Equestria? Well something that leads me to think that they are more advanced than they may appear at first is this:

    [​IMG]

    They use hydroelectric/hydrothaumic power, now if they're non-advanced, then what are they using all of that power for? Well there are multiple answers to that question:

    Option 1 is contained in the spoiler block, and whilst the most accurate, is also the least fun:

    Option 2 (WARNING - overanalysis incoming), is that they are actually more advanced than we give them credit for, it's just that they still occasionally use technology that we would consider 'primitive' for cultural/very specific reasons.

    As to how they are more advanced - well the killer one for me is that they control every single aspect of their own biosphere; the orbital rotation of their planet, the weather, the passage of the seasons; all controlled and carefully managed to the extent that the idea of weather managing itself utterly terrifies them. We are nowhere near that level of geoengineering.

    Now dealing with some of the seemingly less advanced aspects of their culture, an example you provide is their use of quills for writing. It seems that only Unicorns use quills when they write, and a personal theory I developed after thinking about this is as follows:
    1. Given that only Unicorns use quills,
    2. Unicorns telekinesis to lift their quills,
    3. Telekinesis places a strain on the user (as though they were actually lifting the object themselves),
    4. A feather has less mass than a pencil or pen,
    Likely means that Unicorns use quills because they can write with them for longer. That's only one example I know, but unfortunately I'm running out of time before I have to return to work, and I'm sure that people more coherent than me can build on this.

    tl;dr - a wizard did it ;)
     
  17. Discrete Set

    Discrete Set Everything is mathematics. No exception.

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    Tank's hoverthingie seems to use a spinning aerofoil for lift, but magic for power and control (it glows). That answers the compact power source issue to some extent: Where there's easy access to a unicorn they can just charge a magic battery from time to time - Tank probably gets a charge from Twilight or Rarity every week or so. The SECS2K ran off the same power source, though it needed a lot more of it.

    Magic power may be convenient for unicorns, but the other ponies couldn't use such things - which explains the lamps and the dam. This makes a lot of sense: If one-third of the population could function as 10KW-engines on demand, you wouldn't see the same technological development of power production. It'd still happen, but not in the same way.

    I think a lot of their 'technology' is hybrid. Part tech as we know it, part magical. Seamlessly integrated.
     
  18. Tibbs

    Tibbs cats.

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    Something myself and @Silvarrn were mildly discussing the other day was equestrian equivalents of the travelling funfair and the attractions. Without going too far into another hobby of mine, a lot of it is the manipulation of physics and energy to create thrill. With unicorns known to generate magic as an energy source as well as more typical sources of power, is it out of the question that such elements of fun would exist in pony worlds?

    Funfair attractions have existed in our world since the days of steam, if not earlier. If you've ever been to a steam fair, there'll invariably be a steam powered gallopers. I think a steampunk-esque funfair wouldn't be out of the question.
    What I must ask however is; if there's gallopers in equestria, what on earth do they ride on? More horses?
     
  19. Vianessa

    Vianessa Something terrible’s happened, no idea what it is

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    Because they can rise and set the moon, they must be able to do that without throwing the solar system out of whack, so they must have some understanding of classical mechanics. Buuuut, I think for funfair rides they use magic to manipulate what the brain is feeling, but whilst on a ride to greatly increase adrenaline, a teeny bit far-fetched?

    There's a steam engine museum near to where my grandparents live, and they have a steam powered galloper, albeit it is now powered elecrically, and all of the steam components are there. I would love to go into detail about it works, because it is rather amazing how they get all of the movement and music from one boiler engine. Since Equestria already have steam locomotives and clocks(The two fundamental basics of a galloper) I wouldn't be surprised if somepony had put the two together. Not sure what would go in place of the horses, chariots? It's the only thing I can think of that ponies go in/on
     
  20. Aurum Noble

    Aurum Noble Ferroequinologist

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    Thinking about technology in Equestria has got me thinking about the railways and how they run, as well as what would happen if Equestria invested in electric trains. At the moment, we all know that the trains there are steam powered, but what would happen if they eventually upgraded to electricity, and how would it be generated?
     

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