Early Edition: Lottery Winner
By this point, I'm sure you've thought about lottery numbers or winning horses or other news items that can be used to make easy money. Or maybe you haven't thought about them at all! =P Pop culture is a language, but while most people seem to speak the Sliders dialect, fewer are conversational in Early Edition. I'm considering putting this series on hiatus, in favour of a more promising one, at least for the rest of the month.
(Anyone else getting a different sort of 90s flashback . . . to Ghostwriter? LOL!)
One of the show's running gags/conflicts is Chuck's persistence in trying to get tomorrow's stock numbers. Gary always says no because he doesn't think the newspaper should be used for personal gain like that. But in this episode, after Gary is again frustrated (by the newspaper itself!) in his search for a job that will both pay well and give him the time he needs to prevent tomorrow's disasters, Chuck makes a worthwhile point: if Gary wins the lottery, he'll have enough to live on and get to be a hero full time! Well, if you put it that way . . .
Now, there's a certain issue I've been thinking about for a long while. Without going over the details, let's just say that it has to do with not liking the way some professionals earn a living. And I've boiled it down to two points: a) the people they are getting money from, whom I think are exploited; and b) the roots of what they are exchanging for the money, which I don't think can be blithely ignored. I bring this up again not to make trouble (Really!), but because those two standards show up in this very episode.
Take the first point: games of chance are not wrong in and of themselves--but unless you can find a city-wide lottery that does not exploit the poor, chances are (Ha!) that it wouldn't be very moral to buy a ticket.
Then there's the second point, which is the hill that Gary seems determined to be homeless on. He just doesn't think the newspaper should be used that way, and I think that we all respect him for it. But as of this episode, all he has is what Plato would call an "unfastened" opinion. (I'm so inordinately proud of myself right now that I should be punched.) That is, it's also possible that Chuck's glib suggestion is the right way to go. At the moment, we just don't know.
But neither did Meno's slave "know" geometry until Plato got him to explain a proof, so there must be a way for us "to recollect" the right thing to do here. (Yes, punch me now. Just do it.) So what do you think? Would it be ethical for Gary to use his "insider" information to support himself? If your answer is yes, do you have further recommendations for how he should do it? If your answer is no, why not?
Your Turn to Be the Hero: See the previous paragraph.