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Let's assume I've invented a cloning device that can house small items no bigger than
30cm x 30cm x 30cm. It creates a perfect 1:1 copy of whatever was placed inside initially, has a magical infinite power supply, and just requires 2 sets of input:
- The item to clone, which is put inside the cloning machine.
- Random debris/garbage to provide protons, neutrons, electrons, etc.; via a big funnel on the top.
Once I put the "desired" object inside the machine, and enough matter is "fed" to the device, it will clone whatever went in, with the cloned object magically appearing beside the machine. Mass is conserved, and energy comes from some magical external source, and there is no wasted energy expelled as light, sound, heat, etc. It takes about 10 seconds per cloning operation, regardless of what is being cloned.
Let's say I want to become wealthy and powerful. How would I best make use of such a device? It seems harder than I first imagined:
- The gold dealer at the pawn shop is getting suspicious of the many small lumps of gold I sold to him, especially since they're all similarly shaped, and I don't want to draw unwanted attention.
- I can't just deposit mounds of cloned cash into a bank account due to serial numbers also being cloned.
- I tried cloning a literal dump truck of saffron, but can't find a bulk buyer.
- I considered cloning pets for rich people, but that would draw too much attention.
- I tried cloning high-end processors, but it's hard to sell them to local shops.
- Organs seemed like a good idea, but I don't see any way to accomplish that without disclosing the device (I want it all to myself).
- Munitions can be cloned, and small arms, but I can't clone a dedicated army to use them to protect me.
- iPods and iPhones worked for a while to get lots of cash on eBay, but then IMEI filtering caused them all to shut down.
- Alcohol was fun to clone until I was almost discovered. Who'd have thought it would be so hard to sell Amarone to restaurants?
- I tried pollution and e-waste removal by turning garbage into clean water, but I also managed to get investigated for improper disposal of toxic waste.
- I had fun cloning a small army of chickens and setting them loose in my hometown, but the townsfolk just gathered them up and ate them.
- I had one too many bottles of top-shelve wine I cloned and started cloning antiques and leaving them around town. Now a police investigation is underway to find a counterfeiter, so I've drawn more attention to myself.
- I tried manipulating the diamond market to crash prices: didn't go so well. It's apparently hard to give away free diamonds.
At this time, I can't seem to come up with anything that would let me become rich and powerful, so I just make a boatload of food and care packages for the local homeless shelters and soup kitchens. Surely I can put this device to use for more selfish ends, right?