# How can a hive mind secretly monetize its special ability to make lots of money?

TLDR: How can a 100-strong hive mind utilise our superpower in order to generate \$1billion as fast possible? All 100 of us share a common mind and can think as one. Instant, undetectable, thought transfer. None of us are rich, but we're all currently employed in low-paying jobs. Must keep low profile. Can be amoral. Backstory: Earth has been slated to be deconstructed for raw materials for an intergalactic empire. A single alien environmentalist travels to Earth, just to double check that the planet is truly empty and barren, like the official report says. To her shock she finds billions of biosignatures from millions of unique species. She travelled here using a constant acceleration relativistic drive (FTL is impossible, obviously). 4 weeks elapsed for her (most of which she spent in stasis out of sheer boredom) but 1000 years past for everyone else. When she left the robotic planet-dismantling harvesters were 2000 years away, now they are only 1000 years away. To stop them, she needs to send a detailed report of the life forms found on Earth, including details of the breadth and depth of humanity, to the nearest embassy of the galactic empire - 495 light years away. They will then need to signal the robotic fleet to stop - another 495 light years of communication. She must send that report in 10 years otherwise it will be too late and Earth will be destroyed by the time the "cancel" signal reaches the robots. Her ship's communicator isn't powerful enough to send a message that far, and her ship has no FTL. Her drive could get her to the embassy in about 700 years - but by then it'd be too late for Earth. Her tiny ship can't attack the robotic dismantler fleet (she has no weapons and they fire in self defence). And she can't do anything herself - she has no knowledge of Earth's capabilities, resources, or tech. In desperation, she uses her race's natural hive mind abilities to form a connection with 99 random humans on the planet. Their minds are linked into a 100-body being with 1 common mind as powerful as all hundred, and with the full knowledge combined of each of their lives. This hive mind - we - awake to the realisation of just how screwed humanity is. After some brainstorming - we've calculated the only workable solution is to build a very complex constellation of long-range transmitters in deep space from hybrid Earth/alien tech, write a report on how non-barren Earth is, and transmit it, all within 10 years. After some intense eBay-ing, lots of shopping around, and getting bulk discounts where we can, we've written a shopping list. It's not cheap. We need about$1B USD within 10 years to purchase the parts we need, although sooner would be safer.

That's \$100m per year. \$1m per body per year. Minimum. We have a super power (our hive mind), but that's all we have going for us. How can we utilise our hive mind in order to generate a large sum of cash as fast as possible?

Details of how the hive mind works:

• The connection is completely undetectable and unjammable by any Earth technology. Works through faraday cages.
• Respects relativity - no FTL info transfer. This has a max range of about 2 light seconds (600,000km) before the connection cuts out temporarily. (This is for safety reasons - "Death by Lag" is bad way to die). Returning a member within range will auto relink the hive mind.
• The further apart we are, the slower we can exchange information, and the slower we respond to events. (Reflexes excluded). Distributed around the surface of Earth we're passable for normal humans.
• Idle minds can help busy minds think. If 99 of us are sitting idly gently meditating and 1 of us is getting an IQ test, expect an IQ of about 190.
• If all 100 of us are getting the same IQ test done at the same time, we work together to solve it, expect IQs of about 190.
• There are inefficiencies in the system when 100 brains need to think 100 different things simultaneously. If all 100 of us are getting completely different IQ tests simultaneously, expect measured IQs of about 90.
• Information exchange is total and complete. We know every members deepest darkest secret. Information is replicated like a DHT, so the death of one of us doesn't erase what they knew from our minds. We have access to all memories of the aliens "home" hive mind, that's how we know how to build the communicator.
• Sensory exchange is total and complete. We know everything that any of our eyes have seen, the instant they see it. Thought exchange is instant. (instant = speed of light transfer)
• Mental skill exchange is total and complete. Everyone in the hundred can now speak and understand English, French, Mandarin, and all the other languages of the 100.
• Physical skill exchange is imperfect as each body has its own unique control functionality, but still its very fast to transfer a skill from one body to the next - One guy was a really good juggler, after 10 minutes of practice, a body which had never juggled before can now do a 5 ball cascade.
• Mental health issues are basically eradicated. Some hormone imbalances continue, but having 99 other points of view of every issue so deeply connected to one's own view helps minimise the negative effects. Your OCD / Anxiety / Depression / PTSD is basically outvoted.
• Bodies that are sleeping still contribute mental power to the hive.
• 100 is the maximum number of minds linked together at any one time - we can't expand it.
• We're stuck with the 99 humans and 1 alien. No easy way to change which humans are in the hive now, shy of flying one of us 2 light seconds into space.
• Death of a member in the hive is more traumatic than losing 99 soul mates. Self sacrifice / suicide missions are an option but the cost will be very high.

Other info on the initial state:

• We are currently scattered randomly over the planet, speaking various languages, varying skin colour, ages, citizenships, genders, etc. Some of us are dirt poor, some of us have comforts and some resources but nobody is a millionaire. We can afford to get visas, fly all members to one location and rent a big building for a few months as a starting point, but that's about it.
• It was perfectly random. Expect ~18 Chinese, ~17 Indians, ~4 from USA. etc. ~50 males. ~50 females. Etc.
• All of us are employed in some way currently, but nobody has a really high paying job. We have lots of people earning a few dollars per day as farmhands in 3rd world countries, and a few office workers in the first world. Odd fry cook and pizza delivery guy thrown in too perhaps. Nothing over $50k USD / yr. • Nobody under 18 is in the hive, nobody over 60 is in the hive. • We need about one billion USD over the next decade to complete our task on Earth, this includes parts, fuel for the space ship, normal human living expenses, plus a space to work, plus cover businesses, etc. • The robotic planet dismantlers will defend themselves if attacked, and will not notice the billions of screaming creatures, even if humanity puts up a giant "stop" sign - they'll just dismantle it for raw materials. If they see life they'll dismantle them. • The alien's body is spending all its time writing the report and building things with the expensive equipment purchased. 99 human bodies are free to work full time on getting as much money as possible. • The alien information isn't particularly monetizable, we don't have their full archive, just what was known to the alien researcher and their home hive - most of their mid to high end tech needs elements which are really rare or absent on Earth, and the other low end tech we have schematics for are things humanity has already achieved. It was luck we can even build the long range communicator. • We can use our existing space ship to launch things on the cheap, quickly, and secretly. They need to be launched out of the solar system (away from interference from solar wind), and are unlikely to be detected by Earth. • The motivation for getting lots of money to complete the mission ASAP is enough that "ends justify the means". Compared to the earth-ending consequences of not sending this report, minor things like "theft" or "mass murder" are footnotes. We'd obviously rather finish it in 9 years with no death than 8 years with mass murder, but our morality is clear on this. • We want to keep this quiet and away from scrutiny as much as possible, as if anyone knows about the hive mind or the alien we'll risk a vivisection, on either our human or alien bodies. • also why do the destructor robots need a "stop" signal instead of waiting for a "confirm" signal? Bad design right there. – user253751 Nov 2 '20 at 12:03 • @user253751 attaching to a billionaire is an answer, but requires a suicide (to free up a spot) at an emotional cost equivalent to losing 99 soul mates. It is someones answer already. Bad design? "I can optimise resource gathering from dead planet saving 495 years". Every mining company would jump at that. – Ash Nov 2 '20 at 12:35 • @Ash until the robots misidentify the planet and mine the company's homeworld – user253751 Nov 2 '20 at 12:38 • Another consideration with the IQ numbers you provided, an IQ of 190 is achieved by only one in 1000000000 humans, this hivemind is not only more inteligent than any human alive, but more inteligent than all humans that have ever lived. Probably more inteligent than Einstein, Euclid and Newton combined. Whatever method your hivemind would use would probably not be visible to any mortal answering this question. – Martin - Reinstate Monica Nov 2 '20 at 13:54 • I would LOVE to read this story! OP, if you ever publish it, please post a link on your profile to a store that sells it. – Astrid_Redfern Nov 2 '20 at 19:40 ## 22 Answers Insider trading and market manipulation. Somehow (probably a mix of good luck, raw intellect and deceit) position half of your people inside large, high profile companies, preferably inside legal or financial departments. If you get lucky aim for upper management. The other half should set themselves up as stock traders, aside from one who founds a ‘tech startup’ (the front for building your messaging apparatus). By engaging in dubious trading practices such as sharing inside information, all working together to dupe other traders into making bad investments, and cleverly selling stocks and shares your various hands should be able to funnel frankly ludicrous amounts of money into the tech startup. Since there is absolutely no link between the various people (and you can further avoid suspicion by varying who makes money when and establishing cover motivations for why they put money where they do) nobody will be able to prove collusion. If your tech startup is also likely to be profitable on its own you can probably get even more money through legitimate interests. Sure, a whole bunch of pension funds and investment portfolios will be defrauded to the tune of millions, but that’s hardly an issue. Your biggest problem won’t be raising the funds though. It will be spending them, since a lot of people will want to know where the money is going. Again: this is where a tech startup comes in handy. If you position it in the right sector then the cost of the main project will seem like a minor part of the operational costs. So something like a space company getting billions in funding for developing reusable rocketry or an electric car manufacturer... The main issue here is getting people in the right places, but with 99 people’s brains and a bit of luck you should be able to swing that... right, Elon? • There doesn't even need to be a distinct split between the traders and the people gathering the information. Just get the hive to learn tech (mental skill exchange is a massive boost in an industry where everything is constently changing) to get them into the messy world of tech startups. Then every member of the hive can insider trade using the information every other members of the hive has gathered on retail brokerage accounts. – user1937198 Nov 1 '20 at 1:35 • The space sector tech startup also helps that if the alien tech is anything like human tech (which seems likely given its not valuable), you're going to be building a bunch of things that look very similar to ICBMs, and governments like people to have very good explanations for why they have ICBMs. – user1937198 Nov 1 '20 at 2:14 • OK I read the "So something like..." and just had to upvote. – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Nov 1 '20 at 2:16 • This was my first thought. The police and authorities will probably suspect something is amiss, but if you aren't visibly communicating with each other, they can't prove anything – Statsanalyst Nov 1 '20 at 22:32 • It's not hard to get someone else to trade for you if you're up to no good, so I believe insider trading is often detected by timing of transactions rather than by connections. The money trail can then be followed to find links (Assuming you're pooling the money at some point), or money can be frozen whilst investigations continue – and individuals blocked from further trading. – Dan W Nov 2 '20 at 16:17 A Rich Philanthropist Several members rock up to see Bill Gates and privately tell him the truth. The fact you're a hive mind means you can prove your story by doing stuff that he can't explain any other way. Show him your designs and your list of required components. Tell him what it's for and why. Offer to let him keep the system after you've finished. Remind him that announcing the existence of aliens will be met with ridicule at best or world wide panic and any knowledge needs to be trickled into society as not to create alarm and remind him, he's currently in the drivers seat and is creating a legacy for all of mankind. • You may not even need to explain the why. Tell the what your building Elon musk/Jeff Bozos and they'd probably just offer SpaceX/Blue Origin to build the thing for you in exchange for some percentage of the IP. – user1937198 Nov 1 '20 at 1:38 • “Hey, Mr Bezos? Yeah... if you wanna be in business in a decade I think we need to have a chat...” – Joe Bloggs Nov 1 '20 at 7:28 • It’s worth mentioning that while it’s risky, the undetectability of the hive mind does allow for some mitigation of risk - you can try to present yourself as a lone wunderkind or a hive mind of only a few people rather than committing everyone to an uncertain multibillionaire – Pingcode Nov 1 '20 at 12:57 • I do love this answer, but it glosses over the hard part. Which is - how do you get said billionaire's attention to begin with? They are constantly being bombarded with requests on their time from so many different places they have to pay a team of people just to deal with that. And those teams of personal assistants and security folks will definitely be trying to screen out fraudsters (which is what this is most likely to look like). – Ton Day Nov 1 '20 at 21:07 • @tonday land your spaceship on their lawn? – Ewan Nov 1 '20 at 22:42 # Lottery rigging Lottery rigging schemes have been successfully executed before. They tend to be uncovered fairly easily because practical considerations around human nature make the schemes easy to defeat. In a nutshell, if the guys running the lottery take the winnings, catching them is trivial. If they get friends and associates to do it, it's not quite trivial but still pretty easy. And bringing strangers or the mob into it is far riskier for the would-be corrupt lottery worker. ### Unexplained windfalls are easy to detect Not only is it illegal for folks running the lottery to even play, the authorities know who all those people are. Monitoring their finances for unexplained windfalls is time consuming, but the number of people is small enough to represent a tiny fraction of the cost of doing business. This is true even if you extend the dragnet to family members and close associates. ### Strangers and trust issues The problem with getting a stranger to claim the prize for you is trust. If you trust the person enough to believe they wouldn't screw you over, they're not a stranger, they're a close associate (i.e. see previous paragraph). So because the authorities can keep you from bringing people you trust into your little conspiracy, you're left dealing with folks you can't trust. That's a problem for two reasons. One, the front man can tell you to go pound sand, keep the money, and dare you to call the cops. Two, while being the front man making the claim is still a crime (namely, conspiracy to rig the lottery), the authorities likely cut a deal with the front man to make an example of the crooked lottery worker. ## Hive Mind = Total trust None of this is a problem for you, a group of seemingly completely unconnected individuals that actually are all just you. This completely defeats the lottery's main defense against insider threats. Complex technical protections exist, but - see the story I linked - a skilled insider, such as yourselves, can defeat them. That's usually the easy part. The hard part is supposed to be getting the money. That's not a problem anymore. There is absolutely no traceable link from your lottery winners to the inside men. What used to be the easy part is still easy, only now it's all you need to rig the lottery. • I like the idea; but I'm not sure about achieving the$1B windfall, even broken into parts. – Matthieu M. Nov 1 '20 at 14:06
• Check out page 7 for just the California lottery's annual payout. It's 2.6 billion dollars. You'll have trouble rigging more than one different system, but there's enough money that rigging a few of the draws every year should be enough. static.www.calottery.com/-/media/Project/calottery/PWS/PDFs/… – Ton Day Nov 1 '20 at 23:38
• That's a good source! So $100M / year just in California seems achievable -- it's only 4% of the annual payout -- and if they can infiltrate one or two other lotteries of comparable magnitude they can probably go for smaller amount to reduce the risk of detection. I'd recommend integrating this in the answer as it definitely leads credence to your plan. – Matthieu M. Nov 2 '20 at 11:58 • If this is an American scheme, keep in mind that only 4 of the hive mind members are American citizens. One needs to somehow get into a position where she can rig the lottery, then that leaves only 3 potential winners. – LukeN Nov 3 '20 at 13:36 • A good point, but there are lotteries all over the world. Also, most US lotteries can be won by non-citizens, as long as they bought the ticket in the US - they just pay higher taxes. – Ton Day Nov 3 '20 at 18:21 # Nation-state-scale espionage There's really no reason to keep this a complete secret. Choose a nation state, (probably the US, since your motivation is money) demonstrate incontrovertible proof of undetectable telepathy, and then add "oh, and I have telepathic connections to 18 Chinese nationals with absolutely no previous connection to foreign agents, and existing, 100% foolproof covers". The CIA will sit your ~4 US operatives in rooms with, oh, nuclear physicists, aerospace engineers, cyberintelligence experts, that sort of thing, and teach the hivemind enough so that your Chinese nationals can rapidly become prodigies in those areas, and over the course of the next couple years, start integrating themselves into major industries and political systems in China. (they will also likely use the other agents similarly, in both allied and enemy countries) This is a literally priceless intelligence asset. Agents whose handlers can communicate with them untraceably, who can learn skills 100x faster than ordinary agents, who never need to make contact with each other but can remain in perfect coordination. Once your utility has been demonstrated — and that should only take a couple years — you can basically name your price. • And the price doesn't even need to be cash. If your talking to the CIA at this level of asset, you can potentially talk about getting parts/fuel in ways the average citizen does not have access to. Its a lot easier to get hold of plutonium when you can talk to the Secretary of Energy directly. – user1937198 Nov 1 '20 at 1:27 • No job where you "do" the work will ever yield a billion. A million, yes maybe if you do the really high risk job... this solution falls short by a factor of 1000 I think. But the 100 may use this espionage capabilities for their own good. One company wants a patent, oh, accidentally some other company publishes a whitepaper with exactly the same content a day before... – Anderas Nov 1 '20 at 6:38 • This could get a billion if we extend the scope a bit. They wont get a billion from one country, but if a dozen countries all think they have this great intelligence asset and are paying millions per year each, it might be possible. – Ash Nov 1 '20 at 11:23 • why would the FBI not just kill the ~4 of you since ~18 possible Chinese spies have access to them? – user253751 Nov 2 '20 at 12:04 • This seems unlikely to work – there's no way to prove that you're not a double agent, and having shown superpowers, they're very unlikely to let you spend your 10Bn on anything other than booze and hookers. No chance of buying any interesting tech, you're far too dangerous to be allowed to do that. – Dan W Nov 2 '20 at 16:19 ### Poker Tournaments There are several of them. And you need only to pairs in each "team", one playing, another watching the TV, for see the cards of all players. Harvesting the most competitive ones, and a lot of local others, could easily make more a million per pair per year. Bonus: Make some then famous, poker start celebrities. Make a few of then compete with each other. Book revenues, interviews, motivational talks for companies... Some influencers get paid 50k USD per post of product placement. Bonus 2: You could make you story cover both sides. The technobabble sci-fi side, and the glamorous gambit facade. • You could also hit Vegas, Atlantic City, Monte Carlo, etc. Put a few people in positions to see all your opponents' cards at each location. Remember to rotate which one of each group is the one playing and which are watching, or security will catch on pretty quick. Don't spend too much time in any one casino, there's plenty to choose from. – Darrel Hoffman Nov 2 '20 at 17:26 I question the assertion that things must be launched out of the solar system. Instead: Approach the National Reconnaissance Office with a proposition. You ask no questions and we will deploy satellites for you with no launch signatures. Stealth them and nobody will know they're up there. Try to find out who are and we will deorbit your satellites instead. • And the NRO will source the parts for you. – user1937198 Nov 1 '20 at 2:48 • and you can do it for less than the current cost. Offer 6 Satellites for$1 billion to significantly undercut the current 5 for 1.18: spacenews.com/… – user1937198 Nov 1 '20 at 3:37
• Once you convince a high-level official to trust you, why not just ask for an invitation to the White House? – LukeN Nov 2 '20 at 22:30
• @LukeN Trust isn't really that much of an issue. Give them one free launch, let them use it on something cheap. (Say, resupply for the ISS.) Once they see you can do what you say you can there isn't really that much need for trust, it's simply a situation where neither side benefits by betrayal. – Loren Pechtel Nov 2 '20 at 23:53
• @LorenPechtel - My point is that once you have your foot in the door (a mutually beneficial relationship), and you've already revealed you have an almost magical technology, it should be easy to talk to others in the government who will probably be inclined to believe your alien tale, and can just get you the funding you need. ... Although a more negative take on it would be the government just steals your ship as soon as it discovers it. – LukeN Nov 3 '20 at 13:27

• Cheating:
Go to a game show where the contestant must answer questions without help. There are 99 helpers in front of a computer with an internet connection ...
Bet on sports events which are not transmitted live. One at the event, one in the betting parlor.
• Optimizing:
A member on the London Stock Exchange will see events in Toyko slightly faster than the message travels through cables and satellites. Can that be exploited, will the human factor cancel any benefit?
Work in a job where teamwork in a bad-communications environment counts. Professional ocean yachting? Get a sponsorship deal.

Those are not going to get the billion without catching attention, but millions, maybe?

• The stock exchange option doesn't work, the lightspeed lag is less than the time it takes a human to act. – Loren Pechtel Nov 1 '20 at 2:18
• @LorenPechtel: Tokyo - London is actually a fairly long connection. Expect something like 100ms-200ms one-way, because information does not in fact propagate at the speed of light. 100ms is enough time for a human to push a button, if the action is pre-programmed. Still not that easy to monetize starting from nothing, though. – Matthieu M. Nov 1 '20 at 14:09
• @MatthieuM. No, 100ms is below human reaction time. The person in Tokyo has to observe the situation and decide it warrants pushing the button. – Loren Pechtel Nov 1 '20 at 20:09
• @LorenPechtel I could imagine other ways for this to work. Maybe instead of the Tokyo person pressing a button when they notice something, a computer pricks them with a pin. Presuming reflexes would also be covered by the hive mind, the London person would get a sharp jolt of pain, then twitch and hit the button. Still probably longer than 100ms, but an interesting thought maybe. – Redwolf Programs Nov 1 '20 at 22:45
• The person in Tokyo may have a Tokyo computer doing the analysis, so the London agents only need to know if buying or selling. Plus, you have 50 people looking at the data in Tokyo (taking the decision, or maybe all 100 of them would analyze if it's worth doing or not), and another 50 that could react in London.. – Ángel Nov 2 '20 at 1:01

Before the mind can make money, the author needs to define the group.

First, work through your assumptions. Assuming a random selection, evenly distributed around the globe, you have about

• 60 Asians
• 16 Africans
• 10 Europeans
• 9 from Latin/South America/Carribean
• 5 from North America

There is a very low chance of anyone from the Pacific/Oceania. There is also incredibly low chance that any of these people know each other already, and a merely low chance that any are in the same city.

Over half of your mind in Asia, but that spreads from India to Siberia to China to Japan etc. Still a very big area, suggesting that coordinated action is hard. To get a team or even pairs together, someone's going to have to move to gain the added bonuses of working together.

Of those 100, 14 can't read or write (but you have addressed that by shared knowledge).

9 don't have access to drinking water and 18 don't have electricity. Shared brains won't change that.

While its plausible the 100 could include an astronaut in space or a president or a rock star or a billionare, its vanishingly unlikely. You'd lose believeability if there were any.

One possible dichotomy could arise from Religion

• 31 would be Christian
• 23 would be Muslim
• 16 would not be religious or identify themselves as being aligned with a particular faith
• 15 would be Hindu
• 7 would be Buddhist
• 8 would believe in other religions.

How does a devout (X) deal with a heretical (Y) suddenly inside their head? There is a cop-out answer that "the hive mind transcends all religion" but there will also be dissension inside the hive mind and they won't mesh like a well-oiled geartrain immediately.

Above numbers are from https://www.100people.org/statistics_detailed_statistics.php

Another risk is mental stability - there's a non-zero chance that one or more of the group will go off the rails mentally. It could range from a little potty, right through to a full-on psychotic breakdown. This may paralyse the hive mind into inaction or at least lowered potential.

Start by getting the poor and impoverished hive mind members to move to places where there are financial opportunities.

There's even a very low chance any two would work for the same employer. The largest employers in the world are according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_employers

Employer                          2015        Chance
U.S. Department of Defense      3.2 million   0.043%
China People's Liberation Army  2.3 million   0.031%
USA Walmart                     2.1 million   0.028%
Global McDonald's               1.9 million   0.025%
UK National Health Service      1.7 million   0.023%


So trying to leverage two people in the same company is highly unlikely, unless you can get them employed. But consider that most employees are not senior leadership, and have little sway or say in how the company works.

• +1 Your answer reminds me a lot of the Netflix show Sense8, where 8 people from around the world struggle to work together as a hive mind. – wavemode Nov 2 '20 at 13:41
• wavemode's reference to Sense8 reminded me of a few other problems I perceived in that show. You could end up connected to a person in prison, or with severe mental or physical disabilities. Privacy is a serious concern; a malicious member could easily steal passwords, credit cards, etc.. And sexuality would be horrifying. Everyone in Sense8 is always down and bi-curious, as people are on television, but that's not how it works. Women in particular would have to endure the molestation of lecherous sensate men day and night. The show addresses this in passing with the character Puck. – Purple P Nov 2 '20 at 18:11
• You haven't really answered the main question about how to monetize. The mental stability is covered in OP's post: "Mental health issues are basically eradicated." (Might also cover religiosity.) – LukeN Nov 3 '20 at 13:44
• I don't know what this answer wanted to state really, but I think it adds a lot of depth and possibilities for an engaging plot – carlo Nov 3 '20 at 14:34
• One of the benefits of the hive minds is multiple views on the same data allowing for greater understanding, which should lead to empathy. I expect a religiously tolerant hive mind that is extremely respectful of religious beliefs but unlikely to practice any rituals. When two mutually exclusive things merge, I'd expect the additional information gained to question one or both of those beliefs - a personal conflict equivalent to having to endure your own bigotry. Eg I'd expect racism to cease if 15 different races share a mind. +1. Yes this didnt answer the question, but was interesting – Ash Nov 3 '20 at 16:03

Get paid for science

With 99 people together, working single minded on a single project with staggering IQ's they'll be able to whip out impressive technologies. Inventing better data storage solutions, faster hosting or new AI methods can be quickly implemented and tech giants pay ludicrous amounts of money for this. This can give you a starting capital, if it doesn't already pay the full amount over the years. Alternatively you can use this knowledge to do crime on the internet, stealing bitcoins or other internet crimes that are difficult to trace.

If this isn't enough, which is likely, you at least have money and in some cases reputation for the next part. You start researching new ways to travel in space. The advantage is that you have an alien with at least superficial knowledge of high speed travel and energy suppliers in space. This means you can home in on that and give some very good hypothesis on this.

With this research you can go to any government with a space program or the joint space programs. If you pitch such advanced technologies to China, they'll be all over it and simply pay you to build the required stuff. This does put you close to scrutiny and being found out, but the worth of such a space program is already enough to let you live. At least for now.

To prevent people finding out they are connected you can have a few people on site, while the rest is secluded in secrecy in a self made company estate. No one needs to know more than one person theoretically, but having three to five at the space program excelling any task of the space program will be difficult to find out if they're always seen together. Of course they know what their fellow is doing, as they hardly do anything without the other. That 90 other people are sending them knowledge all the time is impossibly to detect. They'll just seem like weird super geniuses.

• The question states that ftl doesnt exist – Hakaishin Nov 2 '20 at 10:00
• @Hakaishin my mistake. Fixed it. – Trioxidane Nov 2 '20 at 10:04
• pure science does't pay big. you'd need to found a company (which would require that someone in the hive mind has good knowledge of business already) and wait for it to gain value, which should take many years, given the high aims. – carlo Nov 3 '20 at 14:38
• I mean, you could have cold fusion in your pocket, but how long can it take to realize a working prototype? (when you have that, you have the money) – carlo Nov 3 '20 at 14:39
• @carlo that is why the second phase is just basically have the space program asking you to build your stuff. That means you don't need to earn it. They will pay it for you. And on a second note, facebook, google and many other tech giants have gotten plenty money within ten years. Newest tech can pay out well if you know the right spot. – Trioxidane Nov 3 '20 at 15:40

If you're okay with going the villain route, having the ability to launch things secretly and cheaply allows you to become a deadly terrorist organization easily. Find some heavy things (rocks, tungsten rods), fly them to space, aim that at whoever you want to extort, and drop it. See Kinetic_bombardment.

Send notes to military officials in a few governments that there will an impact at a specific time and place, then drop a big rock. It'll look like a meteor to most people, but those who have gotten the note will be in a panic. Do it a few more times, possibly at increasingly high value targets, and you'll have their attention.

You could take part of your hive and start an organization that "somehow figures out" how to predict these impacts, and become government contractors. Threaten the world and save it - making money off both sides.

• Ha, ha, a nice 'low tech' method but will be very difficult to launder the money. – KalleMP Nov 3 '20 at 20:26

The answer is fairly easy, and doesn't require a lot of effort, just some trauma.

Have one of your members kill themselves, and grab a billionaire. There's lots of billionaires around, and some are accessible. As soon as you have one you can start working and save the planet. It's hard removing one of your number, sure, but it's the quickest way to save all life on the planet. Other methods require much longer. Suicide missions are an option, you said- this would be a solid method to do it.

• "No easy way to change which humans are in the hive" so what makes you think you can just "grab" one? – pipe Nov 1 '20 at 11:20
• They mentioned that one way was to send someone out of range, and that killing one of their members is extremely traumatic. So, emotionally it is very hard to change who is in the hive as you need to either send them into space or kill one of them. – Nepene Nep Nov 1 '20 at 11:22

This anwer ignores the fact that the spaceship will make billions of dollars by itself.

This type of communication in our age does not have any legal benefits. As it is very easy for everyone to communicate at close to speed of light. Either you should use it to cheat or not rely on it at all. For cheating it can be used in quiz shows, competitive gaming and gambling. While these could be profitable, they are not sustainable. You may win so many prizes before people get suspicious.

Skill transfer is luck based. If your hive has a very in demand talent or skill, you may make quite a bit of money. Being a top-notch 3D designer or a computer vision programmer pays quite well. Make 10 of your guys work in best jobs in high paying countries. You will probably save at least 1M$from 10 guys in a year. Having a top-notch singer or a method actor will not hurt. If you have a good football player, you may try to build a football team. You need 18 guys for the team, one as coach, and some around the stadium for top down view. With perfect knowledge of the entire field as well as the location/direction of your teammates might give you enough of an edge to get you to the top of a very well sponsored league. Sadly most of the extremely high paying jobs are not a personal merit rather than being in the right place, lifelong devotion, and having the charm. Thus this method is somewhat limited too. Build a cult around few of your people. Try to collect as much donations as possible. Since you have real supernatural powers, you can easily convince some high profile people. Grab 4-5 years worth of collected salary and donations and gamble with it. Two strangers watching a game of poker will not be suspicious if none of them reaches for their phone, or they are not even in the view of our player. With this you may quadruple your earnings but I don't think you will be able to push it any further than that. All in all, I don't think you will be able to get to a billion easily. You need a lot of luck. Paramilitary/mercenary action Your 100 people are the ultimate fighting force. It's probable that you'll have at least one person in the hive who's some sort of fighter (military or otherwise) and combined with the fast training rate of the others, you could assemble quite the powerful combat force in a very short amount of time. Some advantages a squad of hive-soldiers would have: • High skill: using high IQ and multiple people training at the same time, even hive-unknown skills can be rapidly acquired. The hive can rapidly become an expert in marksmanship, tactics, strategy, EOD, piloting, intelligence work, etc. • Intelligence superiority: Some of the hive can become soldiers; military forces are always looking for them and embedded hive members can leak sensitive intel covertly to the rest of the hive. • Battlefield coordination: Because the hive is one and does not require radio or anything else, they can always be in perfect sync. Provided a good tactical plan, a unit of hive-members would only be stoppable by vastly superior forces and even then they'd have a good escape and evade chance. • Immunity to psychological issues: Provided the hive is willing to kill and is immune to PTSD and similar issues, each soldier in the hive is a perfect soldier. They have unwavering determination, focus, will-to-kill (which is a big issue for the military), and discipline. • Counterintelligence superiority: The hive is impossible to infiltrate and has the highest possible level of operational security. For example, the "command bunker" could be located on the other side of the planet meaning that the operatives would never need to leave behind documents or really any clues as they can just have someone else look up and manage data. The Game Plan: Send the operatives into the target location. This target location should be war-torn, unstable, or otherwise rather lawless. It shouldn't be too difficult to acquire basic weaponry. You want somewhere where there are high value targets (HVTs) that nobody would be particularly upset to see eliminated. For example: • Ocean freighter pirate gangs • Unstable dictatorships • Fanatical terrorist organizations • Large international drug cartels Working their way up from smaller to larger targets the hive-operatives target these types of operations, killing the pirates, terrorists, smugglers, etc. and taking their stuff. Using this stuff, they outfit themselves to face bigger and badder foes, working their way up the food chain and collecting ever larger amounts of loot. Targeting these organizations is a quick way to make money because: • HVTs often have expensive weaponry. Maybe they've stolen American missiles, maybe they're being sold Russian weaponry under the table--it does not matter, but whatever they have, it's expensive. Possibly, you can sell this confiscated weaponry back to the US government as a private contractor and get that sweet, sweet, government money. • HVTs are often flush with cash. If you break into the right cartel base and steal all their stuff, you can probably get away with a couple cool millions in cash or even cryptocurrency. For cartels, the biggest problem is usually laundering all their money (eg why Escobar buried so much of it) so they're likely to have it laying around • HVTs often control money making systems that you can take over. Oil and resource dictators are rich and terrorists get their money from somewhere. In fact, you could probably take over a small country and depose a dictator, replacing them with your hive-operatives. Running a country is a good way to make money. The most difficult part of this all is probably laundering the money afterwards, but since you have many people who are unconnected, you can probably do so in a country where they don't have that many controls and checks on their fiscal instruments. Unfortunately, I don't think it's possible to paramilitary your way to 1 billion dollars. It's simply too much, however, I do think it's possible to turn a hundred million dollars (totally achievable by a mercenary force) into a billion over a ten year span. • If one person gets killed, all others may be useless for a while. – Emilio M Bumachar Nov 1 '20 at 11:10 • I question how probably a random 100 people in a population of 8 billion will have military experience.. A random google source suggests 20million active-duty military personnel worldwide across every nation. Which is 1:400 people. now roll that 400-sided dice 100 times... see if you get any 1s. I tried it with an online dice-roller a few times and didn't get any. – Ruadhan Nov 2 '20 at 14:20 • @Ruadhan well if we are selecting 99 people, that's a 25% chance there will be a soldier. Also, the 1:400 figure you quote presumably includes children and the elderly which are not members of the hivemind further increasing the chance of already having a soldier. Even then, with 10 years time and a handful of the hive enlisting, they can simply become soldiers – Dragongeek Nov 2 '20 at 14:32 ### Collude to make a virtual monopoly from all the companies in a market segment. Many jurisdictions have anti-monopoly and anti-collusion laws. Eg 2 businesses in competition with each other can't agree on prices, or unite their buying or selling power. If they were able to make an agreement and buy as one, they can negotiate a lower price from suppliers, and they can collude on their retail price. They can maximise profits by not selling anything cheaper than they need, and not buying anything wholesale for anything more then the minimum. This is a bad thing for both farmers and consumers, but an excellent thing for retailers. It's a major white collar crime in several jurisdictions. So your 100 get jobs in the back offices of all the major supermarket chains. By working discretely with your counterparts in your competitors, your categories will be exceptionally profitable - as you you can squeeze producers down to the lowest wholesale price possible (you control all their other offers), and set prices for the consumer as high as possible (before consumers switch to replacement products.) After a few years of turning every category you touch into a profit machine, you'll get promoted high up in the company. Within 10 years I'd expect you to control all the major decision makers, be able to set salaries for each other, and be rorting your nations food producers and consumers to make an extremely profitable sector in order to support these large salaries. By keeping your communications entirely within the hive and never writing down anything, or meeting each other, you'll be able to rort farmers and the middle/lower classes for a decade to make your companies rich, and writing your own salaries in the process. • This would be possible in a decade. Problem is, in a decade the space structure must be in place and operating. You pretty much need the one billion in the beginning or at least in the first quarter to achieve this – Anderas Nov 2 '20 at 13:54 ### Check out your playing field • You can make money from normal people, 1000 coins at a time. • Small businesses can yield 10 000 to 100 000; also local drug bosses are in this class. Forget everything up to this point, it's just not enough. • Medium companies can give you something between 1M and 10M but you have to deliver serious stuff. International drug/people smugglers, terrorist heads, sects are in this range, too, if you want to steal money. You can get investment funds up to this fairly easy if you have a convincing concept, a great presentation and some contacts. Large research contracts are in this area, but normally you have to fight off internal university politics and the involved states also have their claims. This kind of money can at least get you started - with 1M you can for example feed your 100 people ten months so that they have their hands free for something else. This illustrates that you really NEED much money, too. • very large companies invest 100M up to 1B, but it is difficult to convince them, plus, the disadvantage is that you have to deliver afterwards, which can bind your 100 people. The world drug boss of any random illegal (or even legal) drug (tobacco, alcohol, pharma, cocaine, doesn't matter) could give you that kind of money but prefers to buy arms and estates. However, those people need to do money laundery and having 100 trustworthy people distributed about in like 40 nations is a huge, huge advantage in that business. The "launders" often keep two thirds of the money. A hand full of stock traders and billionaires also have that kind of money and don't know where to store it in times of negative interest rates. Talk about a return on investment and you can get it. Develop something in a rich country and take rich country's money, but pay the developers in Nigereia through your local person in Nigeria so that you have a high gain situation. Corruption in some states can also yield money in that range, but then you have to get your way up inside the bureaucracy first until you finally land in a position where you can milk the money out of the state; the time frame may be too short for this. Examples for these kinds of ultracorrupt positions are Russian high bureaucrats, the army of Venezuela, the Senate of the US (if connected to the arms or oil or pharma business), or likewise any number of middle east oil state princes. Then there are also "priority investmens" of any number of states. Those states have some kind of program going, like the Chinese want to be leader in the electric car business, the Germans want to renovate all of their electric grid, Puerto Rico needs new infrastructure. Those state programs usually have exceptionally bad control compared to private companies and can leak out astonishing amounts of money into private pockets. You can't take everything but you can have a good start with 100 million or so and continue from there. • The top league: Find an area, where tens or hundreds of billions are spent. This is no private sector anymore, it's state affairs. Like, a random war can quickly cost 100 billion, a social security system as well. If you can get one of the 100 in a leading position in the EU, China, US, as a "minister of " anything expensive, you can leak away 1% of these monster-investments or raise taxes by 0.5% and even have your legal reasons for buying all the stuff your alien needs. Out in the open. Here your 100 persons need to concentrate on a single state, however, and that can be difficult if they are from so many different countries. But then, use the money laundry capabilities and the perfect alibi to murder and intrigue your way up to the profitable positions. • Space and military contracting can hit the 1-10 billion level in the very large company catagory. Things like building an aircraft carrier or a commercial satallite constellation. – user1937198 Nov 1 '20 at 19:55 • Any large scale state project, yes. Building highways or high speed railways. They're calculated in tens of millions per kilometre and they are thousands of kilometres long. – Anderas Nov 2 '20 at 14:46 • I wouldn't say the Iridium NEXT constellation is a state project, despite its$3 billion cost. – user1937198 Nov 2 '20 at 15:00
• True. That's one of the few projects playing in that league. Development of A380 or Dreamliner, too. But those private large scale engineering projects are typically better controlled than state projects, and we want to siphon of a little billion four our cause, right? :-) – Anderas Nov 2 '20 at 20:00

Forget the hive mind information transfer network; there's little benefit to another way of sending information around the world wirelessly and securely these days. The only places this will benefit you is the type of places where phones etc are prohibited, which means very high security jobs. Getting even one person into one of those will be hard, and the moment you pull something off, you'll be in solitary confinement until you explain how.

Your best bet is to leverage the alien's tech knowledge to make discoveries which are beyond current earth tech, but not unbelievably so. 99 entrepreneurs making big discoveries might get you 10 successful projects, which might get you your 10Bn.

There will be some scenarios where the immediacy of the situational awareness will beat any current tech. If your hive awareness means you know where everyone else is, you can do things like have two people juggle to each other blindfold, using a 3rd person's eyes.

So think performing arts, team sports, and military. Military is your last option – even with this, there's a significant risk of losing a team member.

Performing arts will be hard to make enough cash. You'll be lucky to get far even in a TV talent show.

So sports is the best option to use this. Pick your 11 best athletes, and make them a football (soccer) team. Use the rest to fill the roles of coach etc. You've suddenly got a team that can run rings around any other team as they can see behind themselves, pass perfectly without having to communicate, etc. You've got a few guys in the stands watching to get a bird's eye view of the other team, and the rest can think tactics. You should be able to dominate a sport. However, this will probably still leave you an order of magnitude short – ManU has a value in the region of 1.5Bn. But you may then have enough capital to re-invest it into other projects.

• After you finish a soccer game a different group can go play hockey, or basketball, or anything else. Over a few codes, over a few years, this could work. – Ash Nov 2 '20 at 16:47
• Ooh, hockey you’d get a great advantage! I’d guess you won’t with baseball as the team don’t need to coordinate their movements much. – Dan W Nov 2 '20 at 19:05
• We as modern humans have lots of ways of disseminating information really quickly, but you greatly underestimate the massive advantage a hive mind has of being able to instantaneously disseminate knowledge and understanding. – Abion47 Nov 3 '20 at 19:14

Members of the hive mind share not only knowledge and skills, but also life experiences, take advantage of that.

With 100 members of different walks of life and both genders, you know all there is to know about human relationships. You are also an expert at reading body language and similar skills (and you don't need any one of the members to be an expert in this area, it is enough that for any situation you have 1 out of the 100 who had a similar experience).

You can use these skills in several ways to make money. Building on Thorne's earlier answer, you can be a master of seduction and have a billionaire marry you. Then you can either introduce the alien to your spouse, or get the money through manipulation. Alternatively, find some rich people with dirty secrets, trick them into revealing said secrets to you, then blackmail them (preferably via a different member).

Of course, you need to meet some rich people first. Targeting their employees is an obvious option. You can also use your intelligence, and the fact that you speak 50+ languages fluently, to become a minor celebrity, and with some luck you'll have the opportunity to hang out with the right people.

Perfectly organised crime

Arson - One of the many people in the hive mind could vandalise valuable positions, the worth of the positions would be exaggerated when insuring them so that there would be a big pay-out from the insurance company, use others in the hive mind as fake witnesses and accuse suspicions people from that area who would be caught on CCTV entering the crime scene. Eg: The hive mind all put money together to buy a jewellery shop, suspicious individuals would be mislead into entering the store, a fake robbery would occur where all the witnesses would chase them out of the store and accuse them of vandalising products or stealing jewellery that was snuck into their pockets like a reverse pickpocketing (The jewellery would be damaged/diamonds 'fall out' of them beforehand so that you would still be able to claim insurance).

• If you're going for straight-up crime, why earn the money at all? Just steal the parts you need. – cowlinator Nov 1 '20 at 0:01
• The more you/your group can convincingly shift the blame/attention to somebody else, the less suspicious you and your group are and the less attention gets put into them, if you risk one of the members of the hive mind from being locked up, it would be more traumatic than having 99 soul mates locked up. Creating the least amount of risk as possible for the the hive mind would be the best way to go, and if you think about it, who would suspect a plan like this to have happened, how could they prove the hive mind members as guilty especially if organised and coordinated so perfectly? – Joe Wood Nov 1 '20 at 0:14
• @cowlinator If we are talking $1billion dollars of parts, it may just be impractical. Its hard to steal an entire train load of fuel for example. – user1937198 Nov 1 '20 at 2:22 • You'll get some change this way. Not a billion, rather thousands or maybe ten thousand. You need to think bigger. However the option is great for killing opposition - you have the perfect alibi each time some serious blocker needs to get out of the way. – Anderas Nov 1 '20 at 5:21 • Why does this require a hive mind? How does it even help? This can be done by anyone today already (and is already happening). – pipe Nov 1 '20 at 11:15 You could make over a Billion cheating at gambling and chess. Casinos • Use orbital decay theory to cheat at roulette. A computer is required to do the orbital decay theory calculations. One person is at the casino, the other is at home with a laptop. These cheaters ran away with$15 million. https://thetechportal.com/2017/04/03/cheating-roulette-technology-banned-vegas/ If 100 people do it then you've got 1.5 billion. Obviously after the world's casinos have lost half a billion or so then they might stop offering roulette.
• Card counting with blackjack. It is possible to get an edge of about 2% by counting in your head. If you use a computer then your edge goes up to 7%. Winnings would be similar to cheating using orbital decay theory.

Chess

• Computers are much better than humans at chess. One of your people, say a Vietnamese villager becomes the chess world champion, making about 10 million in the process (Magnus Carlsen has 8 million net worth). Then once they are famous they deliberately lose a few games. The others bet on the games. You could probably make $100 million per year this way With both of these approaches casinos and bookmakers will start banning you. This is the limit to how much you can make. The best way to avoid the ban is to show up as a high roller, walking in with a million or so. Then it's less suspicious if you walk out with 2-3 million. The guys who were caught doing the orbital decay theory approach walked in with nothing and after a few casino visits they were multimillionaires. That never happens naturally, but people regularly double their money at casinos by chance. Seed money Kidney donations pay out 1,000 to 10,000 USD. You have 99 you don't need. Let's say this starts you will 5,000 x 100 (round up for easy calculation) = 500,000 USD. Good start. Casinos Split up in pairs and go to 50 different casinos. One person per pair plays poker (or other games of hidden information) and the other is a spectator who looks at other players hands and transmits them to the player. Splitting up will help keep a lower profile and mitigate risk of any pair being caught. You have a few years, so don't get carried away at any one location at any one time. • As seed money goes, 500k is pocket change and the potential long-term health risks from selling kidneys on the gray/black market isn't worth the risk imo. Much easier to simply have everyone steal (or already own) 5k. – Dragongeek Oct 31 '20 at 19:21 • Its a small percentage of the target 1B, but if you are cheating st gambling, it should be easy to double your money on any given bet, and then you just need to double 11 times to get to 1B. I was assuming "start with a bunch of money" is not allowed, or at least boring. I also assumed we don't care about keeping anyone healthy past the point of saving the world. – JamesFaix Nov 1 '20 at 13:54 • There aren't many casinos where the table stakes are$10m+, and non-players are just allowed to mill around peeking at cards. – Oddthinking Nov 2 '20 at 12:17

Take your most attractive female members and use them to marry men for money. You could also engage in some prostitution or camgirl sites on the side.

Once you have a bit of money, start a few companies and shift the money around. Give "personal loans" to one another so they can start small businesses, but instead of spending the money, send the money on to another member and cook the books. One good way of doing this would be to start another company which provides goods to the smaller companies--goods which they never receive. You can use these companies as a front for money laundering if you want, but really what you need to do is take out insurance and torch the place. You have plenty of people to provide alibis.

Another good thing you can do is use your members to "love bomb" desperate people and have them go into debt to pay for meditation courses and books required by your cult. You can also use them as cheap labor using cult tactics to keep them in line. One thing cults do is have members write sort of "fan fiction" about themselves as if they were a bad person, and then the cult threatens to release these "confessions" if the cult member doesn't behave. Maybe sell the cultists into slavery or for spare parts depending on the opportunities that arise.

Finally, you can go the Epstein route. Have your attractive members lure rich people into private parties and either video tape them doing things, or just make something up and say you have a lot of witnesses (you have people who will lie). They have to give you money, or you're going to release information that will get them raped and killed in prison. Maybe download CP onto their computer and use that for leverage. Since you have so many people, you could probably procure some kids yourself. Kids would be little gold mines if you're willing to work with the wrong people.

• I am not seeing anything here that couldn't be achieved by any random group of 100 cooperating people. – Oddthinking Nov 2 '20 at 12:14
• These are all people that can be trusted 100% by the group and are 100% committed to the group's cause. No chance of them having a crisis of conscience, falling to greed, or not perfectly understanding the plan. They also wouldn't be too grossed out or have other, personal plans for their future if you want to marry them off. Every group project depends on trust, and the more, the better. – Morgan Nov 2 '20 at 12:37
• The hive mind states that they all share information, experiences, and understanding. Nowhere does it say it turns them into heartless and mindless drones, forced to go along with the will of the collective. And while most if not all of them would be okay with petty theft or fraud if it meant saving the planet, the trafficking and sex slavery of children is another matter entirely. (Not to mention I doubt many people would want to read a story like that, much less write it.) – Abion47 Nov 3 '20 at 19:20
• While this answer was a bit in poor taste it does not deserve a down-vote, it did answer the OPs question within the loose morals guidelines. Blackmail of the rich can be pretty lucrative I expect. – KalleMP Nov 3 '20 at 20:46
• I was asked what to do if you had to save the world at any moral cost. – Morgan Nov 4 '20 at 5:03

Offer to create software solutions to companies all over the world:

• There is awesome talent here
• The internet allows easy collaboration
• Language is not a barrier, and there are translation apps
• One can be selective with the projects one chooses
• There would be a need to advertise the services
• A project manager would be required for the project(s)
• The start up costs are minimal to non existent
• Why did you put this in three different languages? – F1Krazy Nov 1 '20 at 20:16
• As a software engineer, I can tell you, it is not a get rich quick kind of business. You need to invest a lot of time before you have something marketable, and then you need a lot of people working together to actually sell the product, support customers, and actually write the code. Software startups usually go several years before they make a profit and most fail. Example: Uber Eats and all the other delivery apps are running on investor cash at a loss to compete for market dominance, even with huge gross revenue and years in the biz. – JamesFaix Nov 1 '20 at 21:34
• Everyone does it. With the internet, others have pretty much the same advantages like your hive mind. It has to be outsmarting politicians or crime lords I guess. – Anderas Nov 2 '20 at 13:58
• In most markets, there are usually several competitors. The one with the best product or value proposition sells the most. – Roberto Nov 2 '20 at 17:14
• One never knows if one doesn’t try. A small trial risks little and tests the market. Microsoft and Apple were small companies once. So was Amazon. – Roberto Nov 2 '20 at 17:15