Use the philosopher's stone for maximum goodness

Imagine, if you will, that the usual confluence of improbable occurrences supplies you not only with a Philosopher’s Stone, but also its instruction manual. Not being an idiot, you read the latter before doing anything major with the former. You discover the following:

  1. The unit you have is stuck in “Do-Gooder Mode” and can only be used for unselfish acts. To get it out of DGM you’d need to head on over to the fantasy universe it came from, but to open a trans-dimensional portal you’ll also need the product key. Hacking the Stone is not a option. Try to use it for evil once and it’ll lock up for one hour; a second time and it’ll lock up for one month; a third time and it’ll destroy itself, but not only after killing you in the most painful way imaginable.

  2. At its current settings, the Stone can only be used for three purposes: transmutation, teleportation, and cloaking. Specifically, you can transmute any inorganic matter into another form, so long as the target form is (a) a pure chemical element, or (b) one of the following compounds: water, light sweet crude, or pencillin. Again, it’s not a matter of mastering the stone, it’s that damn missing product key. Stupid MagicSoft.

  3. You cannot create new matter; the mass of the original substance and the new one will always be the same. You cannot create machines, just raw substances. You can teleport yourself, the stone, and any matter you have used the Stone on to any location within the dominant gravitional influence of the Earth, so long as you know the exact latitude and longitude down to fractions of a second, and so long as no other matter is in the spot you want; you cannot teleport organisms other than yourself. You can use the cloaking function to mask the stone, yourself, and your clothing to any surveillance, but nothing else.

Make the world better.

I’m thinking of some serious pollution cleanups. What kind of proximity is required for transmutation?

I didn’t think of that. Okay, let’s say that the transmutation range is, on, 2 miles, and also line of sight. That is, if you want to turn the table in the next room to solid gold, you’d better get off your ass and head to that room.

So, the stone will lock up before allowing completion of any evil act correct? Damn.

Is peeping evil? I mean… if they never know I’m there, then it’s a victimless crime… I mean… not crime. err.

So, yes, good deeds. I would probably go the White House and bring a tape recorder. I’m sure I would uncover some major corruption sooner or later.

Don’t blame me. I’d have ponied up for the fully-functional version of the Stone, not tried to cheat MagicSoft by using my cousin’s product key and then tossed my own stone through a transdimensioal vortex once it became apparent that I could not use it to destroy France.

“Is peeping evil”? Aslan has already addressed that issue.

Am I to take this to mean that destroying France is a good deed, because I’d be down for that. I’d teleport the fair damsels out first of course, and maybe some wine and cheese. And the Louvre. Then, the destruction can commence!

Damn my feeble brain. I can’t remember which book you’re referring to.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. If Aslan chastised his favorite Pevensie for eavesdropping on conversation to find out what her friends really thought about her, you can be damn sure he’d tell you to get your ass out of Natalie Portman’s shower.

Also, if you have to ASK whether destroying France is evil, I’m willing to hazard the stone’s gonna lock up as soon as you touch it.

“Teleportation and cloaking?” That’s not a Philosopher’s Stone, that’s a dilithium crystal.

The Philosopher’s Stone transmutes base metals into gold and exalts the vital essence into an incorruptible state. It enables the alchemist to unlock the gates of spiritual perfection, thereby achieving physical immortality. There’s no frickin’ instruction book, unless you count the Mutus Liber. Personally I wouldn’t, on account of its grossly oversimplified depiction of the Calcination of the Whitened Body and Mercurial Unicorn of the Albedo.

Chernobyl, here I come! Followed by Hanford and every reactor core in the ocean. Lots of zoomie-producing stuff needs to be turned to something harmless. (Probably water - turning it all into gold might skirt that bad issue.)

Fool of a Took! You are speaking of the Philosopher’s Stone of this world, which, I admit, is restricted to the uses you list, but which is also FICTIONAL. I write fo the Philosopher’s Stone of Earth 9844-bq.

Cheezit. Some people…

Probably set up a business disposing of radioactive waste - is making money out of the stone considered bad? I wouldn’t charge ridiculous sums of money, probably something like £10,000 per gallon of radioactive sludge. In the same vein cleaning up oil spills. I’d stay away from gold transmutation because that would seriously screw up the market pretty quickly.

Otherwise there’s another business opportunity as a high level totally secure courier - instant delivery and no risk of being intercepted by someone else. Saying that I’m not sure how much of a demand for that there is, or how I’d make the world a better place as a result.

I could also offer services as a bomb disposal expert - teleport in, turn the bomb to water, job done.

As much as I could make a killing turning water into crude oil I don’t think that would really make the world a better place as it would only perpetuate the bad situation of relying on fossil fuels we have now (although saying that it would mean that we could get fuel without having to give vast sums of money to evil barbaric regimes in the middle east, potential make the world better side effect?).

So out of wonder (more out of curiosity on your creativity than anything…) how is the Stone’s morality done. If I can convince myself that… say… poofing Great Britain off the map is a good deed will it let me? Does it have a “faulty logic” system? I mean, I think Hitler was pretty sure all that genocide was a GOOD thing, if he got it could he use it for the perfectly good (in his mind) purpose of exterminating the Jews (maybe turn them into crude oil or gold or something) would it work?

Anyway, I can’t think of a very good way to use this without having the normal, alchemical, boring stone. Everything I’ve worked out backfires at some point (the normal stone’s ability to produce a sort of “elixer of life” helped by spreading the changes over a very long time), usually due to an economy collapse from sudden inexplicable abundance of natural resources. I mean, suddenly converting all that sand into gold or oil or other easily sold resource to fix the poverty of all the poor starving African children is good and all, but all I can see is “good deed, good deed, good deEEEEOOOOH SHIT! World destabilized… sorry.” Though I suppose I could avert war and whatever else by “accidentally” converting everyone’s means of coercion into penicillin or something, but I see repercussions to anything except the tiniest interspersed acts.

Edit: Maybe I’m thinking too big though, if I just, say, focused on removing pollution in West Virginia I could make a difference I guess.

Clearly, the Stone is somewhat sentient; just as clearly, there’s a list of prohibited actions in the FAQ, along with a warning that said list is not prohibitive and that MagicSoft is not responsible if you get your brain melted by trying to game the system. Probably that list errs on the side of caution; you’re not going to be able to pesuade teh stone that any command that involves killing thousands of civilians is non-evil. Also, there must be some feedback mechanism whereby the Stone says, "So what you planning on doing with all that plutonium, dude? And the answer better not be “bombs,” and yes, I’ll be checking later. "

I think your problem is that you’re trying to solve complicated problems INSTANTLY. Seems to me that an obvious step one is to transmute a good amount of sand into gold, sell that, use the proceeds to buy some property and develop it through normal financial means, and and repeat, repeating the process until you have a big enough financial stake to do good with the resources you’ve amassed. I’m not saying not to magically fix Superfund sights; I’m saying to do it subtly.

I’d say making money out of using the Stone would be good, actually, even if your motives are entirely altruistic. You don’t want people worshipping you, after all.

If there is a statement better qualified to receive the “Indicates the speaker doesn’t know Illuminatiprimus” award I’ve yet to read it.


I think that statement was meant as advice, not a character judgment. If you are worshiped, that Bastard Fabulous Creature will have no other choice but to plot your destruction for when he takes over the world. There can only be one God-Emperor, after all.

You do indeed have a point there.

Travel around to all the churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, day care centers, hospitals, libraries, whatever, anyplace that has a collection box or suggestion box, and deposit quantities of gold into said box, with the amount of gold in direct ratio to the reputation for good works of that establishment in specific and its controlling organization in general.

I’m assuming that although a “blind teleport” requires specific GPS information, I can teleport anyplace I can see, so getting into a locked establishment to make the deposit shouldn’t be a problem, provided I can see in. Then again, if that’s not allowable, I would imagine that turning the door into gold would suffice: since mass remains the same, it’d be a much smaller door, making for easier entrance and egress. If I was uncertain of the safety of leaving a quantity of gold out in the open like that (a great many of these places are not in the best parts of town), swiss cheese is also likely to make a remarkably ineffective door, with the cost of replacing the door to be included in the gold already created for deposit.

One thing to start with would be to convert excessive atmospheric CO2 into other forms, thus painlessly negating global warming. I would have get some good climatic scientist (maybe make some gold to hire them) to make sure I don’t overdo it, since an ice age would be pretty evil also. Maybe convert some of it into oil, to make this job easier in the future.

Another thing I would do would be to make a ~23 thousand mile long cable of carbon nanotubes, then call up NASA and see if they are interested in a space elevator.

Overall, I think I would end up using it to create large amounts of useful bulk commodities (steel, copper, crude oil, and so on), but not enough to collapse the markets for those producing those goods. I would make enough to gradually bring the price down over a period of a decade or two, while making sure a good portion of the sales from the stuff I make is earmarked into retraining and educational programs (and retirement funds, for older people) for those in the mining and refining sectors that I will be replacing.

Look - I’d only be there as a preventative measure. You know, in case she were to slip and fall.