Poll Position: I think I see you think

This week's Poll Position puts asks:


Discussion of the choices after the jump.

I find traditional role-playing game alignments to be too stifling. Lawful and Chaotic, Good and Evil, are too ambiguous and hard to define for me, so I like to think about what I would do in the real world given a fantastic situation. I think it reveals a lot about how self- or other-centered you are, how much trust you have in institutions, and where your values really lie.

  1. Reveal your powers to and join a government as a secret agent, investigating foreign powers bent on your nation's overthrow. I can see how serving your nation via official channels would be very satisfying. You wouldn't have to worry about revealing your secret identity, you could exercise your powers more or less openly among your comrades, and you wouldn't have to worry about having a regular job. However, you have to trust the government to follow this path, and believe that they wouldn't instead lock you in a room somewhere and slowly dissect you to get your secrets.
  2. Reveal your powers to and join a domestic police agency (national, state, or local) investigating home-grown criminals. The decision between this one and the first is largely along the lines of if you feel comfortable possibly spying on your friends, and whether you think the government would use your powers for unsavory ends like Nixon and Watergate.
  3. Keep the power secret and use it to amass a vast fortune through legal gambling where your mind-reading abilities give you an edge, and use that fortune to promote your own agenda. Independence is the allure of this path. Beholden to no one, setting your own course, and using your powers as a leverage to get money, which has universal and flexible power all of its own. On the other hand, you'd have to live a secret life, never able to openly show your abilities to anyone for fear of being found out.
  4. Keep the power secret and use it to amass political power to advance your own agenda. Rather than reading the minds of poker players, you'd be harvesting dirty secrets for blackmail, ferreting out skeletons in the closet, and acquiring inside info on how to best your opponents. Money can buy power and independence, but politics IS power. On the other hand, you're sure to make a lot of very powerful enemies, and it's very difficult to be sure you're going to get the result you want when you manipulate the levers of power.
  5. Keep the power secret and don a costume to fight crime as a masked adventurer. The classic super-hero solution. Operate more or less in the open, steer your own course, and make a difference in your immediate community, all at the expense of having both a very public and a very secret life.

Which would you choose, and why?

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