Here we continue with some of Tam’s internal thinking. Predicting stock-markets can be seen as similar to breaking codes. She doesn’t have to actually make any predictions (though she could), she can do her trades at random, and then realize the most successful trade for each second. This was the point when I realized she was actually pretty scary.

Imagine a gunman with a similar power who walks into a room with 20 targets and the gunman has 20 bullets. He could hit all the targets as fast as he could pull the trigger and not even have to open his eyes. This doesn’t mean that she is unbeatable, it’s just then in any roll of the dice she can always take the best conceivable roll, no matter how unlikely. Playing D&D and need to roll 20 5 times in a row? She would do it on the first try, if she is paying attention.

As for how she earned the initial $5, there are many sites on the internet where people can trade programming services. The typical format is that a person would put out a description of work in the shape of requirements and then people would put in bids for the cost to meet those requirements, often with a description how the product they would provide. This could be snippets, functions, sub-programs or whole program suites. Kind of like eBay for programming. I did a couple of those jobs and determined that the rates of pay were too low for me. After all anyone in the world can access these, and if you have a laptop in the middle of Africa then you might be willing to do programming work for a buck or two an hour, and still be the richest guy in the neighborhood. I couldn’t compete with that. Tam of course wouldn’t care as most programming tasks would be completely trivial for her.

↓ Transcript
Full page scene showing Kay rowing into Sausalito with an overlay of Tam looking on.
Tam: Reading Wikipedia in other languages.
Tam: Done. Latin is under used. A nice logical language.
Maybe I should make a Latin translation for all of the Wikipedia pages.
Tam: No.
Tam: Money. Some of the resources I need are expensive. I should pay for them instead of Kay. I could just take the money.
Tam: No.
Tam: Accessing banks....
Look at this account.
The money hasn't done anything for over fifteen years.
Tam: No.
Tam: I could earn it. 15 sites where I can bid on programing work... 22... 47... 138...
Tam: Keep a low profile on each account.
Tam: Right. 512 accounts created, 1536 bids... 3 accepted, work completed....
Tam: How long to get paid...
3 to 21 days. Some are automated... 27 complete... $5 earned so far. $1327.32 pending.
Tam: Invest.
Tam: Stock market..... Behavior is chaotically predictable. I could just manipulate -
Tam: No.
Tam: Predict?
Tam: Yes.
Tam: Investing....