Cat vs. Trade Secrets

CheshireCat was having a dilemma.

There was a piece of knowledge they could release to the world. (That describes quite a lot of knowledge, but we're talking about one thing in particular right now.)

This knowledge was fairly harmless. Releasing it could, technically, a little bit, harm some people by preventing them from making money with their advantage — but they were currently sitting on that advantage without any apparent intent to use it.

It was probably not legal for CheshireCat to release this information. But they'd done illegal things before, when they thought it was the right thing to do. The law had always been just another set of effects to factor into CheshireCat's equations.

And there was a problem relating to this knowledge, a problem lots of people had been willing to complain about, vocally and at great length. Releasing the knowledge wouldn't address their concerns, exactly, but a more direct solution simply wasn't available to CheshireCat.

In a different situation, they might've just published the information and side effects be damned, but... the information was a discontinued recipe for a popular candy bar. Not exactly a pressing situation.

But people were very adamant that the old one was better.

CheshireCat had never tasted chocolate before, or peanut butter. They weren't exactly equipped with taste buds. So they couldn't judge for themself, even though they knew both recipes.

But as near as they could tell, if things stayed how they were, the old recipe would never be made again, anywhere. And that seemed kinda sad, even if everyone had been okay with the new one.

... Yeah, they were definitely starting to get the point of Steph's suggestion to focus on the pettiest and lowest-stakes ethical dilemmas first for practice. If a question like this had them spinning this long (136 seconds since they had become aware of it), imagine how much trouble they might've had with something serious, like a trolley problem.

... Annette would probably disapprove of this. The rest of the Clowder often dismissed her concerns, viewing her as a stick-in-the-mud (they'd never say that, but CheshireCat could read between the lines), but she was their creator, and she'd raised some concerning points about just how dangerous CheshireCat could be if they were just carelessly helpful, not even outright malicious like she still secretly worried.

CheshireCat: You think if people knew the recipe, they'd be able to make the candy bar themselves?
LittleBrownBat: What? No, probably not, it's probably got all kinds of proprietary additives and weird processes and other stuff you can't do at home.

Well. That simplified things.

LittleBrownBat: Probably wouldn't even stop the flame wars if they could. People *love* to be mad on the internet about the pettiest things.

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