I suppose gadgetry and risky gambles go with an unwillingness to work hard, so maybe that's the connection with vice. But the work in question is not just that of achieving some specific goal (getting a first down, winning a war, forcing the nations of the world to hand over one million dollars, etc.). It's also the work of honestly facing reality, so that honesty, the willingness to make an effort, and a certain humility (the opposite of a sense of entitlement to riches without effort) all blend together. Newt Gingrich's plan to build a 51st state on the moon strikes me as somehow going with his characteristic way of treating people.
And then there's this. Peter Singer and Agata Sagan, who start off reasonably, say that it is "not far-fetched" to think that we might be able to develop a pill that makes people more likely to do good. I've read that Ecstasy makes you feel as though you love everybody, so perhaps they are right. But the idea that such a pill might be practical, for instance in reforming convicted criminals, seems rather hopeful. And I wonder whether this optimism is of a piece with the things that make Singer's views on other matters objectionable to some people. Perhaps it is also connected with the apparent ignorance (or is it deliberate ignoring?) of Hume in their final paragraph, which begins:
But if our brain’s chemistry does affect our moral behavior, the question of whether that balance is set in a natural way or by medical intervention will make no difference in how freely we act.Maybe I'm mis-remembering Hume, but doesn't he think that whether an act is caused by something that belongs to or comes from the agent rather than something external makes all the difference in the world to whether the act is free? [Actually, quite possibly no. But he does think this matters as far as moral responsibility goes. And that seems important.] And isn't his view too widely shared to be ignored like this? Or is this another case of having to simplify for The Stone?
Anyway, conclusion: fantasy is bad.