Headline Oct 03, 2015/ ''' EINSTEIN + COGNITIVE ENHANCER : !WOW! '''



''SMART DRUGS''  that claim to boost brainpower, concentration and productivity, do actually work!  One great  'experimenting genius'   gets to work.............

THE FIRST PILL  knocked with flourish at 9.30 am, produced no discernible effect. One articulate phone call perhaps.

A decision made more quickly than anticipated. My will for for its effects may have contributed to a solid afternoon of focused work, but it was impossible to attribute anything directly.

A day that called for a double dose of the 100mg pills. Again, the first didn't appear to touch the sides. Within an hour of taking the second, however, everything changed. First came subtle but buzzy high. I realized something was awry when I gave a colleague an enthusiastic ''thumbs up''.

Next, came a powerful desire for social interaction. Leaving my burgeoning inbox behind despite my internal protestations, I embarked on an office walkabout as if I were the host of a Sunday barbecue party.

In a meeting, I felt  over-confident and excitable, having to stop myself throwing an unwanted one-liners and complimenting people on jeans I'd seen countless times before.

Is this what  ''sassy'' meant? Or had I just become annoying? For me at least? It felt good, except for one small point. The last thing I want to do was any work.

Having had just four hours of broken sleep as an experiment, here was the breakthrough I was waiting for. Within an hour of  ''dropping'' , the yawn stopped, the exhaustion evaporated, the post-lunch crash never came.

This must be what it felt like to have nine hours sleep. This pattern continued, the Modafinil coming into its own as a subtle but remarkable restorative, gradually correcting my widening sleep deficit. 

Whether this amounted a tangible   ''enhancement''  in intelligence was less obvious, but as a performance improver, the attraction was clear.

''Some people aren't desperate for a huge effect, they just want something to counteract jet leg or stay awake longer so they can finish off a piece of work before a deadline,'' says Sahakian. No wonder she can see the day when a lifestyle market exists.

''Its really pushing us to choose as a society how we feel about healthy people taking these drugs if the side effects are quite minimal,'' she says. 

''Surgeons might be able to sustain  their attention longer without tremors. What would have been the societal benefit if Einstein had a cognitive enhancer?

On the flip side are moral issues  -access, competitive advantage and messing with our personalities. Would it widen the gap between those who could afford them and those who couldn't?

As Francis Fukuyama writes in our  Posthuman future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution:

''The original purpose of medicine is to heal the sick, not turn healthy people into Gods.''

My Low point was a dramatic energy crash  -it was like a plug had been pulled. A night of vivid flashing imagery in place of sleep relegated the pills to occasional use only. For those who are exhausted but unwilling to take the plunge, there are alternatives.

''You can always try getting more sleep, connecting with others, learning new things through out life,'' says Sahakian. ''All have been shown to have negative effects.''

Sleep. Maybe she was on to something.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Future Lifestyle '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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