Speaking of which: Here’s the world’s first smart drug – as in, a drug that makes you smarter. Excerpt:
Most people looking for a cognitive boost in the morning reach for a cup of coffee or tea. But all caffeine really does is lift up your mood and improve focus, and that is why it isn’t considered a “pure cognitive enhancer.”
There is, however, a real contender for that title: modafinil (also sold as Provigil). This drug—normally used to treat a sleep disorder—may be the world’s first true smart drug, according to a new systematic review. It enhances attention, improves learning, and boosts “fluid intelligence”—which we use to solve problems and think creatively. And it does all that without the addictive qualities of caffeine (also without the delicious variety of drinkable formats, but that’s arguably a small price to pay).
Any chance we could get a prescription for Congress, and most of the Executive Branch in our Imperial City? No? Maybe the bar is starting too low there for the drug to do any good.
Some ethical questions arise: What are the implications of, say, college students using such a drug? How about taking a course of these right before taking the MCAT to get into medical school?
But here’s a possibility that would worry me: Some recreational drugs give a high at first, but then send the taker into a depression when they wear off – making a repeat dose necessary to maintain the good feeling. Could there be a similar effect here? Could these drugs make you dumber if you stop taking them?
Then again, with most of Congress I’d guess there’s little there to lose.