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(News.com.au)   Fears new "brain boosting" drugs will be used by forces of evil to create supervillains, exam-cheats   (news.com.au ) divider line
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2817 clicks; posted to Geek » on 23 May 2008 at 5:53 AM (8 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-05-23 06:10:07 AM  
boobies
 
2008-05-23 06:15:18 AM  
The cognitive enhancers could be used to help improve the memory of Alzheimer's sufferers, but could fall into the hands of healthy students and professionals looking to cram information before important exams or meetings, the report said.

I'm not seeing how this is a bad thing.

Also, savagebusinessman, welcome to Fark. Enjoy your fail.
 
2008-05-23 06:16:54 AM  
sorry, need to comment, but exhausted from the King Douchenozzle Von Crunk thread.
 
2008-05-23 06:27:47 AM  
marvelcards.googlepages.com

/approves
 
2008-05-23 06:55:29 AM  
www.babarshouse.com

Nearl would love him some brain chemical. Boosh!
 
2008-05-23 07:28:07 AM  
Which is one of the reasons why some Concerta products are priced at 140$ or so.
 
2008-05-23 07:28:57 AM  
So? We have to compete with all the faux-disabled folks who got some shrink to prescribe them amphetamines to enhance their performance. Assuming the amphetamines have the same effect on undiagnosed people--and they do--I don't see the problem.
 
2008-05-23 07:57:08 AM  
Brain enhancing chemicals. Sounds great! What's the worst that could happen?

cinedestin.privatedns.com

Oh yeah, right...
 
2008-05-23 07:58:11 AM  
Calling someone a cheater just shows that you're jealous that you didn't think of his idea first.

/it's called lateral thinking
//some of us are just better at it
 
2008-05-23 08:15:15 AM  
Why is this a bad thing? We're not talking about a competition. I mean I suppose if "mathletes" are taking them or gameshow contestants are taking them it might be considered immoral.

However if the scientist working on a cure for cancer is doing this um what's the problem? Even if it were to have some negative side effects, and he knowingly chooses to risk it b/c he feels it will help him.
 
2008-05-23 08:15:55 AM  
This is another article screaming for a pic of The Monarch giving his "You young punks need to stop messing with super science speech"

I looked for one out there before, no luck, and I don't have it on DVD.
 
2008-05-23 08:50:02 AM  
wildcardjack: I looked for one out there before, no luck, and I don't have it on DVD.

I've got it ripped on my hard drive. At home, where I can't get at it. But yes, that would be apropos.

Anyway, people should just get used to the fact that humans are going to be increasingly chemically enhanced. Certain chemicals make your sack of meat and water behave and perform better than it would if left to its own devices. That's probably a good thing- you certainly aren't evolved to live in the modern world; it's bad for you, and you're not exactly sprucing the place up.

Face it- unless humans start some sort of uplift program, we're a thousand generations from extinction.
 
2008-05-23 09:04:52 AM  
I'm a supervillain, so I'm really getting a kick....
 
2008-05-23 09:19:19 AM  
FTFA: "The British report was released a month after a global survey of 1427 scientists found that 20 per cent of respondents were using drugs to boost their focus, concentration or memory." (emphasis mine)

Uh... would caffeine count as a drug? 'Cause I've never been in a lab that didn't have a coffee pot somewhere on the premises. I call bullshiat on that statistic.
 
2008-05-23 09:47:52 AM  
Brain Boosters are Okay..... but beware of "Monsters from the Id."

/Hopefully not obscure
 
2008-05-23 09:49:44 AM  
sluck604: Why is this a bad thing? We're not talking about a competition. I mean I suppose if "mathletes" are taking them or gameshow contestants are taking them it might be considered immoral.

However if the scientist working on a cure for cancer is doing this um what's the problem? Even if it were to have some negative side effects, and he knowingly chooses to risk it b/c he feels it will help him.


Let's walk a few years down this road. It's 2020, and ehancers are legal, or their use is at least tolerated.

Your son has just joined a law firm. The other new arrivals are using Modafinil, or its successor, to let them work 100+ billable hours per week. While his employment agreement explicitly states that he's not required to use any enhancers, it's also clear that he'll never make partner without them. Is there an element of compulsion here?

Your daughter is getting ready to take her SATs; she's smart and ambitious, and wants to get into a top-tier school, eventually going into med school. Recent anonymous surveys indicate that 20% or more of students taking the test are using enhancers. Nobody's been able to do a formal study, but there are indications that these students are seeing boosts of 200-300 points in their scores. What advice do you give your daughter?

Fast-forward another ten years. Your kids have been using enhancers for the entire time. Originally, they were just a way to get a little extra "edge" -- but, having established a performance baseline while using them, who wants to become "dumber", slower, or sleepier by giving them up?

But the drugs aren't working quite as well as they used to. It's not surprising, really, at least not to a cognitively-enhanced neurochemist; enhancers, particularly the primitive second- and third-generation varieties, lead to short-term habituation and long-term neurological adaptation. New drugs are better, and with their help, new researchers are smarter. But they still can't do much to help those who scarred their brains with the older drugs.

Your son is fairly secure in his position as a full partner, but the firm's newest hires are scary. Most of them simply don't sleep; they're at the office for days at a time without rest, and when they do take "time off", they're out skydiving, or rock-climbing, or just partying. Partners have always had the power in law firms -- but how long can they maintain power when their underlings are so much smarter and more ambitious?

Your daughter isn't doing so well. She's landed a great residency, but the early-21st-century movement to limit the length of residents' shifts faltered and died in the face of enhancement drugs. She doesn't really need sleep, but she misses it, and she misses the companionship that was once associated with it. (Who wants to be involved with a surgical resident, who's almost never home?) When she does try to sleep, her dreams are populated by the brain-burn victims she sees at work, and she wakes up screaming.

And sometimes the dreams intrude while she's nominally "awake". It's an increasingly common syndrome in long-term gen-3 enhancement users. The neurochemists are hoping that the new gen-5 products will help reduce the symptom.


I think we'll go down this road. I imagine I'll go down this road -- I've never felt like there was any such thing as being "smart enough". I think people in general, and researchers in particular, will be able to become "more intelligent", and once they do, they'll be able to figure out ways to accelerate the process.

But I think it's going to hurt. A lot.
 
2008-05-23 09:57:37 AM  
savagebusinessman: sorry, need to comment, but exhausted from the King Douchenozzle Von Crunk thread.


THIS.


/also, if anyone finds new KDVC pics, please send them to kingd­oucheno­z­z­l­evonc­r­u­nk[nospam-﹫-backwards]oohay*co­m
//Flickr will be updated with any new content
 
2008-05-23 10:05:51 AM  
jfarkinB, nice insight there. Seriously.

I love fark.
 
2008-05-23 10:08:59 AM  
I am a fish
 
2008-05-23 10:43:01 AM  
www.24liesasecond.com
 
2008-05-23 10:50:24 AM  
jfarkinB: The other new arrivals are using Modafinil, or its successor, to let them work 100+ billable hours per week.

Hell, I've worked nearly 100 hours straight on Modie.

You don't want to do that a lot. But it can come in handy when you really need to.
 
2008-05-23 10:51:57 AM  
Actually even though jfarkinB makes a great scenario, I would point out that their are tons of drugs currently being used to enhance cognitive abilities. Specifically those that fight depression, anxiety, etc....

However, Sleep is a fundamental need for a person to live a long healthy life. Without it you die. If we could avoid it though and not suffer by taking some pills, I would be all for it.

/not enough time in the day to do everything I would want.
 
2008-05-23 10:53:54 AM  
Wow, I would point out that their should be I would point out that there.

Sorry grammar nazi's beat you to the punch. feel free to scrutinize the rest though...
 
2008-05-23 10:59:08 AM  
A surprisingly large number of working scientists and mathematicians use stimulants regularly. On the one hand, this resulted in some of the greatest achievements of mankind in a very short period of time. On the other hand, it also led mankind to waste incredible amounts of time, energy and money on "studying" ridiculous nonsense "theories" about imaginary things: "many-worlds" theory anyone? time travel? cats that are both dead and alive? yea, thanks, amphetamines, thanks a lot for all the bullshiat. Thanks, also, for getting all the rich white kids A's while the rest of us "less enhanced" poor minorities are forced to struggle on our own to get B's.

I wouldn't give a shiat if it were controlled further.
 
2008-05-23 11:02:58 AM  
calculator13: Wow, I would point out that their should be I would point out that there.

Sorry grammar nazi's beat you to the punch. feel free to scrutinize the rest though...


Well, ok, let's see - sleep is not a proper noun, "without it you die" is a sentence fragment, you should set "though" off with commas, "nazi" should be capitalized and don't use an apostrophe with it for a plural. Oh, and it should be "Sorry, grammar Nazis, beat you to the punch." Otherwise "sorry" is an adjective modifying Nazi.

/kidding
 
2008-05-23 11:03:57 AM  
Oh, and I should have set "Nazi" off with quotations on the last word.
 
2008-05-23 11:10:11 AM  
The lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning...
 
2008-05-23 11:15:32 AM  
Looks like I missed a couple of commas, too. Oh well, haven't had my second performance-modifying cup of Columbian coffee yet. Got to love ol' Juan Valdez.

xkillyourfacex: On the other hand, it also led mankind to waste incredible amounts of time, energy and money on "studying" ridiculous nonsense "theories" about imaginary things: "many-worlds" theory anyone? time travel? cats that are both dead and alive?

Actually, Everett's "many worlds" hypothesis and "Schrodinger's cat" are far from ridiculous nonsense. If you have no grasp on quantum physics, it probably looks that way to you, because you don't have any basis for understanding where that came from or why.

It gets a lot worse than that, and the really awful thing about it is that it stands up to experimental confirmation, which means it's a useful model as far as it goes.

/"What does it mean that the solution to this is a Taylor series?"
 
2008-05-23 11:24:07 AM  
erewhon: Actually, Everett's "many worlds" hypothesis and "Schrodinger's cat" are far from ridiculous nonsense considered by many not to be nonsense which is as good as not being nonsense. If you have no grasp on quantum physics, If you don't agree with me, it probably looks that way to you, because you don't have any basis for understanding where that came from or why you're wrong.

Ah... I see what you're getting at, and I remain unconvinced.
 
2008-05-23 11:26:42 AM  
jfarkinB

Sounds like the perfect scenario to me.
So when do the Gen-1 drugs become OTC? I need me some of those so I can dual-major. I'm plenty smart enough, just too sleepy.

/Sleeps about 12-13 hours a day
//Still tired almost all the time
 
2008-05-23 11:29:47 AM  
jfarkinB

I feel very much the same way. Often I wonder if the economy would collapse if the entire world ran out of coffee, energy drinks, and other caffeinated beverages.
 
2008-05-23 11:30:50 AM  
Aevum: jfarkinB

Sounds like the perfect scenario to me.
So when do the Gen-1 drugs become OTC? I need me some of those so I can dual-major. I'm plenty smart enough, just too sleepy.

/Sleeps about 12-13 hours a day
//Still tired almost all the time


Sleep apnea? Hypothyroid? Two dozen other possible deleterious medical conditions left untreated because the symptoms would be masked by stimulants?
 
2008-05-23 11:35:58 AM  
xkillyourfacex:

Ah... I see what you're getting at, and I remain unconvinced uninformed regarding the thing I'm disputing. Nonetheless, the very computer I'm typing my dismissals on is filled with components which require quantum physics to model. Oh, and simple demonstrations, like the existence of spectroscopic lines? Twaddle. It's turtles all the way down.


Physics isn't everyone's thing. How's that career in humanities?
 
2008-05-23 12:13:43 PM  
It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the juice of Sapho that thoughts acquire speed,
The lips acquire stains,
The stains become a warning.
It is by will alone I set my mind in motion..
 
2008-05-23 12:20:25 PM  
erewhon:

Just because I think it's retarded, doesn't mean I don't know what I'm talking about. I don't need to believe the contrary conditions of the aforementioned cat are simultaneously real until I observe otherwise, in order design and create computer components.

If you've got a paraconsistent logic that allows the contradictions of quantum mechanics, I can provide one for which yours is a subset and at the same time allows the rejection of any contradiction allowed by yours. So... I am guaranteed that when refusing to tolerate your contradictions, I must still arrive at the same conclusions as when you do tolerate the contradiction.

As an everyday example... If I open the box and the cat is dead, I can believe the cat had always been dead not alive, and you can believe the cat was both dead and alive, and we'll arrive at the same conclusion, namely, the cat is dead. See how this works?
 
2008-05-23 12:31:39 PM  
xkillyourfacex: erewhon:

Just because I think it's retarded, doesn't mean I don't know what I'm talking about.


The entire point of the cat metaphor was part of a discussion in which they were debating whether you could observe wave function collapse in macro scale events. Not as a serious theory in quantum physics. Sort of like Einstein's conjecture about flying along with a light wave - he wasn't talking about literally being able to do it.

Now - go figure out how to explain the ultraviolet catastrophe problem. When you get finished, there's several thousand other basic day-to-day things you can explain too. Hell, I've no doubt there's a Nobel in it for you.

And, yeah, you will not get far in semiconductor fab, sad to say.
 
2008-05-23 12:56:37 PM  
erewhon

How 'bout that holographic memmory?

/Had a pretty nasty dextromethylphenidate habbit last year...
 
2008-05-23 01:01:15 PM  
fallout.rpgplanet.gamespy.com

Just don't run out.
 
2008-05-23 01:03:45 PM  
Aevum:
/Sleeps about 12-13 hours a day
//Still tired almost all the time


Off topic; but cut out wheat and see what happens in two weeks. Sounds dietary.
 
2008-05-23 01:26:59 PM  
Aevum: jfarkinB

Sounds like the perfect scenario to me.
So when do the Gen-1 drugs become OTC? I need me some of those so I can dual-major. I'm plenty smart enough, just too sleepy.

/Sleeps about 12-13 hours a day
//Still tired almost all the time


Doesn't sound like you need to wait for OTC status. Find a doctor with a clue, and you should be able to get Modafinil by prescription. There may be better meds, but that's the one I've heard most about. As others have said, you may well have a diagnosable and treatable condition -- 12-13 hours is well outside the normal range.

And, as always, I wish I had erewhon's job. Whatever that is.
 
2008-05-23 01:32:17 PM  
Gravitholus: It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the juice of Sapho that thoughts acquire speed,
The lips acquire stains,
The stains become a warning.
It is by will alone I set my mind in motion..


content.answers.com

/concurrs.
//I was the one who broke his Imperial conditioning.
///slashyslash
 
2008-05-23 01:57:05 PM  
jfarkinB: Aevum: jfarkinB

Sounds like the perfect scenario to me.
So when do the Gen-1 drugs become OTC? I need me some of those so I can dual-major. I'm plenty smart enough, just too sleepy.

/Sleeps about 12-13 hours a day
//Still tired almost all the time

Doesn't sound like you need to wait for OTC status. Find a doctor with a clue, and you should be able to get Modafinil by prescription. There may be better meds, but that's the one I've heard most about. As others have said, you may well have a diagnosable and treatable condition -- 12-13 hours is well outside the normal range.

And, as always, I wish I had erewhon's job. Whatever that is.


Modafinil (provigil) fights sleepiness, not tiredness and fatigue. There's a difference.
 
2008-05-23 02:11:05 PM  
I dont see a problem with it. Although half of the farkers who come in here saying how horrible it is are probably posting in another thread about the ounce of hydro they just finished and how good it was. Oh but thats all natural isnt it? That must mean that
its all good and safe and its different than something that is made in a lab. Or they dont want their kids doing these "smart drugs" even though they burned through 3/4 of their sinus tissue snorting coke back in the 80s.

I dont have a problem with smokin the herb. I also dont have a problem with a student that wants to get into med school taking something that will help them learn and retain information so they pass their tests with a higher score. If the drugs are safe and dont have horrible long term side effects then take all you want.

If my doctor/surgeon is smarter/more skilled because they took brain enhancing drugs I dont think Im gonna biatch about it. In fact I may be very pleased with them for not cutting off my left arm when I just came in to get my tonsils out.

But if you took these new drugs and smoked a big fat one would that make your brain function like someone who wasnt doing any drugs? Ouch now my eyes just crossed for some reason.

I just typed this up ralley fazt. I dont give a hoot about grahmer. I didnt take muh smart pill this morning since uh runned out yesternight. Uh gues i wull call muh daeler and get smore.
 
2008-05-23 02:17:37 PM  
jfarkinB:
And, as always, I wish I had erewhon's job. Whatever that is.


It wasn't a pretty sight. I finished the job but couldn't shut down so I got on Fark and started posting the damndest stuff, then sent some e-mail that shouldn't have been sent to various people. Some of it was really good, but not the thing to send outside the 'other' net, and some of it was really odd.

Luckily they poured me into bed shortly after.

If you know where to look you can find my posts, way too much personal info.

The moral of the story, Modafinil will definitely keep you up, but you can't stay up indefinitely.
 
2008-05-23 02:24:22 PM  
/thinks brain enhancers could be a good thing

upload.wikimedia.org

/or not
 
2008-05-23 02:24:22 PM  
um... cardio works, too.
 
2008-05-23 02:28:15 PM  
xkillyourfacex: erewhon:

Just because I think it's retarded, doesn't mean I don't know what I'm talking about. I don't need to believe the contrary conditions of the aforementioned cat are simultaneously real until I observe otherwise, in order design and create computer components.

If you've got a paraconsistent logic that allows the contradictions of quantum mechanics, I can provide one for which yours is a subset and at the same time allows the rejection of any contradiction allowed by yours. So... I am guaranteed that when refusing to tolerate your contradictions, I must still arrive at the same conclusions as when you do tolerate the contradiction.

As an everyday example... If I open the box and the cat is dead, I can believe the cat had always been dead not alive, and you can believe the cat was both dead and alive, and we'll arrive at the same conclusion, namely, the cat is dead. See how this works?


I imagine you wrote this in MS Office, right clicking each word, choosing the biggest making it sound like you're smarter than you actually come off in this thread.

As far as your....I'll be kind and call it your "interpretation" of what Schrodinger's Cat was all about, you could not have missed the point more if you had tried (and I am assuming you tried).

Schrodinger's cat was a thought experiment attempting to describe the all possible positions of a subatomic particle. Because we can't observe the actual position without disturbing the outcome (Quantum measurement), this was a way to describe how the particle is in all positions before we actually quantify a result.

The idea being that the cat (inside his little closet o' death) can be both alive and dead at the same time, without being able to observe the actual condition of the cat, we have no idea his present state of being.

Similarly, on a Quantum level, we cannot observe the position (or flavor) of the particle without disturbing the original conditions set forth in our test to see if the cat is alive or dead.

Meaning, your argument of opening the box and the cat is dead, so he must always have been dead, is so far off the mark on what Schrodinger was talking about, it'd be funny if it weren't so sad.

The preconditions set on the box and cat are set so that no outside interference would disturb the original equilibrium inside the box. The vial of poison would only be spilled if a geiger counter detected radiation from a randomly decaying subatomic particle.

Problem is, we have no way to know or observe when that particle will degrade into radiation, hence the idea of the cat is both alive and dead. Again, without being able to observe, we have no idea what's gonna happen.
 
2008-05-23 02:28:30 PM  
jfarkinB:

I concur, and that's pretty deep. Kudos

i do have one comment.

I've never felt like there was any such thing as being "smart enough".

I think we (human beings) are reaching a strange point where our technology and "abilities" are beginning to out-pace our understanding of such things. Since we are very early in these stages it's very difficult to observe, just call it a hunch. I have a pretty technical education and have seen the things we are learning on a daily basis. Since our brains are finite there is probably going to be some point that we keep trying to learn more but are no longer able to properly process what we have already learned, therefore learning more/faster/better might have an unexpected down-side.

An example would be an idiot-savant who may be super-human at counting the numbers, but is not able to tie his shoes. I think someday our "intelligent" people will be idiots in the worst sense. Really good at one thing but useless at everything else. So to maintain progress, etc... we would require people that excel in all fields, in order to properly process and make application of this infinite detail of knowledge.

/my brain hurts
 
2008-05-23 02:39:28 PM  
Yeah, "Flowers for Algernon". Devastating story. Suppose someone offered you a drug that would give you superhuman intelligence, but only for a few hours/days/months; then it was back to normal, with no possibility that you could ever experience it again. Without even memory of what it was like -- or, far worse, with a head full of memories you can't understand.

Would you?
 
2008-05-23 02:55:18 PM  
jfarkinB: Yeah, "Flowers for Algernon". Devastating story. Suppose someone offered you a drug that would give you superhuman intelligence, but only for a few hours/days/months; then it was back to normal, with no possibility that you could ever experience it again. Without even memory of what it was like -- or, far worse, with a head full of memories you can't understand.

Would you?


This drug you mention...they call it "tequila".

You ort to go get a copy of "Brain Child" by George Turner, it's nearly free on Amazon. Interesting questions - what actually IS intelligence, could you cope with "superintelligent" beings, how would you devise tests to evaluate them, could you in the end even communicate with them in a meaningful way?
 
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