At O'Reilly's Emerging Technology Conference last week, I hosted a panel on the future of "mind hacks
," from cognitive fitness programs to smart drugs to neuro-implants. One of the panelists was Timo Hannay, publishing director of Nature.com, who talked about a recent heated debate
taking place on the journal's site around the ethics of using brain drugs for wakefulness, focus, and other cognitive "enhancements." Nature is continuing that discussion with a public "brain boosting drugs" survey. Today's New York Times "Week In Review" takes a look at the controversy. From the New York Times:
“Suppose you’re preparing for the SAT, or going for a job interview – in those situations where you have to perform on that day, these drugs will be very attractive,” said Dr. Barbara Sahakian of Cambridge, a co-author with Sharon Morein-Zamir of the recent essay in Nature. “The desire for cognitive enhancement is very strong, maybe stronger than for beauty, or athletic ability.”
Jeffrey White, a graduate student in cell biology who has attended several institutions, said that those numbers sounded about right. “You can usually tell who’s using them because they can be angry, testy, hyperfocused, they don’t want to be bothered,” he said...
One person who posted anonymously on the Chronicle of Higher Education Web site said that a daily regimen of three 20-milligram doses of Adderall transformed his career: “I’m not talking about being able to work longer hours without sleep (although that helps),” the posting said. “I’m talking about being able to take on twice the responsibility, work twice as fast, write more effectively, manage better, be more attentive, devise better and more creative strategies.”
to the New York Times, Link
to Nature News and Opinion Forum, Link
to "Brain Boosting Drugs Survey" (Thanks, Alvaro "SharpBrains" Fernandez!)
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
We just got the Sport model of the EPIKGO hoverboard at my office. Besides being terribly chic, it’s apparently bulletproof.
Ok, it’s not just solar powered. It’s also an anti-theft, waterproof marvel that keeps my phone’s power bar from ever getting into the red.Sure the idea seems obvious now – tuck a gigantic solar powered battery pack into an exposed slot and turn the wearer into a walking energy harvester. Simple maybe, but I didn’t […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]