Americans (and the modern civilization in general) had been dependent on medications since the discovery of penicillin, but recently the level of chemical commitment began to take a whole new perspective. Modification of the baseline intellectual ability through chemical agents that goes beyond simple nutrient control is something I suspect to be relatively widespread and will continue to seep into the general populace as the medications become more sophisticated and effective. The effectiveness of the medication can be surprising when controlled and monitored carefully. I can concentrate on a single task for around ten to fourteen hours at one time, depending on my condition. With proper chemical aid I can theoretically pull through twelve to twenty hours, again dependent on my prior psychological and physical condition.
It would be unrealistic to simply discredit the effectiveness of the chemical aid in intellectual pursuits when its benefits are so clear. The fields of academic studies are one of the rare fields of human endeavor that allows necessities of individual desire and social niceties to be as one, and as such any chance at improvement on one’s ability provides an irresistible allure that goes beyond the simple need to perform. I believe how this new addiction to chemical augmentation plays out and how the society deals with it in coming times will be representative of how the society and the individual will fair once the genetic and cybernetic augmentation for human beings become economic reality. There are some cautious optimism as to the possible changes the coming era of affordable chemical augmentation might in fact benefit the humanity at large, and even serve as a catalyst for a different human age. In this era where people are becoming increasingly aware of ramifications of technology (or at least becoming increasingly polarized by the awareness) on future course of humanity, such predictions take on profound foliage different from similar futurist predictions of the old.
If there is one thing I am worried about, it is our lack of knowledge on the processes of the development of human consciousness. Will learning without requisite control of one’s physio-chemical facilities pose unwanted side-effects on the learner? Will we end up with an enitre civilization of people who knows things they can’t possibly hope to utilize? I’d count on the complex natures of innate human greed and pride to act as counter to such outcome. I for one cannot wait for the day that would finally allow my body to catch upto the place sight of my mind sees.