More on Pills that Make You Smarter

A recent article in Scientific American Mind cited a survey of more than 1400 scientists in which they were asked if they’d be willing to risk mild side effects in order to take a pill that would boost their brainpower. Almost 70 percent said yes. Further, 20 percent said they already use prescription drugs to enhance their concentration. These are not college coeds trying to study for the big exam here! These are some of the brightest people on the planet, and they’re willing to CHEAT to be a little bit brighter. Me too.

I’m not big on the moral and ethical arguments about various enhancements. My take is that people can do what they want as long as it isn’t interfering with me. Sure you can argue that if the guy I have to compete with is enhancing then it is interfering with me. I’ll grant that only to the extent that he does it surreptitiously. If he’s above board that he’s enhancing then it’s up to me to decide if I want to compete or not. To complain that what he’s doing isn’t fair would be akin to Phil Mickelson complaining that it isn’t fair that Tiger Woods practices too much. He knows what it takes to compete with Tiger and he can choose to do it or not.


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