Gimme some brain

To flip my last post…a New Yorker cartoon

Last week’s New Yorker had an interesting article on Adderrall and its variants. It opens with the story of an undergrad at Harvard who uses it to bang out 4 papers in a week, and I thought, oh great, another article about the mysticism of the “youth and their ways” from the geriatric perspective of mainstream media. Turns out I was wrong though.

The article calls this neuroenhancement a sort of cosmetic neurology and compared it to cosmetic surgery. Interesting analogy there, but I don’t know how appropriate it is.

Most interesting bit to me is the finding that these drugs help those on the lower end of the capacity spectrum more than those on the higher end. It then takes this point to argue that it doesn’t provide the edge that has caused the most ethical concern, rather it levels the playing field by giving those on the lower end a boost. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like intellectual socialism to me.


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