17 March 2008

Cognitive doping

Jose wrote a very interesting post on Academic Productivity. He wondered is it okay for people to take drugs to improve their mental performance? Obviously, most people drink tea and coffee (legal drugs) and society thinks that is acceptable. But what about prescription drugs like Ritalin (used to treat ADD)? Is doing so "cheating" like using steroids in professional sports? I guess it's hard for me to say since I haven't tried any drugs and caffeine doesn't work that well for me. As Jose mentions, the fact that people feel pushed to take drugs is a negative reflection of modern society. Unfortunately, I don't think it's something that will go away. The more educated the world becomes, the more aware people become of better opportunities and then everyone starts competing for the same limited set of desirable jobs.

A friend made a good point that using drugs will probably not increase your creativity or come up with a new idea to start a project. But I think it will help you when you need that extra push to finish something.

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