September 25, 2022

New film explores cognitive enhancers

A controversial topic in some bioethical circles is the possibility of enhanced cognition – making yourself smarter with drugs. What would happen if you could use 100% of your brain instead of the measly 10% we now use – according to urban legend. The new film Limitless explores this possibility

A controversial
topic in some bioethical circles is the possibility of enhanced cognition –
making yourself smarter with drugs. What would happen if you could use 100% of
your brain instead of the measly 10% we now use – according to urban legend.
The new film Limitless explores this possibility. A writer crippled by writer’s
block takes a mysterious drug called NZT and finds that he has all but
superhuman powers. However, as the New York Times reviewer points out, enhanced
cognition is not enhanced humanity:

The expansion of Eddie’s mental capacity
does not lead to any corresponding growth in wisdom or imagination. Quite the
contrary: the more clearly and quickly he thinks, the shallower he becomes. To
be sure, he learns to play the piano and picks up fluency in a smattering of
foreign languages and high-flown cultural idioms, but these skills are mostly
useful in getting women to sleep with him.

Sounds
intriguing, but I think I’ll wait until it comes out in video…

Michael Cook
cognitive enhancers