Ooookay, it’s getting really weird now in a sci-fi, growing ever more disturbing twinge of pain in belly warning of catastrophic Ridley Scott-esque future where cars fly and people are just milling about like droids in order to perpetuate the myth that we are still human beings.
I’m talking about the latest potential, legal, pill the men (and, of course, women) in the white lab coats are developing to help up live fuller, more productive lives …
… as we wander, zombie-like, from shit job to shit job.
As reported in Forbes, “Researchers at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., say an experimental drug called CX717 temporarily improved performance and reversed the effects of sleep deprivation in the brains of monkeys.”
It seems good ol’ CX717 boosts the neurotransmitter glutamate, essentially causing our gray matter to jump-start itself, bringing work performance following the human equivalent of three days of sleep deprivation “back to normal levels.’”
This frightens me. Quite frankly, I’m all for sleep. I love sleep. I think sleep is the best thing in the world; I’d do more of it if I could. In fact, my absolute fantasy is waking up well-rested with no alarm clock, nothing to force me to get out from under my Ikea dead-duck fluff blankie into the cold, harsh reality of life, with, ideally, someone else under the duvet with me to keep me there for as many hours as I’d like.
Yet somehow I don’t think this is what the researchers had in mind. In fact, call me a conspiracy theorist, but I’m thinking something far more sinister. If costs a lot of money to develop new drugs and therapies — this has got to have a bottom-line friendly side-effect.
Forbes, and the researchers themselves, back me up on this theory: “A drug that could reverse the effects of sleep deprivation would be regarded by some as a breakthrough in helping health professionals, shift workers, military personnel and others required to function at top level while coping with sleep deficits, the researchers said.”
And that, my friends, is the scariest part of all. If I were a scumbag CEO head honcho looking to increase profits and productivity without actually having to hire more bodies (and thus, pay out for more of everything — from benefits to toilet paper in bathrooms, while still insuring my multi-billion dollar paycheck and golden parachute if it all, ultimately, goes to hell) I’d find a way to make more stuff with less workers.
And, until robots can effectively take our places, let’s create a nice little pill, give it a catchy name — CX717, practically sings R2D2 — and watch all the workers bees scramble to get things done!
I wonder, though, if the long term side effects, such as hallucinations, rotten teeth and homicidal rage, are the same as with this little miracle’s street version … a.k.a. speed.