Memory Drugs: making rich richer? poor poorer??

  1. Richard_smoker
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Memory drugs could worsen rich-poor divide[/FONT][FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]
    David Batty

    [/FONT][FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]Thursday February 9, 2006
    [/FONT][FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]Guardian Unlimited

    [/FONT][FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]Advances in medical technology, such as pills to improve memory, could exacerbate the economic and social divide between rich and poor, a leading thinktank has warned.[/FONT][FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]Drugs being developed to combat memory loss in dementia patients could be parlayed by pushy middle class parents in a bid to improve their children's exam performance, according to the centre-left thinktank Demos.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]This would increase the gap in educational attainment between affluent and impoverished pupils and require a new drugs policy in schools, it said.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]The thinktank said research from the US showed growing numbers of high school students using stimulants to improve their concentration and alertness. Drugs such as Ritalin were either obtained illegally or on prescription to tackle conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).[/FONT]
    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]The report, Better Humans?, said school drug testing policies, aimed at preventing the use of drugs such as cannabis and ecstasy, which can impair educational achievement, would need to be changed.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]It said: "Whereas recreational drugs tend to be taken without the support of parents and teachers, we face the prospect of enhancement drugs being actively 'pushed' to under-performing students by teachers or parents."[/FONT]
    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]One of the report's editors, Paul Miller, said: "When half the class can pop a pill to enhance their learning, what does that mean for the exam system? What does it mean for the way we deal with cheating? Technologies of this kind demand a rethink in social and educational policy."[/FONT]
    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]The thinktank recommended that the government set up a schools and university anti-doping agency to "promote a drugs-free education system".[/FONT]
    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]The report also warned that the transhumanist movement, which espouses human enhancement through medical technology and nanotechnology, was dismissive of social concerns, such as how these developments would affect people with disabilities.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]It said the development of "designer babies", where parents could screen their offspring for the presence of genetic conditions, and cochlear implants for hearing impairment, could lead to people with disabilities becoming more marginalised in society.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]The report said that since transhumanist thinking held that it was "a parental responsibility to use genetic screening and therapeutic enhancement to ensure as 'healthy' a child as possible", parents who refused to give their child cochlear implants could be considered guilty of child abuse.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]Ultimately, the poor could become classified as disabled because they could not afford human enhancement.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]The thinktank also raised concern about efforts to prolong the standard human lifespan to 100 or more, noting it could lead to a retirement age of 80 or 90 becoming necessary to pay for pensions.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]Extended human lifespan and a higher retirement age could also lead to some vital professions, such as firefighting, becoming less popular.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]Mr Miller said: "If people are living longer and have to work for longer, then they will be more inclined to do jobs with lower risk of accidents."[/FONT]
    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006[/FONT]

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  1. StigmataLectron
    It goes without saying that cutting edge, new medical advances will be rather expensive at first, creating a huge divide in species between those who can afford to be superhumans and those who cannot. I hate myself for aknowledging this, but it could just be evolution.

    Ray Kurzweil predicted in his book, "The Age of Spiritual Machines", that those who were once part of a minumum-wage sort of working class will form a class of their own, of unemployed people. This class would grow and grow as the machines go to replace higher-up jobs. And this is why Socialism is important. :b
  2. Nature Boy
    Writing answers on the back of a pencil-case was SWIM's memory pill.

    "When half the class can pop a pill to enhance their learning, what does that mean for the exam system? What does it mean for the way we deal with cheating? Technologies of this kind demand a rethink in social and educational policy."

    Good point though. But then again, would that make speed-reading a form of cheating? Ultimately though, I wouldn't worry about this. Memory is one thing but application of knowledge is another. If anything, the guinea pigs who will take this stuff will struggle in the real world.
  3. Richard_smoker
    wow. I couldn't have said this 'un better myself! serioiously, this is pretty funny shit to think about.. think about how many ritalin crackies (kids pressed by their parents to take this shit against their own will) we've all known growing up with who can't apply SHIT to real world??
  4. Motorhead
    O brave new world, that has such people in it!
    This kind of stuff is creepy if you think about it. Anything and everything will soon be a mouse click away, for the affluent.
  5. Nature Boy
    Indeed. Look at Danny Sugerman (former manager of The Doors and Iggy Pop). In his autobiography "Wonderland Avenue", he tells us how he was born into a rich Jewish family in Beverly Hills. He was a hyperactive child and was given ritalin to straighten him out. Later in life he became heavily addicted to cocaine and heroin and would have died as a result had he not had a rich daddy to book him into rehab in time. If you ever want to read a story about a spoilt bastard, read that book.

    And motorhead, I like that Brave New World reference. :D
  6. IHrtHalucingens
  7. Richard_smoker
    Nope. actually I think he might be right about evolution here... you see, this is in the context of the superelite, those with the monies to crush the proletariate or whatever. see?? they get to buy their performance-enhancers at the EXPENSE of those who do NOT have any money/or the means to rise above.

    That is the sick, revolting, social statement that lies herein. Forget about medicine going against evolution by helping the weak survive. He's talking about a sick, deranged, REAL evolution where the drugs will favor those who can afford them.
    And yes, the brave new world referrence was golden.
  8. Nature Boy
    Money has become the new evolution? Scary.
  9. IHrtHalucingens
    I can see that. i guess in this day and age money=power so the rich are technically the strong in our society because physical strength is not needed for survival anymore.

    This is more like human-induced evolution in favor of the rich as opposed to the natural evolution i was referring to where the intelligent and physially able are favored. Maybe im out of date with my views. Either way i dont see it helping the human race in the long run. But hey i could be completely wrong.
  10. Nature Boy
    It's like that theory that the 0.01% of bacteria left over from anti-bacterials are immunising so that one day the surviving bacteria will be too overwhelming and will kill us all. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see!
  11. StigmataLectron
    Yeah, I had a post typed out before my internet went down for about an hour. :p

    Biological evolution led to evolution of intelligent beings like us. Evolution of intelligence led to technological evolution, and that's leading us to AI intelligence evolution. Every time the tides change, and we go from one track of evolution to the next, the old one sort of slows down, stops, and/or reverses. Humans are weaker as medicines are stronger, but the machines and machine/medicine-enhanced people are all the more stronger. They evolve and then surpass us, and the end.

    I think that's the gist of what I was going to post anyway.
  12. Richard_smoker
    you're definitely NOT out-of-date. Just think about it. What's going to happen in 10-20 years, if we were to find out that there was a DNA-altering effect from these smart drugs that only the rich and powerful could afford?? So, now these assholes can't reproduce, or worse, they produce dumbies...

    So... Now who's view on evolution is true?? :)
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