New “drugs” are claiming to be able to change your brain in remarkable ways, but skeptics are questioning if they can really change humankind.
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This common saying has a lot of truth to it.
Increasingly though in the age of all things digital, it actually CAN be what you know that lands you that perfect job or creates the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
And nobody knows this better than the competitive minds floating around in Silicon Valley.
Tech heads and other experimental types increasingly want to think faster, accomplish more, compute with more complexity and figure out our future in appreciably creative ways. And the fact is, they’ll take any competitive edge they can get, to do it.
So, what’s in nootropics, exactly? Nothing you can’t find elsewhere. Depending on the capsule, a nootropics pill can contain variable mixtures of vitamin D, Omega-3, B-vitamins, caffeine, herbs, and amino acids.
Some products claim to make you think more clearly, a few are marketed as being able to give you a ‘mental sprint’, and others might help you get a better night’s sleep.
The interesting thing about the ‘brain drugs’ though, is that they’re new and relatively unproven.
Conclusive studies haven’t been conducted proving that any of the pills actually do exactly what they claim to. They do contain ingredients that have been proven to boost memory in older groups, and to make you feel more stimulated (caffeine certainly does that). Whether they have any long term effect though, is unknown.
And so it’s curious to see sellers confidently hawking these wares and selling the belief that they will change the world as we know it.
Nootrobox describes its pills as the “definitive resource for biohacking, cognitive modulation and human enhancement.” The company goes on to state on its website that its founders believe that “human progress is taking the advancement of ourselves into our own hands and employing technology to track and progress our biology.” If computers were the dominant platform of the last century, the company states, the human body is the platform in the 21st century.
It’s true that as humans, we haven’t uncovered all the capabilities the natural world has to heal us and possibly make us into better humans, in the long run.
People who have fallen in love with nootropics say they’ve changed their life. They feel clearer, better and stronger with the pills.
But you have to wonder about the true motive behind selling them. The pills are quite expensive, and can cost hundreds of dollars for a brief supply.
Is it a placebo effect taking place in enthusiasts? To be blunt: at this price, yes maybe.
OK, so I took a stab at stress vitamins in my previous post and now I’m taking aim at simple brain boosters: I have no mercy. But here’s my belief: Good aerobic exercise mixed with some muscle building challenges, social stimulation, interesting projects to tackle and genuine sources of motivation could reap just the same results as nootropics if not better ones, when it comes to enhancing our lives, it seems.
Or maybe it’s true: maybe as humans we’re verging on some huge new discovery in science, and nootropics is just the very expensive tip of that topic.