I am basing this on the premise of a pill conceived by author Alan Glynn in his book The Dark Fields. Now a movie featuring Bradley Cooper as down and out Eddie Spinola in the retitled Limitless (2011). While this film may not be theatrical gold, it is still a favorite of mine for the obvious reason: the big what-if. What if there actually was a pill that could unlock your entire brain for you to use at your beck and call? What if you could access memories long forgotten? What if you could strut your way to the top of the corporate ladder (or not, depending on your bent) by outperforming your peers? You intrigued? So am I, my friend. As a 30 year old male, I am constantly frustrated by my short term memory. I forget things so easily and it more often than not causes me, and my friends and family, great distress at home and at work. So the concept of a pill that can fix that is more than appealing to me.
Modafinil was originally produced to help people who suffer from narcolepsy – a rare sleeping disorder that causes them to fall asleep when they get excited. (Look up narcoleptic dogs on YouTube. It’s terrible, but hilarious.)* Out of sheer curiosity I went to the website that the guy talks about in the YouTube video above to check out what it would take to get some Modafinil (or Provigil). Based on the currency, I believe it is a British company charging you £29.99 for a 2 weeks supply consisting of 30 pills. On top of that, they want to dock you an extra £9.99 for “standard” 21 day delivery. I plugged those numbers into the converter on my phone and came up with a grand total of $65.65 (USD) for the most basic order. Given you can use a voucher code that they advertise on their home page for an extra 20 pills with every order, but still. Sixty-five dollars to try something that might not even work, AND has potential to cause insomnia, AND I’d have to wait 3 weeks to get? Nah, not quite ready for that. (Mainly because my wife would kill me if I spent that much on something that only might work. And even if it does perform, it may not be to my expectations.)
Even given the potential side effects to my wallet, I am still interested. I mean think about it: those who are struggling with similar memory issues as myself, and who are a decade or two or three older than I am could benefit immensely from this tiny pill! Have trouble staying awake at work? No problem! Can’t focus on that periodical that needs to be submitted yesterday? Piece of cake! Tired of looking stupid in front of your professor and classmates? Shazam! Or what about that old nemesis: can’t remember where you put your keys? … Right?
I mean, I have to ask: why is this not being mass produced? Why is there not an over-the-counter brand of this crap yet? This sounds like gold to me and I would trample a crowd in the most Christian way I could to get some.
Wait for it…
…but, I had seen a video on Provigil about a year ago about a guy who was taking it on a regular basis. While he functioned at astonishing levels in memory, alertness, and energy, he did not sleep. And that concerns me. He claimed to not suffer from long term effects of sleep deprivation (such as depression, paranoia, and my personal favorite, schizophrenia). I’m happy for the guy, but still, from what I can remember, he’d only been using it for about 8 months. (I couldn’t find the video for reference.) What happens when you use the stuff for a year? Three years? Five? There is a lot of potential for major problems in that scenario. Not to mention the potential for biological dependency (read: addiction), which for me, being an ex-smoker, is a big problem. I have what is called an addictive personality. What? No, that doesn’t mean if you were to become my friend you wouldn’t be able to get enough of me! (Though my wife wouldn’t blame you, she thinks I’m awesome.) What that means is that my personality has an extremely high tendency to become blazingly addicted to stuff in a exponentially short period of time. I’ve kept my distance from recreational drugs for that reason alone (and maybe some others)! And this Modafinil, sounds devilishly close to recreation, or at least non-essential.
But I can’t seem to help myself. I’m still curious.
What about you? Any takers?
Catch you later!