Modafinil in the News looks at worldwide sources to unearth the latest happenings in the Modafinil universe. We’ve gathered the three biggest stories circulating recently here for you at modup.net.
As modafinil continues to grow in popularity, more news outlets are catching on. This edition of Modafinil in the News covers students in Denmark, philosophers in Oxford, and chess players.
Worst News: Danish Students Hooked on Nootropics
Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark. A series of surveys showed that over 60% of Danish students have taken some kind of performance enhancing drug for studying. Ritalin was the most popular, but modafinil also appeared on the list. The issue: Pressure to achieve. Students in Denmark, as in many other countries, feel immense pressure to succeed. As one put it: “You either succeed, or you are nothing.” Harsh words.
The article from ScienceNordic went on to point out how this reveals two key cultural shifts. First, we no longer see taking these pills as taboo. Second, competition in education is increasing quickly. Even in a country known for having a comfort-inducing education system like Denmark, people are feeling pressured.
An Oxford philosopher’s odd dosing strategy
Who better than a philosopher to talk mind enhancement with? As you’d expect, a person whose entire life has revolved around the mind and thought would love to get his hands on some modafinil. Anders Sandberg did precisely that. As a member of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford, you can imagine that he has a lot of thoughts about neuro-enhancement.
Interestingly, I loved how he described his dosage. He sets an alarm, takes the pill, sleeps for another 30 minutes. When that second alarm goes off, BAM! Wakes up ready to go.
He also commented on how it felt like it expanded his frontal lobe. That’s where complex thoughts take place. If it’s working for the big philosopher, then it’s definitely going to help you.
Best News: Modafinil will make you a better chess player
Like chess? Modafinil could make you a better player, but there are some caveats. A study pitted regular chess players against the computer and recorded their results. Humans were successful in 51% of the games at the difficulty setting they chose.
So we’re still beating the machine. But for the next round, the participants were randomly given modafinil, Ritalin, or a placebo. Modafinil and Ritalin raised the victory rate up to 54%. 3% might not seem like much, but that can be a huge margin in competitive play.
The drawback? Players that took modafinil or Ritalin spent much more time thinking about their moves. Thus, in timed games they often lost. So you might be smarter, but not necessarily faster.
It also raises some ethical questions. Should more competitive organizations enact anti-doping laws? The World Series of Poker and several eSports institutions have come under fire for not regulating enough. Perhaps they’ll be next, and chess could soon follow.
Got all that? Set your double alarm tomorrow and put a pill by your bed. Send a smile to your Danish friends and tell them to relax, life will be fine. And maybe play a round of chess after that dose kicks in. Just don’t lose track of time.
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