Re: Practical Extropianism

Crosby_M (
Tue, 6 May 1997 14:29:52 -0400

I wrote that there were plenty of Web sites and online catalogs
devoted to nootropics. One site I had in mind was Samu's Nootropics
Resources at

Anders wrote that
<Most of the information is quite unreliable. I suggest looking at the
original papers>

Most of the information that I've seen on the Net is based on Ward
Dean and John Morgenthaler's _Smart drugs & nutrients : how to improve
your memory and increase your intelligence using the latest
discoveries in neuroscience_ ,1990 ISBN: 0-962-741892. I don't know
how reliable their book is nor how good the claim to representing "the
latest discoveries" is given that it's seven years old.

I think there was alot of interest in the early 90's that sort of
faded away as people found that "good old-fashioned drugs" (as Hal F
once aptly put it) were just as good and easier to get ahold of in
many cases.

Still, I'm not sure all the fragmented, original medical research
papers would be very useful to the average person. My approach was to
get *just* a general, vague description of these substances, try them,
and *only then* compare my experiences the annecdotes. This was the
closest I could come to a 'blinded' study. The purpose of my post,
yesterday, on nicotine was to illustrate just how extremely difficult
and expensive it would be to document all the complex interactions
related to these substances in a completely scientific and useful

IOW, as long as the danger appears to be minimal, better to just do
your own experiments rather than waste hundreds of hours combing the
medical literature or waiting years and years for objective,
non-commercial studies that may never be conducted. As Perry pointed
<As for other sorts of drugs, well, most people are reluctant to talk
about them, the political and legal situation being what it is.>

Anders also wrote:
<You don't want current implants, believe me (I'm studying implant
technology for fun right now. BTW, as an exercise I will have to write
an analysis/idea for a novel implant (ideally for medical use) based
on today's capabilities: any ideas for an implant in need of

In my earlier response to litenite I gave an example of a current
'cyborg' technology (Xybernaut's $5K Mobile Assistant
speech-activated, head-mounted display for maintenance manuals). I
said "somewhat facetious" because I'd really love to have such a
device to access my own systems and the Web, anytime, anywhere.

However, assuming the head-mount may eventually shrink to something
like sunglasses, I think the big disadvantage of the current device is
that it must be speech-activated. I can picture a team of people in a
meeting, or sitting at their individual work stations, all apparently
babbling to themselves. Social animals that we are, this may be

SO, the next step, and my idea for one of the first practical
semi-implant devices, would be subvocalizing speech-activation device.
On second thought, this could probably just be some sort of necklace.
I was thinking that this would be something implanted in the throat
with some sort of lead coming out through the skin to connect to an
external electronic device. Still, some type of simple implant such
as this with an external connection that avoids infectious and
immunolgical problems would be an nice advance (unless something
similar has already been done?)

Mark Crosby