English Could we use meds for economic growth?

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ModJuicer
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I have pondered this question in the recent weeks, and I consider it worth asking. Currently, we have a few things that I think could be fixed with it.

For one, burnout. People who no longer feel the drive to work could take stimulants (think synthetic phenethylamines), which would boost productivity, engagement, and the subjective experience of work.

Secondly, inflexibility in thinking. This could be combated using an SSRI of some sort, which increases social skills in general, strengthening feelings of peace, understanding, and connection. This may also improve quality-of-life.

Additionally, propranolol, a common blood pressure reducer while it us actually a depressant, has the capacity to improve brain function drastically for overstimulated individuals, and I use it to help with the anxiety shock that stimulants can give me. Actually, my best, most realistic drawings are drawn after I've taken some to calm down for the night, because it has a few special features: Improved dexterity, heightened fluid/adaptive intelligence, increased patience, and decreased anxiety response (which can inhibit learning or thinking).

Both SSRIs and Stimulants together, as noted by myself, increase ability to feel awake, dedicated. They increase personal feelings of importance, confidence, along with actually improving my work ability thanks to the fact that I can fully immerse myself in my surroundings. Interestingly, after taking both, I have the ability to sing along to music, even rap, even sometimes saying the words just as fast or faster than the radio, not something I would be able to do without meds, and evidence that you are not born with the talent you have. You become it.

These are just some applications of only medication that I currently take, and thus can describe, but there are others. Many others with much potential.

Additionally, innovation for brain scanning has grown during the recent years. Thanks to how innovation grows according the the amount of attention put into it, and how economies of scale work, it would be feasible to have a state-paid initiative (provided the incentives work) to have a significant portion of the workforce get brain scans which would reveal any underlying deficiencies in mental ability that could be remedied with medication, neurofeedback, or any other method that is invented in the future. Also, something of that scale would vastly increase the amount of raw data that could be used to further improve the field.

Such an initiative would pay for itself economically, likely hundreds of times over, thanks to the benefit gained. Additionally, it may detect previously undetected brain disorders in individuals who never got tested previously, and thus improve their lives dramatically, and reducing the amount of undetected cognitive dysfunction.

The question is, could such a multifaceted 3-birds-with-1-stone initiative gain political support in any countries, where its success could cause it to spread globally?

The only limit is our will, determination, and imagination, which is only limited by our state of mind. What do you think? Would such an initiative work, or would it be one of the many failed government projects?

Drugs around the world have had the tendency to cause violence and death, but if distributed responsibly they could be an even bigger asset than they were a scourge in the past.

Also, if we wanted to widen the scope of such a plan even further, we could even use an initiative of this type to help combat widespread drug addiction by both improving knowledge of the drugs, and undercutting whatever local drug dealers can scrape off the street.

Assuming we widened the scope, we could increase law enforcement while simultaneously allowing legal drugs (requiring possible screening, brain scans, regulation, and/or terms and conditions) so that it would push the dealers under (interestingly, I had an idea of the state undercutting the dealers to improve control over the market, reducing violence, etc. And just recently I read online that that is what the president of Columbia is attempting)

Widening the scope to overcoming street gangs would obviously be a strategy game, in order to reduce and not increase the number of drug addicts, but it has a much better chance of success than declaring war on them.

I have read posters that say things like 'you don't need drugs to have fun, friends, etc' but my personal experience has told me that, in moderation and using the correct types and dosage, they can very dramatically improve those factors. And of course if they aren't used properly they'll ruin your life.

I currently live my life as 'who I've become' rather than the person I once was. Never before would I have even had the ability to have a job. I even dropped out, but I discovered that my mindset is even more important than any diploma, and I'm now in a job doing programming, when previously no direction in life seemed feasible.

Also, I discovered that effort is completely subjective. One person can technically be using far less brainpower than a peer, and yet feel way more fatigue and frustration and misery, because their brain's chemical balance makes it nearly impossible to get their body to use that energy, at least properly. How hard you're working does not reflect how hard your brain's working. In fact, it's most dedicated to its work when you are enjoying what you do. It explains why, for example, Nikola Tesla got so smart. He wasn't that significant to start with, but he saw a cool demonstration of electricity and couldn't get enough of it. Then, inspired and very passionate about electricity, he quickly rose to become one of the most well known inventors in the field. We could do that with many, in the economy, because whether you are interested in something is also relative, and can be influenced by medication. By getting true interest in work, you increase productivity, innovation, and workplace satisfaction drastically. By feeling an actual connection to your task, you can improve on what you have, thus innovation.

This is feeling like it would be more like five birds with one windmill than only two birds with one stone, and windmills make electricity, doubling the bargain. (Maybe we need some dead bird graveyards for all them dead birds)

Tell me your opinion on such an idea.

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edited 4×, last 10.09.22 09:43:07 am
09.09.22 09:51:37 am
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Hador
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The fact that you are trying to discuss long-term use of behaviour-altering meds in a gamedev forum is pretty hilarious in a way.

I know nothing about medicine, but one Google search got me this: skuy news: Long-term use of antidepressants could cause permanent damage, doctors warn


If you want the general population to be happier and more productive, pay them a decent livable wage, encourage them to be physically active and more mindful of the ecology around them. Taking random performance-increasing meds is not going to be the long-term solution you want.
Hador
09.09.22 01:34:33 pm
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Raisun
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I sure as hell do want to jack up all Olympic games athletes with maximum amount of drugs possible, to see how wild can shit get lol /s

Jokes aside, meds and drugs are not the way to solve all the problems mankind has, as it simply only alleviates the problems (especially ones related to social and economy-based topics). You are probably better off asking on Reddit rather than here.

That being said, advances in medicine we did in the last few decades are amazing, you would have to massively invest into all the fields related to it and to pass all legislative procedures (or even better yet, change it yourself) to make your idea work. This is not something a one person can do though, and not everyone would be willing to undergo such changes. The theory and your reasoning behind this are understandable, however implementation is near-nigh impossible, atleast at this point.
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10.09.22 10:55:28 am
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ModJuicer
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user Raisun has written:
implementation is near-nigh impossible, atleast at this point.


That is how it seems, of course, but fortunately I have very real evidence to back it up. You see, it's one of those ideas that seems bad, until you see how large the potential benefits are. Even looking at a fairly pessimistic view, there are too many potential benefits to discount the idea. It's one of those ideas that seems bad unless you have intimate knowledge with the subject matter. Just like how knowing about exactly how genetic engineering works will make you more aware of the potential to help, rather than harm, it is much easier to think something is a bad idea than to prove it. Implementation may be a political and legislative struggle, but that entirely depends on your country, culture, etc.

user Hador has written:
If you want the general population to be happier and more productive, pay them a decent livable wage, encourage them to be physically active and more mindful of the ecology around them. Taking random performance-increasing meds is not going to be the long-term solution you want.


Very, very interesting... Funny enough, if the economy is doing good everyone gets a decent wage. If people are happier, they are generally more productive, and vice versa. Also, you mentioned the general population; I guess I forgot to mention who would be receiving the medications, and via which process. Personally, I believe the best first-candidates would be people who get frustrated at work, cannot focus, or have other indicators that, no matter what job they have, they will never be much of a help to the economy or increase their own personal wealth, and people like this generally live a miserable existence. Also, about your point on antidepressants, the article does not appear entirely conclusive (I personally actually have experienced side effects from the ssri I take, but it is due to increased stomach acid, which is predictable, considering the meds effects serotonin, which regulates digestion speed in the stomach, but I can just eat more to fix the problem.), and although there are, I'm sure, side effects, that issue is entirely negligible, and for one important reason; the people who enact the policy will know this, because the world isn't run entirely by incompetent fools, despite what the recent state of democracy may make you think. They would be well versed in the side effects, and also keep reading because there's another reason too.

So now we have our targets - the weakest links in the economy, bound to eventually break if a solution to their situation is not found. Next we need to actually prescribe some sort of treatment. This can go a few different routes: medication, neurofeedback, some other shadowy treatment of the future, or in the case that it is primarily caused by situational issues, counseling and social help.

Second step: diagnosis. We could rely on a psychiatrist, but they're just medical politicians, and are much less accurate than brain scans. Brain scans are a 1-and-done deal. Because they look directly at your brain activity, they can be used to determine where there is too much or too little activity, and the person (and/or software) analyzing them will know exactly what type of medication (and/or other treatment(s)) are needed to get to become happy and productive again. (Thus brain scans=accuracy, and that's the second reason)

Third step: keep tabs on the patient, to ensure things stay good and they don't turn into a bubbling goo puddle over the weekend.

And of course, once the most significant outliers in the work force are treated, we can move on to slightly less significant cases, since development during the first phase would reduce costs of many aspects of the initiative. This is classic economics, and would lead to exponentially more brain-related medical knowledge, more self-awareness of how we think, and possibly even chances to apply what we learned to things like teaching, new philosophy concepts, and of course we're gonna go full neuralink and stick a bunch of wires in our heads . There is no practical reason for this to fail, (except for fringe conspiracy theorists claiming the government is using drugs to influence our minds actually being right )


One last word, I must note that:
user ModJuicer has written:
The only limit is our will, determination, and imagination, which is only limited by our state of mind

So for improving ecology and the state of matters in life, as well as fixing problems, I would argue that by increasing the capacity for people to deal with these issues, thanks to less time needed to deal with drama, stressing about how to do your job, etc., as well as increased intelligence and productivity, it's more likely to be a giant leap forward than a step backwards for mankind.

How able you are to solve the problems in life depends on your-
Quote:
will, determination, and imagination, which is only limited by our state of mind

And we know, by now, what the limit to that is, don't we...
11.09.22 12:21:25 am
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Hador
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user ModJuicer has written:
fortunately I have very real evidence to back it up.


You have population-sized independent peer-reviewed medical trials that show conclusively that implementation of nation-wide performance-enhancing medication programs work? Please do share, I'd love to read more about that.


user ModJuicer has written:
You see, it's one of those ideas that seems bad, until you see how large the potential benefits are.


So far in your argumentation based on a sample size of 1, which is, statistically speaking, not particularily relevant.

user ModJuicer has written:
Even looking at a fairly pessimistic view


What is the pessimistic scenario?


user ModJuicer has written:
It's one of those ideas that seems bad unless you have intimate knowledge with the subject matter.


Please do let us know in what ways you are intimately knowledgeable about the effects of long-term intake of medications on the human body.


user ModJuicer has written:
it is much easier to think something is a bad idea than to prove it.


Actually, it has already been proven to be a bad idea:

Quote:
Conclusions: The results support the hypothesis that ADs are harmful in the general population but less harmful in cardiovascular patients.


Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28903117/


user ModJuicer has written:
if the economy is doing good everyone gets a decent wage.


*laughs is capitalism*

People get decent wages if mandated by the government, not because the benevolent gods of capitalism think it would be nice to pay people on the lowest wage levels more of their profits. [citation needed]


user ModJuicer has written:
Personally, I believe the best first-candidates would be people who get frustrated at work, cannot focus, or have other indicators that, no matter what job they have, they will never be much of a help to the economy or increase their own personal wealth, and people like this generally live a miserable existence.


Then again to anyone's knowledge you are not a medical or pharmaceutical professional, so I wouldn't recommend anyone following your medical advise, especially not on the long-term intake of medications that have shown to be "harmful in the general population" (see above quote)



user ModJuicer has written:
I'm sure, side effects, that issue is entirely negligible.


I'm sure that you have not gained medical or pharmaceutical accreditation since your last sentence [technically, I assume, there is no actual way for me to know]


user ModJuicer has written:
The people who enact the policy will know this, because the world isn't run entirely by incompetent fools


insert corrupt politician/dictator/oligarch/kleptocrat laugh here


user ModJuicer has written:
They would be well versed in the side effects



Because no government has ever issued bogus medical advise, in the history of human civilisation. (exceptions here, here, here, here, here, here, and feel free to expand this list ad libitum)


user ModJuicer has written:
the weakest links in the economy


You have failed to define these so far - or are you meaning to suppose that the economy will collapse unless we all start taking antidepressants regularily?

user ModJuicer has written:
bound to eventually break if a solution to their situation is not found.


citation needed

The collapse of civilisation/the economy/currency/yo mama has been predicted by someone for as long as civilisation/the economy/currency/yo mama have existed. So far, it has happened rather sparingly throughout history, and never conclusively because of a lack of performance-enhancing meds shown to cause harm in the general population. [citation needed]


user ModJuicer has written:
Next


So after the collapse of civilisation/the economy/currency/yo mama?

user ModJuicer has written:
some other shadowy treatment of the future


So you admit that it's shady to hand out harmful meds to the general population?


user ModJuicer has written:
in the case that it is primarily caused by situational issues, counseling and social help.


I'm pretty sure taking antidepressants is only advised in combination with therapy or counselling, to avoid exposing people to long-term effects of exposure of antidepressants in the first place. (But don't quote me on that, I'm not a medical professional).


user ModJuicer has written:
We could rely on a psychiatrist


I suggest multiple, or you're going to have to deal with burnout of your one psychiatrist soon.


user ModJuicer has written:
they're just medical politicians


You want the only psychiatrist to also be a politician?


user ModJuicer has written:
Brain scans are a 1-and-done deal.


Buy 1 get 1 free at Target™ this Saturday.


user ModJuicer has written:
they can be used to determine where there is too much or too little activity, and the person (and/or software) analyzing them will know exactly what type of medication (and/or other treatment(s)) are needed to get to become happy and productive again. (Thus brain scans=accuracy, and that's the second reason)


If you want something that always works reliably in the same way in well-defined patterns, you want robots. They also tend to be immune to antidepressants and emotion-based performance fluctuations. [citation needed]


user ModJuicer has written:
Third step: keep tabs on the patient, to ensure things stay good and they don't turn into a bubbling goo puddle over the weekend.


This too, would be much easier with robots.


user ModJuicer has written:
once the most significant outliers in the work force are treated


Please give anyone who needs them to function well until they are treated the meds they need to cope, but stay away from trying to heal regular people. (see above quotations on why that may be a good idea)


user ModJuicer has written:
There is no practical reason for this to fail


Except for the fact that it is the brainchild of a random non-medical professional on the internet with no relevant training or backgrounds
Hador
11.09.22 08:47:54 pm
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ModJuicer
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Lots of interesting points. While some may be somewhat true, I noticed immediately that you did not recognize a few points I made. Firstly, antidepressants: I was not suggesting exclusive use of them and them only. A brain scan can determine what class and type of medication will help someone. Just ask Dr Amen.
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You have population-sized independent peer-reviewed medical trials that show conclusively that implementation of nation-wide performance-enhancing medication programs work? Please do share, I'd love to read more about that.

Seems like a very special definition for real evidence. I mean more about the fact that I can actually function in day-to-day life, and generally surpass my peers in ability nowadays thanks to meds. I used to be plagued with anger issues, poor cognitive ability, and the likes beforehand, now I can function well, program quite sufficiently (I have a job doing that) and have a deep sense of self-awareness.

Sample size, if including only myself, is, indeed, one. However, the quality of data from said sample is not to be neglected. I have manipulated my medication schedule to determine the effects meds can have on performance, and the results are much more than I originally expected. I see medication from a chaos theory perspective, where they set the conditions for patterns of thoughts to emerge. The more productive these patterns, the better.

Pessimistic scenario can be a few things. Economy doesn't have weak links, productivity isn't boosted as expected, not enough people are willing to sign up for the initiative, etc.

Quote:
Please do let us know in what ways you are intimately knowledgeable about the effects of long-term intake of medications on the human body.


I've taken them. For a decent portion of my life. Also, I have an interest in their workings. Any medication that works well enough has an overall better long term impact than none at all, and quite a few are proven to have a net positive long-term impact for the right people. Substituted phenethelamines (think amphetamine class) have a net positive impact on the lives of people with ADHD, and that is just among the small group of meds I take.

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You want the only psychiatrist to also be a politician

No. There is no need when you can have someone who fulfills the role of both psychiatrist and brain analyst.

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some other shadowy treatment of the future

I meant unknown, to be discovered, mysterious. Not shady and unethical.

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You have failed to define these so far - or are you meaning to suppose that the economy will collapse unless we all start taking antidepressants regularily?

No. The economy will do as the economy does. Since the economy is limited, in the end, by the will and skill of people to produce and innovate, this is merely a method of improving growth.

I liken the economy to a rocket attempting to deliver a payload to LEO. The rocket must have the thrust to lift itself against gravity, and any beyond that will make it rise. People must have food, shelter, and any other necessities for life, and anything beyond that will lead to economic growth. Thus, the amount of growth is like the altitude of the rocket, before reaching LEO, which I would liken to a post-scarcity economy, whatever that will look like.

Quote:
If you want something that always works reliably in the same way in well-defined patterns, you want robots. They also tend to be immune to antidepressants and emotion-based performance fluctuations. [citation needed]


There is enough automation in brain scanning. Actually, my neurofeedback specialist, of whom I know quite well because of a common interest, has shown me that by looking at the raw data, before it is put into interpretation software, actually leads to far more accurate results if you know how to read it. Bots won't rule the world, because they are only as good as are programmed to be.

Dispite your consent banter about antidepressants, they actually do what they say they do. All meds have side effects, good or bad, but we've gone a long way from bloodletting. When one is stuck in the details, instead of integrating them into the bigger picture, the details can be perverse to the end goal.

Also, your remarks on capitalism is somewhat justified, but it is unrelated. Also, I'm sure I skipped over some other unrelated comments that I just don't have time for.

I can see where you're coming from, but not what path it's leading you towards, so I will reserve judgement. Any further questions?

Edit: Another potential use of an initiative like this could be to help criminals overcome their tendencies for crime. Criminals are much likely to be mentally ill or unable to work for a living, due to either practical reasons or due to their mentality (which is generally difficult to change). Especially for those that want to improve, they could be scanned, put on the right meds, and maybe even be released (depends on the person) or at least be able to be productive, while on parole or in prison (and hopefully people can actually give them good jobs instead of prison labor being exploited by bad actors, like seems to be so common in the U.S.)
edited 1×, last 12.09.22 10:49:22 pm
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