But secondly (and almost more importantly) because it allows me to quickly get in a recommendation for probably my favourite book ever. If you haven't read Neal Stephenson's Anathem by now - you've been living outside of under the Geek Rock. Get back!
The core premises of the book is an alternate future where humanity has been rendered docile, almost giving up on intelligence for the sake of a more comfortable, less stressful existence. The clever few are separated at birth and placed in the future-equivalent of monasteries. And then the grandest story of all begins...
It's a cracker read - especially since we're all starting to notice how futuristic technology is becoming. It's a great time to be alive. But with great Moore's Law comes great responsibility.
And hey, I'm all for alternative crime solutions. Drugging criminals might be going a bit far - but a square cell doesn't really seem to be doing the trick either.
NEW CHILL PILL TO FIX SOCIETY
Dopamine hailed as the new weapon in the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour
Dateline: 1 June 2021
In 2019, Lyla Roberts was assaulted at a bus stop in London. A bystander recorded the incident and posted it online, instead of intervening. The title of the post: "5 star entertainment! Who needs the movies!?" Roberts spent four months in a coma before being declared brain dead. It shocked the world, but has also inspired a pharmaceutical breakthrough.
The newly released drug is called Lyla and is grounded in years of research which also produced an oxytocin-inducing nasal spray. Lyla works by increasing dopamine in the brain and results in people becoming more compassionate and fair-minded. They also feel a lot happier.
Indian correctional facilities will pioneer a cognitive rehabilitation approach by prescribing Lyla to criminals. According to the Health Minister, the drug will help to create better citizens. "It comes down to social education. We'll be 'teaching' criminals appropriate conduct by altering their brain chemistry. Besides, it's for the common good of everybody; it's not like we're lacing the water supply with drugs to keep an oppressive regime in power," he said.
Lyla looks like the wonder drug that will save the pharma industry itself. For many years, the use of LED light pulses to awaken people's happiness genes was a big blow to medicine-makers, but not anymore. Lyla has proven to be three times more effective than light therapy.
As for the gangsters and the disturbed onlooker who didn't try to help Lyla - they're being sentenced today. Word on the street is that they too will soon be drinking a certain pill a day, in order to keep the bad behaviour away.
Published 4 June 2015
Read the original story including research links and commentary on FutureWorld MindBullets