The Ideal Drug!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by nihilated, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. nihilated

    nihilated Registered Member

    If one day we were to engineer a deep-brain stimulation device that would bring you happiness whenever you wanted it, how would the government and institutions try to regulate it?

    Do you think it will be priced at a pay-per-use rate (each time you activate it, it will cost you lots of $) or buy-once-becomes-yours?

    buy-once-become-yours will probably be extremely expensive at first, but will become cheaper as new technologies further develop.
    but pay-per-use will probably stay expensive, since companies will form trusts to keep their businesses lucrative in the long run

    Would this be a world where $$$ has the absolute power to buy happiness?
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009

  2. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    Don't we already have those drugs that make you temporarily "happy"? Like Ecstasy.
  3. Stab-o-Matic5000

    Stab-o-Matic5000 Cutting Edge in Murder

    *shudder* Ecstasy's one of those drugs I'd never touch. Prolonged use of it causes depression because it destroys the dopamine receptors in your brain. Besides, I don't trust pills that are prescribed to me by a doctor, let alone pills that are made in an illegal lab.

    As far as the original topic goes, however, a machine that directly stimulates the pleasure center of your brain would obviously be incredibly addictive, and thus would probably be heavily controlled, if not completely banned outright, in most countries.
  4. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    I'm going to say the same thing as ysabel; you have described ecstasy/MDMA or even SSRi's.

    We know what the happy trigger is in the brain and we also know how to activate it with ease. The magic solution being serotonin. The downside of finding happiness is that once you have experienced it, normality becomes that little more depressing. The grass is always greener on the otherside but then when the pill wears off you have to home again! So as far as governments regulating it, it has been illegal since the mid 80's.

    Interestingly the US govt. did have a play around with them in the hope of creating "Love Bombs" in the 90's (Link), imagine if that were a success Iraq would of been a whole new story, less orgy of violence and more just an orgy.
  5. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    I think the point of the OP is to ask about how a technique that induced euphoria without a later crash or other major side-effects might be regulated, etc. Hence the title: "ideal drug".
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  6. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    Problem is though there will always be a side-effect.

    Drugs only ever alter your perception, they become psychologically addictive because they make you feel good. The benchmark of happinness is raised thus lowering the standard of normality. Soon though, the drug enduced euphoria becomes the norm and we would be looking for the next level of induced happiness again, whilst at the same time the true (drug-free) normality is the stuff of nightmares.
  7. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    Really, I think any such technique or drug would be met with major skepticism at first: in the Western world, certainly. Hedonism has been so maligned over the past couple millennia that the term has come to refer to a reckless pursuit of short-term pleasure, so anything that induces positive feelings and shuts out negative ones, is likely to be taken as somehow threatening regardless of any demonstrations to the contrary. Whether it would be banned by the government would likely depend on the government, though. As for its costs, I suppose that depends on the costs of the technique, which we don't know since we don't know how to do such a thing currently.
    You're missing the fact that the psychological state of bliss corresponds to a physical brain state. So you could absolutely generate consistent euphoria that would never dull or become boring by maintaining the corresponding brain state in a subject. We can become bored or derive less pleasure from things that give us pleasure if we become overexposed, but it seems absurd to say that pleasure itself would be less pleasant over time.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  8. Nibbles

    Nibbles meep

    The title states the ideal drug and yet a device is mentioned. I assume it would release chemicals to stem depression. Steering back on track, if such a device were created, use would be charged per use. At the present state of the world people should face the reality.
  9. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    Im struggling to get my head around this, are they not both the same concepts?

    The way I see it to rate pleasure we must a have an alternate state to compare it to. If we are always euphoric can we still stipulate euphoria? Is as good as it gets, as good as it gets or would we desire more?
  10. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    When we experience something that makes us happy or gives us pleasure, it's due to chemicals stimulating certain areas of the brain. If you take ecstasy, for instance, the subsequent crash is the result of the resulting chemical imbalance. The direct stimulation of such areas bypasses that problem. It's been done before on accident with electrodes, but I doubt it's been repeated since not many people are going to volunteer to have their head opened up and brain randomly shocked to see what sensations or emotions they feel as a result.

    We can imagine two people having a sensation that they both find equally enjoyable but who nevertheless have different things to say about it (e.g. what number it would be on a scale from 1 to 10).
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009

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