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Arment Dietrich

Wired magazine, promoting the user

By: Arment Dietrich | May 20, 2008 | 
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Blog written by Elizabeth Holland

In this month’s issue of Wired the front page feature gives readers tips on how to enhance brain function with “12 Ways to Super-Charge Your Brain”. One section, “Give Your Intellect a Boost-Just Say Yes to Doing the Right Drugs!” highlights or should I say promotes the use of “brain enhancing” drugs – some legal some not. Their research was based on more than 50 readers who wrote in with their “regiments” further detailed on Wired.com. Readers who aren’t experts but are nonetheless presented as valid sources. Wired.com’s only warning noted that the suggested regiments were not certified by the Food and Drug Administration  so experiment at your own risk.

                                               

In one account ,an anonymous liberal arts student describes his use of Adderall. “In my senior year of college, I wrote a 35-page political science thesis in less than 12 hours. I received an A on the paper. I have never felt more creative more focused and more energetic as a result of taking these drugs.”

Now if that’s not a promotion  I don’t know what is. Thanks Wired – not only have you promoted the use of various drugs but have backed it up with persuasive personal accounts and details on how to achieve a desired outcome.  The article just falls short of listing the number of your local pharmacist and drug dealer.

As reported by the New York Times managing editor of Wired explains “I do not think Wired could influence anyone to take Meth.” In the article ,a description of Methamphetamine use includes, “Increased concentration and creative output. Prolonged use can make you stupid and crazy. A possible side effect is imprisonment or death.”

Although I personally find the article somewhat entertaining, I do not think that it should be at the sacrifice of safety or ethics. Doesn’t a magazine with a circulation of 704,000 have a responsibility to the safety of it’s readers to also include the negative and potentially harmful effects of “brain enhancing” drug use?

While I am not so naive to think that people don’t take drugs to enhance work output, I don’t think Wired should be promoting the “user” as acceptable behavior.

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