By now you may have seen Limitless, or you’ll at least have heard about the basic premise: Bradley Cooper takes a special little pill that amps up his brain, lets him see clearly, think better, and just plain be all around smarter. It lets him write a brilliant novel in four days; he makes a killing day trading not only because he grasps the math required but also because he’s suddenly sees the underlying patterns in human behavior that drive the market. The problems that arise from his use of the pill are driven more by the shady drug underworld through which he acquired his stash (though he didn’t realize it at first) than they are by the negative side effects the drug has on his body.
It’s all very much action-thriller-suspense movie oriented, and of course it must be. (Even the novel-writing subplot is dismissed pretty quickly.) But there are lots of other possibilities for a drug that maxmizes human potential, things that wouldn’t make for an exciting movie but might make for a thoughtful, truly science-fictional movie… not to mention a far better real world, were such a drug actually in widespread use. Would someone find a way to peacefully resolve ethnic disputes (as in sub-Saharan Africa or the Middle East) in a way that would satisfy everyone involved? Would someone figure out how to fix global warming? Would someone invent an entirely new kind of artwork that we cannot even conceive of yet?
What would you do with a Limitless pill? Are there things that you would like to do but feel that they’re beyond your capabilities now? What would the positive and negative side effects of your endeavors be, for yourself and for the world at large?
(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)