Mark had today off, so he and I went to see a matinee showing of the movie Limitless. It was shot in Philadelphia, even though the story was based in NYC, so one of the reasons we went to see it was to play "spot the landmark". They were doing some filming near Mark's workplace, and he saw things like street signs temporarily converted to New York intersections and SEPTA Subway-Surface stations temporarily disguised as New York subway stations. So it piqued his curiosity and he tracked down a used copy of the out-of-print book on which the movie was based: The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn. Fear not, no spoilers exist in the upcoming paragraphs.
The premise of the movie is what happens when a man obtains a supply of a drug that unlocks the full potential of the human brain. Although, as one would expect, there are major repercussions to ingesting such a substance (both medical and human, as in "having any connection to this stuff puts you in line to meet bad guys"), all I could think of were the potential benefits to be had if such a drug existed. I kept thinking, "Give me some of that drug and I'd go into the field of medical research. Imagine the disease cures I could discover with a four-digit IQ!" Mind you, I don't even like taking aspirin if I don't have to. But for the opportunity to leave the world a way, WAY better place than I found it? Yeah, that's a tradeoff I'd make.
Of course, the downside to such a drug existing, besides the health impact and those pesky Bad Guys, would be pretty major. The film didn't touch on the possible global implications of a renegade scumbag in a position of power taking the stuff. But I can imagine that a person like that would have the ability to turn the world into an even bigger dystopia than it already is. In which case, maybe we're all better off that said super-drug exists only in the realm of the imagination.
But oh, the good things that could result, if only that drug were real. I can picture it now.