The “Pursuit of Happiness” will be one of the central research and business areas of the future. We are already today in the prequel in many areas of society. For which developments do we need to prepare?
Will we swallow or program happpines?
In the field of psychological effective pharmaceuticals, the line between illegal drugs and pharmaceuticals will continue to blur. The opiate scandal in the USA is only the tip of the iceberg. The ability to focus on any given time, change the mood, reduce distraction, and manipulate hormones that intensify sensation and binding are certainly useful in the right situation. The use undoubtedly also entails risks. So-called micro-dosing, in which stimulating drugs and pharmaceuticals are administered in very small quantities, is intended to prevent undesirable side effects like addiction and still release the invigorating stimulant. There is also the already mentioned deep brain stimulation technology available, to trigger feelings and states of mind with just the touch of a button. There can be no doubt that these developments will have an impact on societies and our lifestyle. In the long run, these issues will not directly endanger the continued existence of humanity and the planet. So why do we address it in this booklet?
What’s wrong with beeing happy?
The use of such “means to happiness” at school, university and work exerts considerable social pressure. It will become impossible to equal the ability to concentrate under the influence of drugs or by electrostimulation of the brain by mere practice or talent. While transgenic humans and cyborgs differ from the rest simply because they are different and probably need specialized training and working environments, in this case the unmodified Homo Sapiens is driven into a pharmaceutical and stimulant trap. This will lead to the danger of dependence and manipulation by companies – not only physical, but psychological or even factual. I am already now wondering why ADHD is diagnosed so frequently and treated mainly by taking pharmaceuticals in recent years. As a result, many children are officially on drugs as they go to school and get better grades due to increased concentration. To me personally this already seems to be a harbinger of the expected development.
What’s the world like for notoriously happy people?
Preventing the use of these drugs in school and professional environments through lobbying, collective action, education, and transparency seems to me to be valuable – even if I cannot see at present how it endangers the existence of the planet. More happy and productive people, even if they live perhaps shorter lives, would principally not be our main challenge. One topic that is still unclear and hard to evaluate could be that the way we view the world and how we assess it under the influence of such drugs. Will it make people less aggressive? Do they tend to look at everything in an un-reflected positive way? Do they simply not care about the state of the world anymore?
Next week we will look into other ways of becoming happy. Ways that possibly not entail the same amount of risk.