Red - Column for 4/11

Perfection Pending

Here is the second installment of that creepy utopia article I was writing about two weeks ago. It is also a thought about the effect of customization of on a product - pharmaceuticals -- and it is also not very far away.

I think that as soon as the licensing problems can be worked out, that drug stores, especially on-line drug stores, will be able to offer combinations of prescription drugs. Very soon after that it will be possible to have doctors prescribe you carefully balanced combinations unique to you, which will arrive at your door in the form of just one pill that does everything. You just take it in the morning with your vitamins (although it might include your vitamins too) and your anxiety, allergies, and weight problems go away.

Grad school getting her down, well, lets raise her anti-ADD dose, and maybe put her on a light anti-anxiety drug. Of course, the anti-anxiety drug does increase weight-problems, and she has a tendency that way anyway...

Drugs are being invented and applied to new uses at an astonishing rate, and they have interactions, so it would be a good idea to have some centralized place that kept track of all the meds you may be on. And the ability to customize the dosage will mean that people could be put on micro-doses for non-severe problems. So if you don't have real Attention Deficit Disorder, but you still get sleepy in the afternoon a timed-release micro-dose of Ritalin may be for you.

The eerie thing for me is that if they invented a tailor-made pill for me that could make me happier, more productive at work, and thinner, I would take it.

As has already become true in so many other areas, this will probably lead to people being perfected. Essentially it raises the standards that one must adhere to just to stay in the game. You have to think faster, be stronger, be more attractive than you would naturally. And, of course, you must respond cheerfully to the added stress of these ever-higher levels of expectations.

If you can't, that's OK too...it just means it's time to raise your dosage.

Columns by Red