It's quite remarkable to note that one can justify the use of nootropics perfectly well, although one
could make an equally convincing case of why they are inherently harmful for the human metabolism. The first opinion would hold that function should dominate
form and, to use
a blatant computer science analogy, that minor glitches in the execution do not necessarily mean that a program is worthless. Bill Gates could, in fact, make a very good case of the bugs in any program
being essential features of that application, although justifying headaches and nausea as desirable results
of a dose of piracetam would be dubious at best. The second group would proceed on the grounds that mucking around
with the neurochemical basis of the nervous system translates into looking for trouble, period. They would justify
their claims by further pointing out that it would be simply irresponsible and
possibly suicidal for one to introduce foreign agents into one's metabolism since said chemicals could have completely
unpredictable and possibly disastrous effects on one's brain. To continue using successive and vaguely related computer analogies,
this group would liken any neurochemical to a bug in the operating system of a gigantic mission-critical server
with thousands of clients depending on it, the server symbolizing the brain while the clients substitute for the various organs and
metabolic systems throughout the body. Should the hub go down as a result of an unexpected effect of the
bug, the whole system would have to shut down. Insanity, amnesia, psychosis or worse, with no system operator
to help get the network running again.
Smart drugs happen to be the least dangerous in this respect, since they are manufactured to certain specifications
and lab tests give us at least a vague idea of what they are supposed to, and what they might, do. Still, both of the
above arguments apply.
Are smart nutrients any better? They are, after all, nutrients. How different can they be from a slice of cheese cake,
except being less tasty and doing more for you than what your mother claimed spinach would?
What about herbs? Surely they are as natural as ..... something that is very, very natural. If natural selection has allowed
them to flourish, then we need not be concerned about their dangers, correct?
It may be somewhat relevant to note that natural selection has also allowed leopards and carbon monoxide to form
part of our ecosystem, although neither would be considered particularly beneficial for one's existence despite their 'natural' quality.