Wednesday, 13 March 2013

I don't like the drugs but the drugs like me.

I almost thought about writing this in the fashion blog, because drugs in the dystopian future of the 21st century are as much brands as Gaultier or Apple.  Prozac, Ritalin, Zoloft, Heroin. You know them by their brand names, not their generic or chemical names.  But do drugs belong in the tech blog?  Well, drugs are technology aren't they?  They're just chemical and biological instead of electrical or mechanical.  They're the first tech humans learnt to make, probably

We, that is, mammals, have a thing for getting out of it.  Or, into it. 

Full disclosure: i've been on prozac on and off, since the early 90s.  For me, its a performance enhancing drug.  A steroid for the mind.  Can i cope without it?  Well, yeah. Cope.  At least once i get past the nasty withdrawal symptoms.  But who wants to just 'cope'?  I don't.  Without it i get on and off nasty depressions followed by manic self-destructive highs. Horrible horrible mood swings, the black dog, all of it.  I have, over the years, learned to cope with that, but coping isn't good enough.  I've got things to do, places to go, people to be.

We use tech to enhance what our bodies can do, is chemical technology any different?  With the aid of machines i can enhance my muscle power to allow me to travel faster than i ever could by just running.  Its called a bike.  If i want to go further and faster, the tech is a car or a plane. If i need to remember detail, there's my smartphone or my laptop.  Command an orchestra?  Samplers and sequencers.  Talk to the other side of the world? I'll just bounce an electric signal off a satellite, easy.

So, getting back to prozac, or fluoxetine to give it its 'low calorie cola' generic name.  It was prescribed to me when i was looking for methods of disposing of my existence that wouldn't hurt too much or leave too much of a mess.  That's its emergency use, its medical intent.  Now?  Life improves, you learn to cope, you get by.  But its the 21st century, the high pressure adrenalised modern world we keep seeing in adverts for cars and tablet computers.  'Get by' isn't enough.  I use my 'happy pills' in the same way that i use the gadgets that enhance the rest of my life.  It helps me concentrate. It puts the brakes on my mood swings.  It helps me to be productive, it controls the 'crazy' into 'creative'.  It enhances my performance.  It's technology, just the same as my phone or my bike or my PC. 

I don't like the drugs but the drugs like me.

Also, i quite like the drugs.