A BETTER YOU….Via Andrew Sullivan, Johann Hari describes his experiment taking Provigil, the pill that college students describe as “Viagra for the brain”:

I picked up a book about quantum physics and super-string theory I have been meaning to read for ages, for a column I’m thinking of writing. It had been hanging over me, daring me to read it. Five hours later, I realised I had hit the last page. I looked up. It was getting dark outside. I was hungry. I hadn’t noticed anything, except the words I was reading, and they came in cool, clear passages; I didn’t stop or stumble once.

Perplexed, I got up, made a sandwich — and I was overcome with the urge to write an article that had been kicking around my subconscious for months. It rushed out of me in a few hours, and it was better than usual….The next morning I woke up and felt immediately alert. Normally it takes a coffee and an hour to kick-start my brain; today I’m ready to go from the second I rise. And so it continues like this, for five days: I inhale books and exhale articles effortlessly. My friends all say I seem more contemplative, less rushed — which is odd, because I’m doing more than normal. One sixty-something journalist friend says she remembers taking Benzadrine in the sixties to get through marathon articles, but she’d collapse after four or five says and need a long, long sleep. I don’t feel like that. I keep waiting for an exhausted crash, and it doesn’t seem to come.

I want some! Maybe not permanently or anything, but I have to admit it would be interesting to give it a try and see if I suddenly started churning out dozens of brilliant blog posts a day.

Of course, there’s always the possibility that Provigil would be bad for blogging. Perhaps I’d get an idea, slip into a zone, and only emerge five hours later. The resulting post would be brilliant, I’m sure, but I’d only crank out one or two a day. That’s not much of a blog. Perhaps there are advantages to a short attention span.

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