The struggle to find a drug that makes you so fast that you save more time taking it than you lose reading about it

Medication for brain performance enhancement. Anecdotally ubiquitous amongst the next cohort of my highly competitive field, and dotcom types. Tweaking brains with ‘smart drugs’ to get ahead in Silicon Valley is notorious. Also my brief contact with finance types leads me to believe it is common there. I am sure it is in many industries besides.

My advice on this is of course worthless, as I know nothing of pharmacology etc. But even if I did, I would not endorse the taking of performance enhancing drugs without professional medical and legal advice regarding your compliance with local governmental regime and its positioning/branding..

Is ISRIB any good?

Some people like Zembrin.

DIY? “Neurohacker toolbox”. Scott Alexander speculates: Cognitive enhancers: mechanisms and tradeoffs. Relates to Gwern’s Drug Heuristics.

Aella, Are you just pushing the “insight” button? on taking LSD for the (feeling of?) insight.

SMBC on uppers

In practice, most nerds seem to take modafinil plus some other things. A profusion of sites with names like Nootropics Depot,, and and presumably suggest that doing this without prescription is pretty common. One might imagine it is a kind of ‘viagra for the brain’ niche that is being filled here. I am unclear how legal that is, nor how safe, nor how effective it would even if it were safe or legal.

Recently there is interest in Zembrin.


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