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Let me confirm something you already know on a gut level; the supplement industry is a capitalist's wild wild west, a profiteers paradise, an unregulated free market, and consumers should beware.
While the ubiquitous white Nutrition Facts box you see on the labeling of packaging looks official, anyone with basic word processing software can create such a representation of the ingredients ostensibly in a product.
When you realize that no one verifies that the actual individual ingredients are in a given product, you realize how much of a decision to buy and take an supplement is based upon trust.
The Nutrition 'Facts'
When supplement companies sell products to consumers they can almost count on the consumers not verifying what they are consuming. Sure the consumers could send products off for testing at 3rd party laboratory but that costs between hundreds and thousands of dollars. While there are some consumer spectroscopy devices coming to market that promise to disrupt multiple industries that prey on the voracious consumer, at the current time consumers have virtually no way of personally determining what they are actually putting in their bodies.
The good news is that one of the really easy ways to make almost certain that you are getting the real stuff is to insist on always buying Pharmaceutical Grade supplements. Why trust Pharmaceutical Grade?
Jason's first thought I've spent all the damn day gaming! Now I'm probably late to my date with Astrid and she'll never want to see me again!
As he paused the game he self criticized... Jason you fucking addict! How much of your damn life are you going to waste with these sims?
However, relief flooded his mind as soon as he saw the time, 6:14PM I still have 90 minutes to get ready for my date and book it over to water fountain park! It's only like 5 minutes by auto taxi.
Jason was near the top of the cognitive enhancement roller coaster; sitting in the nerve center of his little online gambling empire which he had designed with sensory deprivation in mind, he was almost overwhelmed with sensation, sound and sight. His hearing was as sharp as a bat's, from his high rise condo he could differentiate the individual sounds outside his window that were usually a smörgåsbord of generic city noise; a car's squeaky brakes, a motorcycle revving, a metro train crossing a bridge, a car's engine starting, a woman yelling and a horn honking. The glowing of screens of the nerve center sharply contrasted the dusky spectrum of colors in the sky outside. The screen displayed various live reports of digitally quantifiable aspects of Jason's life; his rankings in various gaming tournaments, the performance of the investments he had made in various funds, emails and social media notifications along with a slew of biofeedback date, his heart rate variability, blood sugar levels even his proportion of alpha to gamma brain waves. In just a few seconds he could glance from screen to screen, take in and analyze about 50 different metrics.
I should really eat something soon! But... It really would be a shame to waste this buzz! He resumed playing.
The two curvaceous figures in the bed didn't seem to pay a lot of mind to the new intruders in their chamber. He approached their bed, they didn't react much, although one of them uttered in a low, sultry voice "Geia (yah)" - "Hello" in Greek, as she brushed her hair off her shoulder. He smiled widely and slowly at her.
I was on a sales call recently, I wasn't that confident about the call being worth my while, but I have a sales process I follow regardless. So I smiled and dailed, half way through the sales call the balance of my Paypal account had increased by more than $2000.
Now this doesn't happen to me everyday, in fact my experience of the business world and capitalizing on opportunity as been very asymmetrical - feast or famine; when it rains it pours. My experience is that it's not a numbers game, good fortune is due to almost invisible meta factors, which conspire in rare moments to create windfalls, when they do it's worthwhile to analyze why.
Recently a blogger in the Biohacking space, Mans Denton of TheHackedMind.com, was sentenced to 8 years in prison for theft of historical holocaust documents. Apparently Mans had worked at The Mazal Holocaust Library in San Antonio, Texas and he pilfered several thousand documents with the intent to sell them to the highest bidder online.
When I first heard this story, I had three quite contrary reactions:
Disgust - At this man adding insult to injury to an entire people, by trying to profit from the theft of such ethnically sensitive documents.
Fascination - The part of me that's probably seen too many heist movies and enjoyed reading the autobiography of a thief who stolen $30 million in jewelry wonders how it went down... Did he just pack everything up in his backpack? Did he have to sneak in during the dead of the night? Was it a one man job or were there accomplices?
Curiosity - What Nootropic stack was he on? What inspired him to do this? Is this a case of smart drugs gone bad? How much did he make off the sale of the documents?
Just a week before his sentencing he was interviewed on one of the voices of the industry, Smart Drug Smarts podcast. I encourage you to listen to his interview, he comes across as a level headed and articulate 'normal guy' (well... normal for a Biohacker!)
Thankfully the mainstream media's coverage of the story didn't make the connection between Denton's dabbling in the smart drugs industry and his diabolical crime. However, Mans's crime is an excellent example of how ripe a target our industry is a highly publicized ethics crisis that destroys the credibility of products which genuinely make people happier and healthier.
This article will dive into the millenniums old, yet rarely practiced mindset of ethical hedonism along with exploring it's biological implications.
The core belief of hedonism is that people should do everything in their power to achieve the maximum amount of pleasure. It is also the idea that every person's pleasure should far surpass their amount of pain.
However, when we think of hedonism we usually think of...
These are all things that are really enjoyable, but we also think of them as self destructive, or at least irresponsible and juvenile. We get massive spikes of the feel good nuerotransmitters; serotonin and dopamine from them. In fact that is why we say: That party was dope or that DJ was dope!
Ethical hedonism is a philosophy first articulated Aristippus of Cyrene, a pupil of Socrates. Aristippus wasn't a big believer in an after life so he figured that as long as you were above ground you might as well be enjoying yourself. He held the idea that pleasure is the highest good in the world. The other students of Socrates believed that the greatest good was to:
Aristippus was like: Fuck that noise! The greatest good is to get wasted on wine and have an orgy with a bunch of hot, young greeks.
He believed that pleasure was the ultimate good and I mostly agree!