Modafinil to Get Ahead: Is it Ethical?

Modafinil, one of the newest smart drugs to show up in universities and corporate offices, has reenergized the debate on nootropics—and whether or not these brain boosters are ethical. This “wakefulness agent” was originally designed to treat sufferers of sleep apnea and narcolepsy. It didn’t take long, however, for the medication’s other benefits to spark international interest. Namely, the pill’s ability to increase concentration and improve cognition.

As the debate on these smart drugs continues to buzz in the background, countless students, businessmen, and others have taken advantage of Modafinil’s powerful abilities as a means to get ahead.

The Rise of Nootropics

Nootropics are a category of medications known for their ability to enhance cognition. These medications have been on the rise for several years now, becoming one of the most debated topics amongst physicians. The popularity of these smart drugs multiplied over the years in universities across the world, as students passed them around in study halls to stay up late studying or to give their brain a boost before an exam.

Today, these pills have made their way out of the school campuses and into the corporate sphere with high profile businessmen, Wall Street traders, celebrities, and others openly exchanging these “limitless” pills. Online shops selling generic Modafinil online have set up shop and provide access to drugs like Modalert, Modvigil, Waklert, and Artvigil.

Benefits of Modafinil

Compared to other nootropics on the market, Modafinil has proven to be one of the safest options, as a non-addictive brain enhancer that is often even used by those who suffer from ADD and ADHD. In fact, many have switched to Modafinil from Adderall and Ritalin to help them stay focused and improve concentration.

Some of the top benefits of Modafinil include:

  • Increased concentration
  • Enhanced cognition
  • Improved memory
  • Increased wakefulness, especially for those who suffer from sleep apnea, narcolepsy, jet lag, or shift work sleep disorder
  • Improved creativity
  • Increased ability to stay focused for longer periods of time
  • Helped users stay awake for longer hours during the day

Students, entrepreneurs, and office workers who use Modafinil typically do so to increase their productivity, being able to work longer, faster, and better.

The Ethics of Smart Drugs

The biggest debate about nootropics, or smart drugs, is whether or not they are ethical. On one end of the spectrum, critics claim they are unethical as they allow users to produce better quality work than they would have without the drugs, possibly getting ahead of others who do not take nootropics.

Supporters of nootropics, on the other hand, argue that these medications merely allow users to take full advantage of the brain power that they already had. Today, there are medications, vitamins, and supplements to support nearly every part of the body, which is why supporters of nootropics defend the smart pill’s ability to provide support to the brain.

Whether or not these brain boosters are ethical, nootropics don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, in some settings, nootropics are so commonplace that taking them doesn’t allow the user to get ahead, but merely land on an equal playing field to others who are already taking these boosters. The ethicality of Modafinil to get ahead, in the end, is a personal choice, with the popular consensus swinging towards the acceptance of these pills.

Moving from Iraq to the USA & “The American Dream”

The Iraqi debt crisis is out of control. Often times, parents in Iraq hope and plead for their children to go to the United States with hopes for a better life. It is, after all, what seems to be the end all be all answer. The Iraqi parents believe that the second that their child lands in Iraq, in whatever mode of transport (often times not a commercial flight, rather via water channels or unmarked aircraft) that he or she chooses, that the American dream will be handed to them.

It is quite the opposite actually, and we are here to look at the story of Maryam, a 23 year old living in the United States for 8 years. Maryam was born in the heart of Baghdad and moved to the United States when she was 8 years old. “It seemed to be the place of opportunity and an opportunity to change my fate”, says Maryam, sipping on native Iraqi tea in a cafe during our interview. “I love the country, but what seems to be left out in the conversation that parents have with their children before sending them off is the debt that they will endure. The average American has tens of thousands of dollars of debt, and a vast majority of Americans die with at least one form of debt. You get a credit card, get some debt, and then wonder how long do late payments stay on a credit report because you made a mistake. This stays with you forever and it is different than the Middle East where credit is nonexistent. It’s these basic personal finance mistakes that parents don’t know about and cannot warn their young, naive children going to a new country about and that is what hinders them from the American dream.”

We thank Maryam for her time and expertise on this interview and hope to have more to you soon.

Welcome to Aswat al-Iraq

Aswat al-Iraq (in Arabic اصوات العراق, Kurdish ئه‌سوات ئه‌لعیراق) is an independent national news agency in Iraq, established in 2004. Funded by the United Nations Development Program, and with assistance from the Reuters Foundation and Internews, it produces over 60 stories a day in Arabic, some 20 to 25 in English and 15 to 20 in the Sorani dialect of Kurdish. All stories are published on the agency’s website. Aswat al-Iraq means ‘Voices of Iraq’ in English.

Aswat’s director is the Iraqi journalist and writer Zuhair Al-Jezairy, who in 2008 was a visiting scholar at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Its current operational base is in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, in the city of Irbil. The agency operates a network of reporters and stringers in all of Iraq’s 18 governorates, plus regional cities of importance to Iraqi news such as Amman, Cairo, Damascus and Tehran.

Its Arabic service has long been widely reprinted and used by media in Iraq and the wider Arab world, such as the London-based Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper, the Jordanian newspaper Ad Dustour, and the Saudi Press Agency. Its English service has been quoted in international media, such as the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, the UK’s the Guardian and Daily Mail, and Germany’s DPA, as well the NGO Amnesty International.

Three journalists who worked for Aswat al-Iraq have been killed, including Sahar Hussein al-Haideri, who in 2007 won a Kurt Schork award in International Journalism, and in 2008 posthumously won an Amnesty International UK Media award. Aswat al-Iraq was based in Baghdad until 2005, when it move to Cairo, citing security concerns. In Cairo it was hosted by the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. The desk moved to Irbil in the spring of 2007 and maintains a network of correspondents and editors in the Iraqi capital.[citation needed]

Aswat has served as a training school for journalism since its inception. Interviews with director Jezairy, editors, clients and supporters of the agency are online in Arabic, English and Kurdish.

Legally, Aswat is registered both as an offshore company in Cyprus and a non-profit organisation in the Kurdish autonomous region. Registration as an NGO in Baghdad is in process.