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June 07, 2008

More Evidence of Dangerous Insanity

The cover of the July-August Atlantic that arrived by snail mail yesterday (but is not yet on line) was cleverly designed to resemble the ubiquitous Google logo. It asks provocatively if the search engine might not be making us “stoopid.” The cover worked as intended; I began reading Nicholas Carr’s piece almost immediately. The litany of complaints he lists in his first few paragraphs added interest because, although not recognized by Carr as such, they are symptoms of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), an entity that has commanded my interest for nearly seven years because so many of the pot smokers I’ve been interviewing have either been diagnosed with it or have easily recognizable variants.

To cut to the chase, Carr’s piece provides additional support for my growing belief that humanity is at a cognitive fork in the road: the decisions (choices?) now facing us represent a fleeting opportunity to mitigate the pain so obviously threatening the next several generations.

The entity  now known as ADD ADHD has been recognized since (at least) the mid- Nineteenth Century,  but wasn’t called that until the Nineteen Seventies when Paul Wender, MD, then a professor at the University of Utah, named it and reported its response to the stimulant methyl phenidate (Ritalin).  Since then it has been mistakenly (in my view) popularized as a “disease” for which an increasing number of patients of all ages are being treated with a growing list of pharmaceuticals.

At first mostly male primary school children, so many of both genders and all ages are now being treated for it and other Autism Spectrum Disorders that both the entities and their pharmaceutical treatment have given rise to backlash and controversy.

What I find especially disconcerting is the obvious failure of both intelligent pundits like Carr and all respected scientific institutions to note obvious connections between population growth, the increasing prevalence of anxiety syndromes, and the undeserved respect accorded to a globally enforced lunatic US drug policy.

I will have more to say about Carr’s important article later; my own ADD is forcing me to deal with some essential details needed for survival on this desperately overcrowded planet...

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at June 7, 2008 06:19 PM