Why motivate when you can medicate?

I recently (and luckily) survived my comprehensive exam in the PhD program. I was dissapointed however to not see a real question on motivation in the bunch. Admittedly, I was disappointed primarily because I had prepared for such a question. No matter, however, since in the decades upcoming, the “traditional” means by which we might motivate people could fall by the wayside.

Kevin Bullis, over at TechReview, asks a seemingly simple question… whether we should make cyborg soldiers? Whether we should or should not, we are going to, which I think everyone realizes. A cocktail of nano-whatnots and courage-building drugs would turn the average soldier into the stuff of which heroes are made. So is the assumption.

Off the battlefield, in our cubicles, it would seem that same kind of attitude and ability altering technologies have begun to appear. Large numbers of employees are on anti-depressants or combinations to oversome shyness, sleelessness, and may other -nesses.

Are we prepared, ethically, to determine whether offering employees substances designed to aid their cognitive or physical abilities, or their motivation, would be wrong or right? Would employees use them anyway, in order to make an extra buck or two?

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