They essentially IGNORED the really BIG story...
Mon, 03 Dec 2001 20:01:29 -0600
Just got around to watching GMA on the Tivo, been busy today. A
truly HUGELY important story --- IMO *FAR* more society-changing and
profoundly important than Ginger --- has been mostly lost in the
noise over IT. GMA ran the story, but this would've been headliner
news all over if not for the Ginger thing.
Provigil / (Modafinil)  is a "highly selective CNS drug" that is
*on the market today* (approved for treatment of narcolepsy, but
being used more broadly) which creates a state of "gentle wakefulness
and alertness" in its user --- potentially for days on end,
eliminating the desire to sleep entirely. And it apparently does
this with none of the particular side effects associated with
traditional CNS stimulants (caffeine, amphetamines, etc.) Various
researchers have documented test subjects awake for 96+ hours with no
degradation on tests designed to measure the performance impact of
sleep deprivation. People can stay up FOR DAYS --- it's being used
today by the bomber pilots flying from Missouri to Afghanistan.
Interestingly, even when on the drug people *are* able to fall asleep
if they so desire. Folks, this is huge: it's the first step along
the path to sleep-free humanity, and if you don't think elimination
of sleep will have a PROFOUND impact on our society, go read Nancy
Kress's _Beggars in Spain._  Just intuitively, think about it:
we (on average) lose about 1/3 of our life to sleep today. Just
think what you could do with that extra hour lost to sleep for every
two hours of wakefulness!
Huge, huge, huge...