They essentially IGNORED the really BIG story...

Eugene Leitl
Tue, 4 Dec 2001 13:35:33 +0100 (MET)

On Tue, 4 Dec 2001, Jeff Bone wrote:

> Who says you can't?  From a purely physical perspective, look at the
> sharks. But to answer your question:  some of the researchers who have

Look at bacteria. Duh. Sharks are extremely dumb, ancient critters. They
don't have to learn much. Mammals they're not.

> been keeping an eye on the development of Provigil seem to think that
> a lot less sleep is sustainable, with proper chemical tweaking.

I think prolonged tests would show you don't learn well on Modafinil. It's
okay when you have to reproduce previously learned tasks, but it's not
good for a brainworker. I intend to try out that drug, but for very
specific circumstances. Like parties, and multi-day conferences.

> Yeah yeah, this is the garbage collection hypothesis.  Highly
> speculative. Very fashionable, but rather unsupported.

I'm not a neuroscientist, but I've seen a number of papers showing
dedicated tasks occuring during sleep in mammals. And I would assume
primates are again very special among mammals.

> It doesn't take total Sleeplessness in order to have the profound
> competitive impact I'm talking about.  All it takes is the ability to
> elect when to sleep and the ability to work for longer than standard
> periods with no immediate degradation of performance --- exactly what
> Provigil claims to offer.  That's enough to start the process.

This is of critical importance in the military. Economy, dunno. Could be
useful for deadlined projects running late, but there's something very
wrong with a company that tends to persist in that regime. Quality people
wouldn't want to work for such a company.

> As for how tightly integrated into our architecture sleep is, that
> remains to be seen.  We know very, very, very little about sleep at
> this point.

We know that lack of sleep can kill. And not only performance.