A former drug-dealer introduces Eddie to a new "smart drug", NZT-48, that changes the way he synthesizes disparate pieces of information while under its influence to produce insights and predictions people not on NZT can’t match. To cut a long story short, he overcomes his problems and by the end of the film has customised the drug to minimise the side-effects that has caused others to fall after sudden rises to fame, thus freeing himself from the need for a supplier.The Dark Fields, a sinister thread of growing conflict between the US and China is threaded through the book and, at the point of dying through withdrawals, the protagonist sees the US President on the TV, gorged on the drug, announce a war.
Smart drugs exist. Oxbridge Biotech argues that popping a pill to help you access more of your brain-power is no different from paying for private tutors. I disagree. Passing an exam - tutors or not - involves engaging your own mind and working hard to learn, because that is how to organically lay down neural connections that didn’t previously exist. The brain is the universe’s most complex machine, and boosting its performance with even the most smartly-engineered chemical is fraught with peril.
Where did I put that coffee?