Thursday, May 22, 2008

Soma anyone?

Holy shit, have you seen this report on the BBC? "Trust drug may cure social phobia", oh my Lord - save us.

You didn't know there was such a thing as social phobia did you? Well there is, and it's the thing that stops you giving money to people you already know will rip you off or disbelieving bullshit science reports on the BBC. Well saints be praised your misery of having a survival instinct will soon be at an end.

"Drug trials are under way and early signs are promising say the scientists...We found that oxytocin has a very specific effect in social situations. It seems to diminish our fears. Based on our results, we can now conclude that a lack of oxytocin is at least one of the causes for the fear experienced by social phobics. We hope and indeed we expect that we can improve their sociability by administering oxytocin."
According to the report, by sociability they literally do mean our susceptibility to being conned. They also go on to say that this would be really helpful to people with autism. Because that's what vulnerable people really need - a drug to make them more vulnerable. As if autism is just an extreme introversion you can cure with a chemical version of Babycham.

What could improve the world more than a trust drug (or "cuddle drug" as it's referred to at one point in the article)? Possibly having a don't trust drug perhaps? A leave me alone I'm thinking drug? If we put this in all the water supplies so everyone just goes round trusting that it will work out just fine they'd be no need to monitor all our calls and emails I suppose. Not that they'd do that round here, our government loves us.

Mauricio Delgado, a psychologist at Rutgers University, said: "While a degree of wariness may protect one from harm, being able to ''forgive and forget'' is an imperative step in maintaining long-term relationships. The reported oxytocin finding could provide a bridge for potential clinical applications."

Being forced to forgive and forget (in a completely untargeted way) is not a healthy substitute for coming to terms with the way things are in your own time. I can't be the only person to shudder when I read that this sort of thing has moved one step closer towards "clinical applications". A drug for every social ill makes for a very sick society.

PS: It's Carnival of Socialism time again, the next edition is due out tomorrow here, rush your emails to Dave with your suggestions if you've spotted a good left post that you think should be included in this edition.

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