I feel as though this cause should expand beyond chemicals. Research into nootropics already grabs a lot of attention from entrepreneurs, who seem to have little chance of improving the cost-effectiveness of substances at scale. I also find it highly unlikely the government steps in anytime soon to try to reduce costs and improve distribution since they already can't get a grip on pharmaceutical costs. Even if they somehow pulled that off, nootropics might negatively impact society by reducing creativity (unless of course psychedelics are considered cognitive-enhancing substances).
Substances such as creatine already have an expanding literature and others like NMN, modafinil, l-carnitine, etc. don't seem to be lacking for clinicians interested in conducting more trials.
It seems like EA should incorporate technology and behaviors into the discussion. Maybe hire someone from Neuralink to write a great article like this cause profile, or link to outside research on the effectiveness of brain training, playing chess, meditation, and other activities on improving IQ (and even EQ).
I know the list of things that could ultimately boost your cognition is potentially endless, but I was hoping EA would help me break this down into actionable career paths as I am concurrently fascinated yet confounded as to where to even begin trying to transition into the industry and start contributing to this endeavor. As a commenter below pointed out, if AGI advancement outpaces research in this area due to funding, legal, or other constraints, why even bother with inferior methods of cognitive enhancement? Neuralink might be the most logical solution to pursue.
Anyone like myself who arrives at this area of EA without a background in neuroscience, pharmacology, psychology, clinical science, or artificial intelligence, may wind up without a compass on where to focus their efforts in transitioning into this field and making a meaningful contribution.
I was close to becoming a statistic of someone who started reading 80,000 hours but never completed the career planning program. I am coming back now as I need some direction.
Of all the global priorities, I gravitate toward those that focus on improving physical and mental health. As someone who deals with chronic pain and is in between jobs, nothing consumes my attention more than alleviating physical and mental suffering.
I am curious if anyone in the community spends their work life thinking and working on increasing longevity, eliminating chronic pain, improving athletic performance, or improving individual reasoning or cognition.
As I am searching for jobs that align with my interests and considering going back to school, I would be grateful for any insight that the community has to offer with regard to pursuing these different fields.
I am 32 years old and unfortunately, 10 years of medical school is no longer appealing. I've thought about biotech and IT because of the limitless upside that tech generally can leverage in terms of health outcomes and even salary, but I'm overwhelmed about the best place to begin to get into those fields.
I'm also thinking about PA school, but I feel like that might place limits on making a larger impact given the connotations (implicit and otherwise) of being an "assistant".
Thank you for reading this far and for any advice you are willing to share!