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My WB society's motto is: Education is paramount for the advancement of society. A group of pharmaceutical companies have perfected a drug for children to young adults, ages 6 to 16, that allows for nearly side-effect free, extreme mental acuity, focus and accelerated learning. This society has chosen to mandate that all school children during those ten years be on the medication in order to finish our current day education process from kindergarten to doctoral thesis with elevated comprehension and retention.

Up until age 6, children stay with their parents and are not required to be in school. After age 6, they begin the process of "hyper education" and are required to stay medicated during the entire time period. After age 16, the drug's effect quickly taper off and the child returns to a normal level of mental acuity and focus (Whatever levels they were predispositioned to have)...no longer term or permanent effects from the drugs exist...however, the knowledge and understanding acquired during the previous 10 years remains.

The drugs have the advantage of making the children docile and obedient. Juvenile delinquency all but disappears, and when any child does act up, they are immediately tested and if found to be off meds, they are pulled away from the parents to be kept in camps until they turn 16 where they can "Focus on their education."

For a society that places a huge emphasis on education...what kind of resistance might this be met with? If there was little emphasis placed on individual liberties, would this be easier to push through? Or what attributes about society would make this justifiable?

Would it be more tolerable if the age range was say 10-20? Thereby allowing children to have more of a childhood before the transition into productive adults?

EDIT

No brainwashing, just an honest desire to push the bounds of learning and education for the betterment of the society. The society's motto is the motivation.

The drug would only be effective between certain ages. There are plenty of drugs currently that have the opposite effect on kids that they have on adults. There has been no break through in using the same drug on adults....as stated, the effects taper off at a certain age.

Children on the medication are not zombie like...just not hyper active, they are non-disruptive. The increase in learning piques the normal curiosity and the children also do their own research.

I had originally thought of it as a version of the Limitless drug NZT-48...but with the 'limits' of an age range...and no side effects. If you knew you could learn almost anything....but only during a certain time window...it would focus you even more.

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    $\begingroup$ Excuse me while I add 'The Wall' to my playlist. $\endgroup$ – Snow Dec 21 '16 at 13:44
  • $\begingroup$ This is a hugely broad and opinion based question right now. I'd recommend focusing down on one aspect or removing some of your 'what if' considerations or this is going to be nigh-on impossible to answer in an objective fashion. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Dec 21 '16 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ Suggestions for tightening up this question - Is state-sanctioned brainwashing part of the plot line here? Is there a reason why children need to be educated to such a high level in this timescale? Without some reason for the enforced education, the question is very hard to answer.... $\endgroup$ – Snow Dec 21 '16 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ I think you may need to expand on the "docile and obedient" portion. Do the children go zombie like and absorb anything they are taught with out question? Or does the drug still allow for questioning things and exploring subject matter from different angles via research? $\endgroup$ – Culyx Dec 21 '16 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ Don't students in your country use coffee? That's a drug, and I distinctly remember using it to stay awake to read the textbooks before exams. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Dec 21 '16 at 15:21
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That's an interesting question. I think for the children it would be a lot less unpleasant than current educational regimes - especially if your parents are tiger-mom types. My impression of your drug is that it would create monomaniacal focus, submission to authority, contentment and perhaps even happiness when studying, and an intense curiosity about the world.

One important question to consider is why administration of this drug is not continued with adults? Any nation with hyper focused, obedient adults would have a GDP growth rate that would be the envy of China. This drug would also increase the effectiveness of the military tremendously. Most importantly, a leader who instituted a policy of administering obedience drug to all citizens would never lose his position of power.

Assuming there is some mechanism which makes administration of the drug to adults impossible, individualism-oriented societies (like the USA) would generally find the administration of the drug to children abhorrent, despite it making for objectively happier childhoods. I suspect it would be more popular in societies which believe that childhood should be a period of very hard study such as China and Singapore.

There would of course be a massive race for the development of a similar drug which works on adults. Billions would certainly be spent on that. It would be a dream drug for say, North Korea.

The use of this drug would kick off a technological singularity of a sort. Any generation given this drug would be vastly better educated than unaugmented peers. For a variety of reasons, this increased education level would appear to casual observers to be a significant boost to intelligence. There is currently a large cultural gulf between people with high and low levels of education. They vote differently, worship differently, consume very different media, and do different things with their time. People with more education are healthier, wealthier, and live longer.

What I'm trying to say is that I don't think people who had drugged childhoods and people who did not would have much in common. This would create huge societal divisions. In particular, the first generation to have the drug would not be able to identify very well with anyone older than themselves. This would be a generational rift like we have never seen.

People who had to skip parts of their childhood often maintain an increased level of playfulness and interest in childish things for the rest of their lives. I would expect this to be the case for the adults who were drugged as children. This would also be a nice twist on the expectation that these kids would be over-educated automatons as adults, but instead are often found playing with toys or playing tag with each other.

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree that if adults were able to take the meds, the story would unfold quite differently. That's why the drug is only good for a certain age range. If children had until, say 10 with no structured education...just those first 10 years to be kids...and then went through the process...might that be more acceptable to a wider range of cultures? Of course, this society can certainly feel foreign...I'm not against that. $\endgroup$ – Rdster Dec 21 '16 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ I'd add that, children being children, they'll also be using the focus and accelerated learning effects in their spare time. To memorise the names of every dinosaur ever discovered, or to hone their deck-building skills in collectable card games, or spend hours and hours on Minecraft. Basically to take what normal kids obsess about and turn it into an OCD thing which panics parents! $\endgroup$ – DrBob Dec 22 '16 at 12:34
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What kind of resistance might this be met with? Today, despite clear and overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, there are those who believe the earth is flat. There are those who refuse to immunize their children for various reasons. There will be many who refuse just to refuse. There will be others that will worry about the long-term effects of the drugs. still others will resist due to moral or religious grounds.

The government need not be heavy-handed. Those who refuse will be horribly disadvantaged. This will create a great deal of social pressure to submit to the drugs. The government can cite the grievous disadvantages the undrugged children will endure as a way to encourage parents to agree. I would say about 1% or less would elect to avoid the drug.

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  • $\begingroup$ That's a great point....it doesn't have to be mandated, the simple risk/reward trade off would make almost everyone participate. Those that don't will be left behind and only have a chance at getting the 'dirty jobs'. $\endgroup$ – Rdster Jun 7 '17 at 11:58

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