Bank of China

The Cotard Delusion

We were in the final stages of testing a custom drug ordered by a large investment bank in China. Its purpose was to help their traders and programmers focus and make quick, rational, and emotionally-detached decisions, without the cardiovascular or dependency risks associated with traditional ADHD medication. The drug was well-tolerated and the test subjects showed marked improvement on the battery of cognitive and job-specific tests the bank had provided. The drug, we estimated, would be ready in a month. Our team was ecstatic; if the drug worked well for the bank, we would seek FDA approval of a slightly-modified version for the general public. Our company would profit enormously.

A few of my colleagues had tried the drug themselves in the latter portions of its testing phase. While such sampling was prohibited, it was impossible to prevent. They, too, had their work quality and general focus improve while under its effect. After listening to Rakesh gush endlessly about how much he’d benefitted from the drug, I figured it was time to give it a shot. I was used to ADHD medication. Until about a month ago, I’d taken both Adderall and Wellbutrin to aid my own attention issues. I only stopped because the last 15 years of daily usage had made me nearly immune to the focus-enhancing effects. I didn’t want to increase the dosage and stress my heart. Since our drug used an entirely different mechanism of action, I was excited to see if I’d benefit as much as everyone else.

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INSIDE the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s COSTUME INSTITUTE Benefit Celebrating the Opening of China Through the Looking Glass held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City - May 4, 2015