The purpose of this article is NOT to make a case of which of the candidates for the 2016 US presidential elections have the more favorable combination of vices, virtues, liabilities and redeeming qualities.
Remarkably these candidates have spent cumulatively over a billion dollars yet from my observation at least, they are failing to employ some Biohacking strategies and tools that would make them all the more effective as campaigning candidates and politicians.
These would be my recommendations to the Trump and Clinton...
Trump is the candidate I support (if you want to know why you can watch a 90 minute debate in Kiev that I participated in) so I'll start with him.
My top recommendation to Trump would actually be Meditation.
Trump has a bit of an issue with empathy and impulsiveness. The business world richly rewards aggression and action. While empathy is certainly one of the most important human interpersonal skills, lacking empathy will not hold you back from being quiet successful in the business world, as evidenced by the prevalence of none violent psychopaths that are highly successful business people.
Politics is a field that actually requires a lot of empathy; to maintain a healthy, functional democracy we need representatives that can identify and emotionally understand the impact of politics on their constituencies.
Trump's only been a politician for less than 2 years, while he's been at the epicenter of the most meteorically impactfull political campaign in recent memory; he really needs to balance out his aggressive nature with some empathy.
World class pickup artists consistently practice and recommend meditation because it makes you more empathic, it makes you more aware of others emotions, which of course would make you a better seducer (or politician!).
From the Abstract of “Compassion Meditation Enhances Empathic Accuracy and Related Neural Activity.”
"This study employed a randomized, controlled and longitudinal design to investigate the effect of a secularized analytical compassion meditation program... Twenty-one healthy participants received functional MRI scans while completing an empathic accuracy task, the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test... These findings suggest that CBCT may hold promise as a behavioral intervention for enhancing empathic accuracy and the neurobiology supporting it."
A meditation practice is also one of the most effective Biohacks for empathy and impulsiveness; from a 2012 study Mindfulness meditation counteracts self-control depletion:
"However, participants who had meditated after emotion suppression performed equally well on the subsequent self-control task as participants who had not exerted self-control previously. This finding suggests that a brief period of mindfulness meditation may serve as a quick and efficient strategy to foster self-control under conditions of low resources."
For impulsiveness I would also recommend Oxiracetam, the discipline molecule, this is a very subtle smart drug that just imbues an extra degree of self control for 5-7 hours.
I would also recommend to Trump Dual N-Back training, which increases verbal intelligence.
Trump is clearly a powerful communicator, his supporters are more energized about him than other US Presidential candidate in recent memory, but no one would call him a really articulate communicator. If he's going to be America's representative on the global stage, he could benefit by bringing his speech up to a college graduate level.
Dual N-Back training, improves your mastery of vocabulary, from a 2014 meta-analysis of working memory training:
In practice, a wide range of tasks involving both verbal and nonverbal materials have been used to assess working memory skills...
It has been debated as to whether working memory capacity reflects separable, modality specific (verbal versus visual) systems or a domain-general cognitive capacity. Evidence from large-scale latent variable studies with both children (Alloway et al., 2006) and adults (Kane et al., 2004) supports the conclusion that working memory capacity is best thought of as predominantly a domain-general capacity...
The capacity tapped by these multiple measures of working memory capacity is typically conceptualized as reflecting some general limitation on attentional capacity
Here's the scatter plot of the effect on verbal memory:
Trump has a remarkable amount of drive and motivation for a 70 year old, during the campaign he's been doing like 7 rallies a week on average. Which is impressive but the downside of this workaholism (that he has to keep up for at least another 4 years if he wins) is that your autonomic nervous system gets essentially stuck permanently in a high stress mode. Trump could avoid a potential future nervous break down and maintain autonomic equilibrium by simply supplementing a cocktail of Adaptogenic herbs.
The parasympathetic nervous system is critical to regulating our stress response. Rhodiola rosea enhances parasympathetic function and fortifies the stress response system, improving our ability to overcome stress and reducing our risk of stress-related health problems. (840-842)
Moving on to Secretary Clinton, this is the candidate I oppose but there's no WAY she's going to read this, so I'll share my honest advice...
One of the Wikileaks emails revealed that Secretary Clinton is using Provigil also known as Modafinil, this is not the smart drug I would recommend to her unless she actually struggles with Narcolepsy which is the express purpose of this drug.
Provigil really promotes kind of like tunnel vision focus, your attention is really devoted to exactly what you are you doing or saying at the moment.
If you're a person who's made a career out of lying using this smart drug is not a great idea! Doing a lot of lying requires expansive thinking; it requires that you be something of a time traveler in your own episodic memory to keep track track of all the different stories you are telling different people. Lying effectively requires excellent working memory - this is like the RAM of your conscious mind.
Provigil is also not really a social smart drug, the really logical, focused headspace it puts you into is not great for social interaction. Politics is a very social profession, you spend almost all your time interacting with other people. For this reason Provigil is NOT the smart drug I'd recommend to politicians and especially not a two faced, super villain like Hillary Clinton.
Clinton is commonly criticized as being just a very boring, scripted communicator. She could benefit from being a little more creative and witty. For this I would recommend supplementing...
L-Theanine - Is the active ingredient in green tea that promotes creativity. It's also a anti-anxiety agent, she's got to be really stressed out. Having seizures in public is not very Presidential, obviously she's not handling her stress well.
Nicotine - Almost all the great historical authors were voracious smokers, that's because Nicotine is a tremendous promoter of productive creativity. And no she doesn't need to bum a smoke from Obama, I recommend supplementing Nicotine in liquid solution which is none-carcinogenic.
I would strongly recommend to Clinton Piracetam for improve her long term memory recall. This is a lady that has a lot that she needs to keep track of...
- She has public positions and private positions on all the issues..
- She's got those 33,000 emails.
- She dosen't want to accidentally reveal some information that could give the FBI more evidence to prosecute her...
Apparently in the recent debate she revealed some classified information about the United State's nuclear response times, so obviously she's not doing a great job of keeping track of the myriad layers of privileged information that she is tasked with safeguarding as an elite politician.
Piracetam is the smart drug that has a cumulative effect after about 14 days of dosing of building a much stronger bridge between your long term memory and your verbal abilities. I really think it could help her!
I'd also recommend a subtle antidepressant to her with a very low occurrence of side effects like either Coluracetam or Tianeptine. Tianeptine in particular maybe a really good idea for her because Tianeptine treats Parkinson's and some doctors who specialize in Parkinson's have theorized that she likely has Parkinson's, it hasn't been confirmed but it's maybe a good idea for her!
From a 2007 Moscow study of Parkinson's patients:
"The efficacy of [Tianeptine] was greater in patients with less marked depressive and motor symptoms, shorter durations of illness, and less marked cognitive impairments."
Here's a really practical social dynamics lifehack for dealing with the political discussions. Political disagreements are infamous for being a huge waste of time, frustrating and a great way to lose friends.
In your head you have the most airtight logical-emotional case for your political position, you even do a little (or a lot) of Googling to collect some statistics and hard data to support your position.
But all of this just falls on dead ears. Despite all your facts, your statistics and relevant anecdotes they just will not move an inch from their position. They are so willfully ignorant, so downright, dogmatic!
Professor Robb Willer of Stanford University suggests that the reason we are so ineffective at communicating across the political divide is the liberals and conservatives have different fundamental moral values, that break down kind of like this...
|Liberal Values||Conservative Values|
Protection from harm
|Loyalty & Patriotism
Respect for Authority
Purity & Morality
We almost always argue based upon the these underlying values. For example, liberals almost always argue for gay marriage based upon equality and conservatives argue for decreasing the welfare state because they want people to have strong work ethic. People are willing to fight for, die for or even kill for their fundamental values. Argueing against the fundamental values of someone you will always run into a psychological brick wall. If the fundamental value underlying your argument is meaningless to the person you are trying to convince you're not going to accomplish much. It's like a Spanish speaker trying to convince someone who only speaks Russian of something.
Next time you find yourself in a political debate with someone who's on the other side of the fence, try to make your argument appeal to their underlying values. For example; take this question...
Should all citizens of our country be required to speak English?
How would you formulate an argument supporting your position on this issue in terms that appeal to the underlying values of people on the opposite side of the ideological divide? Let me know in the comments below!
Try this next time you get drawn into a political debate!
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