|-- "Antidepressants reduce number of missed work days", Reuters Health/Yahoo! News Health Headlines, July 9 1999, citing Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 1999;41:605-611|
Technology and science have not yet solved all of humanity's physical ailments and vulnerabilities, and mental instabilities due to many elements also remain a significant problem. These all represent major obstacles to further advances in productivity, and better harnessing human beings as the near pure intellectual creative engines increasingly in demand in the new economy. Advances in 'wire' technology and others now fill the gap in such matters, until better solutions can be found.
Use of the drugs and/or wire is controlled not by the user but by their computer implant, to keep motivation, personal pleasure, and general health at optimum levels. The new system avoids the wild ride of ecstacy and black depression and apathy which accompanied earlier forms of these technologies, and so results in almost ideal circumstances for both employee and employer (at least where the employer isn't malevolent or uncaring).
|-- "THE NEW ERA OF LIFESTYLE DRUGS; Viagra and other blockbusters are transforming the $300 billion industry" By Joseph Weber in Toronto and Amy Barrett in Philadelphia, with Michael Mandel and Jeff Laderman in New York, Business Week: 5-11-98|
These technologies are first used in extreme medical contingencies, then later in a few agents of espionage ('perfect' electronic emotion management makes for agents with apparent nerves of steel and astonishing acting capacities, who may also turn adrenaline excretions, sexual arousal, and certain other significant biological factors on and off like a light switch), and after that in a few elite commando units. After further refinement it comes to be deployed more widely in military units, and finally in civilian police and many other high stress occupations.
The average corporate or small business employee or 'man on the street' for many years can not/does not get blessed/cursed with this technology except by special government authorization and/or for certain medical conditions. Of course, weaning veterans of years or even decades of the technology once they leave their jobs proves very problematic, plus, the combination of intense demand from business and government for ever greater productivity/efficiency, and from workers for stress relief and fulfilling and satisfying jobs ultimately forces the technology to become available over the counter to almost anyone. Eventually humanity assimilates this technology quite well into society, and it becomes a net plus, taking a great deal of the prior drudgery out of life for many.
As in all things though, abuse of this technology does occur in many cases, both isolated and organized, especially in the earlier stages of deployment. For example, despots and warlords are able to use it to create nearly perfect soldiers...
Yes, such criminals were doing something similar already, many decades earlier. However, wire and implant-related technologies have matured greatly since then. This means there's far fewer installation casualties, the installation process is much simpler and easier, and the technology poses far fewer maintenance problems than before. Too, in earlier decades many implanted people essentially became 'dumber' when the technology was working at full strength, than they would have been without it. This often reduced an average implanted soldier's/worker's job efficiency by as much as 30-40%. Now though, the technology not only doesn't reduce effective intelligence (even when utilized at full power), but actually increases an individual's effectiveness and intellectual comprehension, by a small amount on average.
This means 'wired' soldiers of the late 21st/early 22nd century are far more lethally competent than their wired predecessors of the early through mid-21st, even if their far superior weaponry, self-dependence in the field, and options for remote support weren't taken into account.