Thursday, April 12, 2012

Be the person you were! Dope up....or be a dope!

The latest news (we heard it on the BBC World Service on Wednesday the 11th of April, but here's the story on the Daily Mail site) is about the desperate need of those working Wall Street to be more 'competitive' (with other sharks) in keeping their hands deeply in your pockets.  These Street walkers are worried they may be losing that 'special' trait that lures customers to their dens of (in)equity.

Now, it seems, a noble new service has been started by a clever entrepeneur who managed to graduate from some medical school:  He is luring aging bilkers to spend fortunes to 'adjust' their hormone balances, mainly being goosed up with testosterone.  That'll help them keep the competitive edge!

The male hormone testosterone has become an unlikely drug of choice for Wall Street traders seeking to give themselves an edge over their professional rivals.
New York clinics have reported a rise in treatment for 'testosterone deficiency', sometimes known as 'andropause'.
They say many workers in the male-dominated industry are hoping that boosters of the hormone will help them perform better at work and put in longer hours.

Like ads in airline magazines: "Do you have LowT?  Feel like you did when you were 25!"  The company, modestly housed high in Trump Tower, charges $4500--and that's just for the consultation!  Still, one socially responsible person, a hormone-adjustment  'customer' of this 'medical' service, said the cost was steep but he was glad that he, unlike some of his competitors, could afford it.  Such a good soul, he!

A colleague of ours once said the most intelligent people were the most gullible (we forget his reasoning, and we won't say whether we believed him or not, because it would reveal our own intelligence).  Here, however, is an analog or homologue of that generalization:  the greediest people are most gullible to greed.  Or something like that.  Women brokers, or perhaps broken women on the Street, apparently as well as broken men benefit by a good dose of testosterone, though less than men are given, to prevent things like the growth of facial hair.  Not very 'Brazilian', but what the hell if a buck is to be made.

This story has little to do with the topics of MT, but seemed to be a good story about the presumptive intrusiveness of science into everyday life these days, trying to design, re-design, or in this case retro-design us to have whatever trait we think will give us an edge in life.   At least, unlike the early 20th century wishes of a similar sort, monkeys won't have to be sacrificed to get extracts from their 'glands' to boost the combativeness we need from our hedge-fund managers. (See this on the promoter of that treatment, Serge Voronoff.)

Figure from site about Voronoff.
But later on, when these hairy, deep-voiced, muscle-bound hyper-sexed 90 year-olds start getting diseases, will geneticists remember to ask if they've been Trumped up in the past, in case it's a risk factor?

In the absence of that kind of regulation (or retribution) for their attitude, there really doesn't seem to be anything the snakes on Wall Street won't stoop, or kneel, to do.

Well, at least we thought this might make an entertaining break from attempts on our post to discuss  real science rather than what amounts to 21st century 'monkey gland' hawkery.


Ellen said...

Someone clearly decided there was a fortune to be made in selling testosterone because there's recently been an ad campaign on TV convincing men they have "Low T" and should see their doctor for testosterone replacement.

Because, yeah, clearly we learned nothing from female hormone replacement therapy.

Anne Buchanan said...

Nor from recent events, suggesting there's already enough testosterone on Wall St!