"I imagine a character like Eddie Morra from the film Limitless as the Bartleby of the future. In Limitless, Morra is a blocked writer who takes a nootropic, “mind-enhancing” drug which allows him to not only write a book that his publishers are happy with, but to become an expert investor. He also dresses nicer and acts more urbane.
The title of the film is revealing here, not so much as a hyperbolic reference to Morra’s cognitive abilities but as a signifier of the liberation of the office from physical space into the neural web of the brain itself. “Limitless” does not denote a liberation from constraints, but confinement within a near infinity of accelerated “sameness”—what Han identifies as the inability to escape the self. The emancipatory promise of the drug in Limitless, an amplified version of students taking Ritalin to study, is predicated upon the maximization of the achievement society into the core of self-identity. “Not many of us know what it’s like to become the perfect version of ourselves,” Morra says at one point.31 And yet how banal that the highest function of the human mind culminates in day-trading. How banal that the highest purpose of the human mind is an instrumental function at all.
If the failure of the open office concept is any indication, the total internalization of the spirit of capitalism will not represent an escape from its contradictions. It is only an advanced stage of its afflictions."