Tag Archives: pharmacology

Stanisław Lem

ALTRUIZINE. A metapsychotropic transmitting agent effective for all sentient homoproteinates. The drug duplicates into others, within a radius of fifty yards, whatever sensations, emotions, and mental states one may experience… According to its discoverer, ALTRUIZINE will ensure the untrammeled reign of Brotherhood, Cooperation and Compassion in any society, since the neighbors of a happy man must share his happiness, and the happier he, the happier perforce they, so it is entirely in their own interest that they wish him nothing but the best. Should he suffer any hurt, they will rush so help at once, so as to spare themselves the pain induced by his. Neither walls, fences, hedges, nor any other obstacle will weaken the altruizing influence… We assume no responsibility for results at variance with the discoverer’s claims.

Stanisław Lem, ‘Altruizine; or, a True Account of How Bonhomius the Hermitic Hermit Tried to Bring About Universal Happiness and What Came of It’, in The Cyberiad, New York, 1976, p. 218