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"I love that computer science has made mathematics into something like an experimental science. I was never all that good at proving things, but I love doing computer experiments."
- Rudy Rucker

  A medication that makes the user 'untired' - not just more awake.  

Provigil is the name of a real drug (Modafinil) used to treat narcolepsy. It is sometimes referred to as a "wakefulness promoting agent" rather than a stimulant. It is marketed as improving 'alertness' and reducing 'excessive daytime sleepiness.

"What is this?" the specialist asked.
"Provigil," he answered, taking one himself. "It's getting late and it's been a long day and we're all tired, right?"
"Right," she said, taking the pill. "Not any more ... it makes you 'untired,' he said. "It's not an upper; it's sort of the reverse of a sleeping pill. You do tend to get stupid and you don't notice...
From When the Devil Dances, by John Ringo.
Published by Baen in 2002
Additional resources -

The idea of a pill or other means for doing without sleep recurs in science fiction. In his 1941 story Methuselah's Children, Robert Heinlein writes about a "sleep surrogate" that you could take in the morning after an inadequate night's sleep. Also, take a look at A-som, anti-somnolence drugs mentioned in Paul Di Filippo's 2006 story Shuteye for the Timebroker; this story examines what it would be like to eliminate sleep entirely.

Thanks to an anonymous reader for sending in this item.

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  More Ideas and Technology from When the Devil Dances
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