by Michael Moran
Those with megabucks seek to conquer the afterlife by
extending their existence in this life with advanced
Science has become their god and their search for truth
is seen through the lens of Scientism.
living the best lives.
trying to make those lives
with a wide array of weird
the fringes of
computer brains and frozen heads - How billionaires 'will live
Over the past year,
the gap between the super-rich
and the rest of us has grown wider than ever before...
But the difference between ordinary people and billionaires might be
more than just money. Some high net worth individuals have been
looking into extending their lives far beyond the 70 or 80 years
most of us might hope for.
Peter Thiel, for example, the billionaire co-founder of
PayPal, has invested in a number medical research start-ups looking
extending life expectancy though his
Breakout Labs fund.
One of the companies longevity obsessive Thiel has bankrolled is
Ambrosia is one of
three outfits looking at experimental "vampire" blood
transfusions that put the blood of young people into the lens of
According to commercial finance experts ABC Finance, the cost of
the trials currently ranges from £6,000 to about £215,000.
The technique has worked well in mice, although as yet there are
no positive results from human trials.
The US Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) has issued a statement waning that the
"has no proven
clinical benefits" and could be "potentially harmful."
If warm blood
can't make you immortal, what about freezing it instead?
The idea of chilling a
body to postpone death until a future society has the technology to
repair any injury or illness.
For years, the story circulated that Disney founder Walt
Disney had been frozen shortly before his death from lung cancer
in December 1966. There's no evidence that there's any truth in the
rumor, but research into cryonics has been progressing since the
The first living subject was frozen in 1967. No-one has yet been
revived after cryonic freezing but several people have been frozen,
or had their heads removed and frozen, over the years.
Thiel, his PayPal colleague Luke Nosek and US talk-show host
Larry King are all known to have signed up for freezing at
the point of death.
Based on figures from the
Alcor Life Extension Foundation,
one of the leading
cryonics providers, it would set
you back £152,000 to have your entire body frozen and preserved, or
a more affordable £61,000 if you just wanted your head put on ice.
There's also the option to take a beloved companion with you into
the future. One cryonics provider also offers a range of options for
pets - £4,000 for cats or dogs and even £760 for a pet bird.
But if cryonics and vampire transfusions are limited
by the capabilities of the human body,
why not get rid of
the human body altogether...?
The idea of recording a
human personality into a computer and somehow turning that recording
into a sentient living being has been the stuff of science fiction
But it's edging ever
closer to science fact.
Neuralink device promises to
monitor and record the entire output of a human brain.
...are working on turning
this recordings into fully-functional personalities. It's early days
The process is described
as "100% fatal" and we are a long way from turning ourselves into
Still, Sam Altman - the dot com billionaire who partnered
with Musk to found
artificial intelligence research
OpenAI - is reportedly one of 25
people who have paid Nectome a £7,600 deposit to have their thoughts
uploaded into a mainframe.
All these advances in biotechnology and robotics will remain
expensive for a long time to come, so only the super-rich can
American futurologist Paul Saffo predicts that,
class could evolve into a separate species entirely...
wonder if the very rich can live, on average, 20 years
longer than the poor," he says.
"That's 20 more years of earning and saving. Think about
wealth and power and the advantages that you pass on to your
Access to the finest
foods and exercise equipment money can buy will
definitely make anyone live a little longer, but one of the bizarre
ideas could just make a few eccentric billionaires effectively