Silicon Valley’s Obsession With Disrupting Death

Why become a multibillionaire if you can’t live long enough to spend it?

Stephen Moore

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Bryan Johnson (right) and his son

They’ve disrupted transport.

They’ve disrupted the internet.

They’ve disrupted e-commerce.

They’ve disrupted social connection.

They’ve disrupted online communication.

Silicon Valley titans have disrupted just about everything, yet one frontier remains unsolved, one driven by fear, ego and hubris:

Immortality.

A batshit crazy story caught my eye last week. It involves Bryan Johnson, a 45-year-old multi-millionaire attempting to slow down his aging. How exactly? By using blood transfusions from his 17-year-old son. Or, more specifically, the process takes a liter of blood from the youngest and separates the plasma from it before re-infusing it into Johnson. What’s even weirder about the whole thing is that some of Johnson’s blood is then transfused into his 70-year-old father, completing the trifecta of blood swapping. According to an Instagram post by Johnson, it was the “world’s first multi-generational plasma exchange.”

Johnson, who made his fortune as the founder of Braintree, a web and mobile payment company sold to PayPal, is a stickler for staying young, reportedly spending at least two million dollars a year searching for the elixir of life. The fusion experiment is part of his newest venture, Project Blueprint. Aside from swapping blood, it involves somewhat more sensible stuff like strict diets, rigid eating and sleep patterns, and frequent medical checkups.

Will this mad scheme work? It’s improbable, and there’s very little scientific evidence to support it. The FDA has officially warned against the procedure because “such treatments have no proven clinical benefits for the uses for which these clinics are advertising them and are potentially harmful.”

But I’ve got to hand it to Bryan’s son; that’s quite the Father’s Day gift.

“Solving Death”

Cheating death is by no means a new concept. Silicon Valley and the small percentage of mega-rich entrepreneurs birthed from it have a long history of trying to…

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