Billionaires funding research on living forever

There’s an article in the Washington Post about “the long quest for immortality,” a interesting look at the history of the previously quixotic — and often gruesome — search for a way to not die.

WaPo wasted no time getting to what is, for me, the chilling heart of the matter in the second paragraph:

Immortality might seem like the stuff of science fiction, yet it’s increasingly becoming the focus of real science. In 2013, Google launched Calico, a biotech firm whose objective is to “solve” death. PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, meanwhile, has pledged to “fight” death. And last year, it was reported Amazon chairman Jeff Bezos had invested in Altos Labs, a company that plans to “rejuvenate” cells in order to “reverse disease.”

I’m not at all afraid of dying. I’m scared of the pain that might (or might not) accompany my own death. But if I could guarantee that I would not suffer during the process, I wouldn’t even mind knowing the exact date of my demise.

I might feel differently if I were a billionaire with an inflated sense of my own worth.

What a disaster it would be for all of us if Peter Thiel, as much a textbook example of an amoral billionaire as currently exists, were to live forever. I hope these efforts fail, at least until Thiel shuffles off this mortal coil.

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