"Tech billionaires determined to buy their way out of death"--UPDATE

Seems another instance of fact following (my) techno-fiction. My science techo-thriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH, centers around a conspiracy of the elite, a secretive cabal of the rich, powerful and politically-connected, that is funding an analogue to Michael Crichton's JURASSIC PARK . . . to recreate themselves, and hence gain the chance to go around again in life, as one of them put it, in "healthy, horny 21-year old bodies complete with all our accumulated savvy from this lifetime."

But that's no longer just some wacko author's fantasy: Check out the Business Insider article, "These Tech Billionaires Are Determined to Buy Their Way Out of Death"

And see my previous post "New Google division, along with TIME Magazine, follow trail blazed by technothriller A REMEDY FOR DEATH!"   That will link you to the TIME cover story on Calico, a new division or subsidiary, of Google. Calico is exploring much the same issues as in my technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH. (But, hey, let's face it: they've got a bigger budget!)

 Seems the same mindset as in my book.  Want more proof? Check out Adam Gollner's article in the Daily Bookbeast, "The Immortality Financiers: The Billionaires Who Want to Live Forever"

Incidentally, that article quotes Global Industry Analysts, which suggests that "the anti-aging industry generates more than $80 billion per year." I expect that includes aging lotions and potions, and not just regenerative medicine. TIME estimates the regenerative medicine industry is now about $1.5 billion annually. likely to grow to $20 billion by 2025.

Implication: if these billionaires' investment pays off as they hope, then they get to live again and again.  Or, worst case, it doesn't work for them, but odds are it will be a profitable niche with good payback for their investment. But they can't take it with them.

Or can they? In my A REMEDY FOR DEATH, the crusty old media billionaire, at a drunken dinner, shouts out "If I can't take it with me, then hell no, I won't go!"  (Not to spoil the plot, but at about the point he says "hell no" all hell does break out there.)

BTW, Adam Gollner has recently published THE BOOK OF IMMORTALITY.  i'll look for a copy and report back here.  It's straight reporting, not a techn-thriller.

New Google division, along with TIME Magazine, follow trail blazed by technothriller A REMEDY FOR DEATH!

"New Google division, along with TIME Magazine, follow trail blazed by technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH" 

Really? I have no way of knowing if Googlers or Timers have actually read A REMEDY FOR DEATH, but that does make a good headline . . . and makes the point that it's not just wacko writers of technothrillers who are exploring the possibilities of life extension, anti-aging methods, regenerative medicine, and the implications of a quest for human immortality.

And is it just a coincidence that the TIME cover -- Can Google Solve Death?-- even echoes the title of A Remedy for Death, even to the use of color changes in fonts? (TIME is lacking the butterfly emblem of REMEDY, as in, "What a caterpillar calls death we call a butterfly")

A REMEDY COVER white 3 w black border 7-19 Time cover-Google+Death

Well, no, seriously I don't believe that TIME has been listening into my computer (though I'm not so sure about Google . .  . but, if so, Google would only do so to help me. Of course. As would the NSA!))

Anyway, what TIME reports is this: Google, ever exploring new possibilities, has set up a company called Calico, with the aim of perhaps finding a way to defeat death itself.  Then this from TIME:

The unavoidable question this raises is why a company built on finding information and serving ads next to it is spending untold amounts on a project that flies in the face of the basic fact of the human condition, the existential certainty of aging and death. To which the unavoidable answer is another : Who the hell else is going to do it?

 It's early still, but what TIME gathered is that the Google/Calico approach will likely involve data collection and crunching rather than brewing up new potions. Which makes sense:

Medicine is well on its way to becoming an information science: doctors and researchers are now able to harvest and mine massive quantities of data from patients. And Google is very, very good with large data sets. While the company is holding its cards about Calico close to the vest, expect it to use its core data-handling skills to shed new light on familiar age-related maladies.

 The article also reminded that. . .

The idea of treating aging as a disease rather than a mere fact of life is an old one--at least as a fantasy. And as a science? The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine has been around since 1992, but the discipline it represents has yet to gain much of a foothold in mainstream medicine. Research has been slow to generate results. Consider Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, Mass., company built around a promising drug called SRT501, a proprietary form of resveratrol, the substance found in red wine and once believed to have anti-aging properties. In 2008, GlaxoSmithKline snapped up Sirtris for $720 million. By 2010, with no marketable drug in sight and challenges to existing resveratrol research, GlaxoSmithKline shut down trials. Other anti-aging initiatives exist purely as nonprofits with no immediate plans

Read more: http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2152422,00.html#ixzz2fMq3cHhF

 It seems Calico will be centered around thet Googleplex in California, a much less secretive and less spooky spot than the remote mountain location in the middle Europe dictatorship where the Hauenfelder Clinic of A REMEDY FOR DEATH is situated.

Of course, the Hauenfelder Clinic is fictional, part of a technothriller, but doggone, it does seem that fact is beginning to follow that piece of fiction.

For another take on TIME and GOOGLE and the quest for immortality, see:


Also, valleywag.gawker.com posted this related item not long ago: "Billionaires will disrupt death if it's the last thing they do."  Seems it makes some billionaires really angry to think they might die! Poor guys! (To quote billionaire Parsons Coulter from my A REMEDY FOR DEATH: "If I can't take it with me, then hell no, I won't go!")   Here's the link to that article: