Silicon Valley’s Quest to Live Forever

Research into the subject and the article.


The original article featured in The New Yorker magazine, famous for its illustrated covers. The article contains lots of medical and clinical imagery with vibrant colours. It’s interesting to see what kind of visuals were used originally as they are quite different to what I would have expected.

The website for “The National Academy of Medicines Grand Challenges in Healthy Longevity” states the goals of the project are to
“Advance the fields of healthy aging and human longevity research.”
“Achieve significant improvement in human longevity and quality of life.”
“Build an ecosystem of support by engaging entrepreneurs, policy makers and the public”

The articles subject is longevity, this word is used a lot, and prolonging HEALTHY human life as aposed to an eternal morbid existance. The writer seems somewhat skeptical of the guests attending and speakers and scientists.

“When the symposium’s first speaker asked how many people there wanted to live to two hundred, if they could remain healthy, almost every hand went up. Understandably, then, the Moroccan phyllo chicken puffs weren’t going fast. The venture capitalists were keeping slim to maintain their imposing vitality, the scientists were keeping slim because they’d read—and in some cases done—the research on caloric restriction, and the Hollywood stars were keeping slim because of course.” Tad Friend 

Venture capitalists being an investor who either provides capital to startup ventures or supports small companies that wish to expand but do not have access to equities markets.

Friend seems quite cynical here and the tone continues throughout the piece, adding humour and a change of tone adding little side comments to the scientific parts of the text “De Grey has proposed that if we fix seven types of physical damage we will be on the path to living for more than a thousand years (assuming we can avoid getting hit by a bus or an asteroid).”Tad Friend 

After reading the article a few times I realised there wasn’t really an end to it, it seemed to stop without a sort of evaluation or summative statement. I checked the original article and found it goes  on for quite a while after; the last paragraph of the original text is;

“This wish to preserve life as we know it, even at the cost of dying, is profoundly human. We are encoded with the belief that death is the mother of beauty. And we are encoded, too, with the contradictory determination to remain exactly as we are, forever—or at least for just a bit longer, before we have to go. ” Tad Friend 

However this doesn’t fit as a final paragraph in the section of the text we were given, I think to make the whole article read better I will have to try and write a conclusion of some sort but make sure it is in keeping with the writing style of the article.

After reading the article a few more times I have decided to get rid of some of the paragraphs that seem to muddy the waters of the topic as such.

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