Rich entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are paying $8,000 for young people's blood
In the novel Neuromancer, there is an ancient Chinese businessman who has his genetics reset every 100 years, to keep himself permanently alive. He will live forever, so long as he keeps hitting refresh on his decaying genetic code, rebooting that frayed and exhausted DNA.
We always suspected this day could come. Since the era of Victorian financial barons and long-coated accountants by day, who became werewolves by night, the duality of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, there have been science fiction portraits of pale cenobites languishing in their own altered DNA atop mountains of peasant skulls.
In modern-day Silicon Valley, the masters of our modern world through tech and code, seem poised to seek their own form of elite immortality.
A company called Ambrosia sells vials of young blood (literally the blood of healthy, young donors) for $8,000 a pop. Silicon Valley millionaires and billionaires buy it and inject themselves with it, including famous Uber-investor Peter Thiel, a man accused by The New Republic of being the closest thing we have to a modern-day vampire.
Why inject blood? Well, it kind of works. The process, called parabiosis, is the practice of fusing biological material from two sources to create one super-powerful source. If old blood and new blood mix, the old blood is strengthened. It's like parasitism, but completely mutual. In fact, in biology, the concept is called mutualism.
Who has $8,000 to fork over for blood? Well, people who want to become immortal, or at least lengthen their lifespans beyond the ordinary human capability. Silicon Valley is at the saw-edge of transhumanism, the movement to fuse us with machines, bar code us, stamp us, download us into machines - take your pick.
If those in control of these information systems, from Google to Facebook to Amazon, could live for hundreds of years, then they could effectively form a permanent dynasty of Earthly power. Imagine Mark Zuckerberg in 2125, half-machine, clinging to an oxygen tank, worth over 10 trillion dollars, overseeing a desolate cityscape where the air is rife with thick, dank dust.
At least, that's the science fiction, and the ultimate transhumanism of the elite come into practice.
While most of us struggle to balance our checkbooks, a select few are buying blood and experimenting with ways to extend their lifespans to rule over a permanent digital oligarchy. People like Peter Thiel, and the micro-dosing blood-injecting cyborg-enhancing entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley, are surely poised to dominate the globe for as long as they live.
How long until we ourselves are selling them blood to pay our bills? And why stop there? Why not organs? I can sell a kidney and make a fortune. Human flesh markets will become rather promising when profits can no longer be made through work. Because, after all, mass automation is sweeping the jobs out from under us.
Well, it's not like there's anything we can do. Just keep using Facebook and getting scared by Trump, and let the dark wings of blood-infused finality descend when they may.