Whether it is the fountain of youth, the cup of immortality or the elixir of life, man has always been fascinated about living forever. It has even been used as a topic for different films, from Lost Horizon to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. After all, what can be more ultimate than conquering death?
If you really think about it, it may not really be that far fetched of an idea. At the start of the 20th century, the life expectancies of an average person were only 46.3 years old for males and 48.3 years old for females. Just a hundred years later, the average life expectancies had increased to 73.8 years old for males and 79.5 years old for females. Nowadays, there are even claims of a person reaching 123 years old.
So with more advances from science and further improvements in technology, man may one day finally find a way to live forever. Here are five billionaires who plan to live forever by investing in businesses that conduct intensive and extensive research into immortality.
5 Dmitry Itskov
Dmitry Itskov is a billionaire entrepreneur from Russia. He is the President of New Media Stars. Though he is only 31 years old, Itskov is already fascinated with the idea of immortality. He created the 2045 Initiative precisely to address his dream. He hired 30 Russian scientists who specialize in various relevant fields, including neural interfaces, robotics, artificial organs and systems. The project will come up with technologies that can enable the transfer of the personality of an individual into a more advanced non-biological carrier. It thus aims to extend life, and eventually, achieve immortality. This will be done by designing and creating an artificial humanoid body that will be called an Avatar. This will then be paired with an advanced brain computer interface system. To host the human brain inside the Avatar, the project will create a life support system to help keep it alive and functional. Eventually, the 2045 Initiative plans to come up with an artificial brain to which the original consciousness will be moved.
The project has been divided into four stages. The first stage will run until 2020 and will see the creation of a robotic copy of a human body that can be controlled remotely by BCI. From 2020 until 2025, the Avatar is ready to host a transplanted brain at the end of a person’s life. By 2035, the project should be able to create an Avatar with an artificial brain in which a human personality is transferred at the end of the person’s life. By 2045, the program should have a hologram-like avatar.
While the project has been subjected to some criticism, more than 20,000 people have already supported the initiative.
4 Don Laughlin
Don Laughlin is an American billionaire from Owatonna in Minnesota. He is a gambling entrepreneur who bought his first casino, the 101 Club, in the latter part of the 1950's. He sold the casino in 1964 and bought an eight-room riverfront motel in the California-Arizona-Nevada tri-state area after identifying it as a resort destination. He rented out only four rooms, as his family used the other four. The motel’s earnings came the 12 slot machines and two live gaming tables that he had set up. By the 1970's, the motel underwent a series of expansions. It became known as the Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino. By the mid 80's, the hotel already had two towers and more than 500 rooms. By the mid 90's, it already boasted of 1,404 rooms. It also had an automotive museum that housed Laughlin’s massive collection. The place was also named after him.
Laughlin is a believer in the technology of cryogenics. He has signed up with Alcor, a cryogenics preservation company in Scottsdale, Arizona, so that his body will be frozen at minus 360 degrees. He will then be revived once the technology evolves into allowing it. All his assets will also be frozen.
3 Robert Miller
Robert Miller is a billionaire from Canada who built his fortune through Future Electronics. The company is the third largest electronics components distributor in the entire world. Miller is only 67 years old, but he is already making plans for his future. He has been donating a lot of money to charity in order to help out other people in need. He is also investing for himself and the future, contributing a huge amount of money to Alcor, the same company that Don Laughlin is a client of. Miller wants to be cryo-preserved right after his death as well, with instructions to be reawakened or revived when future medical technologies have been developed and perfected.
2 David Murdock
David Murdock is an 89-year-old billionaire who earned his wealth after taking over Dole Foods in the 1980's. He is a health and nutrition buff, establishing the California Health and Longevity Institute that aims to enhance longevity. He is also behind Duke University’s Murdock Study that is involved in the study of the genetic of diseases and its cures. He also exercises regularly and follows a strict diet of fish and vegetables. It’s not that he wants to live forever; he merely wants to live to 125 years old.
1 John Sperling
John Sperling is a 91-year-old billionaire who made a killing during the initial public offering of the Apollo Group. The company owns the University of Phoenix, a for-profit educational institution known for its online courses. He knows he cannot take his billions with him when he dies, which is why he is doing everything to extend his life. He is a major contributor to the Kronos Longevity Research Institute, an institution that does clinical research on age-related diseases. He has also hired several scientists to study therapeutic cloning, stem cell medicine and genetic engineering, all in an attempt to enhance the human biology, or at the least, alleviate human suffering and the fear of death.
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