Silicon Valley is a place where ideas like cryogenic suspension, genetic engineering to switch off aging, or even uploading your brain into an emulator are taken seriously by a surprisingly large number of very bright, very "in" folks.
See it yet? It's big, folks, one of the biggest voids of cognitive dissonance I've personally ever spotted. For the real boots-on-the-ground culture of the Valley seems like it's all about youth and only youth and accelerating obsolescence. [...]
But if they are interested in quality-of-life extension, they're operating within a culture that seems like it has the opposite philosophy. If people become fossils when they turn thirty, why not just cut off healthcare at 40? Hell, why not reenact one of those dystopian sci-fi stories where people have "age clocks" and get euthanized when their value to society no longer outweighs their cost?
Why doesn't Mark Zuckerberg just live it up for a few more years and then opt for a nice humane form of euthanasia, perhaps leaving his billions to an angel investment fund to help younger entrants into the tech economy? According to the values he's perpetuating, he is no longer relevant.
Big nasty contradictions usually point to some deeper misalignment. Based on what I know of the Valley, the culture it exports, and the nature of the winner-take-all New Economy it's building, the only thing I can come up with is this:
All the Valley's talk about transhumanism, human potential, life extension, and generally "changing the world" is a bunch of hooey. It's a myth -- in the pejorative sense of that term. It's a fluffy religion meant to snooker young professionals into giving their employers everything they have and working their brains down to the myelin until they become too old to be relevant anymore.
No, it's worse than that.
They don't get too old to be relevant. They get too old to be cheap.
"They don't get too old to be relevant. They get too old to be cheap."