menu Home chevron_right
Ground ZeroRecent Shows


Ron Patton | June 19, 2019
Sponsored By:




I recently had to get some surgery on my left toe. The doctor said that it would be sore for a few weeks and I thought that along with a bad knee it would be a chore just to walk. Well, I broke out my walking stick in order to get around. When I was downtown, I walked towards the door of the office building where I work. I saw a reflection of myself in the window. I noticed that I seemed to be losing more weight but what was the most troubling was that walking stick.

I was the man in the riddle of the Sphinx.

In Greek legend, the Sphinx devoured all travelers who could not answer the mysterious riddle it posed: “What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three in the evening?”

Oedipus gave the answer; he said “Man” causing the Sphinx’s to die.

When we are babies we crawl on all fours, when we become adults we walk on two legs, some of us when we age wind up with a cane, giving us three legs.

I saw that walking stick and all I thought about was that I was getting older.

Age is an unfair mission creep. Eventually, it can become a catastrophic dysfunction of everything, all at once. Our mitochondria sputter, our endocrine system sags, and our DNA snaps. Our sight and hearing and strength diminish, our arteries clog, our brains fog, and we falter, seize, and fail. Every research breakthrough, every announcement of a master key that we can turn to reverse all that, has been followed by setbacks and confusion.

I take supplements to slow down the process and they work but sometimes I feel like they slow down the inevitable. It is like, I want to live forever and I am going to die trying.

One hundred and fifty thousand people die every day. Most check out well before what is considered the maximum age of 115, and some of them could afford to keep going far longer if only science would allow it.

The urge to combat aging, especially among the rich, is an old one, but new technological breakthroughs can make the prospect seem tantalizingly close.

There are now millionaires that are hell-bent on an Immortality Investment where they seek the sorcerer’s stone or hire the right alchemist to get the job done.

Investing in biotech breakthroughs is one way the super-rich are trying to stay young and healthy, indefinitely. Others in the community are settling for cryogenic freezing, in the hopes that they can be thawed once regenerative science has sufficiently advanced.

Bank of America analysts say that companies focused on immortality and longevity, extending the human lifespan as much as possible, are going to grow in coming years, with the market expected to be worth $600 billion by 2025.

If these financial experts are correct then biotech companies are poised to start bringing unprecedented increases to the quality and length of the human lifespan, then we may start seeing serious results out of the industry.

Bank of America’s predictions would mean a six-fold increase in the amount of money in longevity companies. In a report to clients reviewed by CNBC, analysts wrote that the human lifespan may soon extend to 100 years.

This has enabled a new frontier in precision medicine to further extend life expectancy, the report reads.

The analysts identified four key areas of longevity research that they expect to grow in the coming years: genomics, big data and artificial intelligence, futuristic foods and nutrition, and healthcare companies working to eradicate diseases.

The analysts claim that “medical knowledge will double every 73 days by 2020,” a claim that, given how much medical knowledge is already out there, sounds like it could be overly optimistic.

Some investors and medical scientists have declared war on death.

If there is a way to “solve death,” whether through cryonics or gene therapies, a kind of vampirism in which Silicon Valley billionaires “end up being sustained by young blood” or more wholesome methods such as good nutrition and medicine, some combination of the above or perhaps an actual sorcerer’s stone, the next generation of well-funded alchemists is determined to find it.

The investors and the technocrats say that living forever doesn’t violate the laws of physics, so they will achieve immortality in the coming years.

The knowledge and subsequent fear of our impending doom drives the way we go about this world, either as methodically and cautiously as we can, playing the odds of hanging onto this mortal coil as long as we can.

However, there are some that have the attitude: eat drink and be merry for tomorrow – who knows – life is meant to be enjoyed and enjoying life can be dangerous – we shouldn’t have to be fearful of things like smoking, drinking heavily, caloric indulgences, skydiving, public restrooms, chainsaw juggling, Tinder dates – just go down the list, hell even breathing can cause cancer.

Just the other day I was reading an article about cancer that really had me bummed.

It seems that one of the biggest causes of cancer is “random bad luck.”

New experiments attempt to quantify findings from 2015 and 2017 that showed random “bad luck” was a major factor in the development of cancer – along with inherited genetic predispositions and environmental carcinogens.

An independent team this month showed that normal tissue is roiling with clusters of mutated cells, some of which have genetic errors common in cancer. This fits well with the current understanding that cancer starts when cells acquire a combination of genetic mutations that allows them to grow out of control.

The reaction to the “bad luck” claim has been more moralistic than scientific. StatNews reported that the results might imply “that preventive efforts from smoking cessation to environmental cleanups were largely pointless.” A news story in Science Magazine said: “Many scientists took issue with the paper … because they felt it overemphasized the randomness of cancer and downplayed the value of trying to prevent it.”

That defeatist view is a bit like not wearing a seat belt because driving is never 100% safe. There’s a more constructive way of thinking about randomness: not as a reason to give up on minimizing risk, but as a reason for vigilance and research.

Knowing the role of randomness, maybe more of us would have a doctor look at that little lump, or spot between our toes that looks weird even though it’s on skin that never sees the sun.

The paper said that 15% of lung cancer cases occur in people who never smoked, ask yourself is this fair? Should we just accept this as the norm without finding ways to beat it?

In the latest research, published this month in the journal Science, it’s hard to tell whether the mutations in healthy tissue were caused in part by environmental factors or are primarily random copying errors, but these results do suggest that the mere act of getting older is a major risk factor. As one of the studies’ authors put it back in 2015: The longer the trip, the greater the odds of an accident, even if you wear your seat belt.

The fact that cancer-associated mutations exist in normal tissue could complicate the quest to offer simple blood tests to detect other kinds of cancer. It’s no longer obvious what to consider normal. Perhaps it really is normal to gradually progress toward cancer.

If so, there isn’t much you can do about it. But there’s a lot more that medical technology might do and this is where investments in immortality sound so tantalizing.

The lack of a scientifically proven intervention for extending life isn’t stopping the tech leaders from trying it on themselves.

Peter Thiel is allegedly receiving injections of blood drawn from healthy young kids, a technique that hasn’t been shown to work in humans and is based on some very scary studies in mice.

Just depends on who you ask –and what services provide the vampiric service.

An article in Futurism recently says that scientists are actually perfecting that practice of parabiosis but it is still facing some quarrelsome discussions in the scientific community.

According to the New Scienstist, scientists from Stanford University took blood from two groups of mice — one cohort was two weeks old and the other 12 to 15 months old and applied it to human brain cells grown from embryonic stem cells.

Only the younger group’s blood boosted neural development, lending more weight to the idea of medical vampirism.

This research helps explain the “how” behind these revitalizing blood transfusions. Two proteins that were found only in the younger mouse blood, THBS4 and SPARCL1, made the lab-grown neurons grow more branches and form twice as many connections.

Both of those factors are signs of healthy and increased neural development.

But that doesn’t mean that the clinics out there claiming that young blood transfusions have medical benefits—The FDA is forbidding the idea of outrageous claims of a yet affirmed cure for aging.

The FDA concludes that A pile of neurons, human or not, cultured in a petri dish are not the same as a living human brain, and a great deal of clinical experimentation is necessary before anyone can make substantiated medical claims about young blood transfusions.

This is not stopping the rich from investing in new ways to cheat death; in fact, billionaires control a substantial amount of the world’s wealth – in fact, current projections see the richest 1% controlling 2/3 of it by 2030. And most of them aren’t investing in space shuttles, underground Hyperloops, and sprawling tech campuses—they are throwing their money into ways to expand life spans.

There are also investors who are looking into helping companies that preserve the dead in order to revive them when science advances. This process is called cryonics.

If you had the chance to be preserved after death with the possibility of being resuscitated in a future where medical science is light years ahead, would you take it?

I once had an interest in being cryogenically frozen and contacted an Arizona company called Alcor to arrange the process. Imagine the possibility of being reanimated once cures to diseases and a way to halt or reverse the aging process has been discovered. Despite the huge amounts of money funneled into the research scientists at large views it as pseudo-science.

A notable billionaire championing cryonics is Canadian businessman and founder of Future Electronics, Robert Miller. He not only donates generously to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, but he has also stated that he intends to undergo the process himself.

It seems that there are plenty of ways to cheat death –all of them seem like science fiction and yet palatable enough to deserve investment money from well-known billionaires.

Would you consider uploading your brain to the cloud if it meant you could live forever? What if you knew to do so you’d have to be euthanized as part of the procedure?

Now we’ve really crossed the line into futurist fiction territory – or, if MIT-backed research company Nectome is to be believed – the next step in human consciousness.

While it’s easy to laugh these ideas off as Silicon Valley has gone mad, it’s worth mentioning that there’s some serious money being invested into this project – with around $1 million in funding and a $900,000 federal grant from the US National Institute of Mental Health.

To sign up for the waiting list you’re required to put down a deposit of $7,600 which, seems like a steal. But the problem is the company says in the fine print that the procedure is 100 percent fatal, meaning you have to agree to being euthanized for the procedure and there are no guarantees… I can’t believe anyone would sign up for this – but they have.

I think I will pass on this idea until a successful trail has been completed and I would like to see who has the courage to be the first guinea pig.

While this may sound completely unbelievable, here’s what Google’s director of engineering, Ray Kurzweil, has to say on the subject:

“We’re going to become increasingly non-biological to the point where the non-biological part dominates, and the biological part is not important anymore. In fact, the non-biological part – the machine part – will be so powerful it can completely model and understand the biological part.”

Another company looking into ways in which humans can live on via digital consciousness is the Tarasem Movement Foundation looking to create ‘mindware’ which would be used as part of a ‘nanotechnological body’ (a robot essentially) that would allow you to live without the constraints of pesky things like death and old age.

Other investments in living a long life have nothing to do with health or longevity practices.

There is another investment that has been gaining a lot of popularity and that is apocalypse insurance – namely advanced preparedness beyond that of buying two weeks of food storage from a company like My Patriot Supply.

Reddit’s CEO Steve Huffman has provided the best insight into the apocalypse insurance mentality, claiming that he had corrective eye surgery and stockpiles weaponry, food, and gold coins to make sure he’s ready for a disaster scenario.

If his case sounds like an anomaly, estimates from insiders claim that upwards of 50% of Silicon Valley billionaires have some form of ‘apocalypse insurance’.

Peter Thiel has purchased a 477-acre estate in New Zealand worth tens of millions which he claims is ‘insurance’ against global catastrophes.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is apparently on the same wavelength, with a 700-acre plot of land in Hawaii “just in case”, while Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison has taken it a step further buying 98% of the land on Hawaii’s sixth-largest island, Lanai, as well as his own airline.

We all know that the rich Washington politicians have fancy bunkers provided for them underground if the inevitable happens.

They say money can’t buy you happiness, but it can certainly get you somewhere fancy to hide while the world ends.

Meanwhile, billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, all want off of this rock and are setting their sights on summer homes on Mars. Creating a more efficient way to travel through space raises the possibility of humans colonizing other planets and mining valuable resources from asteroids – it’s essentially a worst-case scenario plan B in case things don’t work out here on earth.

So, the lesson here is that if you’re super rich, there are plenty of investment opportunities in the immortality market. If cryonics isn’t for you, or blood transfusions, why not digital consciousness? If those are a bit far-fetched there’s always an island retreat or luxury bunker on the market.

Or you can get your food supply and wing it when the lights go out.

When we hear of these anti-death strategies, we stop and think that they are crazy schemes.

We always seem to rationalize the tragedy of death — we say it is natural that it is our reward of it’s the goal of life. But that’s not really how we feel when we hear that someone we love has died.

The wish to preserve life as we know it, even at the cost of dying, is profoundly human.

We have been programmed with the belief that death is the inevitable extreme to our birth and we are encoded, too, with the contradictory determination to remain exactly as we are.

Even in death, we spend money in preserving our looks with embalming and display for one more peek into the coffin before it is closed. This way we can maintain our looks in a final bit of narcissism.

If we can just maintain our sense of image a bit longer, before we have to go — till death do we part — to the ground we shall stay – unless we do something the stop it.

The war on death has begun and you are now being challenged to invest in your immortality.

Written by Ron Patton

Search Ground Zero


  • play_circle_filled

    Ground Zero Radio

  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled

    Episode 86 – How To Succeed In Faking An Alien Invasion Without Really Trying!

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Episode 85 – TIN FOIL HATE

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Episode 84 – BLOOD AND SOIL

  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled

    Episode 78 – METEOR RIGHT

play_arrow skip_previous skip_next volume_down

Ground zero


get all the ground zero news
directly to your inbox