I put on a pair of wool socks, slippers, mittens, earmuffs, and a surgical mask, remove my shirt, and open the door of a coffin-sized chamber, thereby releasing vapor into the room. I glance up at the screen inside my human freezer as it starts to count down the three minutes I’ll spend in a tiny room chilled by air that is negative 220 degrees Fahrenheit. It is noon and I have not eaten since 6 p.m., other than a cup of coffee that I put in a blender with a pat of butter and some coconut oil.
I’m going to live forever.
Unless I freeze to death trying.
For the next 10 weeks, I’m full-on biohacking.
Four years ago, I got into great shape for an article by having a celebrity trainer, Harley Pasternak, put me on the program he used for actors who had landed roles as superheroes. I walked 12,000 steps a day, lifted weights four days a week, and ate five meals a day that consisted of low-fat protein, a lot of high-fiber fruits and vegetables, and a little healthy fat. I looked great. I felt good. I experienced the joy of being hated by my friends and family.
But I was going to be dead by 90.
Silicon Valley bros see a century of human life as a 20th-century limitation. If we went from a TRS-80 to an iPhone in 30 years, we can surely double human life using big data and self-quantification. What is the body if not another piece of hardware waiting to be hacked? Isn’t it time that death got disrupted?
Such a bro friend of mine, Jason Diaz, was visiting L.A. and said he didn’t have time for lunch, but I could meet him at the biohacking conference he’d flown out for. He had sold his company and realized the stress, long hours, and poor eating of entrepreneurship had damaged his body. He had his telomeres tested and was told his biological age was 25% higher than his physical age. This made him, conceptually, 54, just one year younger than his grandfather was when he died. Now Diaz was setting a goal of seeing the 22nd century. “There’s been so much bad data: Don’t eat eggs! Only eat the yellows! Only eat the whites! We finally have good data today,” Diaz…