As James grows more hostile, his uploaded mind completely collapses, leaving a stuttering, twitching, violent husk of the original man. William decides to leave him in that state, telling his underling not to terminate the experiment as they had done so many times before. Ironically, that decision gives James a version of the immortality he so desperately sought. The only way to achieve life after death, apparently, is to strip yourself of humanity.

That’s a lesson the makers of Westworld apparently hope we learn before its too late. America’s tech industry is on a quest to cheat death: from Alphabet’s Calico, to billionaires like Peter Thiel, to the innumeral Silicon Valley startups looking to prevent aging. Of course, actually doing so would be prohibitively expensive—and Westworld suggests the types of people who might conceivably be able to afford to live forever, and are vain enough to believe they should, are exactly the ones who should stick to their natural expiration date.

In a piece on the industry’s attempts to achieve immortality, a scientist familiar with Calico’s secretive anti-aging experiments told the New Yorker what he thought of those efforts, and in doing so, summed up Westworld‘s argument:

“This is as self-serving as the Medici building a Renaissance chapel in Italy, but with a little extra Silicon Valley narcissism thrown in,” he said. “It’s based on the frustration of many successful rich people that life is too short: ‘We have all this money, but we only get to live a normal life span.'”

Image for article titled “Westworld” satirized tech bros’ quest for eternal life
Image: HBO

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