By Danni Levy
Who doesn’t want to look and feel younger?
We, humans, possess an insatiable hunger for eternal youth. But unless you count strategically pulling, filling or peeling yourself in the impossible direction, it’s the one thing money can’t buy, or can it?
Tech millionaire, brainiac and obsessive life-liver Bryan Johnson believes we are just steps away from waving goodbye to inevitable death.
Bryan has invested an estimated $4m and dedicated the past 2 ½ years of his life to “Project Blueprint,” an algorithm that aims to maximally reverse his biological age by consistently measuring all 70+ organs in his body and deciding precisely what he must eat, when he must sleep and how he must live.
Bryan is 45 years old if you count the number of days he’s been on the planet. But thanks to the aberration of his unique and unwavering mindset coupled with the work of a team of thirty scientists, he has cooled off the clock significantly, slowing the pace of aging by the equivalent of 31 years.
“It’s not a vanity project,” Bryan insists as we come face to face over a Zoom call. He looks even younger than I’d anticipated, having spent shameless hours scrolling through his social media accounts.
My mind faced a dichotomy. I was perplexed but in awe. I was fascinated but fearful. I was motivated but mindful of the severity of the lifestyle required to achieve such extreme results one would never have thought scientifically possible; until now.
Since cosmetic claims were so heavily rejected, I accepted Bryan’s motive for embarking on an eternally evolutionary journey was sparked by something far more meaningful. I asked Bryan Johnson whether he was indeed using himself as a “science project” for the entire human race.
“Yes,” he promptly confirmed. “I am. And a call for revolution, that death has always been inevitable. We have built a society around that inevitability from our philosophies to our habits, to our cultures, to our ideas, to the way we interact. It is time we change our culture from one of inevitable death to one of don’t die.”
“Don’t die.” It’s a pretty tough target. I couldn’t help thinking Bryan was aiming at the bullseye with a blunt arrow. I needed to dive deeper into the inner workings of his multi-million dollar attempt at a miracle.
“We are trying to replicate the functional, structural and biological characteristics of an 18-year-old,” Bryan explains. “I playfully say an 18-year-old because my boys are 18. But if you put them in an MRI and you look at their kidneys, or their heart, or the amount of fat they have on their face, I’m trying to match those biological characteristics.
Many people don’t understand the difference between chronological and biological age. If you study a baby’s heart, it looks different and functions differently than the heart of a 90-year-old, and that’s true for the ages of 20, 30, 40, 50 and so on. In short, our bodies structurally and functionally represent certain ages, and I’m trying to rewind my biological clock.”
It was refreshing to hear Bryan use the word “playful,” but I suspected there wasn’t much play time in his daily life. Were there at least some shallow fish to be caught?
“Yes, there is an aesthetic purpose to the project,” he confesses. “But only because we’re trying to legitimately restore a more youthful state.”
I had to press pause. “More youthful” felt ambiguous. I wanted numbers.
“Goal number one is don’t die. And then in the near future, I think it’s not unreasonable to imagine we could perpetually be in the most youthful states of our lives. There’s no fundamental law of biology or physics that says that’s not possible. I mean, if you think about how we all are accustomed to getting a new smartphone every year, better camera, better electronics that’s faster, that’s better, it’s the same concept, just with humans.”
Ok then! Bryan Johnson is upgrading. I asked what version of Bryan we’re on now.
“We’re probably on Bryan version 185,” he quips. His sense of humor exists only to replace the absence of cracks on his porcelain face.
“I’m the first human in history to intertwine myself with science and technology where I improve at the speed of science and technology, because I have an algorithm that takes care of me. This is why I improve because I don’t make decisions with my mind; the algorithm makes decisions based upon the data.”
Bryan’s Daily Regime (Version 185)
20:30 pm: Bryan goes to bed, and “the day begins.”
5:00-6:00 am: Bryan wakes up naturally- no alarm.
7:00 am: 1-hour workout
8:00 am: Super veggies
9:00 am: Nutty pudding
11:00 am: Final meal
Afternoon: Running and investing in several companies, plus engaging in several therapies
Night Time: Wind down routine
Bryan insists he has learned to “appreciate and want hunger,” so fasting from 11 am until the next day is agreeable.
He also boasts growing popularity with the ladies.
“One of the funniest things was when we did the blood transfusion, more women reached out to me than ever before. Blood apparently is a big thing. I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was.”
But if you’re thinking about dating or befriending Bryan Johnson while learning from or adopting his protocol, beware, he lists a number of somewhat challenging conditions.
Read these Rules Before Dating Bryan!
Rule #1: 11:00 AM, dinner
Rule #2: 8:30 PM, bedtime
Rule #3: No pillow talk
Rule #4: You sleep alone
Rule #5: No small talk. Really don’t care
Rule #6: No Sunday vacations
Rule #7: Even, scheduled sex
Rule #8: Veggie daddy
Rule #9: Must give plasma
Rule #10: You are not my number one priority
“If I met the right woman, I would happily introduce her to the Blueprint lifestyle and let her live it side by side with me, so long as she respected my rules,” says Bryan. But for now, his protege exists in the presence of his 18-year-old son Talmage, who swears by the same strict lifestyle in the hope of immortality.
“My son represents the next generation of humans,” claims Bryan. “When you start at that age doing everything you can to slow the speed of aging and to adopt technological and scientific advances, the sky’s the limit. No homo sapiens ever did this before.”
For those among us who simply couldn’t manage to munch the full meal ticket, there are takeaways from Bryan Johnson’s regime he insists will go a long way toward staving off aging.
“The sun is the biggest accelerator of aging,” he says. “We have a multi-spectral imaging device here at the house, and we measure the skin with ten biomarkers: UV damage, reds, browns, pore size, etc. A little sun is good, but too much is very bad.
“My Blueprint is more about identifying the bad things you do and eradicating them than adopting new behaviors. Stop staying up late, stop skipping exercise, stop eating too much food, stop eating processed food, stop smoking, and stop drinking. Just stop the bad stuff. This is so counterintuitive because people want to do the good stuff because sometimes doing the good stuff like taking a pill is so much easier than confronting the chaos of the inability to stop the bad things.”
Whilst Bryan has invested millions of dollars into his Blueprint program, he makes all of the fundamental information available for free to those who want to follow in his footsteps. If you want groceries and personalized measurements, you’re looking at around $1,500 a month.
“It depends on what level you’re going to play at,” explains Bryan. “You could probably get 80% of the benefits of what I do by simply stopping bad things and incorporating Blueprint. If you want to eke out the remaining 20% of the benefits, you can go to the edge with me, but I think most people can be pretty chill on Blueprint in its basic form.”
Bryan Johnson believes we are a society that concludes death is inevitable when in actual fact, it is not.
“Because of our limiting beliefs, we do things to delay the inevitable day,” he says. “Because death is inherently accepted, all of our behaviors reflect that, and this is why this is potentially the biggest revolution in human history. If we sincerely believe and don’t die, we will change society.”
A Quickfire Q & A With the Human Science Project
What would it take to persuade you to go to dinner (after 11 am)?
“Hanging out with friends or family. I save up to 500 calories and do this once per week. I’ll have a plate of vegetables to join them. I try my hardest to be normal.”
Since sex has to be scheduled, does it also have a maximum allotted time frame/optimal time frame?
“No. Sex is playtime. Whatever comes naturally.”
Do you believe the pharmaceutical industry has the same notion as you but enjoys profiting from illness?
“I’m not a huge conspiracy theorist. The pharmaceutical industry is making stuff that’s making money.”
Do you miss any pre-blueprint meals/foods, and if so, which?
“I really don’t miss any foods. I don’t like or value cheat food. I find it to be unpleasant. My 100% (15 grams of dark chocolate) is the naughtiest thing I consume.”
Do you ever indulge in television, cinema or “junk” media?
“No. It’s like junk food; I don’t like the way it makes me feel. I’m a big reader. I really enjoy Southpark. I also love stand-up comedy, especially Ricky Gervais. “Arrival” is probably my favorite movie.”