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Friday, September 29, 2023


Google seeks triumph over limited longevity, enters supervillain territory

Well, they’ve already defeated mammoth industry overlords like Apple, Yahoo! and Amazon, according to Business Week’s plot of Google’s success as a function of the company’s age.

As it turned 15 years old just a few weeks back, Google still boasted an average 2013 market cap, number of employees and annual sales that allowed it to dwarf other supposed “megacorporations” falling in its wake. It’s clearly got a pretty dominant foothold in its marketplace.

It’s also in that wonderful place in its teen years where marketing the snot out of a foolish-looking product isn’t even necessary anymore. If it’s got Google’s name, we’ll buy it without shame — rhymes aside, I’m looking at you, Google Glass.

With this complete marketplace domination, it only seems fitting that those behind Google gear themselves up for a worthier, more formidable challenge. Outselling the iPad altogether, maybe? Oh, maybe they’re going to try and build a virtual retail marketplace that rivals Amazon’s. Yeah, that’s got to be it.

Actually, no. Heading in a much more substantial direction, CNN recently reported that Google announced a new medical research company, Calico, that’s explicitly aimed at challenging the age-old adage of aging itself.

This just in: Google’s newest opponent is none other than death itself.

Calico, or California Life Company, has been exclusively set to research the associated diseases of aging as well as aging itself. It has chosen not to focus too much of its efforts on finding a cure for cancer, according to CNN. CNN also reported that Google CEO Larry Page cited the diminishing gains that become apparent when comparing the longevity that defeating cancer would bring with the merits of a direct study of the causes and ailments behind longevity itself.

Instead, the company will focus much of their research on potentially eliminating Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Page, in a blog post on Google+, said that he and Calico CEO Arthur Levinson were “excited about tackling aging and illness.”

So there you have it, people. Honestly, could Google throw us off with anything more admirable and adventurous? Those sly dogs. All corporate egotism aside, it’s pretty fantastic when a company as large as Google chooses to invest in something that’s not strictly based on profit and keeping their books in the black. Even if it is, it’ll still have some pretty amazing returns for people outside the company. Hopefully, there will be some noteworthy contributions to medicine — and to humanity — from the California Life Company.

Unless, of course, this is simply a ploy to ensure we’re all around for the next 85 generations of smartphone releases they’ve got planned over the next century. Oh, wow.

Well played, Google. Well played.

Senior staff columnist Cara Smith is a communications junior and may be reached at [email protected]


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