"If the world ends, getting contacts or glasses is going to be a huge pain in the ass."

Super-rich get ready for the end of times


Sat, Jan 28th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With the idea that "contemporary life rests on a fragile consensus," the super-rich are getting ready for a potential collapse of civilisation — whether caused by a meteor striking Earth or an uprising by the unemployed when automation takes all the jobs — leading them to purchase "apocalypse insurance" in the form of a secure hideaway to retreat to when things will eventually go bad. Not everyone agrees.

One measure of survivalism’s spread is that some people are starting to speak out against it. Max Levchin, a founder of PayPal and of Affirm, a lending startup, told me, “It’s one of the few things about Silicon Valley that I actively dislike—the sense that we are superior giants who move the needle and, even if it’s our own failure, must be spared.”

To Levchin, prepping for survival is a moral miscalculation; he prefers to “shut down party conversations” on the topic. “I typically ask people, ‘So you’re worried about the pitchforks. How much money have you donated to your local homeless shelter?’ This connects the most, in my mind, to the realities of the income gap. All the other forms of fear that people bring up are artificial.” In his view, this is the time to invest in solutions, not escape. “At the moment, we’re actually at a relatively benign point of the economy. When the economy heads south, you will have a bunch of people that are in really bad shape. What do we expect then?”



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