Tech billionaires and other super-rich Americans are reportedly investing in "apocalypse insurance" in the highly unlikely event of a crack up of civilization, whether it be from a major natural disaster or governmental collapse.
The New Yorker interviewed several of these influential tech leaders who've stocked up on guns and ammuntion, purchased property in isolated locations and have even gone so far as to have laser eye surgery in case they can no longer purchase contact lenses.
“I keep a helicopter gassed up all the time,” one head of an investment firm told the magazine. “And I have an underground bunker with an air-filtration system.” He went on, “A lot of my friends do the guns and the motorcycles and the gold coins. That’s not too rare anymore.”
Sam Altman, the Y Combinator president and friend of Peter Thiel, told the magazine that he preps for survival. He said if some kind of pandemic does strike, his backup plan is to fly with Thiel to Thiel’s house in New Zealand.
It was just revealed that Theil has a New Zealand citizenship. He is a naturalized American who was born in Germany. He reportedly became a citizen in New Zealand in 2011. He owns lavish properties on the island, according to the Times.
Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn said he found out that telling someone you’re buying a house in New Zealand is “kind of a wink, wink, say no more,” when it comes to survivalism. He estimates that over 50 percent of Silicon Valley billionaires have some “apocalypse insurance.”
Antonio Garcia Martinez, a former Facebook product manager in San Francisco, reportedly bought acres of land on an island in the Pacific Northwest, the magazine reported. He reportedly said that he purchased thousands of rounds of ammunition, generators and solar panels.
He made the decision after watching last year’s presidential campaign. He said he wanted his refuge to be far from cities but not too far from civilization.
“All these dudes think that one guy alone could somehow withstand the roving mob,” he reportedly said. “No, you’re going to need to form a local militia. You just need so many things to actually ride out the apocalypse.”
He said society is “skating on really thin cultural ice right now.”
Yishan Wong, the former CEO of Reddit, said he had eye surgery for survival purposes and told the magazine in an email that survialism is essentially a hedged bet.
“They (preppers) consider it a remote event, but one with a very severe downside, so, given how much money they have, spending a fraction of their net worth to hedge against this . . . is a logical thing to do.”