I recently read an article where half of the tech billionaires in SIlicon Valley are active preppers. I don’t know where this percentage came from, but let’s roll with it for now. If you don’t know what a prepper is, it is someone who believes the world might end and they want to survive.
You might think that most preppers are in the Midwest or South and they have underground bunkers full of food and guns, and you probably wouldn’t be too off. So, what could cause the end of the world? Disease, nuclear war, asteroid strike…zombies? You get the idea.
Now here is the interesting thing about the Tech billionaire preppers, they are afraid that the masses will rise up and take them down. Think Marie Antoinette’s, “Let the eat cake.” Or maybe the villagers storming Frankenstein’s castle.
Why would the people do this? Well, because many of these billionaires started companies and developed technologies whose result, if not goal, was to put people out of work and decrease workers’ wages and benefits. I know, harsh. It’s not their fault, mind you. I mean, society rewards innovation. When Edison invented the light bulb, that guy who walked on stilts to light street lamps was probably pretty pissed.
So what’s different today? It’s the breadth and speed of the change. Every industry is being disrupted, or attacked, depending on what side your on of the equation, and it is happening fast. Billions of dollars are funding the smartest people in the world to bring change and make money. If your job can be done better, safer and cheaper by a robot, by AI, by someone living in another country, then you should start looking for another job, or maybe start lighting the torches and picking up the pitch forks…your call.
OK, back to the 3 steps for billionaires to become a prepper
- Up or down? It all starts here. Should I dig down or should I build up. Think underground cavern vs above ground castle. Both have their benefits. With a cave you are protected by solid rock, it does not get much better than that. But the sun! Building high walls with defenses has worked for thousands of years. But one smart alec with a tank can ruin an otherwise nice day.
- Power! No not the kind you are used to wielding, but the kind you need to keep enjoying your billionaire lifestyle. You won’t get out to the opera anymore, or take that trip up to Napa but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the apocalypse. Why else did you build the theater, pool and wine cellar? If you’re lucky (or planned for this) you bought a house over geothermal springs and the world (your bunker) is your oyster. You could go for wind or solar, but those are above ground, and subject to those terrible vandals.
- Cyber Security: No, not the kind that protects your system or network. This security protects the cyber creator. You’ve built your panic home, you’ve powered it and filled it with nice things (take your shoes off before settling in for a few decades) and now you need to protect your stuff, your loved ones (did your accountant make the cut?) and yourself. Sure you could go for gun turrets, moats (alligators?) and missiles, but that’s a sure way to bring attention. If the Walking Dead has taught us anything, as big and bad as you are, there’s always someone bigger and badder. So just like a computer virus, you want to be silent and unseen, like a ninja. Sure your house may be looted and destroyed but so what, you already took all the good stuff with you.
Verdict: Dig deep and dig wide. You might miss the sun but buy some sun lamps and send up your own satellite to keep an eye on the restless natives.
Verdict: Geothermal. If you can’t, then “dirty is perty.” Oil and natural gas are cheap and plentiful. Just build a large enough container for 100 years. Things should have settled down by then.
Verdict: There’s a reason why “run” is usually followed by “hide.” Keep a low profile, head down and wait it out. Things will turn around. And if they don’t then enjoy your life in the underground. It’s not bad at all. Sure Netflix is no more but lucky you were prepared and brought the cast of Breaking Bad with you to play out every episode. That show never gets old.
This article is obviously tongue in cheek but the point is that people need to be prepared and the people I’m talking about are not the billionaires (don’t worry, they’ll be ok), but rather the everyday, hard working people of this country and this world. A lot of change has happened, but you aint seen nothing yet folks. The pace will increase because computers are getting faster and smarter. The solution is not to prepare for the end of society but to start talking about the society we want to create. We need corporations, the government, unions and people to begin the conversation on where things are headed, before it’s too late. Let’s call for a meeting, set up a committee, have a hearing…but let’s do it! And do it now.