Culture 6 min read

Doomsday Prepping Silicon Valley Style

Zastolskiy Victor |

Zastolskiy Victor |

Doomsday prepping isn’t just middle Americans on the History Channel, and some Silicon Valley billionaires are living proof. If civilization does collapse, could their plans spell the future of the human race?

We spend a lot of time here at Edgy Labs highlighting the efforts of Silicon Valley giants like Google and Facebook, who seem to be taking over the world with their devices and the AI that have more control over them every day. The tech sector generates billionaires, and though we may not realize it, we might be trusting those doomsday prepping billionaires with the survival of the human race.

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Doomsday prepping is a fantasy for some and a stark reality for those with extreme wealth. Many high-profile names in the tech sector see it as simple logic. If there is a chance that civilization could fail, and you have enough money and power to survive such a collapse, why wouldn’t you hedge your bets and build a backup plan?

Some entrepreneurs have sprung up to design and provide bomb shelters and backup plans, but those aren’t the only options available. Some think that places like New Zealand might provide a safe getaway, as long as you can pay for the real estate.

As we move into Industry 4.0, it is easy to get comfortable with the thought that everything is functioning just fine, and will do so for years to come, but the pessimist in me knows better.

The more advanced we get, the more dependent we are on those advancements. If our infrastructure was suddenly to crumble, the rich and prepared would outlast the rest.

Envisioning the Future of Doom

During the OPEC oil crisis of the 1970s, people had to come face to face with the fact that much of their lives ran on a resource that was far from limitless. Gas prices soared in the U.S., and the dependence on automobiles which had enabled so much improvement during the 1950s was now poised to victimize the very people that it had empowered.

Life had become more comfortable, but at the same time it made people weaker, and less equipped to live off the land or deal with disastrous events. Across the country, people began to wise up, and the idea of doomsday prepping gathered steam.

Doomsday prepping is a subject that transcends lines of party and class. Preppers are democrats, republicans, libertarians, wealthy and poor. All sectors of society have people that prep for the end of civilization, and if everything went down, they would be the ones to carry the torch of humanity into the future.

Of course, the rich have an edge.

Meet the Preppers

Silicon Valley hosts many who think that prepping for the end of the world is logical even if it isn’t likely. Take Yishan Wong for example. Wong, who was the C.E.O. of Reddit from 2012 to 2014, said that “The tech preppers do not necessarily think a collapse is likely. They 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.”

Speaking of Reddit C.E.O.s, Steve Huffman is wrapped up in prepping as well. He attributed his 2015 laser-eye surgery to survivalism since he didn’t like his chances of having to fend for himself without being able to see clearly. He isn’t alone, either; Wong had his eyes fixed for the same reason.

Former Facebook product manager Antonio Garcia-Martinez bought five acres of land on an island and stocked it with generators, solar panels, and loads of ammunition. In Martinez’ opinion, refugees can’t be entirely isolated if they want to flourish, so he’s ready to raise a militia to protect his isolated little slice of safety.

Entrepreneurs like Larry Hall are eager to make luxury bunkers out of their cash. Y’know, cause if you are going to hole up in a bunker, it might as well be the best darn bunker money can buy.

Straight out of Fallout, Hall’s Survival Condo Project is a fifteen-story luxury apartment building built deep underground in an old Atlas missile silo. For a cool three million per floor (or half, if you only need half a floor), buyers could reserve what Hall maintains is “true relaxation for the ultra-wealthy.”

Maybe living underground isn’t quite your style. If so, you’re in luck. Just find somebody like Jim Rohrstaff, who can sell you a slice of paradise on some prime New Zealand real estate. His company, Legacy Partners, is offering a luxury housing development that lies completely secluded from the outside world, making it resilient in the face of social collapse.

Many doomsday prepping ideas begin with isolating you and yours in a defendable position, then stocking that position up with as much food, water, and renewable energy as possible.

But if doomsday did occur, and only the rich survived, what would the future look like?

Lurching Toward the Future

I don’t want to be too much of a downer, but an actual doomsday situation could suck, even if humanity survives.

Let me paint a picture for you that you may recognize:


In the future, the intelligent Eloi live peaceful, serene lives during the day, while at night they fear the surfacing Morlocks who live far underground and come to the surface for food, terror, and God only knows what else. Though they are mortal enemies, both races hail from a single ancestor: Homo Sapiens.

Okay, I know that’s just a synopsis of H.G. Wells‘ classic book The Time Machine, but with so many doomsday plans involving isolation, it isn’t so hard to wonder what would happen with whoever is left after the apocalypse.

The Time Machine shares its theme with many other books, such as Wayward Pines, where the last vestige of humanity fights its savage descendant species.

If people can fund luxury doomsday plans, and civilization does collapse, then they will have a distinct advantage over other survivors. It isn’t too much of a stretch to think of how that could bifurcate the human race beyond economic and cultural differences, especially over extended periods of time.

For now, doomsday prepping is still a passion of the few, and many companies, philanthropists, and futurists are counting on making our future as secure and renewable as possible. Hopefully, we never need to see what happens when the few survive while the many devolve into chaos, but if it does, it won’t hurt to have a friend in silicon valley who has already thought of and funded, their end-of-the-world plan.

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William McKinney

William is an English teacher, a card carrying nerd, And he may run for president in 2020. #truefact #voteforedgy

Comments (2)
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  1. Wez Blampied January 31 at 1:28 am GMT

    Second to last paragraph is repeated. Either that or I had a bad case of dejavu

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