"Survivalism," or preparing for societal collapse, has become serious business among some of America's super rich, as illustrated by a recent article from The New Yorker which takes a look at the great lengths to which some of the richest from Wall Street to Silicon Valley have gone to protect themselves against cataclysmic civil unrest.
"The tech preppers do not necessarily think a collapse is likely," Yishan Wong, Reddit's former CEO and one of Facebook's first employees, told The New Yorker. He also got eye surgery in preparation for doomsday.
But Antonio García Martínez, former Facebook product manager and author of Silicon Valley tell-all book Chaos Monkeys, seems to be banking on impending social chaos. "I think people who are particularly attuned to the levers by which society actually works understand that we are skating on really thin cultural ice right now." Martínez purchased five acres on an island in the Pacific Northwest, tricked out with ample ammunition, solar panels, and generators.
Preppers in the venture capital world include Tim Chang, managing director at Mayfield Fund, and Max Levchin, a founder of PayPal and lending startup Affirm.