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Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires

13. Douglas Rushkoff

Book Description

Five mysterious billionaires summoned Douglas Rushkoff to a desert resort for a private talk. The subject? How to survive the “Event”: the societal collapse they know is coming. Rushkoff argues that these men were under the influence of The Mindset, a Silicon Valley–style certainty that they and their cohort can escape a disaster of their own making—as long as they have enough money and the right technology.

Rushkoff traces the origins of The Mindset in science and technology through its current expression in missions to Mars, island bunkers, AI futurism, and the metaverse. Through fascinating characters—master programmers who want to remake the world as if redesigning a video game and bankers who return from Burning Man convinced incentivized capitalism will prevent environmental disasters—Rushkoff explains why those with the most power to change the world have no interest in doing so. He argues that the only way to survive the coming catastrophe is to ensure it doesn’t happen by rediscovering community, mutual aid, and human interdependency.

Anticipating the mass layoffs and institutional collapse that have recently rocked Silicon Valley, Rushkoff’s Survival of the Richest is “a necessary and timely read” (Los Angeles Review of Books) with a prophetic message about the future of tech and our human community.

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