Douglas Rushkoff on the ultra-wealthy trying to figure out how the world will end (because of them) and how to dominate through it. Quite depressing, if unsurprising.
Finally, the CEO of a brokerage house explained that he had nearly completed building his own underground bunker system, and asked: “How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?” The event. That was their euphemism for the environmental collapse, social unrest, nuclear explosion, solar storm, unstoppable virus, or malicious computer hack that takes everything down.
I'm not always a fan of Tim O'Reilly's views from the Silicon Valley bubble. Even so, his article on the "post-covid future" is worth putting some time aside for.
So, when you read stories—and there are many—speculating or predicting when and how we will return to “normal”, discount them heavily. The future will not be like the past. The comfortable Victorian and Georgian world complete with grand country houses, a globe-spanning British empire, and lords and commoners each knowing their place, was swept away by the events that began in the summer of 1914 (and that with Britain on the “winning” side of both world wars.) So too, our comfortable “American century” of conspicuous consumer consumption, global tourism, and ever-increasing stock and home prices may be gone forever.
Another excerpt from the Underland book. This one tells the story of a tomb for radioactive waste being built in Finland. There's something really ominous about the whole concept of burying our radioactive slop and hoping a future civilisation doesn't get curious and dig it up.