Why Silicon Valley Billionaires Are Preparing for the Apocalypse

Alan Trapulionis
6 min readMay 24, 2022

Peter Thiel has always been a bit weird.

With a quiet net worth of $4.7 billion, you’d think Thiel should spend his days surfing with half-naked models somewhere in the Caribbean. Instead, he’s busy purchasing massive amounts of land in New Zealand in case of an apocalyptic event.

Look at all that clean water and farmable land. Photo by Tobias Keller on Unsplash

Next we have Sir Elon Musk. He’s been preaching for years that the world is about to end. He doesn’t really care how — whether it’s an inevitable asteroid hitting the Earth or AI overtaking humans by 2025 — as long as he can colonize Mars in time, he’s happy.

Actual picture of Elon Musk on Mars, testing soil. Legend says it is here that he decided to buy Twitter. Photo by Nicolas Lobos on Unsplash

Then, of course, we have Sir William Gates the Third. Over the past 10 years, Gates purchased more than 269,000 acres of farmland all across the US, making him one of the biggest landowners in the country. Gates strongly denies apocalyptic vibes.

So many carrots. So little time. Photo by Charl Folscher on Unsplash. Edited by me.

We also have smaller fish running for cover. Reddit CEO apparently got LASIK eye surgery in 2015 because, quote, “if the world ends, getting contacts or glasses is going to be a huge pain in the ass.”

Naturally, you might think, these people are onto something. Surely they know something that bothers them so much they’re actually preparing for the end of the world, right?

Well, not really.

Peter Thiel, for example, has long held a belief that our democracy is evil and doomed to fail. He got this idea from Sovereign Individual, a book which Thiel said had “tremendously influenced” him in his 20s.

Peter Thiel, looking at democracy’s future. Wikimedia Commons image.

The book (written in 1997) essentially makes four points:

  1. Democracy is a cartel that forces honest people to “surrender” their wealth
  2. Internet will mean the end of government
  3. Governments will…
Alan Trapulionis

In quest of understanding how humans work.