They’re Building Rapture? Seriously?

Senior Contributor
08.18.11 3 Comments

So, we all loved Bioshock, but of course we all thought the central concept was ridiculous. After all, even though rich jerks love to go places poor people can’t, there’s no way they’d be dumb enough to think that a society of bastards allowed to do whatever it wanted wouldn’t melt down, right?

Wrong. Meet Peter Thiel. He owns Paypal, a chunk of Facebook, he’s a Tolkien nerd, and he wants to…well…build a libertarian paradise in the middle of the ocean. Or, in far-right rich-guy speak:

“It’s almost like there’s a cartel of governments, and this is a way to force governments to compete in a free-market way.”

You know, because governments (and politics) function exactly like corporations! No minimum wage? No welfare? Looser building codes? Would you kindly tell me what could go wrong? Maybe Thiel could bring in some of the DNA experiments he’s funding as well. After all, it’s just not fun, being super-rich, unless you have a hand that shoots bees.

The whole article, from Details, is a great read, not least because it offers you some insight into just how people like Thiel, who let me remind you basically controls a huge chunk of online commerce, actually see the world around them.

It is nice to see that these guys are funding the wild and weird, which sometimes has a payoff. SpaceX, another of Thiel’s projects and frankly the one most likely to get us off this rock in meaningful numbers, is a great example. And it is worth noting that Thiel doesn’t actually see himself on the real-life Rapture, and that he puts money into a lot of different ideas because he’s essentially a futurist.

On the other hand, it’s also worth noting the guy thinks Sauron got a bad break in “Lord of the Rings.” Just saying.

[ via Details ]

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