Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires

Norton. Sept. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9780393881066. $26.95. TECH
Five billionaires asked Rushkoff (digital economics and media theory, CUNY Queens Coll.; Team Human) to speak at an event on a remote island. They wanted advice on building bunkers for an apocalyptic event. These billionaires had something that Rushkoff calls “the Mindset,” an escapist belief that the wealthy and most technologically efficient can somehow leave the laws of physics and economics, and ultimately other people, behind. The author presents several examples of the Mindset, including COVID and the quarantine it necessitated. For instance, Rushkoff writes, the pandemic helped many people to justify a societal trend already in progress: isolation from others and life in a technology bubble. He cites a lot of research from news outlets, books, scholarship on technology, politics, human behavior, and sustainability to drive home his point that technology is running society.
VERDICT Rushkoff’s anecdotes and relatable voice will attract readers interested in technology and business, as well as those who want to know more about how wealthy tech magnates live.
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