Survival of the Richest | Douglas Rushkoff

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"I thought I was a joke or a test!"

Douglas Rushkoff was led into a room at a desert resort where five mysterious billionaires awaited him. They peppered the media theorist and author with binary questions: Bitcoin or Ethereum? Virtual reality or augmented reality? Alaska or New Zealand?

This experience sets the stage for Douglas's newest book, Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires, which focuses on "The Mindset, a Silicon Valley-style certainty that they and their cohort can break the laws of physics, economics, and morality to escape a disaster of their own making—as long as they have enough money and the right technology."*

Today's episode explores the derivative and meta focus of today's financial and technology industry, so much so that the New York Stock Exchange has been purchased by a derivates exchange and Facebook has changed its holding company's name to Meta.

Additional Topics Include:

  • Why Alphabet will survive and Meta will fail (05:18)
  • Will new technologies replace human labor or just camouflage it? (12:02)
  • The 2000 merger of AOL and Time Warner (18:14)
  • Is a scorched earth mentality necessary? (20:32)
  • Why do billionaires donate so inefficiently (27:07)

(Editor’s note: Topic times don’t account for sponsor ads and may appear a few minutes later in the episode on your podcast player)

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