It used to be that the term “doomsday prepper” evoked a certain visual of an ultra-conservative, bearded woodsman with slightly less than stellar hygiene practices living in the middle of no where with an arsenal of weaponry and a sufficient hoard of dried and canned food to live for years. But recently that all seems to be changing. And whether the election of Trump was the catalyst that drove the world’s rich to start prepping or simply allowed them to open up about being preppers all along, one thing is certain, “prepping” is growing in popularity among America’s billionaires.
In the latest issue of The New Yorker, Evan Osnos takes a look at some of the super-rich that are taking extreme measures to prepare for the apocalypse. One such wealthy prepper is Silicon Valley’s Reddit CEO, Steve Huffman, who admits that he went so far as to get corrective eye surgery, not for convenience or appearance, but bacause “If the world ends…getting contacts or glasses is going to be a huge pain in the ass…without them, I’m fucked.”
Steve Huffman, the thirty-three-year-old co-founder and C.E.O. of Reddit, which is valued at six hundred million dollars, was nearsighted until November, 2015, when he arranged to have laser eye surgery. He underwent the procedure not for the sake of convenience or appearance but, rather, for a reason he doesn’t usually talk much about: he hopes that it will improve his odds of surviving a disaster, whether natural or man-made. “If the world ends—and not even if the world ends, but if we have trouble—getting contacts or glasses is going to be a huge pain in the ass,” he told me recently. “Without them, I’m fucked.”
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