If Then

Luxury Bunkers for the End of the World

Growing fears about natural disasters, nuclear war, and a slew of other threats are causing people to buy fancy underground apartments.

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In this episode, April Glaser is joined by Max Read, an editor and writer at New York magazine who writes the column Life in Pixels.

First, April and Max talk to Patri Friedman, founder of the Seasteading Institute, which he started in 2008 with seed funding from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. Seasteading is the process of forming new societies on the open ocean, and it’s getting a lot of attention from Silicon Valley.


Then, Robert Vicino joins the show to talk about his company, Vivos, which designs and builds high-end bunkers to help people ride out natural disasters and other potential catastrophes. Vicino talks about his clientele and the concerns that drive people to buy fancy underground apartments.


Stories discussed on the show:

Don’t Close My Tabs:

Max: “The Messy Truth About Social Credit” and “Bullet Time”

April: “Inside the Brutal, Petty War Over Donald Trump’s Wikipedia Page

Podcast production by Cameron Drews

You can follow April @Aprilaser and Max @Max_read. If you have a question or comment, you can email us at ifthen@slate.com.

If Then is presented by Slate and Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy, and culture. To read more, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter.