• • Titanic II, an unsinkable symbol of our new gilded age
Robert Colvile, The Telegraph (London) Today, we’re living through a second Gilded Age – but where the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers played at being aristocrats, marrying into European nobility and looting the continent’s treasures to furnish their many homes, their successors simply play. Extreme wealth has become an opportunity for self-fulfilment – often revolving around a return to childhood, or simply childishness. John Travolta builds a runway outside his mansion, so he can play pilot with his five private jets. The oil baron William Koch constructs a complete Wild West town, so he can play cowboy. Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist, funds “seasteads”, floating cities where Ayn Rand nuts like himself can free themselves from the tyranny of government and taxes and little people – essentially, hi-tech treehouses complete with crayoned signs saying “No Girls Allowed”.