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June 05, 2017 3 min read
Virtual reality wunderkind Palmer Luckey is wading deeper into the world of politics with a new company "developing surveillance technology that could be deployed on borders between countries and around military bases," according to the New York Times. Luckey, the founder of Facebook-owned Oculus, left the company this year.
His new venture will reportedly be supported by the investment fund run by venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who recently made a more public name for himself spending over $10 million to finance lawsuits against independent media outlet Gawker before donating $1.25 million to the Trump campaign and positioning himself as a major part of Trump's transition team.
Luckey also had a meeting with Trump’s chief strategist and former World of Warcraft goldfarm slumlord Steve Bannon about using his new surveillance technology on the Mexican border. Just last month, Luckey had a meeting with US Interior Department head Ryan Zinke about "Border Wall building plans." For some reason, this meeting was set up by American Sniper author Scott McEwen, who is friends with Zinke. In April, Luckey also held a fundraiser -- in California -- for Texas senator Ted Cruz.
Texas of course shares the longest border with Mexico of any state, so it's entirely plausible that Luckey is doing typical rich guy shit of using his obscene wealth to buy political influence. In Luckey's first political dust up last year, when it was found out he spent $10,000 on a pro-Trump/anti-Hillary organization, Luckey distanced himself from the controversy stating he was a "a libertarian who has publicly supported Ron Paul and Gary Johnson" so supporting a classic neocon like Cruz doesn't make much sense. A couple months ago we found out Luckey donated another $100,000 to Trump's inaugural committee via shell-companies named for Chrono Trigger.
The 24-year-old's new company is based in Southern California and is currently self-financed thanks to an estimated over-$730-million net worth. His handful of employees include Christopher Dycus, formerly of Oculus. According to the NYT report, his new company plans to use, "lidar -- shorthand for light detection and ranging -- as well as infrared sensors and cameras to monitor borders for illegal crossings." Sources say it would be cheaper than Trump's insane border wall, and that it could have multiple applications for "perimeter security, including military bases."
"We are spending more than ever on defense technology, yet the pace of innovation has been slowing for decades," Luckey wrote to NYT when asked for comment. "We need a new kind of defense company, one that will save taxpayer dollars while creating superior technology to keep our troops and citizens safer."
If pearl clutching over "illegal border crossings" wasn't enough, Luckey's going full neocon here, bringing bullshit Silicon Valley "innovation" buzzwords to the money spillway that is the American military industrial complex. Forget how much Luckey stands to profit as he hobnobs with the most powerful people in the world -- he's trying to keep you safe!
Not unsurprisingly, then, are some new personal details about Luckey from the Times piece. One acquaintance called him a "casual 'prepper,'" as in "doomsday prepper," the folks building bunkers in their yards in preparation for societal collapse. Another said Luckey was just a "military buff." According to the Times, Luckey owns multiple properties that house decommissioned missile silos as well as "several military vehicles" and "three helicopters." Not sure how the millennial who grew up beach-front in Long Beach taking sailing lessons at the local yacht club turned into a Far Cry 5 character. I guess limitless money will do funny things to a fella.
Oculus Founder Plots a Comeback With a Virtual Border Wall [New York Times]
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