I understand why Town & Country shoehorned three techies into their "Sexiest Bachelors 2014" list. If coders are the new bankers, and bankers were the new imperial vassal lords (or something), it fits. To a regressive glossy, powerful parvenues are the best bachelors—but try not picking the creepiest in Startupland.
The world-changing aspirations of Twitter and Facebook are a drop in the bucket, a single bloom in an Arab Spring, compared to what former Palantir cofounder Joe Lonsdale wants to do with Formation 8, a venture capital firm that raised $448 million to modernize and disrupt all of Asia's power centers, basically. The leaked emails (below) show how Lonsdale intends to recruit engineers to his cause: by making them “feel special because they think they've been identified by technology [i.e. Palantir] that helped locate bin Laden.”
Palantir, that CIA-funded, Silicon Valley creephouse that funnels in humanity's data and spits out... more data... has a lot of secrets. We don't know exactly which parts of the government it works for, or what it does for them. But we do know one of its execs thinks he's locked in a Lord of The Rings battle between good and evil.
No one knows what Palantir—named after a magical rock in Lord of The Rings that granted remote vision—exactly does. But we know enough to know it's not just another California startup. The secretive data-mining company works directly with the American government, has a product named "Prism," and some very close ties to Facebook, one of the NSA's top targets.