Secession? It’s not just for hillbillies and Vermont hippies anymore. The Verge, a website that covers technology and culture, reports that Balaji Srinivasan’s vision is for Silicon Valley to secede from the United States.
And I never thought this kind of thing would get beyond Chuck Norris.
From The Verge: “What if instead of filing for an IPO or getting acquired by Yahoo, the end game for any startup was to become autonomous — to become wholly independent of the land that birthed it? What if Silicon Valley became its own city-state filled with citizens ferried about by Uber cars, living in rented homes rented on Airbnb? This is the vision of Balaji Srinivasan, co-founder of genetics company Counsyl and Stanford lecturer.”
"In a talk titled 'Silicon Valley's 'Ultimate Exit' hosted by startup accelerator Y Combinator last week, Srinivasan outlined his idea for a self-sustaining, insulated 'experiment' where we'd live under a government run by Silicon Valley," Ellis Hamburger reports. "He describes this fictional society as "opt-in," as if it were the latest feature of one of the Valley's many startups."
CNET reports on Srinivasan’s comments in Cupertino, Calif., on Oct. 19: " 'The best part is this, the people who think this is weird, the people who sneer at the frontier, who hate technology, won't follow you there,' he said. 'We need to run the experiment, to show what a society run by Silicon Valley looks like without affecting anyone who wants to live under the Paper Belt,' he added, using the term 'paper belt' to refer to the environments currently governed by pre-existing systems like the US government."
Worth noting, the great American ambassador George Kennan proposed in his 1994 book, Around the Cragged Hill, that Los Angeles (and Chicago and New York) move to become quasi-independent city-states similar to what Srinivasan proposes here. And Thomas Naylor, a Duke professor retired in Vermont, made the same suggestion for Vermont in 2002 in consultation with Kennan.
Also worth noting, Cupertino is 2,900 miles from matrix-dominating Washington, D.C., farther than Tibet is from Beijing.