Silicon Valley Wants to Secede from the United States

#Politics

Fri, Oct 25th, 2013 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

Kevin Roose of the New York magazine, brings to attention Silicon Valley's response to the U.S. government shutdown as it revealed "a broader ideological shift among certain members of the technological elite, from political apathy to active anti-government hostility."

CNET reports that Balaji Srinivasan, the co-founder of San Francisco?based genetics company Counsyl, used his opportunity to address a roomful of aspiring start-up founders at Y Combinator to give a talk called "Silicon Valley's Ultimate Exit," a techno-utopian vision of a world free of the constraints of civil society:

"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 ... "We need to build opt-in society, outside the US, run by technology," Srinivasan said, often reading from the slides he presented onstage with an authoritarian tone. [Emphasis mine]

Srinivasan's remarks, which CNET's Nick Statt says were given with an "air of forced evangelism" but were "received warmly" by the start-up incubator's incoming class, were predicated on his belief that Silicon Valley hasn't been responsible for any of the ills that have befallen the United States lately, and that, with tools like Bitcoin and 3-D printing, the tech sector is no longer reliant on participation in the national economy:

"We didn't securitize mortgages, order bailouts, start wars, or refuse to write movies or articles on this until too late," read one of Srinivasan's slides on where the blame lies and what the real problems are that are holding technology back.

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