Why Not “Opt Out” of Government Control?


Balaji Srinivasan, a Stanford Universty instructor and genomics entrepreneur, recently offered some radically individualistic advice to aspiring tech innovators. Speaking at at this year’s Startup School, sponsored by tech “seed accelerator” Y Combinator, he warned members of the audience that, despite (or maybe, because of) the liberating and enriching qualities of technology in people’s lives, the tech industry faces a backlash from old-line power centers. In response, he said, technological innovators should publicly state their case, but also be prepared to exploit a market opportunity to help people escape government control, no matter the law. Their innovations, he suggested, should allows fans of the old order to “enjoy” the rules and structures to which they’re attached, but offer the rest of us a means of exiting an increasingly authoritarian system. In other words, to hell with arguing for more freedom, let’s take it.

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