In its relentless quest of innovation, Silicon Valley isn't afraid to borrow from the past -- as in 1860.
At a Y Combinator start-up school, tech entrepreneur Balaji Srinivasan touted an "opt-in society, outside the US, run by technology," according to New York Magazine's Kevin Roose.
In Srinivasan's vision, this techno-utopia would be a "society run by Silicon Valley," "free of the constraints of civil society," the magazine reported. In other words: no government and no laws. Just... tech?
One may be tempted to laugh it all off as so much pie-in-the-digital-sky, but consider: such "set-aside" societies have the backing of "bigwigs" including Google CEO Larry Page and investor Peter Thiel, Roose reports.
It's perhaps natural for a capitalist with big ideas and dreams to chafe at the restrictions of regulation -- which, according to some Silicon Valley residents, is all government is good for.
Then again, Silicon Valley has been a big beneficiary of government largesse -- from tax credits to defense contracts -- so maybe tech can't exist without government.