I wrote a couple of weeks ago
about the idea of startup countries. Since then, Balaji Srinivasan, whose video “Silicon Valley’s Ultimate Exit” I linked, has published a follow up video on the Network State
, which is worth watching.
At the same time, though, I’ve become more skeptical that it will be as easy for new country-like-entities to transcend physical borders as the Sovereign Individual crowd
sometimes thinks. The article I linked to last week
about AI hardware prompted a lot of conversations that caused me to update my views. There is something important about the essential physicality of some resources (above all people, but also various pieces of infrastructure, including computation or especially the supply chains that enable it) in an increasingly virtual world. When the world is basically peaceful, physicality can largely be ignored; when it is not, the abstraction of virtuality perhaps breaks down.
For example, can the rich really opt out of society? If everyone of a certain level of wealth moved to a zero-tax state or moved their assets “onto the blockchain”, would that actually be a defence against unrest? I’m not sure. It is hard to design a life that is not ultimately physically seizable in some way. Or, rather, if it is possible for a given individual, it certainly seems hard for a whole class - at least until the world looks very, very different from today.