When Silicon Valley executives start borrowing metaphors from “The Godfather” maybe we should start to pay closer attention. On Oct. 19, while laying out his vision for the techno-utopian future, Balaji Srinivasan, the co-founder of a genomics company that does DNA testing, compared Silicon Valley’s impact on the established power centers and industries of the United States to that infamous scene in which the Mafia convinces an L.A. studio boss to give a coveted movie role to a friend of la famiglia.
“By accident, we put a horse head in their bed,” said Srinivasan, with a slight smile.
Think about that, for a second. Srinivasan, in the course of explaining why he thinks the technological elite could and should opt out of American politics, cited the murder of a horse by ruthless mobsters as a definition of Silicon Valley disruption. It’s hard to read that message as anything else but, do what we say, or else.
Srinivasan didn’t stop there. Silicon Valley’s “hit list,” he argued, had already knocked off newspapers and the music industry. Next up: “We’re going after advertising, television, book publishing.” Higher education “is next in the gunsights.” That’s three lethal metaphors, brought to you by a man arguing that Silicon Valley should secede from the United States.