Seasteading Institute: Homestead The Seas

The Seasteading Institute hopes to homestead the high seas; they want to build permanent dwelling places on the ocean. Why? According to the Seasteading Institute, for "political freedom and the thrill of pioneering."

Their ideal designs tend toward a multiple-spar or dumbbell shapes - a floating spar platform. Pillared designs require those pesky expensive pillars that go all the way to the ocean floor.


(Basic Seastead)

Here's the more complicated "why seasteading" from their voluminous FAQ/book:

The problems facing prospective nation-founders are undoubtedly difficult, as evinced by the movement's historical lack of success. They can be overcome if and only if we rationally consider our options, then produce a design which is politically, technologically, and financially feasible. For the reasons which we will outline in this paper, we believe that seasteading meets these criteria. While there is a lot of planning and hard work ahead, there are no substantial leaps of faith required. We think that this makes our vision unique.

We cannot over-emphasize the importance of the economic analysis in Dynamic Geography. If one is trying to build a better (or different) society, it would be a great shame to boldly homestead the ocean frontier and have it turn into the same quagmire one was trying to escape. The other parts of our philosophy, and the rest of our paper, all deal with implementation, with the how of seasteading. It is Dynamic Geography that tells us why this new way of life will be different than the old. We are realists, and we expect that living with the same humans will result in many of the same human problems. But different systems can result in quite different results with the same people. While we will never reach utopia, we think we can make some fundamental improvements to current social systems, and in the real world, that is plenty to strive for.

This idea makes me think of several different sfnal projects. The one that most of the blogosphere seems to be thinking of is the data haven, an idea from Bruce Sterling's Islands in the Net. I also thought of RUMOKO, which was an effort to actually create more land; this from Roger Zelazny's My Name is Legion. Thus we refute Mark Twain, who claimed that "they're not making any more land."

There are lots of resources available at the Seasteading Institute website; some readers may prefer to go straight to their hyperlinked book-in-progress Seasteading: A Practical Guide to Homesteading the High Seas.

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