Seasteading Institute to Live in the Open Water


Posted May 21, 2008 - By Ty Colfax

There could soon be a bevy of concrete tubes popping up in the open seas, housing new societies with their own pseudo-sovereign governments if The Seasteading Institute can get enough funding and interest from buyers to make it a reality.

Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal has chipped in $500,000 to help set up what the founders, Google's Patrick Friedman and Wayne Gramlich of Sun Microsystems, hope to become a Utopia at sea.

Each domicile will be around 300 square feet and in the tube itself. I don't know about you but I'd love to live in a windowless concrete room 30 X 10 ft. Friedman says it will cost a few hundred million dollars to build a seastead for a few thousand people and that it would be affordable. Doing the math that's $100,000 each but that's a very rough estimate and doesn't include any of the monthly cost of living, which in a small community with virtually no exports, and scarce room for farming is going to consist almost entirely of imports which will be costly to transport to open waters.

And what of security? Angry nations? Neighboring Seasteads? PIRATES!?! Friedman attempts to head off these concerns with the same blind idealism, saying pirates will lack the financial incentive to attack Seasteads. Yeah, there's not going to be anything valuable in a 3,000 person community that is living on its own. No money, gold, electronics, women. None of that stuff will exist on a stead and no pirates will be interested in getting it from a mostly defenseless city-state full of hippies.

Let's take a look at the pros and cons of The Seasteading Institute, shall we.

- It'll never work
- Sea monsters
- Little room for socializing
- Very little plantlife
- Hamburgers scarce
- Waste management, Hello!
- Power
- Transportation
- Storms
- Massive waves
- Everyone will quickly become addicted to gene-splicing and destroy the stead

- It's f***ing sweet

Look, the idea is silly, has failed many times over (The Freedom Ship, The Republic of Minerva,) and doesn't have adequate funding at the moment. It's nice to dream of a place where a society can exist on its own, being totally self-sufficient, but honestly, doing it in such a hostile, distant place where mammals just don't live* is ridiculous.

wired.com: Peter Thiel Makes Down Payment on Libertarian Ocean Colonies

* - We know dolphins are mammals but when was the last time you held your breath for 30 minutes and swam fast enough to catch and eat raw fish, all while having no hands.

Seasteading Institute to Live in the Open Water


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