TSI August 2009 Newsletter
### Table of Contents
* August Highlights
* TSI Gets 501(c)3 Status From the IRS
* Conference Updates
* Ephemerisle Updates
* Awareness & Community
* Membership Program
* Fundraising & Administrative
* Fundraising Drive for New Projects
This can be linked as [http://seasteading.org/blogs/main/2009/08/31/tsi-august-2009-newsletter](http://seasteading.org/blogs/main/2009/08/31/tsi-august-2009-newsletter).
### August Highlights
**TSI Gets 501(c)3 Status From the IRS**
After many months of waiting and a round of questions, we have finally received our Letter of Determination from the IRS confirming our non-profit status. [Press Release here](http://seasteading.org/stay-in-touch/press-releases/tsi-receives-501c3-tax-exempt-status).
#### Conference Updates
The Monday night cocktail reception will be at the residence of board member Peter Thiel in San Francisco, near the Palace of Fine Arts. The speaker schedule is pretty much finalized, new additions include classical architect [Rodney Mims-Cook](http://www.rodneymimscook.com/), anonymous political theory blogger [Mencius Moldbug](http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/), lawyer [Jorge Schmidt](http://www.linkedin.com/in/jorgeschmidt)]. The conference will be videotaped. Unconference speaking slots are still available, so [go sign up](http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dDl2RUx0QTdyRFpHVm9YYjlJbmY4R2c6MA). **The deadline for [early registration for the conference](http://seasteading.org/interact/events/conference09#registration) is September 13th, at which point rates will increase, so [register today](http://tsi.shuttlepod.org/Default.aspx?pageId=278455&eventId=65936&EventViewMode=EventDetails)**. For more details on all these, see the Conference section of the newsletter.
#### Ephemerisle Updates
Ticket purchases are rolling in, excitement is building, and people are starting to build their platforms! A great slew of [grant applications](http://www.ephemerisle.org/grants.html) for platforms and art has been rolling in this weekend, right before the deadline. We’ve got just a few short weeks until we get out there on the water and start, as a community, to take the first little baby steps towards seasteading.
### Awareness and Community
#### Membership Program
Since our [Membership Program](http://seasteading.org/contribute/membership) was launched on April 15th, 62 pioneers have signed up! Please [join them](http://seasteading.org/contribute/membership) to support the long-term future of seasteading.
The Ephemerisle Newsletter [Issue 1](http://www.ephemerisle.org/blog/?p=50) and [Issue 2](http://www.ephemerisle.org/blog/?p=69) are out. To get these regularly, subscribe to [the Ephemerisle blog](http://www.ephemerisle.org/blog/) or [announcements email list](http://groups.google.com/group/ephemerisle-announcements).
We think it would be a great bonding experience to have some sort of participatory activity as the climax of the event. If you have ideas, please read our criteria and examples, and add your own ideas [on the wiki page](http://wiki.seasteading.org/index.php/EphemerisleGroupActivity)!
* The deadline for [early registration for the conference](http://seasteading.org/interact/events/conference09#registration) is September 13th, at which point rates will increase. That is also the deadline for [discounted room reservations at the venue](http://seasteading.org/interact/events/conference09#logistics), so [register today](http://tsi.shuttlepod.org/Default.aspx?pageId=278455&eventId=65936&EventViewMode=EventDetails).
* The Monday night cocktail reception will be at the residence of board member Peter Thiel in San Francisco, near the Palace of Fine Arts. All conference attendees are invited. In addition, you can register for the reception only for $100.
* Many of you who are unable to attend the conference have requested that the talks be videotaped. Stanford University film student [Jason Sussberg](http://www.jasonsussberg.com/) has generously offered to film the conference, and we will put the videos up online.
* We’ve reserved the last two hours of Tuesday, September 29, for audience-driven “unconference” talks. An “unconference” differs from a more typical conference in that the agenda is driven by the attendees rather than by the conference organizers. For example, suppose you want to talk about “seastead propulsion systems”. You would submit your talk to the organizer, as would everyone else who wanted to talk. The attendees would then vote on which talks they wanted to hear most. If your talk received enough votes, you would be put on the schedule to speak. So, if you have something to share, please [sign up](http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dDl2RUx0QTdyRFpHVm9YYjlJbmY4R2c6MA)! Voting will end on September 21, and [voting for the talks](http://www.yayboo.com/Stuff/Unconference_speakers_for_Seasteading_09) has already begun, so vote early, and vote often. For more details, visit our [unconference FAQ](http://www.seasteading.org/node/1051).
* The speaker list is almost finalized. New additions include classical architect [Rodney Mims-Cook](http://www.rodneymimscook.com/), anonymous political theory blogger [Mencius Moldbug](http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/), lawyer [Jorge Schmidt](http://www.linkedin.com/in/jorgeschmidt), and TSI staff/volunteers/members Will Chamblerlain, Eelco Hoogendorn, Mikolaj Habryn, and Na’ama Moran. Go to the conference page for the [complete list of confirmed speakers so far](http://seasteading.org/interact/events/conference09#speakers):
* Rodney Mims-Cook’s Millenium Gate was [featured in the Sunday New York Times](http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/arts/design/23pogr.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all) for hosting the Bank of America’s American Impressionist Masterpieces (see [press release](http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/05/prweb2453154.htm)). Rodney will be speaking on _How Architecture Shapes Society_.
* Michael Strong recently posted on TSI sister blog A Thousand Nations, on [Gated Communities and Nation States: The Cartel Responsible for Global Poverty](http://athousandnations.com/2009/08/21/gated-communities-and-nation-states-the-cartel-responsible-for-global-poverty/).
As always, check back on [the conference webpage](http://seasteading.org/interact/events/conference09) for complete information.
* Seasteading In The Desert: Many TSI Staff & Volunteers, including Patri & James, will be at Burning Man in Future Camp (part of Playagon), 9:00 & Fossil. We will be holding [Future Salons](http://playagon.pbworks.com/Mind-Expansion) on Thursday (Seasteading) and Friday (Ephemerisle) at 3:00pm. Or come by the camp anytime to say hi – we’re most likely to be around between 1pm and 5pm.
* 29 Chains To The Moon – The Seasteading Institute’s Design Contest winners will be featured at the 29 Chains To The Moon: Artists’ Schemes for a Fantastic Future.
About the exhibit: In 1938, the visionary designer R.Buckminster Fuller wrote Nine Chains to the Moon, his radical proposal for improving the quality of life for all humankind via progressive design and maximization of the world’s finite resources. The title was a metaphor for cooperation–if all of humankind stood on each others’ shoulders we could complete nine chains to the moon. Today, the population of the planet has increased more than three times (we could now complete 29 chains to the moon), and the successful distribution of energy, food, and shelter to over 9 billion humans by 2050 requires some fantastic schemes. Like Fuller’s revelation from five decades earlier, 29 Chains to the Moon features artists who put forth radical proposals, from seasteads and micronations to floating cities, to make the world work for everyone.
* 2244 registered users on [seasteading.org](http://seasteading.org/), from 2165.
* 1372 [mailing list](http://groups.google.com/group/seasteading-announcements) members, from 1292.
* 741 members in our [Facebook group](http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=5490011387&ref=ts), from 707.
* 366 fans on our [Facebook Page](http://www.facebook.com/pages/Palo-Alto-CA/The-Seasteading-Institute/56833337759?ref=ts), from 301.
* 333 followers on [Twitter](http://twitter.com/Seasteading), from 313.
* 47 subscribers on [LiveJournal](http://community.livejournal.com/seastead/), from 46.
Selected blog posts from August are linked below.
* [Main Blog](http://seasteading.org/blogs/main)
* [Why Ephemerisle Matters To Seasteading](http://seasteading.org/blogs/main/2009/08/05/why-ephemerisle-matters-to-seasteading)
* [2010 SOLAS Deadline](http://seasteading.org/blogs/main/2009/08/09/2010-solas-deadline)
* [Seasteading Design Contest Winners To Be Featured In Art Exhibition](http://seasteading.org/blogs/main/2009/08/09/seasteading-design-contest-winners-to-be-featured-in-art-exhibition)
* [Trip Report: USNS Mercy (US military hospital ship)](http://seasteading.org/blogs/main/2009/08/17/trip-report-usns-mercy-us-military-hospital-ship)
* [Hold Fast: Stories of Maniac Sailors, Anarchic Cast-Aways, and The Voyages of the S/V Pestilence](http://seasteading.org/blogs/main/2009/08/22/hold-fast-stories-maniac-sailors-anarchic-cast-aways-and-the-voyages-sv-pestil) (we may screen this at the conference)
* [Baltic Seasteading](http://seasteading.org/blogs/main/2009/08/25/baltic-seasteading)
* [More seasteading efforts: Rhode Island](http://seasteading.org/blogs/main/2009/08/25/more-seasteading-efforts-rhode-island)
* [Engineering Blog](http://seasteading.org/blogs/engineering)
* [Ephemerisle Blog](http://ephemerisle.org/blog/)
* [Boat Building 101](http://www.ephemerisle.org/blog/?p=5)
* [Water Camping on the Cheap](http://www.ephemerisle.org/blog/?p=7)
* [Boat & Structure Building Classes – Official Dates](http://www.ephemerisle.org/blog/?p=12)
* [Ephemerisle platforms at Camp Tipsy](http://www.ephemerisle.org/blog/?p=38)
* [Buildin’ the platform… (video)](http://www.ephemerisle.org/blog/?p=40)
* [Ephemerisle News!](http://www.ephemerisle.org/blog/?p=50)
* [Musical Chairs. Or Benches Maybe.](http://www.ephemerisle.org/blog/?p=67)
* [Let A Thousand Nations Bloom](http://athousandnations.com/)
* [Let a Thousand Green Cities Bloom](http://athousandnations.com/2009/08/05/let-a-thousand-green-cities-bloom/)
* [Freedom Is Exit, Not Voice](http://athousandnations.com/2009/08/11/freedom-is-exit-not-voice/)
* [Any Technology Can Be Improved](http://athousandnations.com/2009/08/13/any-technology-can-be-improved/)
* [Gated Communities and Nation States: The Cartel Responsible for Global Poverty](http://athousandnations.com/2009/08/21/gated-communities-and-nation-states-the-cartel-responsible-for-global-poverty/)
* [Decentralization And Social Change](http://athousandnations.com/2009/08/23/decentralization-and-social-change/)
* [Craigslist Government](http://athousandnations.com/2009/08/26/craigslist-government/)
* [US Citizenship, Yachsteading, and Taxes](http://athousandnations.com/2009/08/27/us-citizenship-yachsteading-and-taxes/) * On Paul Romer’s Charter Cities:
* [Romer TED Talk is Up](http://athousandnations.com/2009/08/05/romer-ted-talk-is-up/)
* [Arnold Kling vs. Paul Romer vs. Bruno Leoni](http://athousandnations.com/2009/08/10/arnold-kling-vs-paul-romer-vs-bruno-leoni/)
* [Seasteading and Charter Cities](http://athousandnations.com/2009/08/10/seasteading-and-charter-cities/) * [Using Economic Means for Political Ends](http://athousandnations.com/2009/08/06/using-economic-means-for-political-ends/)
Writing intern Will Chamberlain has written almost 10,000 words of the first draft of the new version of the book, which will be typeset in LaTeX. We are targeting a full draft by the conference.
### Fundraising & Administrative
* As noted above, [we received our 501c3 status](http://seasteading.org/stay-in-touch/press-releases/tsi-receives-501c3-tax-exempt-status). Once we have hired a Director of Development, we will begin investigating and applying for grants.
* We have an ongoing search for a [Director of Development](http://seasteading.org/contribute/jobs-tsi/dirdev2009). We are offering a $1000 referral bonus.
#### Fundraising Drive For New Projects
TSI needs your help. We have some great ideas about how to advance the vision of seasteading, but our financial resources are limited. We can’t depend on our single major donor forever, so we need to pull together as a community to independently fund important initiatives. Each of these projects will help us answer an important open question about seasteading, and the sooner we can get them funded, the sooner they can get started. The new projects are:
More details at [Vote With Your Wallet](http://seasteading.org/votewithyourwallet).