What will people do on a seastead?
Our first response to this question is “the same things anyone else does,” but maybe we don’t get out enough. As long as seasteads have an Internet connection, it might take us a while to notice that we are on a small, isolated platform in the middle of the ocean. To be fair, not everyone plugs in this way.
Our the next-simplest response is to point out lifestyles similar to those found on land that would be compatible with life aboard a seastead. For example, vacationers will be able to do pretty much anything they can do on a cruise ship in addition to whatever unique activities might be offered aboard the seastead. Resort employees on a seastead will find it much like working on a cruise ship.
In terms of permanent residents, the seasteading experience will be more like that of people who live in isolated, rural areas, or live-aboard boaters. While such a life does not appeal to everyone, the people who like it rarely seem to be bored. Furthermore, permanent residents can always take a vacation on land if they crave a setting with more people. The closer a seastead is to land, the easier it becomes to visit to a nearby major city for a day or weekend. This opportunity makes seasteading even more like just living in the outback, and is one of many reasons a “coaststead” seems like a good place to start.
The key to success will be to leverage the uniqueness of seasteads. If that only appeals to a tiny fraction of the world, that’s still plenty of people. Seasteads and islands will each have their own kind of romance. Each will appeal to a different set of people–as long as we can find enough people who think seasteads are romantic, it doesn’t matter if some prefer islands. Niche markets are not necessarily a bad thing in business, particularly if they aren’t served well by other options have a large enough customer base.
Also, since modular seasteads will be able to float and move, “dynamic geography” will be possible. Our central thesis about why societies on the ocean will work better than those on land is that freedom of movement of individual modules allows for the separation and merging of seasteading clusters, creating a process of continual improvement.
Finally, political and social institutions matter. There is a reason that most people who can afford it choose to live in the first world, even though oceanfront property in the third world, where institutions suffer many problems, is both cheaper and more beautiful. If we can provide an innovative society with efficient government services, productive people will flock to it as a place to live and work.
Posted in: Living, Economy, Business
Posted on January 20, 2012 at 2:54 am