Greetings from Motown, U.S.A.
August 14, 2012 at 8:07 pm #20929
My name is Theodore Schultz. I live in the Greater Detroit Metro Area, Michigan, U.S.A.
I am a professional locksmith by trade, have an Engineering Technology degree, and some experience in design and engineering. I find this whole Seasteading thing intriguing and perhaps a bit unreal.
A couple of decades ago, I dreamed up a plotline in which my protagonist created a habitat by the Hilbertz Method, (now apparently known as Biorock), a bit over 250 yards from shore and 60 feet under in the Santa Monica Trench of Southern California. In this position, he didn’t have to answer to city or county authorities, only state and federal. Most of the facility was maintained at surface pressure for the commuters, (after all, this was close proximity to some of the most valuable real estate on the West coast), but some of it was maintained at depth pressure for divers and researchers. Access to the low-pressure side was by a sort of buoyant elevator that was pulled down from the surface by cables. Access to the high-pressure side was by moon pool. An air-filled tunnel to a parking lot on the mainland came later. The structure wasn’t integral to the sea bottom, but was attached by a triangulated cable matrix, and engineered with positive buoyancy with emergency surfacing capability designed in. Over the years, changes drove him to move beyond the three mile limit, so that he only had to answer to the Army Corps of Engineers, though federal intelligence agencies wanted him to add surveillance equipment to his facility on their behalf. Eventually he cut loose entirely, and sailed into international waters. I never fleshed the story out of course. I’m no writer. No rights reserved.
At the moment, I’m inclined to take Seasteading as presented at face value. I have read some of the complaints regarding the policy against submersible designs, and I can see the merit to being able to submerge every ten years or so to dodge the Hundred-Year Storm, but I can also see what sacrifices must be made to build a submersible design. Those sacrifices are pretty severe: A lot of what would otherwise be habitable space must be dedicated to emergency ballast capacity, and the design, especially one with enough size to be comfortably stable, suffers badly. I have also found the material explaining why Biorock isn’t generally considered as a construction material. So, materials presently under consideration are steel and concrete? What about fiber-reinforced composites? Last I checked, the highest specific-strength per dollar material was e-glass, (I may be out of date here). Is the problem that the resin matrix used doesn’t have a long enough useful life? Or that city-scale plastic work would have too big an environmental impact to be considered? And at what point does a variant on the Hilbertz method replace conventional sacraficial anode protection? I don’t see these as unrelated, nor do I see a Seastead design as being limited to a lifespan of 25 years. And don’t you think, if enough Seasteads were built and became successful enough, that you would eventually see Seasteads flying national flags as well? I think that the folk here are right, that existing national governments could use some competition and may learn from some policy experimentation, but I think that in a few decades we may see a sizeable fraction of Seasteads flying the U.S. flag instead of Flags of Convenience. I still have a lot to study on this, and a lot to learn before I finalize my own designs for your consideration, but I hope to be a contender. Onward….August 29, 2012 at 8:24 am #20997
Has it been my misfortune to find this forum after most of the people have left, or is this seasonal, and they’ll be back? Any idea when?September 3, 2012 at 5:59 am #21011
The answer to that would be abandoned/dead. Odd timing that I’m even here to respond. Judging by threads a lot of the older advocates are still reading though, so if you have good ideas it wouldn’t hurt to post them. Just don’t expect a lot of conversation, unless you get it by way of PM.September 9, 2012 at 8:33 pm #21021
Abandoned / Dead?
…Which I shall take to mean that over 99% of everything that was to have happened here has already done so without me, and much of my effort here is likely to be wasted unless I invest substantial effort studying what has gone before to ground myself in sufficient background to contribute authoritatively. Will there be another design contest, or is that chapter closed? By what means may I still become involved? If my ideas and designs, maybe even the ones I already have, are exceptional or even superior, how do I get them seen by the right people? What format is best for submitting designs? What degree of detail? Material specifications? Engineering calculation support? Acceptable safety factors?
Is this forum largely inactive because it’s done its job, and the principal players are now building their seasteads, and I shouldn’t expect to be able to reach them? What can the seasteads, the seasteading movement and seasteading.org offer to the common folk who were dirt farmers a century ago, and factory workers a few decades ago, and now find themselves in a politico-economic morass in which they don’t expect to be able to save up enough to ever retire, let alone buy or build a seastead? Will the seasteads hire them? Might a seastead hire me? Could the seasteaders use more pairs of eyes on the horizon and more steady hands on the cables? If a seastead is designed to be as efficient and self-sufficient as possible, will its owners see additional hands as dead weight? People here have written about pirates, hijackers, invaders, refugees, asylum seekers… but they haven’t written as authoritative witnesses of the Irish immigrants to Chicago, the Puerto Ricans to New York, the Asians, Mexicans, the Cubans showing up on beaches of Florida in darn near anything that would float…. Some things in this world may get worse before they get better, and when the political “storms” hit national governments you don’t want the tens or hundreds of thousands of displaced refugees to see the seasteads as “ports” in that “storm”. It could be a lot more people than you’re prepared to deal with, and problematic in that they won’t see the difference between them and you, or between their values and yours, that are so obvious to you.
I’ve started thinking about the possibility that seasteads will declare their own three-mile limits, and that any approaching, navigable craft will be required to declare itself at three miles and request permission to sail closer without being considered hostile.
Is there a place for me in all of this, or am I too late in my timing, too limited in my resources, too entrenched in my thinking or too pessimistic in my attitudes to contribute or participate in this endeavor?September 10, 2012 at 10:11 am #21022
LOL, the political “storms” hit national governments LOOOOONG time ago! We are just witnessing a major worldwide cover up….That’s why seasteading is making sense nowadays. Anyway, things have change here @ TSI, because they have a 275′ ship now, Seasteader I. And while talk about seasteading was cheap before, with the arrival of Seasteader I, talk got really dirt cheap now since all that needs to be done @ the present time is to dump some money in that ship and sail away into the sunset. (given that BlueSeed doesn’t grab it first
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