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How about a nation made up of ocean going cities?

Home Forums Community Dreaming / Crazy Ideas / Speculation How about a nation made up of ocean going cities?

This topic contains 25 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of William Holz William Holz 1 year, 6 months ago.

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    Profile photo of William Holz
    William Holz

    First of all. . . you guys are awesome.

    A few of us have been working on something different. . . more of a ‘create a nation inside a corporation’ thing, but one that was designed to embrace the variety of humanity rather than choose one specific governmental/economic system and expect everyone to agree. . . we want to break the birth nation lottery and give people the chance to choose better lives for themselves and raise the collective bar on civilization.

    Awesome Incorporated life Generator

    I think our biggish ideas converge beautifully into something even better.

    I myself don’t have an ego or care about credit, but I’ve got a moral obligation to at least try to get this concept into better hands than my own and I’m hoping maybe there are people here who may be able to help or just take it and run with it (I’d love to come along for the ride though!)

    I don’t have the visual design/artistic skills you guys have but I’ve managed to tighten the idea up with a little string of articles (easier to read than massive walls of text).

    I didn’t really have this in a form where I could communicate it well until recently . . . but I believe this contains the engine to create a LOT of floating cities (and other experiments) very, very quickly.

    My amazingly archaic staging area is at . . . http://www.abiggishidea.com

    If anybody wants to help, or can even find some good ideas in there they can acquire and repurpose then it’d definitely warm my heart. . . and similarly I’m very eager to help and I like to think I have a lot to bring the table.


    Profile photo of William Holz
    William Holz

    Also, for a more complete explanation . . . we submitted for the Buckminster Fuller prize (Mostly to connect with people) and their submission form did an excellent job of asking questions and I think it resulted in a pretty coherent explanation of the nonevil master plan!

    Buckminster Fuller Submission

    Visionary – put forth an original idea or synthesize existing ideas into a new strategy that creatively addresses a critical need
    Comprehensive – apply a whole-systems approach to the design and implementation process and aim to address multiple goals, requirements and conditions in a holistic way
    Anticipatory – factor in critical future trends and needs as well as the projected impacts of implementation in the short and long term
    Ecologically Responsible – enhance the ability of natural systems to regenerate

    Feasible – rely on current technology, existing resources and a solid team capable of implementing the project
    Verifiable – able to demonstrate authentic claims backed by empirical data
    Replicable – able to be adapted to similar conditions elsewhere
    ——Note: More details at abiggishidea.com——

    What is your solution or strategy? – Provide a 50-word summary of your initiative.
    We seek to create the seed of a corporation designed to allow gentle people to actively take over all aspects of their lives as creatively as possible in groups as small as 42 in exchange for helping us expand until we can invite everybody to join the civilization within.


    What is the context? (200 words) – Describe the critical need(s) or specific systemic problem(s) your initiative seeks to address on the local and/or global levels.
    Currently there are a large number of people who would choose to live peaceful, productive lives if they had the opportunity to do so. We are fully capable of maintaining a very high standard of living for these people and a large number of others.

    In the world as it is now, a person’s birth circumstance often determines a number of factors in a person’s life, such as governmental system, ability to be a minority without being murdered, and likelihood of death by diarrhea.

    This system is inefficient, as passions and motivations can be distributed wildly within a given population, while compromise solutions are inevitably ‘races to the average’ that do not properly embrace the sheer variety that exists within humanity as well as within each of us individually as we progress in time.

    In addition, people generally do not have the power to make the following as opt-in choices:

    Representation by officials who use freedom of speech as freedom to deceive
    Being stalked or trolled
    Being discriminated against
    This also has the unfortunate side effect of a tragic lack of amazing toys, and of joy.


    What/Where/How? (200 words) – Provide a detailed explanation of your initiative. What is it? Where is it based? How does it work?
    The design has two major units: Peoplespheres and Worldminers.

    Both groups are held to a basic set of principles (four!) that set a standard that’s easy to achieve and results in people that are good to each other and create a positive working and living environment as well as to represent us well in the world at large. Characters such as Kaylee and Wash from the television series Firefly are good examples of our goal.

    Peoplespheres are self-governing groups containing 42 people or more that agree on a method of conflict resolution, economy, living situation, and so on. They are focused on a specific task that either enhances the lives of those within or generates a revenue stream that allows us to expand. They are otherwise given as much control over their lives as is feasible.

    Worldminers are the interface with the ‘real’ world, and they are encouraged to find every reasonable opportunity to obtain resources and create as many Peoplespheres as is possible.

    Eventually hundreds of different Peoplespheres (or many more) will allow all people everywhere the option to choose between a large number of heavily customized, awesome lives.


    Impact (200 words) – Who or what is impacted directly and indirectly by your initiative? Explain in detail how you measure and calculate impact.

    We’re creating a new collection of civilizations networked within our most powerful legal construct that uses “employment“ to grant people the freedom to choose between them in exchange for useful work and peaceful coexistence. That’s going to be hard to compete with and we expect to at least raise the collective bar a notch.

    The only things that are up in the air are what order we do things in and how long this takes.

    That makes it difficult to summarize impact in 200 words, but we are comfortable addressing the impact along a number of various implementation timelines.


    Long-Term Effect (200 words) – What long-term systemic effects do you anticipate when your initiative is fully implemented?
    The initial benefit is for the target employee/citizen/owners, though we fully expect to share some great art and technology with the world at large.

    For a number of reasons, our focus on rapid expansion and self-governance may occasionally ruffle feathers and at some point we’d expect to have a disruptive impact. We anticipate making job offers to every human on the planet and right now the competition is Wal-Mart, unemployment, and war. The fact that corporations are abusively powerful makes some things easier, but it isn’t humanity’s most popular invention.

    With that in mind, there’s been a lot of focus in the design on alleviating that negative impact while maximizing the positive. Another role of the Worldminers will be to look for opportunities to positively impact local communities, and they’ll be focused heavily on roles that benefit local comunities (healthcare, education, etc.).

    We also plan to use our Peoplespheres to greatly reduce our environmental impact while researching ecologically positive policies and be as forward thinking as possible in our research and development, we expect that even having us as an option for children will provide a lot of hope in places where there was none before.


    History and Vision (200 words) – What inspired your solution and how has the initiative evolved from inception to its current stage of development? How does your initiative creatively and comprehensively integrate the key social, cultural, economic, ecological, and technological factors required to transform “business as usual” in your chosen area of impact?
    It was in part inspired by the enthusiasm generated by Valve’s leaked employee handbook.

    The initial plan was to create a small Valve-like company focused on healthcare data analytics and software tools using 3-D game tools and methodologies and to use the extra money to let the employees modify the office to help them work better as well as to make it useful/fun for them outside of business hours as well as to help people in need.

    The thought of using the corporation to let good people take over their own lives was a logical step, and from there things scaled up.

    As saving the world is a pretty popular but hasn’t happened yet, we sought out roads less traveled. The design evolved into something closer to a framework that can contain a number of dreams/experiments and when possible we tried to identify with at least three options for people to choose from instead of selecting a specific one ourselves.

    Also, humbly knowing that a small number of us are unlikely to have the best idea ever, it’s also designed to replace itself if and when we succeed.


    Planning and Operations (200 words) – Outline your implementation plan. What operational milestones do you intend to achieve in the next one to three years? What are the biggest risk factors or potential barriers facing the development and deployment of your initiative and how do you plan to mitigate them? How has your initiative been funded to date and how do you plan to ensure its financial viability?
    The plan is to create a group of Worldminers and use them to start spawning off groups of Peoplespheres as quickly as possible.

    Once we reach the point where each person we add provides a net positive benefit, we want to ramp that expansion up. We think that the principles we’ve defined at least set the low bar for an environment where people can get along and work well together, and we think that makes us particularly appealing for the sort of person we’d be looking for.

    Eventually we hope to utilize the sheer power of our corporation to employ orphans, refugees, the unemployed, the caretakers and healers, the artists, and many more into peaceful, awesome citizenship

    We hope to eventually have a multitude of options for everyone. . . from billionaires to hackers to hippies to whoever’s reading this.

    We have a small number of ideas and inventions that might help along the way, but the real hope is that by way of this process we get this idea into the hands of more people so that it can absorb their ideas and continue to improve organically.

    This project is currently unfunded.


    Compare and Contrast (200 words) – Compare and contrast your initiative with at least two other current projects or groups working to address the same critical need. Why is your proposal more likely to effect change and make a distinguishing impact compared to similar efforts?
    The Venus Project: TVP was actually part of the early collection of ideas that inspired this, and part of the initial design was to create a way for TVP to gather people and resources quickly. We still find their efforts to be inspiring and we’re all big fans.

    We could be described as a place for many Venus Projects to live side by side with other dreams that are better for other people along with an engine for growth and an easy way for people to join the fun in the broken world we live in now.

    United States of America: As an attempt to create a representative government, it’s clear there was a lot of thought put into our home nation’s design. We applaud the effort that went into prototyping a system that can really be run by the people.

    We could be described as a place for many America-like experiments to reside without the need for a military and without having to include people who aren’t fundamentally on the same page.


    The Team (200 words) – Provide details regarding your current team and any plans to expand it in the future. You may include details about organizational/institutional partners committed to the success of your initiative and describe your team members’ experience and qualifications as they relate to their ability to implement your initiative. If applicable, include information about any significant external validation, support, or funding your initiative has received to date.
    The initiative was created and has been led by William Holz. Amanda Werhane has been a key part of the project since inception and Cody Campbell was heavily involved in the crucial early stages of the design. We are eagerly looking to expand that group.

    In addition we’d like to thank the following for sharing their wonderful selves with us. This idea wouldn’t exist without: Ze Frank, David Attenborough, Russell Brand, Susan Cain, Fred Rogers, Buckminster Fuller, Dan Pink, Ellen Degeneres, David Wong, Matthew Inman, Tali Sharot, Zach Weiner, Joss Whedon, Bai Fang Li, Kelvin Doe, Brene Brown, Hans Rosling, Jane McGonigal, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Bettie Page, Camillo Olivetti, Cory Doctorow, Adam Savage, Neal Stephenson, Bartolome de las Casas, Elizabeth Gilbert, Michael Dickinson, Douglas Adams, Stephen Hawking, August Landmesser, Steve Keen, Dan Ariely, George Takei, Rachel Maddow, Randall Munroe, Richard Feynman, and others too numerous to name.

    And last, but certainly not least. . . we’d like to thank Rebecca Joy Holz for providing more influence, inspiration, and ideas to this project than the rest of us combined despite having left this world long before it began.

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    Lots of reading there and in the linked web pages. Twenty years ago, i’d have believed it all.
    I wrote a couple paragraphs here, but deleted them, figuring you aren’t interested in why i say what you propose won’t work for me, and won’t work in the usa. But good luck, i won’t be applying.

    Profile photo of William Holz
    William Holz

    Actually, as much as this idea can work in the USA . . . it’s far more powerful in the hands of people in the third world. We westerners would have a tremendously difficult time competing with orphans and refugees because the real lynchpin is motivation and a willingness to live peacefully and responsibly.

    That being said, here in the States we’re competing with unemployment and Wal-mart, and Americans are people too. I can’t ignore them any more than I can ignore people in Bangladesh or North Korea, can I? They’re all people.

    I’m really interested in any useful criticisms because when it comes to communicating this a good bit of the work is figuring out what to leave out. Even at a few short (and somewhat amusing) articles I’m running into far too many people who are rejecting the idea based on some early impression of what it is that bears very little resemblance to what I’m trying to communicate here.

    I can say with confidence that nothing like this has been given a chance and I’m more than happy to address any perceived flaws. I’ve done my due diligence.

    I’d have really preferred your reasoning to ‘I’m pretty sure I don’t like because of things I’m not going to tell you’ . . . but that’s just because I want to do a better job communicating . . . it’s an idea that requires people to want to join so you wouldn’t be asked to participate if you were uninterested in what it actually is.

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    Ok, since you asked: There’s too much cliquishness and xenophobia. I face it every moment i am among humans. Any difference, actual or imaginary, is a reason put forth for not getting along. There is a well defined class structure in the usa, and it cannot be broken.
    I am told i cannot think, i cannot write, i cannot legally have a checking account, i cannot drive, i cannot physically pick up a loaf of bread, and god will send me to hell for owning a pickup truck. I am told i don’t know where i am, i am told if i think i don’t need help moving from point A to point B that i am psychotic. If i ask someone out (which i stopped doing 20+ years ago), i am told by that person that they are not a caretaker. If i call a place of business to ask if they are wheelchair accessable, they hang up on me. And the district attorney’s office here has decided i cannot have trash pickup, have a flush toilet or shower in my house, because the neighbor’s dogs will bark, causing them to bark is mental cruelty to animals, a 10 year felony charge. Another charming tidbit from the DA’s office: i cannot put a $10 video camera inside my mailbox (it’s 300ft away from the house, but on my property) to see if the mail was picked up or delivered, because it would violate the right to privacy of the neighbor’s dogs…. inside my conventional steel mailbox with it’s closed door 3ft off the ground on my property. There are many “companies” that do lawn care around here, but none will mow my lawn, one told me to go get married, then have my husband give them a call. The reason i bought land and built a house on it: no one would rent to me. The only reason i was able to buy the land: the seller “knew” i’d default and they’d get the land back. A personnel manager told me he could not hire me because employees came to his office en masse to say they’d quit if i was hired because they believed i wear dirty diapers, and altho i don’t wear diapers, and don’t need to, and don’t want to, my words mean nothing.
    So i am not interested in forming a new hell-hole with humans, i am interested in getting away from them. And no matter how highly you tout your new business model, you aren’t going to fire anyone for treating me like i am brain dead or need full-time care. There’s no words to quell bigotry, there’s no physical proof sufficient to offset deeply held beliefs. And there’s too many of them to re-educate them, they are opposed to education, and it’s not my job. Humans in “3rd world countries” may have motivation to cooperate towards improving each other’s lives, but that isn’t true in the usa, where it’s popular sport to tear each other down. Yep, i lumped them all together.

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    Maybe there is something wrong w/you, Kat,…:)

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    William Holz

    Hmmmm. . .

    This whole idea is specifically for people who want to work together to create better lives and are enthusiastic about the same, but who don’t want to just splinter away into tiny little groups that don’t invite anybody else to play.

    Also, we’re kind of focused on people who are willing to give others chances and not hold grudges or lump people together . . . I figure there are somewhere between a few hundred million and a few billion of us, so no need to expand or reach until we’ve run out of prime candidates.

    So given what you’ve said . . . you are absolutely correct and I can see why you (and you specifically) wouldn’t be interested. I’m surprised you replied at all the first time, but now I do understand why you didn’t go with your objections the first time around.

    That being said, while I of course can’t expect you to have read through everything and verified whether or not your points are addressed (that would be a foolish thing to expect, just as it would be foolish of somebody to expect me to re-read ‘Atlas Shrugged’ (once was more than enough . . .glah!)), I do have to point out that some of the points you bring up aren’t relevant to this approach for a multitude of reasons.

    I’m not saying it to convert you, of course . . . but I’m making sure it’s out there so that nobody mistakenly thinks that your objections would apply to them or anybody else. I want to make sure this idea lives and grows on it’s own merits.

    So . . . is there anybody out there who’d be interested in working together? Given the mission statement I assume that there are quite a few who’d be excellent fits and might be able to take this idea far further than I can.

    Profile photo of William Holz
    William Holz

    Maybe there is something wrong w/you, Kat,…:)

    To be fair to Kat, I’m pretty sure we’re all broken toys. I know I am and have a long way to go before I’m as wise as I as when I was six. :)

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    Ocean, of course there is something wrong with me. Everyone else is correct in everything they do and say and believe. I am the only one different, and i must be disposed of.

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    Kat, I was just joking.

    If there is anything you need, please don’t hesitate to ask. I don’t know where you live, but my opinion is that you should burn all your bridges behind you and get out of where you are right now and never look back.

    Will, it seems to me that your idea (which seems a bit confusing and undefined at times) can only be achieved through seasteading, which seems to be an endeavor a bit confusing and undefined most of the times. :)

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    William Holz

    That’s actually why I’m here, Ocean. . . err . . . Mr. Opolis?
    When it comes to actually solving problems and identifying solutions that actually work . . . that’s my thing. But even working on far simpler projects in my old corporate life I’d run into situations where it was far easier to just prototype something and show people than explain it.
    I’ve spent at least an order of magnitude of time trying to get this in a form that’s easy to digest. I KNOW that by definition any sort of whole life solution is going to be complicated, but the part where you explain things to people . . . that’s way outside my comfort level and just not how my brain works.
    And this is WAY too big for me to prototype.
    That’s part of why I’m here. There aren’t any issues I can’t address or questions I can’t answer that I’m aware of (and I’ve been at this for a while), but I’m not a marketing or communication type and none of us can be good at everything, right? Nobody’s an island and I need help from people who can do the things I can’t, and in return I can give you guys an ENGINE . . . a way to collect people far and wide and protect and nurture them while you expand almost as fast as you can find interested parties.
    It’s really not that complicated and I have a feeling that there are thousands of people like me who’ve seen what I’m trying to describe and most of them probably die or give up long before they can get anybody else to get it. Trying to get this into better hands has been positively nightmarish and exasperating. I know part of it’s my fault because I’m struggling to figure out what to say in what order, but I think this idea has enough potential and work behind it that it deserves more people helping it. People like you guys.
    I guess I am kind of begging for help, but it’s not for personal reasons . . . it’s because I’m frustrated by my own weaknesses when it comes to communicating something that I’m convinced is both important and will be obvious in retrospect. . . and I hope I’ve at least managed to demonstrate enough foresight and exposed my thought process enough to get a little aid. It’s for the greater good after all.
    And if I’m right (and I am) then we’ll not just be taking about a few Seasteds in a dozen years but hundreds of Seasteads and similarly motivated land-based experiments in a fraction of the time.

    Profile photo of William Holz
    William Holz

    Oh! And any details would be HUGELY appreciated, Ocean!
    I promise you I’m one of the least confused people you’ll ever meet, so if I can get any details on anything you think was missing or think might not work it would be really helpful. I can’t address those with the information I’ve been given thus far.

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    Well, my first observation so far is that your project has a very broad spectrum. To me, it seems almost impossible that you, and you alone can micro manage all of it (therefore, the feeling that “…this is WAY too big for me to prototype”).

    You will have to either narrow the scope of it or,…delegate? Also, as I said before, it is a bit confusing what your desired final product is, how you plan to achieve it, and what kind of involvement is required from the people who would be interested in your project.

    Profile photo of William Holz
    William Holz

    Hmm . . . this is still a little vague to work with, but it’s actually a pretty good step.
    Let’s start smaller. Have you read the articles linked over at abiggishidea.com ? It’s only perhaps 20 pages or so, and I put a lot of work into giving them a little flavor.
    I say that because there’s nothing for me to delegate and I’m largely unimportant in the grand scheme of things. By design this requires LESS Micromanagement than any other modernized system that I’m aware of.
    That’s actually part of why I use Valve and Mondragon as examples in the second article (MondraGoogleValve), because between the two of them they have good positive demonstrations of how a corporation can provide support for a person’s entire life and local community in a positive way (Mondragon) and how people can be useful and productive in a modern context without micromanagement (Valve, I choose them specifically because of their success at the same in a standards-based environment).
    As for desired final product, it’s a huge virtual nation that connects and supports what you’d probably describe as tiny little micronations but uses the legal shell of a corporation to allow them to embrace humanity’s variety and allow us to travel freely between experiments.
    Keep ’em coming! This is the part I need help with . . . getting solutions out there until this clicks with people.
    Would this be easier if I finished the Dr. Who story? I’ve got the last few bits in draft format and was just waiting on a good writing moment to tie it all together properly (I’m having them take over a TED talk at the end bit, so I’ll be putting a lot of extra supporting information in the last chapter)

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    This land-based micronation thing is why i bit down so hard on the Fonseca project starting on a boat with people who had never met each other or worked together on managing anything. There’s plenty of land-based cities that pick and choose which laws to persecute their citizens with, and which perks to allow to who. You want 30 people to work together in a concrete bathtub out on the water, then shouldn’t they first work together on land, where it’s cheaper to come and go and supply and make mistakes? Among “the pilgrims”, the Mormons, the Jonestown folks, and many others around the world, some worked, some didn’t, but i see no study of them on this site. Ergo, i am very leery of a TSI project like this working, i’ll go it alone.
    But i am the absolute last person to manage humans, especially when there’s sharks so near in the water. I was hoping to be with the very small group to prototype and prove what floats best, in an incubator situation.
    I have had a job or two where people were very equal, and cooperative, and life was enjoyable. Then there was the opposite. I know what William is talking about is possible, but the odds are stacked against it.

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