Links for online seasteading advocacy
June 5, 2009 at 11:38 pm #946
As seasteading is gaining more public awareness, there are more and more online articles and blog posts about it, not all of which are positive. When an author or community has an overall negative reaction to seasteading, that strikes me as a good opportunity for seasteading advocates to come in and help convey the promise of the movement. That way, people who are visiting these sites get an opportunity to hear a positive perspective as well instead of just a negative one.
We’d like to encourage y’all to use this thread to post links to negative articles or discussion forums where there’s an opportunity for your fellow community members to jump in and help explain the promise of seasteading.
Obviously the level of civility of most online discourse is pretty crappy. It’s most effective and beneficial for the seasteading movement if our contributions to these discussions are as constructive as possible. Patri commented: “I think it’s important for [an advocate] to be someone who is dedicated to the cause of accuracy rather than seasteading – it’s way better for people to say “Look, it might not work (X is hard to deal with), but your reason Y is silly – you just do Z”, than for people to say “You just want to enslave us damn you liberal fascists” or whatever.”
JamesJune 5, 2009 at 11:53 pm #6344
This article is a few days old already, but there is still a bit of activity over the past day or two:June 6, 2009 at 5:21 am #6348
I took a look at the Metafilter link, initially was ready to post a response, but pretty quickly came to the conclusion that most of the people posting there are what we want to leave behind when opening up new frontiers. I didn’t really see any value in encouraging them to participate in Seasteading. The ocean is way too deep for people used to bathing in the shallow end of the gene pool.June 6, 2009 at 5:38 am #6349
Seasteading: Libertarians Set to Launch a (Wet) Dream of ‘Freedom’ in International Waters, http://www.alternet.org/politics/140253/seasteading%3A_libertarians_set_to_launch_a_(wet)_dream_of_%27freedom%27_in_international_waters/?page=1June 6, 2009 at 7:23 am #6351
Wow. I am rather shocked after reading this blog entry. I suppose my political discourse with people is usually fairly limited. But I have not before been exposed to the idea that people with generally libertarian ideals are a) intellectuals incapable of achieving anything physical and b) rich white men.
I generally try to avoid inflammatory discourse, but I don’t understand how wanting things like more individual freedoms and less government interference in the market has gotten so looked-down-upon. For me, the existence of these people, who are passionate enough about their political systems to discuss them at length on a non-mainstream website is an additional sign that the only way to attain our freedoms is by getting away from the huge masses of people who do not value them. I don’t hold it against these people, though. The human brain has not evolved to process the idea of one million, or 300 million, or 6 billion people. I find that when it tries to do so the only solution the brain arrives at is that those people must be compartmentalized and controlled to maintain order, otherwise we would all destroy each other. *shrug. Hopefully the assembled and others will get a chance to prove them wrong in the future.
I also thought I would post this gem from the comments to the blog linked above:
“I’d agree that the end result of Libertarian party policy would merely seek to substitute corporate or capitalist tyranny for statist economic control”
*sigh*June 6, 2009 at 1:02 pm #6352
Negativity and hate is to be expected. Do not respond in kind. Be curteous and professional and try to educate instead of engaging in mudslinging.
Note that for instance, most of the negative commenters on that thread seemed unaware of the fact that seasteading is an attempt to enable people to start any type of society, not just libertarian. If made aware of this, a couple of them might even join us.
Of course there will be those who hate the very idea of governments competing for people. But that’s just life. Personally I find the most vitriolic hate rather amusing ;-). Intellectually, it is not a threat, so it can be ignored.
First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they fight you. Then you win. -Mahatma GandhiJune 6, 2009 at 3:15 pm #6355
The anonymity of the internet breeds all kinds of detritus. Most of the “people” commenting in those blogs are probably 16-year-olds living in their parent’s basement and any attempt at rational discussion would be wasted. The sad thing is that they know what they are saying is bullshit, but they’re just trying to get a rise out of somebody. DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!!
It would be like trying to explain to the greifer in a video game that we should all work together to defeat the other team. It’s not worth the time.June 6, 2009 at 7:15 pm #6356
There are undoubtedly some flat-out trolls just trying to piss people off, but I don’t think that’s any more valid as a blanket statement than the blanket statements about libertarians made in that thread.
More importantly, though, posting compelling counterpoints is more for the benefit of people who silently read comment threads, who probably outnumber the posters 100 to 1. They probably tend to be more civil and level-headed, as well (after all, they’re not going off their rocker making an inflammatory post).
For example, I regularly skim digg and reddit, for example; the comments are mostly worthless, but if I’m interested in a story, I’ll often do a quick skim of the comments to see if there are interesting perspectives presented that hadn’t occurred to me. There often are.June 6, 2009 at 10:17 pm #6359
Hysterical! You have to admit though that most of ‘those’ nuts have ‘our’ nuts pretty well pegged! If we can’t laugh at ourselves, we’re screwed.June 6, 2009 at 11:03 pm #6361
I was going to put a pro-seasteading response on the first article, but decided not to since it seemed like it would only add fuel to the fire. A lot of people aren’t interested in the validity of their statements, they just want to insult people with different ideas to make themselves feel big. Seemed like most of the responders fell into that category, hence the insults and lack of real reasons why seasteading is difficult or impossible.
If people here respond to the articles, it might be effective to make posts both as a person actively supporting seasteading, and also by pretending to be a newcomer to the idea (as in, not someone who already knew what seasteading was) who supports it. It might make whatever statements are made appear less biased and give less fuel for the flame wars if the pro-steading opinions appear to come from someone who isn’t affiliated with this group.June 7, 2009 at 3:30 am #6362
@James: That’s a very good point. Supporting Seasteading in the comments should not be an attempt to convince the non-believers, but instead provide a thoughtful, positive counterpoint to people trying to make up their minds about the movement.June 9, 2009 at 7:12 am #6380
For some reason, Reason / Hit & Run posts seem to gather lots of uninformed, critical comments from libertarians. For example, from New at Reason: Brian Doherty on Seasteading, came this exchange:
Neu Mejican: “The tyranny of the condo board will make the federal government seem mild…no?”
BakedPenguin: “Unless condo boards are now sentencing people to five years of being caged, beaten, and raped for taking un-correct substances, then… no”
“The tyranny of the condo board…” is the sort of superficially glib comment which totally evaporates under close examination, and the response cleverly points out the ridiculousness of comparing condo board annoyance with the tyranny of the federal government.
As James points out, we are unlikely to convince commenters, but we can make an impact on all those who read the comments. In this case, a comment that can easily get a laugh at our expense (“Ha, ha, their new countries are going to have to have CONDO BOARDS!”) from someone reading quickly is transformed into an argument in our favor (“Wait a sec, I would TOTALLY trade having to pay income taxes and worry about US drug laws for a friggin condo board, WTF was that first guy thinking?”).
Anyway, just little stuff like this to elevate the debate and show that we have answers for many of those issues.
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