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Making Money=Making Resources.

Home Forums Community Dreaming / Crazy Ideas / Speculation Making Money=Making Resources.

This topic contains 43 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of wohl1917 wohl1917 5 years, 5 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 44 total)
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  • #4790
    Profile photo of DanB
    DanB
    Participant

    We might want to study a place like the Cayman Islands as a way to visualize what a moderately large seastead would look like and how its economy could work.

    Cayman has about 50,000 people, with per capita income of $40k. There is a huge expat presence, to the point that half (!!!) the labor force is expat. This is in spite of the fact that immigration rules are quite strict. It has experienced a major economic boom since the 1980s (no surprise to libertarians). It is also very socially conservative. It has no income tax, but a moderate import tariff. The major industries are banking, tourism, and insurance.

    I think in most respects Cayman is regarded as a “normal” place in the sense that it does not involve any special lifestyle hardships.

    So, if we set 50k as a “target” for seastead population at which point life becomes more or less normal, that does not seem so unreasonable. There are almost 1000 people on this site, and many more libertarians in the US.

    I agree with Patri that at some critical mass the seastead economy will start to explode because of low taxes and deregulation. The problem is to get to the critical mass point. This point is probably less than 50k, maybe around 10k?

    One idea: find a way to incentivize early adopters. We can look at it like a startup company: the people who take more risk by starting the show should get an extra big slice of the pie. The question is how to structure this incentive.

    Another idea: we could form a legal contract along the lines of Stickk.com. That is to say, we all pledge $5,000 or something that if the seastead gets built, we will go live there, and if we don’t we lose the money. Also, the contract would only go into force if some number of people signed up. That kind of contract would also help TSI raise funds (eg. Patri could say to investors: “look, I’ve got a thousand people who have put money down on this plan, so there’s no question that we’re going to get some interest right at the start”)

    #4909
    Profile photo of Patri
    Patri
    Keymaster
    DanB wrote:

    One idea: find a way to incentivize early adopters. We can look at it like a startup company: the people who take more risk by starting the show should get an extra big slice of the pie. The question is how to structure this incentive.

    Another idea: we could form a legal contract along the lines of Stickk.com. That is to say, we all pledge $5,000 or something that if the seastead gets built, we will go live there, and if we don’t we lose the money. Also, the contract would only go into force if some number of people signed up. That kind of contract would also help TSI raise funds (eg. Patri could say to investors: “look, I’ve got a thousand people who have put money down on this plan, so there’s no question that we’re going to get some interest right at the start”)

    I like this model. It is what the FSP used, although it didn’t work very well for them. But still, I think it is worth trying. A for-profit seastead company could take deposits from people, with the deposits refundable if not enough people sign on. (Operating costs for the company would come from other investment, not the deposits). To incentivize early adopters, offer discounts for those who buy on first – set the price for units lower the earlier you buy. So later buyers subsidize earlier ones.

    Maybe it takes years to get enough people, but I think that’s fine with all of us. As the number of depositors gets substantial – say 1/2 of the number of units – the company can try going to a bank for a loan to finance the remaining portion of the development.

    This doesn’t just have to apply to a 50,000-person city, we can start out doing this for a 200-person block, then a 2,000-person village, and keep incrementally proving the model. Although, one worry I have financing things as residences is how we prove the economic models along the way. If someone is signing up for one of these, how will they be able to make money on-board? Whereas when we finance seasteads as businesses, the people who move there are the people w/ jobs onboard.

    #4931
    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    Are we in this for profit?? I think not. I think we are more like,..idealistic entrpreneurs then capitalists. Why wait for somebody else to invest, when we can do it ourself? Instead of a big amount like 50k, why not a “membership” fee,…We are @ 897 registered users, whoever is serious about seasteading shud become a “member”,..$50/mo. Plan for a seastead of 1000 people, no more, to start. Start spending the money to finalize a good seastead design and the social-political-economical blue prints in a democratic, open dialog way between the FIRST 1000. When this is done(time frame 1 year) then raise capital @ $10k piece. Now we have $10M and change. Start building. Meanwhile, set up TSI as non-profit, and bring aboard heavy duty donations that will help finalize our project. Time frame 5 years. Anybody?

    #4932
    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    Dont forget to add growing pot to our economical activities,…:-)

    #4934
    Profile photo of Ratteler
    Ratteler
    Participant

    There is no shortage of living space on land right now. With the housing crisis, any one who can afford to will have bargains galore tp choose from.

    We do have a jobs shortage. There is simply not enough work worth doing to keep everyone employed.

    This glut of idle labor lowers the cost every job out there because replacing any one is easy.

    We’re also in a world wide credit crunch. So there’s going to be little or no credit available. Designing ANYTHING comes down to big money. 10 Million wouldn’t get us the design of a family seastead. Never mind a single working prototype.

    If we can provide jobs, and a source of income, everything else will follow.
    Since we need to make energy and fresh water ourselves, I think they will be the best place to start creating jobs if we over produce them. They are both products that the whole world ill buy at a good price point,

    These other plans rely on people with significant wealth investing. People with that kind of wealth don’t have any incentive to leave the environment that made them wealthy. They are successful where they are, they can afford to go to a real island for that “native” experience, or take a cruise to get a taste of the see.
    Even if they have the sea in their blood, they’ll just buy their own yacht and call it a day.

    If Seasteading comes to pass in our lifetime, it will be the domain of the middle class. That means something “out there” must provide them most of the comforts of home, and something more.

    #4933
    Profile photo of vincecate
    vincecate
    Participant

    If we make pledges for specific projects and then only pay when the work is done we can do things very efficiently. But if we give someone a bunch of money up front the odds of efficiency go down. This is both because this way interesting projects are undertaken and because only success is paid for. I think this is a more Libertarian funding method.

    So, for example. Will anyone pledge $100 to me for a demo of 2 waterwalkers of 1:25 scale rafting together in 6 inch or greater waves? At 1:25 scale a 6 inch wave is simulating a 12.5 foot wave. You would pay by paypal after the experiment is completed and documented on a wiki page, including video.

    So it will be 2 models like this connected together in some flexible way:

    http://wiki.seasteading.org/index.php/User:Vincecate/WaterWalker

    – Vince

    PS This is real funding question, not just example.

    #4935
    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    You said, “10 Million wouldn’t get us the design of a family seastead. Never mind a single working prototype.” I’ve been in the marine business for ove 20 years and I have to tell you that you are wrong. 10 Mil can buy or built you a BIG seastead. Just an example of whats on the market right now for 10-17 Mil http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listing/cache/searchResults.jsp?cit=true&slim=quick&ybw=&sm=3&searchtype=advancedsearch&Ntk=boatsEN&Ntt=&is=&man=&hmid=0&ftid=0&enid=0&fromLength=300&toLength=331&luom=126&fromYear=&toYear=&fromPrice=17000000&toPrice=17000000&currencyid=100&city=&pbsint=&boatsAddedSelected=-1

    #4940
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    This vessel holds a Subchapter H USCG vessel rating of unlimited tonnage and is currently allowed to carry 895 passengers and 100 cars on Lakes, Bays and Sounds.

    Perhaps not the very best candidate for an ocean-going seastead though…

    2,6 million USD: http://www.maritimesales.com/GAE10.htm

    99 meters, 120 beds + 170 cars. If there are 60 cabins we call them apartments and sell them for $50000 and include a part of the car deck for every tenant to use for commercial activities. Don´t bother with refurbishing and installing kitchens or what not. Let the inhabitants take care of that as they see fit. Also if they want to knock down walls and make bigger apartments, let them. Same thing with services. Water, electricity, internet etc. Let the market sort it out.

    #4942
    Profile photo of Ratteler
    Ratteler
    Participant
    OCEANOPOLIS wrote:

    You said, “10 Million wouldn’t get us the design of a family seastead. Never mind a single working prototype.” I’ve been in the marine business for ove 20 years and I have to tell you that you are wrong. 10 Mil can buy or built you a BIG seastead. Just an example of whats on the market right now for 10-17 Mil http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listing/cache/searchResults.jsp?cit=true&slim=quick&ybw=&sm=3&searchtype=advancedsearch&Ntk=boatsEN&Ntt=&is=&man=&hmid=0&ftid=0&enid=0&fromLength=300&toLength=331&luom=126&fromYear=&toYear=&fromPrice=17000000&toPrice=17000000&currencyid=100&city=&pbsint=&boatsAddedSelected=-1

    Well, Hmmm… how to be polite about this.
    For starters, both ship I saw listed were $17,000,000. Nearly twice the $10 mil figure.
    How far out to see can vessels like this really handle? Could you sail it from New your to Australia, or Paris? Disregarding how much fuel it carries and engine wear that would be required for the trip, would it be able to just stay afloat in open ocean water.

    Second, it’s a refurbished ship Vs. a unique Seastead design. The $17 Million figure doesn’t account for the redesign necessary to get this vessel a renewable power plant, and large level water desalination units that would be needed just to survive long term at sea.

    The 100 Car bays sounds huge, as well as even the 895 passenger number. But divided up into actually living space with space dedicated to growing enough food to FEED those living there, we are easily talking about knocking that population down by an order of magnitude.

    With all the work and redesign, we’re talking about a total conservative investment of about $30 Million divided by 100 people at best. That’s $300,000 per person with very little wiggle room for cost over runs.

    If we cut that down to a more reasonable figure of 50 living unit we raise the cost to $600,000 per person. You can get a nice place in Manhattan for that, probably with about the same about of space and convenient everything near by.

    We’re still not talking about designing a unique modular living platform that can sustain 4 to 8 people, and their daily living needs, for at least say 180 days without any mainland support, and survive the worst weather the open ocean can throw at it. Units like as showcased in some of concept art on the main page.

    Designing one of those, and building a single prototype for testing STILL could not IMHO be archived for under 10 Million.

    I appreciate your enthusiasm. Personally, I like the idea of retooling ships for SeaSteding better than the modular unit idea, and think your suggestion is a step in the right direction for getting “something” out there. But it ain’t gunna be cheap.

    #4943
    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    Ratteler wrote:
    OCEANOPOLIS wrote:

    You said, “10 Million wouldn’t get us the design of a family seastead. Never mind a single working prototype.” I’ve been in the marine business for ove 20 years and I have to tell you that you are wrong. 10 Mil can buy or built you a BIG seastead. Just an example of whats on the market right now for 10-17 Mil http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listing/cache/searchResults.jsp?cit=true&slim=quick&ybw=&sm=3&searchtype=advancedsearch&Ntk=boatsEN&Ntt=&is=&man=&hmid=0&ftid=0&enid=0&fromLength=300&toLength=331&luom=126&fromYear=&toYear=&fromPrice=17000000&toPrice=17000000&currencyid=100&city=&pbsint=&boatsAddedSelected=-1

    Well, Hmmm… how to be polite about this. For starters, both ship I saw listed were $17,000,000. Nearly twice the $10 mil figure. How far out to see can vessels like this really handle? Could you sail it from New your to Australia, or Paris? Disregarding how much fuel it carries and engine wear that would be required for the trip, would it be able to just stay afloat in open ocean water. Second, it’s a refurbished ship Vs. a unique Seastead design. The $17 Million figure doesn’t account for the redesign necessary to get this vessel a renewable power plant, and large level water desalination units that would be needed just to survive long term at sea. The 100 Car bays sounds huge, as well as even the 895 passenger number. But divided up into actually living space with space dedicated to growing enough food to FEED those living there, we are easily talking about knocking that population down by an order of magnitude. With all the work and redesign, we’re talking about a total conservative investment of about $30 Million divided by 100 people at best. That’s $300,000 per person with very little wiggle room for cost over runs. If we cut that down to a more reasonable figure of 50 living unit we raise the cost to $600,000 per person. You can get a nice place in Manhattan for that, probably with about the same about of space and convenient everything near by. We’re still not talking about designing a unique modular living platform that can sustain 4 to 8 people, and their daily living needs, for at least say 180 days without any mainland support, and survive the worst weather the open ocean can throw at it. Units like as showcased in some of concept art on the main page. Designing one of those, and building a single prototype for testing STILL could not IMHO be archived for under 10 Million. I appreciate your enthusiasm. Personally, I like the idea of retooling ships for SeaSteding better than the modular unit idea, and think your suggestion is a step in the right direction for getting “something” out there. But it ain’t gunna be cheap.[/quote] Why be anything else but polite? All I said is that you are wrong,…and gave you the ferryboat example. If you think that 10 Mil is not enough for a family seastead ,than it might be because you could have different values, taste and expectations than me or others.It is ok w/me. I am not interested in a “family”seastead, for that its much simpler to buy a boat (i lived aboard for 10 years). The 10 Mil I mentioned were to start the project, w/a total price tag of 25-30 Mil. You have to keep in mind, that is not going to be built in U.S. but somewhere Central America where labor and materials are really cheap. In terms of design, I think its a matter of taste,….I have seen some good ones out there,and some bad ones. One thing is for sure, that if we want to achieve the goal of seasteading in our life time we need we need to start planning now and begin to execute.

    #4946
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Seasteads will never produce a substantial part of their food supply locally, on the platform. If you make that a requirement, the idea is dead in the water, so to speak. This is because it will cost too much, and others (like people on land who have cheap, large areas for farming available) can sell you a lot cheaper food. Food produced on seasteads will be so expensive that nobody will be interested in buying it.

    Seafood is another matter since it is not produced on the seastead. But I don´t think you can survive on this alone. And even if you could people will want to eat “land food” as well. So this will need to be imported.

    Production on seasteads will need to be highly productive per area of “land” to make economic sense. Food production is not.

    #4950
    Profile photo of Ratteler
    Ratteler
    Participant

    @OCEANOPOLIS: Some times simply disagreeing is considered impolite. I just wanted to address my concerns without hurting any ones feelings.

    @ Carl: If we’re going to rely on mainland for essential foods, this project will be nothing more than a communal houseboat off the coast of somewhere

    My interest in SeaSteading is to get away and STAY away from land based society and it’s particular rule of law. That means self sufficiency is essential.

    #4952
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Ratteler: Staying away from the rule of law of land based society and staying away from food that happens to be grown there are surely two entirely different things. I am sure one will be able to import some nice Brazilian beef without copying the legal system of Brazil, just as an example.

    Regarding food production on seasteads, please note the economics of food production in the western world in general. Most farmers and producers of these goods receives rather substantial government subsidies. Even with this support, they seem to complain all the time about how difficult it is to make ends meet. You think you will do better when you also need to build all your production area from scratch?

    Now, I´m not going to stop you from trying. But it doesn´t seem feasible to me. Time will tell, I guess.

    By the way, what is your definition of “self sufficiency”? Must everything in or on the seastead come from the sea?

    #4956
    Profile photo of Wayne-Gramlich
    Wayne-Gramlich
    Participant

    Seasteads will never produce a substantial part of their food supply locally, on the platform. [...]

    The first batch of seasteads will almost certainly not be food self sufficient. However, the food does not have to be grown directly on the seastead. Please visit the farming section of the wiki . Some of the work done by Wesley Bruce on low cost inflatable structures for sea based food productionare is pretty interesting. Note that there is no need for pesticides, since the environment is totally enclosed. Also, the field of vertical hydroponics is just exploding these days.

    It will be quite a while (if ever) before sea based food production is cheaper than land based. However, people may choose to pay a premium to have food locally produced.

    #4957
    Profile photo of Ratteler
    Ratteler
    Participant
    Carl wrote:
    Ratteler: Staying away from the rule of law of land based society and staying away from food that happens to be grown there are surely two entirely different things. I am sure one will be able to import some nice Brazilian beef without copying the legal system of Brazil, just as an example,

    It’s not about copying their legal system, it’s about being subordinate to it. If we RELY on a land based nation for anything, they can exert control of us by denying us access to those resources.

    Regarding food production on seasteads, please note the economics of food production in the western world in general. Most farmers and producers of these goods receives rather substantial government subsidies. Even with this support, they seem to complain all the time about how difficult it is to make ends meet.

    Most farmers that rely on government subsidies are farming commercially. Small farms do exist where the product of the farm rarely goes further than their own dinner table, and when they do overproduce, the local farmer’s market and general store will sufficiently sell off the surplus. With advances in Hydroponics we can grow more food in a tight space. Rather than a giant farm floating on sea water, we have to look to NASA models growing food on prolonged space explorations.

    You think you will do better when you also need to build all your production area from scratch?

    I think WE have to if we want a sustaining life style.

    By the way, what is your definition of “self sufficiency”? Must everything in or on the seastead come from the sea?

    Self Sufficiency IMHO would be the ability to live on the sea for at least 180 days without the need for any supplies from main land.

    Eventually I would like to a see culture that will be able to manufacture anything at sea without the need for any land based intervention. But for the pioneer age of Seasteading, 180 days between resupply of any kind a reasonable limit.

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