Why not ramp up some small scale X prizes to get to our first structure?
I was thinking along the lines of a $5,000 prize for a bathtub design. Have people submit their own bathtub youtube videos with specific wave height requirements and have everyone use a Dixie cup full of water. Have the waves go for a minute or two and then have the participant measure the Dixie cup and display it on youtube.
Then have the top 5 or so with the most water left in their Dixie cup compete all under the same conditions some place for the $5k.
Then use the publicity for the small scale test to go toward a $10k prize for a pool contest along the same lines.
I agree, the bathtub testing won’t achieve the final architecture of the seastead. But everyone has a bathtub and it would the easier you make it the more people would get involved and become excited about trying new ideas. $5k to get a lot of people involved in design would be worth it.
Then you use the publicity to ramp up the next prizes at larger scales. Each one growing larger and closer to the end goal.
Some high school kid with a free weekend might come up with a new concept that nobody’s thought of before in an attempt to win $5k.
I like the idea of bathtube testing – many ideas that are discussed over enormous lenght could definitly be dismissed by five minutes of bathtube testing making the process much more efficient. I would expand the idea to “small scale pilot project testing” – we already know that the hard part of seasteading will not be engineering – (if you have enough money you can engineer just anything.) – how many condos can you really sell at the resulting cost ? test it. If the test answer is 0 forget all the underlaying engineering, consultancy, stuff. If you do a small floating festival – which problem does arise? – insurance? – can we solve it ? – whenever we find a “working way” at a micro (bathtube) size we can start dreaming (educated dreaming) on a larger scale. What we should avoid is “uneducated dreaming” – take nothing as a “project column” as long as you have not tested it sucessfully at least at a small scale. This is valid for engineering, economics, social, business and most other fields. Small scale tests is the way of excellence to find the path that leads to the future.