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Seasteading Outpost: Belize

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This topic contains 235 replies, has 35 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of Pastor_Jason Pastor_Jason 2 years, 10 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 236 total)
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  • #5746
    Avatar of bencoder
    bencoder
    Participant

    I’d love to work with you on something, I’m just coming up to the end of my university degree and I currently don’t have any commitments for what to do when I finish (End of June/Beginning of July).

    Are you sure about the mobile coverage, the map I looked at was: http://www.gsmworld.com/cgi-bin/ni_map.pl?z=2&x=5&y=4&cc=bz&net=bt which seems to indicate that there is no coverage at the exact position of this 100 Acres, but perhaps that’s not quite right or out of date.

    I really hope we can get more people in on this.

    #5752
    Avatar of Pastor_Jason
    Pastor_Jason
    Participant

    The property on South Lagoon is on the Western side, which has coerage (listed as variable as opposed to high, but not in the dead area). Remember this property was just an example. Besides, investing in a cell phone signal booster only will run you a few hundred dollars and benefit our whole community. I haven’t personally been out there yet to check this property, when I do I’ll make sure to check the signal out there.

    Live Well!

    -Jason

    #5771
    Avatar of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    Valid criticism from Vince, and a plausible rebuttal.

    Once more, i admire your attitude Jason.

    Im also nearing the end of my degree, Engineering fluid mechanics. I am not the best hands-on engineer in the building: my strong points are progamming (fluent in various languages) and math, but i consider that a good thing, as such services are more easily sold over the internet.

    I am seriously tempted to commit to this for at least a year. Im not the kind of guy who bails when the first months are harder than expected. Worst case, ill have spent one year of my life survivaling in the tropics. Im a romantic, I can go for that.

    One complicating factor: i am generally in good health and capable of pulling my own weight plus some extra, but unless my knee is going to start acting normal really soon, im going to have to schedule surgery for that. Ill have to see how that evolves.

    My equity suffices to buy a plane ticket, but not much beyond that. I am however not expecting any free lunches.

    Id like to meet the initial group of people face-to-face before making a decision.

    Thats all i have to say for now. Keep the good ideas coming!

    #5776
    Avatar of Pastor_Jason
    Pastor_Jason
    Participant

    Let me preface this by saying, I knew the real estate market in Belize had gotten a bit cheaper over the last year or so.

    That said, allow me to exclaim the following…. HOLY FREAKIN COW!!!

    Alright, long and short of it is simple… everyone wants to live on an Island, I said “Too expensive”. I was w…ww….wa….

    I was wrong.

    Thanks for stepping up to the challenge Octavian. 10 acres undeveloped for under 200k asking price and fairly close to the mainland… can’t beat that! It appears there are some even less expensive properties. Seastead Outpost Belize has just turned into an Island venture. No one better vote me off… lol!!

    Live Well!

    -Jason

    #5792
    Avatar of DM8954
    DM8954
    Participant

    I would ask for more details… but I don’t want to advertize these property deals and end up drawing in other bidders against you, haha. Sounds like great news. In order to make the beginings of a budget, I’d say the land will only be 1/3 of the starting budget. The other 2/3 will be infrastucture on land and materials for the first seastead tests… Just to be safe, a buffer of at least a year (hopefully 2 years) worth of money for food and supplies for anyone participating should be kept on hand. Regular businesses on busy US mainstreets often don’t break even within a year of being in business (in a normal economy) and a vast majority don’t make it at all… so even with a safely transferable income you’ll need lots of rainy day money. Anyways, that’s just the very basics of an overall budget.

    As has been mentioned already, it would be easiest for only one (maybe two) people to buy the property. Other interested parties would have to join up to figure out the rest. Obviously, without the other people joining, an empty island won’t keep you going for very long but it’s already assumed that for this particular venture (this version of the plan; this property price range) other people will have to commit to it. I suggest this only for legal/property rights purposes.

    A commercial cell tower in the US can cost around $100K and up. Since this would not be for the same purpose, a smaller tower would suffice. Labor, a major cost in said commercial towers, is cheaper in Belize, which helps even more. Go even further and mount the required transmission equipment on a wind turbine (dual use) to save costs even more. Why even bring it up? Well, I’m in the cell-tower building industry, so I can’t help but think about such things, even when I don’t particularly want to. Second, what I have in mind is a way to fill the gap in any coverage maps. There are genrally 2 (main) kinds of antennas: panel antennas for send/receive between user and carrier & microwave antennas for tower-to-tower transmission. These microwave antennas are the second best option next to fiber optic (which isn’t really an option in this case) for getting data to a remote site like this. They’re designed for high-capacity (they need to carry hundreds of data and voice signals) and they’re fast. All you need to do is rent space on the nearest tower within line of sight of where you want to build and hook into the grid. If you’re lucky, you can get a good deal on tower rent down there and you might be looking at anywhere between $20 and $500 a month. (It’s hard for me to guess just how much cheaper such a prospect is down there.) It’s certainly likely to beat the cost of satellite and pretty much guaranteed to beat it in speed and capacity.

    On further investigation, the capacity for one of these systems, regardless of range, seems to be about 1.6 Gbps. That should be enough for a few dozen people, you think? The ideal range for a 2′ diameter antenna (what I’m working with now) seems to be no more than 1.5 miles. The longer the distance, the larger the dish you’ll need. The brand being used in our current project has sizes up to 5 feet, so one might imagine there’s a considerable range available, as long as another tower has a clear line of sight.

    I’m only familiar with the logistics of installation and the basics of equipment required, not the software and technical issues once it’s built… but internet connection is at the bottom of the list of things to do right now. If this thing really gets going, though, I’d be glad to help out with figuring out the main equipment and space you’ll need. Eventually, a true expert would have to be called in, but I could help you get a good idea of what to expect before you invest the first penny.

    For now, I’m just excited for you and for this prospect in the advancement of seasteading. I really wish I was in a better position to offer to sign on to the venture myself. It’s an amazing opportunity.

    #5793
    Avatar of Pastor_Jason
    Pastor_Jason
    Participant

    Michael,

    Thanks for your encouraging criticism. Real Estate in Belize can be rather tricky and the patient often see fantastic deals. I’ve just recently engaged some of my contacts in Ambergris Caye and hope to find a deal that might be “off the radar”. That said, if anyone from this list purchases a part of an island out from underneath me, I can only assume it would be used for Seasteading… so no hurt feelings on my end. Heck, if someone were to do this, it would save me the trouble.

    Your expertise on cell phone towers is fantastic and I anticipate we will be contacting you down the road to work out the details. Hopefully, you’ll decide to come down and visit us when we get things up and running (I guarrantee a good vacation, Belize has a TON to offer) and maybe we can pick your brain a little while you’re staying with us. Internet and communication is going to be important to us, so it’s not exactly on the bottom of our priorities list.

    As for budget for this operation, I agree with the points you have listed. I am optimistic that the funds we originally set aside to “keep us afloat” during the first couple years could be redirected to Seastead R&D or Outpost improvements within the first year… here’s why.

    Our focus for the first year will be building basic infrastructure and working as an intentional community to develop self-sufficiency. This co-operative lifestyle focused on keeping costs as low as possible stems from the whole Seasteading concept of creating an independant society. By only relying on ourselves we trade a need for a supply of money for a need of everyone to work and pull their own weight.

    One of the main businesses that will rise out of this effort will be in the hospitality industry as we offer an eco-resort with a unique slant that will serve to help us stand out. Since any increased awareness of seasteading benefits us and TSI, we look to leverage the growing interest in this lifestyle as one of the most effective advertising campaigns we could benefit from. Our Seastead Outpost will be able to provide this “eco-resort” experience as a direct off-shoot of our daily activities and growth so we’re not looking at start-up and maintainance costs like a normal business.

    That said, my experience is in traditional business. This model is unlike anything I have ever worked before and does not easily “fit into the mold”. Where I would normally worry about cash reserves, my worries now revolve around members of the original group leaving us short handed within the first year or two. Where I would normally look to marketing strategies, I’m looking at construction timelines.

    Continue to help me iron out my ideas and further refine my thoughts. I know most of you would love to see a post that says, “I purchased the property!! Who’s coming?!” but this is a major move for me and my family and I want to “measure ten times and cut once” as the expression goes. Thank you all for lending me your experience and helping me avoid the pit falls of poor decisions.

    I might be the “ring leader” for Seastead Outpost, but I am deeply convinced that this will only be a success as a collective effort. This is to be a community of leaders, a society of the self-controlled, and a fellowship of brothers (and sisters).

    On that last remark, let me end on another tangent. Many of you are concerned about a lack of females. Though I am bringing my family, the females are off limits (one’s my wife, while my two daughters are 10 and 3). That said, Belize is full of women (and hot ones if I might say so myself) and the culture is a true melting pot of many cultures and many ex-pats who reside here. We’re not creating an insular society here boys (like the Amish), rather our little group is looking to reach out to all of the dis-satisfied and oppressed across the globe… I’m sure you’ll have plenty of opportunity to find a wife if you’re looking for one.

    Live Well!

    -Jason

    #5797
    Avatar of DanB
    DanB
    Participant

    vincecate wrote:

    Here is my question. If you don’t even have guys with enough commitment to get together a Saturday or two each month and build something in the bay area, how can you believe that you have guys with enough commitment to drop their jobs, uproot their families, leave their friends, and move to Belize and then get together to build something? This is several orders of magnitude more commitment than something you don’t yet have enough commitment for.

    It’s entirely true that this requires a lot of commitment, and that’s exactly the reason why the commitment problem should be faced at the outset! Imagine ten years down the road TSI builds a seastead with ten million dollars of capital. Great! Okay guys, time to move…! uh, guys? The commitment problem won’t be defeated merely by delaying until the engineering problem is solved.

    I think people should ask themselves the following question: would I emigrate to a tax-haven country by myself on my own initiative if I had never heard of seasteading? If the answer is yes, then the fact that seasteading might happen, and a bunch of other like-minded guys might also participate, just makes the deal sweeter. I think for a lot of people the answer is in fact yes.

    So if going to Belize is worthwhile for you independent of what other people do, then the commitment problem becomes much less of a problem.

    #5807
    Avatar of vincecate
    vincecate
    Participant

    DanB wrote:

    Okay guys, time to move…! uh, guys? The commitment problem won’t be defeated merely by delaying until the engineering problem is solved.

    If we build something that is more stable and has more room but is cheaper than the average yacht but can still travel around the islands, I doubt there would be any real shortage of people willing to try it out. More room, more stability, and cheaper than a yacht? There would be customers. The commitment problem becomes very small after the engineering problem is solved. The risk is nearly gone. If moving to Belize is to work on the commitment problem, I really think you got things all backwards.

    #5809
    Avatar of Pastor_Jason
    Pastor_Jason
    Participant

    What I see in TSI is a divergence in the approach to seasteading, which I believe we can trace back to the roots of the organization. Wayne was all for approaching this at the single family level, while Patri has been an advocate of larger “community” seasteads. I refuse to pass judgement on one approach being better than the other but it seems clear that people lean on way or the other. Community sized seasteads take an enormous amount of capital up front and will likely be unaffordable for your standard person. As Vince said… it compares to a Yacht. Any members of TSI have a yacht?

    Those who aim a little smaller are looking to make a seastead for themselves or for a small group of people. TSI’s seasteads are so large that they will have to be built by a company that specializes in large marine construction. This speciality is expensive and thus the cost of TSI seasteads as currently planned is going to be fantastically huge. Hopefully, by using the manpower of Seastead Outpost we can construct a seastead (of smaller size) ourselves and thus make seasteading something we can afford.

    The purpose of Seastead Outpost is not to “take care of the commitment problem”. Read Patri’s wiki or the basesteading thread. Seastead Outpost is a “stepping stone” to Seasteading. Get’s us a little closer, provides TSI with a functional spot that they can say, “See… we’re working on it… we’re REALLY working on it…”, allows interested parties to experience a taste of the seasteader’s life, and opens up a conduit of R&D for seastead related technologies.

    Vince, the fact that you moved to Anguilla makes me wonder why you question the feasibility of our plans. Didn’t you move out of the US, and don’t you now work on seasteading technologies because you desire “the next step”? Isn’t Seastead Outpost: Belize just an organized effort to do what you’ve already done? It strikes me as odd that you, of all people, would wonder at why we make these plans.

    For the record, it was seeing some of your experiments with the water walker that drew me into this group. I don’t like forums where people just sit around and talk. A forum composed of people attempting this lifestyle and experimenting and sharing those experiments with each other… now that’s something I can sink my teeth into.

    Live Well!

    -Jason

    #5810
    Avatar of vincecate
    vincecate
    Participant

    Pastor_Jason wrote:

    Community sized seasteads take an enormous amount of capital up front and will likely be unaffordable for your standard person. As Vince said… it compares to a Yacht. Any members of TSI have a yacht?

    I would say a community sized is like an oil platform, anyone own an oil platform? A single family seastead is competing against yachts. As for seasteader enthusiasts owning yachts, I have 2 small ones (see macgregor26.com – could be just called sailboats).

    Pastor_Jason wrote:

    Seastead Outpost is a “stepping stone” to Seasteading. Get’s us a little closer, provides TSI with a functional spot that they can say, “See… we’re working on it… we’re REALLY working on it…”, allows interested parties to experience a taste of the seasteader’s life, and opens up a conduit of R&D for seastead related technologies.

    Moving to Belize is not really working on seasteading.

    Pastor_Jason wrote:

    Vince, the fact that you moved to Anguilla makes me wonder why you question the feasibility of our plans. Didn’t you move out of the US, and don’t you now work on seasteading technologies because you desire “the next step”? Isn’t Seastead Outpost: Belize just an organized effort to do what you’ve already done? It strikes me as odd that you, of all people, would wonder at why we make these plans.

    Maybe I know how hard it really is. There have been about 20 working age computer guys that moved to Anguilla. All have left except me and one guy who is now only here part time and sort of retired anyway. Getting immigration visa’s, work permits, business liceses, etc are not thing libertarians enjoy doing. I really think moving to a seastead would be easier than moving to another country. So I think you are making things more difficult.

    Pastor_Jason wrote:

    For the record, it was seeing some of your experiments with the water walker that drew me into this group. I don’t like forums where people just sit around and talk. A forum composed of people attempting this lifestyle and experimenting and sharing those experiments with each other… now that’s something I can sink my teeth into.

    Part of what drew me to the group was the plan of “aquarium stead”, “pool stead”, “bay stead”, “seastead”. There was talk about how grand drawings get press coverage but are hard to really get funded and so we were going to do things incrementally. With $500,000 and this approach it seemed that it would really be possible to build some cool stuff. Probably a seastead big enough to live on even. But my guess is they are getting close to having used up half the money and really not too much has been built, outside of my stuff. I don’t know what the prosects are for more funding.

    The “lifestyle” of people living under an existing government is what we are trying to get away from. Moving from one country to another does not really let you experiment with the seasteading lifestyle. I think it is mostly more talk but that if it did happen the effort and expense would be such that you probably would have less time to work toward seasteading.

    I am not opposed to people leaving the USA, I did. But I don’t think you need to do that to start experimenting with seastead models. I built a model in California and tested it there, so it is possible. If the plan is to move to seasteads in 5 years then I think the extra time and effort of first moving to another country will slow you down.

    — Vince

    #5811
    Avatar of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    we build that, if we do that,….How are all this “if’s” going to be achived? I found that property in Belize, the 10 acres on Alligator Caye for $169,000.00 asking price. Is it a good deal? Hell yeah, since an acre on any other Cayes is selling for an average $100,000.00 or more http://www.caribbeanislandbrokers.com/islands-for-sale. We need money to build a Seastead, regardless of the size and shape. And we need money to make money. An Outpost on Alligator Caye will generate profit as a eco-resort. I draw a business plan for developing these 10 acres and the numbers are very encouraging. Briefly, the total capital required will be around $250,000.00 and the yearly net income when operational will be min $200,000.00. That is on only 4 month of the year full occupancy, 40% profit margin and really low, competitive prices for accomodations, food and other services. Sometimes when sailing you have to tack in order to reach your destination. In my view, The Outpost project is a tacking towards the ultimate destination of building a Seastead. Ahoy, O.

    #5812
    Avatar of
    Anonymous
    #5813
    Avatar of vincecate
    vincecate
    Participant

    Carl wrote:

    http://www.doingbusiness.org/economyrankings/

    Belize ranked 78, after Pakistan in that one. On my votewithyourfeet.com Belize ranked 171 while Anguilla ranked number 4. Only Singapore, Hong Kong, and Northern Mariana Islands scored higher.

    http://votewithyourfeet.com/countries.html

    Note that many “islands” for sale in Belize are basically reefs that have been filled in with sand. After the next hurricane the sand will be gone and you would need to fill it in again (assuming you have the right permits for ecological destruction). As the Bible said, “a foolish man builds his house upon the sand”.

    — Vince

    #5814
    Avatar of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    Vince, i acknowledge that you are the only person here so far with any claim to putting his money where his mouth is, both in terms of uprooting and making things float, but allow me to question:

    Did your computer guys really leave anguilla because of the permits?

    It would seem to me that by far the most prohibitve obstacle is leaving the civilized world behind. Not just in material terms, but mostly in terms of social networks. Friends, familiy, employment opportunities, potential partners, potential friends.

    I think that is THE major issue for most people, even if it did work for you. If we can actually make an intentional community work in Belize, I will consider it a huge heads-up in that regard.

    I am similarly sceptical concerning the engineering we will get done there, but i am willing to let go of that and consider any engineering we do get done a bonus.

    #5815
    Avatar of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    Jason:

    Concerning the legal structure: cooperation is a lofty ideal, but one remark:

    I hope you do not intend to raise the tyranny of the majority to the highest ideal. Its not an altogether useless concept, but it has its drawbacks: id like to explicitly contract as much as possible from the start.

    To take one specific example, i would not join a society that delegated the right to live or die to the whims of the majority.

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