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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, 9 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 236 total)
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  • #5817
    Avatar of vincecate
    vincecate
    Participant

    Eelco wrote:

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

    People do things for more than one reason and permits was not the main reason. Probably the biggest reason is just the need to make money. A big part of people leaving could be attributed to the dot-com bust. But permits make it harder to hire people from outside and bring them in fast enough that they don’t go work someplace else. It also made it hard on people with girlfriends/wives as getting a permit to do a job there are locals qualified to do is hard (many countries).

    Eelco wrote:

    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.

    Employment opportunities and potential partners, yes. But the local government can muck with these. I don’t think the other things are really that big of an issue. Email, Intenet phone, facebook all work as long as you have Internet. Flying works both to visit family and for them to visit you. I think you can find friendly people anywhere you might want to move to.

    Eelco wrote:

    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.

    To me the engineering of something better than a boat for a single family living outside harbors (better a function of living space, safety, stability, cost) is the only real issue. If the engineering were solved then I think we can evolve our way through all the other problems. If we don’t solve the engineering, then I don’t think we will get new floating societies.

    The oil platform seasteads are too easy for other countries to pressure. They can be cut off from customers. They are sort of a big easy target. So I don’t see them really thriving and growing into a new society. After there was a new society, I can see such big structures, but I don’t think they are a good path to get the new society.

    A single family seastead is like a yacht. They can go where they are welcome and spend their money. After there are enough of them, many will not bother going near land very often. The growth and evolution makes sense to me.

    – Vince

    #5818
    Avatar of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    Employment opportunities and potential partners, yes. But the local government can muck with these. I don’t think the other things are really that big of an issue. Email, Intenet phone, facebook all work as long as you have Internet.

    What about hugging?

    Flying works both to visit family and for them to visit you. I think you can find friendly people anywhere you might want to move to.

    The open ocean is notiorious for its low population density. And sure, ten people are ten opportunities to make a good friend. But a city of ten million, has a million times as many.

    To me the engineering of something better than a boat for a single family living outside harbors (better a function of living space, safety, stability, cost) is the only real issue. If the engineering were solved then I think we can evolve our way through all the other problems. If we don’t solve the engineering, then I don’t think we will get new floating societies.

    Dont get me wrong: im not saying the engineering is not an issue: its not the only one in my opinion, but yes, probably the most important one. Id love to be able to help with that, but im not going to do it all by myself. I have the drive, and a relevant education, but I have no money, no experience. If my current city of residence harbors any seasteaders, i havnt found them yet. So my first concern is locating near likeminded people. The bay area is high on my list, but i need a fulltime job to get a visa, and adding in starting a new life, one may question how much time i have left to actually do any seasteading there.
    Inbetween the social experimentation and the publicity value, i see plenty of justification for Jason’s plan.

    #5819
    Avatar of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    Vince wrote:”To me the engineering of something better than a boat for a single family living outside harbors (better a function of living space, safety, stability, cost) is the only real issue. If the engineering were solved then I think we can evolve our way through all the other problems. If we don’t solve the engineering, then I don’t think we will get new floating societies.” Can you be more specific in terms of what you called “real issues”? What would you think is needed on future seasteads in terms of technology, that is not in use as we speak, on commercial or private vessels?

    #5820
    Avatar of vincecate
    vincecate
    Participant

    OCEANOPOLIS wrote:

    Can you be more specific in terms of what you called “real issues”? What would you think is needed on future seasteads in terms of technology, that is not in use as we speak, on commercial or private vessels?

    It is not the stuff inside the vessel. I think normal land based or marine equipment will work for all the stuff inside. It is the engineering of the structure itself so that it is big enough for a family to live in, stable enough to work on, safe enough to stay in the open ocean, and yet still afordable by a single family to buy and operate. This is a hard engineering design problem and I think “the real issue”.

    – Vince

    #5823
    Avatar of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    What is big enough? I assume @ least 2000 sq ft for a couple w/2 kids? Something of the size of a 60′ powerboat? What is affordable? This family is middle class, or upper, or on wellfare? What is really “stable” @ sea? What is really “safe” @ sea? What is “open water”? 2 miles offshore or 200 miles? Is it really an engineering problem to buid big,stabie and safe enought, whatever shape or size? I dont think so. We can build a nuclear sub but we cant build a lousy seastead? The real issue is the affordability, money. From what I know regarding the shipbuilding industry wages and cost of materials in U.S., it will be impossible to built an affordable seastead here, from scratch. Look how much they quoted TSI for Club Stead,…ridiculous. For 100 mil I’d buy 4 200′ cruise ships and weld them toghether and still have 20 mil in change to operate them. But the subject here was Belize, and I would go there to build. Is got to be @ least twice as cheap there than here. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    #5828
    Avatar of vincecate
    vincecate
    Participant

    OCEANOPOLIS wrote:

    Is it really an engineering problem to buid big,stabie and safe enought, whatever shape or size? I dont think so.

    Engineering has to take into account the cost, strength of materials, design, etc. Making a design that fills all the requirements, including cost, is what engineers do. Some of the ideas I have explored are in the following two URLs. At school the saying was, “Engineers turn dreams into reality”. (*) It is really an engineering problem. Really, really, really.

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

    http://wiki.seasteading.org/index.php/User:Vincecate/WaterWalker2

    OCEANOPOLIS wrote:

    But the subject here was Belize, and I would go there to build. Is got to be @ least twice as cheap there than here. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    The more advanced shipyards use robots to weld things and the labor costs with robots is not too bad, and the quality is good. Don’t know if Belize even has a shipyard, but even if they do, you won’t get a factor of 2. For a big ship nearly half the construction costs is the raw metal. The costs of metal delivered to Belize is most probably higher than in the US. And so far I think we are not within a factor of two in costs of making it anyway.

    – Vince

    (*) PS I was in the engineering school at Berkeley, but Electrical Engineering Computer Science and really was computer science. But I listened to some inspirational lectures for engineers from time to time. :-)

    #5829
    Avatar of Pastor_Jason
    Pastor_Jason
    Participant

    All paths have both pro’s and con’s. A wise decision is made after weighing each path on its merit. Criticism is to be encouraged as it helps us refine our ideas even further. If we do not allow our thoughts and pre-suppositions to be challenged then we will never find personal growth and further maturity.


    Some honesty regarding Belize: I planed on moving there regardless. Anguilla might be a better spot to re-locate to as Vince has said. I trust his judgement and his experience. I plan on looking into the possibility of moving to Anguilla as I cannot afford to make a mis-step on something as important as where we set up camp.

    The comment about “building one’s house on the sand” rings true and I am skeptical about certain real estate opportunities. While in the past I completely wrote off the possibility of using an Island for Seastead Outpost, I now consider it a possibility. That is not to say that the decision has been made and a property purchased, only that I am taking a second look at Island realestate as a real possibility. The problems of durability during a serious storm weigh heavily though and continue to be a discouraging factor.


    What is the big hurdle to reaching a successful seastead? Proper Engineering? Inexpensive construction? Functional social plan? Working business plan for income? Self-sufficient industry?

    I say none of these are the problem, because all of these are a problem. Someone perfects a design. Too bad it costs too much to build it. Another works on inexpensive construction… the seastead unfortunately is not designed well enough to survive in the open seas and sinks. The “seasteaders society” has a group ready to get on a seastead… they get along and work together well… too bad none of them know the first thing about making a seastead work. The “Seastead Corp” is running a functional business on land and is ready to transfer to a seastead of similar size to it’s offices… unfortunately the costs of keeping the seastead up and importing huge stores of American cuisine break the business model. The “Green Freaks” have got self-sufficiency nearly perfected with micro-farming, aqua-culture, and PV solar arrays… but it turns out none of them like anyone else and once they’re forced to live in close quarters they all turn to mass desertion.

    None of these are the problem because ALL OF THEM are problems. I could probably write a book the size of Patri & Wayne’s seasteading book about the pit-holes we face. There is no easy answer. The brutal truth of the matter is building a seastead is in fact: building a whole new culture. It’s not going to be comfortable and it will require us to adapt to our new surroundings. We won’t eat the same. Our daily activities won’t be the same. The way we interact with each other will be different from how we interact will people right now. Our priorities will shift. I cannot see the end result from the shore of understanding I currently stand on, but I can be certain of this… after a couple years we won’t be recognizable as Americans, Europeans or otherwise… we will be something different. Something new.

    Seastead Outpost: Belize is to be a stepping stone towards that end. Transition is never easy. I love red meat… the likelihood of eating red meat even occasionally on a seastead is insanely low. I need time to purge the culture I am used to from my system as I work toward something new. The culture that begins with a few of us at Seastead Outpost will likely be similar to the eventual culture that will rise out of seasteading… we’ll be your guinea pigs. There is a huge difference between knowing how much area one needs available to microfarm enough produce to meet our needs to be self-sufficient compared to actually pulling it off and providing for oneself. Before I leave the shore I need to know that I have the right skills and experience to make things work.

    I don’t have all the answers. That was the point of Dan B’s “basesteading” concept. Seastead Outpost isn’t my answer, it is the equals sign in the equation… the connection that leads to the answers. Since seasteads don’t currently exist, we can’t set up on one and try it out… even if we could, I wouldn’t. Failure is assured and I’d rather fail in the cradle of a landmass and have the safety net of civilization than be left to the currents of the ocean that has swallowed many a sailor. We are going to do on land what everyone here wishes to do on a seastead… in the process we hope to aid the over-all effort with our work.


    There has been some skepticism regarding available time for seastead design and experimentation. Let’s say out outpost starts with only 10 people. We provide housing and meals in exchange for work for 6-8 hours a day on the Oupost (more hours than this when we first get there). That leaves at least 8 hours of free-time each day for a group of ten guys (not being sexist, just basing off the current interested parties), each massively interested in Seasteading, without the distractions of civilization to waste their time. Oh yeah… those costs for basic construction materials… yeah, don’t worry about it. We’ll buy you the supplies (within reason… no plutonium), you show me what you can make float. Now, someone tell me again why Seastead Outpost: Belize won’t accomplish anything worthwhile?

    Live Well!

    -Jason

    #5830
    Avatar of DanB
    DanB
    Participant

    Pastor_Jason wrote:

    Some honesty regarding Belize: I planed on moving there regardless. Anguilla might be a better spot to re-locate to as Vince has said. I trust his judgement and his experience. I plan on looking into the possibility of moving to Anguilla as I cannot afford to make a mis-step on something as important as where we set up camp.

    I think this is the key point: if moving to location X is something you were thinking about doing anyway, then the opportunity of moving to location X with a couple of like-minded guys is even better, and the possibility that it might be a step in the direction of seasteading makes the option even better.

    I agree that it’s quite important to examine potential choices for locations. When I started thinking about this a long time ago, I gravitated towards the Cayman Islands. They seem to be quite rich ($40k+ per capita income), with lots of jobs for techies. So I wouldn’t mind living on Cayman for a long time.

    Maybe we should do a sort of DRP-style investigation of potential basestead locations, paying attention to cost of living, availability of jobs, local economy, immigration issues, real estate prices, and so on. The Boat option still seems good to me too, I hope someone investigates that a bit more.

    #5835
    Avatar of Patri
    Patri
    Keymaster
    ross3825 wrote:

    The issue that I’m focused on, however, is self-goverance. If you’re in the US sphere of influence as Belize certainly is, interference by Government adn private agencies opposed to your venture is almost assured. Since you refer to yourself as Pastor, let me introduce an example based on religious faith. Suppose a Mormon group decided to establish a seastead on which polygamy would be practiced. US laws reach around the world and once this seastead came to the attention of groups in the US that are opposed to polygamy or hostile to the Mormon faith, authorities from the US or the host nation would start showing up with demands that they cease and desist all polygamous activities and this might end with a Waco on the high seas. The same problem might come up with a seastead that supported itself with stemcell research or assisted suicide.

    This is just not true. There are many countries around the world where polygamy is practiced. Muslims, for example, are allowed by the Koran to have up to 4 wives. I’ve never heard of the US threatening a Muslim country over polygamy. And assisted suicide is legal in the state of Oregon.

    The list of things the US will interfere over is *really small*. They don’t interfere over arbitrary things, only a few things like harboring terrorists, money laundering, tax evasion, WMD research, exporting drugs. That’s about it.

    DanB wrote:

    Pastor Jason, looks like a great plan. I would seriously consider joining you if you go forward with this, and my guess is that several others would as well. My advice for you is to purchase the plot yourself and then rent to others, that would keep things simple. You might also make a lot of money if enough people join.

    You could also consider subdividing it and selling plots, if that’s legal in Belize. I would keep many areas as common, though, a mix of shared and private space is ideal.

    Investigating multiple potential basestead locations is a great idea. I will try to find data on the costs for operating a cruise ship. I started a list of criteria section on your wiki page.

    #5840
    Avatar of Patri
    Patri
    Keymaster

    Apparently “Gulching” is a known movement / term, it has a wikipedia page and supposedly a book (The Gulcher’s Guide, though I couldn’t find it, I wonder if it was left unfinished). It could be a good community to draw from, here are some references:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulching
    http://www.backwoodshome.com/columns/wolfe040515.html
    http://www.wendymcelroy.com/print.php?news.2341

    It looks like gulchers tends towards the self-sufficiency side of things.

    #5856
    Avatar of Pastor_Jason
    Pastor_Jason
    Participant

    I almost choked on my cup of cocoa this morning (HATE coffee). It would seem that Patri is back in the swing of things and he’s taken an interest in Seastead Outpost: Belize!! We’ve even been featured as the focus of one of Patri’s recent blog posts. Though it seems he picked out a couple of my quotes to represent the movement for a Seastead Outpost in Belize, let me be very clear… if not for the cooperative work by all those who gather here and share thoughts and insight I would not have anything to share.

    Kudos… all around. I think we’re building something we can be proud of. For now, we’re building with our thoughts, time and effort spent refining the dream we share for a step towards seasteading. Those who have posted critiques and challenged our premises and preconceived notions are also to be congratulated… you all are as constructive in building this as those who unquestioningly push for it.

    Thank You.

    Patri answered the one question I’ve silently worried about since this thread got started. The whole time we have worked there has been a GIANT GORILLA in the room that we’ve left un-addressed. More important that where we locate, how we set-up, who is coming, how we’re going to afford this… the question remains: What does TSI even think about Seastead Outpost: Belize?

    In a PM, Patri made it more than clear that TSI is with us on this! I will continue to seek out his insights and guidance as we move forward on this project and we can expect TSI to play a part in the development of this community. It feels like someone just put nitro in my engine… time to throttle up.

    Why is TSI becoming more and more popular? I think it is because of the vision of our leadership. Two proverbs speak of the good job Patri and the staff at TSI are doing for us: “Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.” Keep up the good work folks, we’re depending on it.

    As for “Gulching”, I’ve seen this term more and more as it appears “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand seems to be catching new readers. I think Seasteading has always been a form of Gulching by neccesity. Let’s face it, we’re going to be floating in the middle of the ocean… no local Wally World is going to help us stock up on needed items before a storm blows in. Our needs are a step more difficult to achieve as, unlike most gulchers who can spread out on a property, we need to achieve self sufficiency in as small a square footage as possible (excepting of course, things like aquaculture/algaeculture that can operate outside of the seastead proper).

    For those of you itching to get involved, I’m open to all the help I can get. Many people on this list aren’t waiting for a to do list and just run with it on their own. For instance, Octavian (OCEANOPOLIS) showed us the affordability of islands and broadened the range of properties we would consider. Maybe I’ll start a DRP on location. I’d love as much input as possible as to what you all envision when you think of Seastead Outpost: Belize or your idea for something you would like to see developed on the property.

    Live Well!

    -Jason

    #5887
    Avatar of Pastor_Jason
    Pastor_Jason
    Participant

    Check it out!

    http://wiki.seasteading.org/index.php/User:Pastor_Jason/Seastead_Outpost:_Belize

    Let’s keep working and I’ll keep organizing it and posting it.

    It’s good to be a part of TSI that seems to be moving at a decent clip.

    Live Well!

    -Jason

    #5897
    Avatar of Lasse-Birk-Olesen
    Lasse-Birk-Olesen
    Participant

    While a shorter term goal of this project is to establish a community and build a small model for the lake, the ultimate goal is to build a seastead to launch in the ocean off the coast of Belize, right? Have you looked into the waves there?

    From the coast of Belize there is wave fetch all the way from Africa. I think you will have very big waves which will make the seastead more expensive and harder to build.

    An alternative could be going for a location with access to sheltered international waters like the Mediterranean Sea or the Baltic Sea. Next to the first, you could set up in a very inexpensive African country. Next to the latter, you could set up in a fairly inexpensive Eastern European country.

    The Baltic Sea almost never have waves larger than 4 meters. In some locations they are usually around 0.5 meters while never above 3 meters. I’ve collected some info on the wave height in the Baltic here: http://wiki.seasteading.org/index.php/Ephemerisle:Location/Europe

    Or, in the Øresund waters between Denmark and Sweden there is a 490 meter wide trail of international waters that freighters use to get to the Baltic sea. But the distance between the two countries are only 4 km. This means you could be only 2 km away from two different coasts with two different cities but still be in international waters.

    #5898
    Avatar of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    Lasse wrote:

    While a shorter term goal of this project is to establish a community and build a small model for the lake, the ultimate goal is to build a seastead to launch in the ocean off the coast of Belize, right? Have you looked into the waves there?

    From the coast of Belize there is wave fetch all the way from Africa. I think you will have very big waves which will make the seastead more expensive and harder to build.

    An alternative could be going for a location with access to sheltered international waters like the Mediterranean Sea or the Baltic Sea. Next to the first, you could set up in a very inexpensive African country. Next to the latter, you could set up in a fairly inexpensive Eastern European country.

    The Baltic Sea almost never have waves larger than 4 meters. In some locations they are usually around 0.5 meters while never above 3 meters. I’ve collected some info on the wave height in the Baltic here: http://wiki.seasteading.org/index.php/Ephemerisle:Location/Europe

    Or, in the Øresund waters between Denmark and Sweden there is a 490 meter wide trail of international waters that freighters use to get to the Baltic countries. But the distance between the countries are only 4 km. This means you could be only 2 km away from two different coasts with two different cities but still be in international waters.

    Very good points in my opinion. Superior weather conditions, better connection to the real world, and still low expenses. The baltic region is supposedly very libertarian, which should facilitate our goals further.

    Not sure about the latter point though: youd probably get in some sort of trouble if you start blocking shipping lines. International waters or not: people are going to get pissed.

    #5902
    Avatar of Lasse-Birk-Olesen
    Lasse-Birk-Olesen
    Participant

    Eelco wrote:
    Very good points in my opinion. Superior weather conditions, better connection to the real world, and still low expenses. The baltic region is supposedly very libertarian, which should facilitate our goals further.

    Not sure about the latter point though: youd probably get in some sort of trouble if you start blocking shipping lines. International waters or not: people are going to get pissed.

    Estonia has a flat 20% income tax and is a popular place for entrepreneurs to go at the moment.

    The Black Sea and the Caspian Sea are two other sheltered waters that are big enough that they should have international waters in them.

    About Øresund: I wasn’t thinking about blocking ship lines. If the international waters trail is 490 meter wide, a seastead could easily use some of it without blocking any ships. Because I doubt there are freighters this wide.

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