Forum Replies Created
September 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm #15304
In my area, you can get a pretty decent home on a city lot for $200k. This would be in the realm of 2000 sq ft (100sq m) of occupied home (3-4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, and communal areas), plus 2-car enclosed garage, on about 1/4 acre.
I would probably be willing to pay double for a seastead that accomodated all of my home activities. the problem comes in that it would ALSO have to accomodate all of my commercial activities. Which means probably a bit more space.
“A student in europe will be glad to have 40-60 squaremeter living space available… “
A student in Europe spends a small fraction of their time in their flat. they have cafes, university, the library, the theater, public parks, other people’s homes, the countryside, shops, boutiques, spas, and their workplace to go and do all of their daily activities in.
Take a look at how people who live on board ship deal with space issues. That’s a much more realistic view. Merchant marines, oil tanker crew, live-aboard sailors.
Just keep inmind that a ship’s commercial purpose is in transporting things. A seastead’s commmercial activities would almost necessarily entail producinig things or providing services. Transport would require speed and efficiency in traveling- that’s a ship, not a seastead, although I don’t personally draw the line between aliving on boats and seasteaders living on platforms. If one used a boat for primarily living on and producing economic benefit through goods or services, that would be a seasteading lifestyle to me.September 7, 2011 at 11:45 am #15303shadowmane wrote:
Well yeah, its unproven technology (in the field). I’m sure they will work on it. However, I do think that if you learn free-diving, this would be a great tool, as you will only be respirating once every few minutes. It would greatly extend your dive time.
I think you’re over-estimating the benefit of free-diving and under-estimating the risk. Youo can’t really accomplish “work” while free-diving. At best you can pick something off the bottom and return to the surface. Most people cannot hold their breath for a full minute. Really experienced divers get several minutes of dive in. Part of the reasaon they can do this is because once you hit 33 ft, the air in your lungs is compressed to half the volume, so it’s not as hard to hold in- you constantly release a few little bubbles all the time, which helps with eliminating the CO2 which is triggering your reflex to breathe.
Free divers pop down (harder than you think when holding full lungs, you have to use a weight to assist) look around for a few seconds, and come back up. You’re not going to get much deeper than 20-30 feet, maximum. Pearl divers did this when there were no alternatives, but it was an arduous and dangerous lifestyle.
Something people don’t realize about diving is that even shallow diving is dangerous. The difference between the surface and 33ft is the steepest pressure gradient. This is somewhat counter-intuitive, so it is important to grasp it thoroughly.
0ft – 33ft is a change between 1 atmosphere and 2 atmospheres. That is 100% change
33ft-66ft is a change between 2 atmospheres and 3 atmospheres. That is a change of 50%. It’s 150% of the surface, but from 33ft-66ft it’s only 50%.
So popping back and forth betweeen 0ft and 33ft produces the greatest physical pressure changes in your dive. Repeatedly doing so is as dangerous as ascending too quickly from a greater depth. Doing it as fast as required for free diving (because you’re out of air) is even worse. Adding more air to your dive while on the bottom, increases the time for nitrogen absorption, but people would still push their limits and need to pop back up quickly when out of air. You can greatly reduce your risk of decompression illness by following tables, using dive computers, etc.
One thing that is best practice for scuba divers is to always perform a 3 minute “safety stop” at 15 ft (5m) for 3 minutes at the end of the dive. We always budget air for this. This is not a deco stop- it’s only a deco stop when tables or computer indicates it’s necessary, but it is a belt and suspenders safety practice for avoiding decompression illness and injuries. If I’ve been below 20 ft, my dive computer automatically prompts me for a 3 minute safety stop. Your whole free dive is unlikely to last more than 3 minutes, especially not your descent and ascent. You’ll want as much time on the bottom to accompish your task as possible.
Avoiding multiple sudden pressure changes is one of the best ways to reduce your risk. Free-diving all day long every day is a good way to get bent, and have sinus/ear pressure injuries. But individuals are individuals and you cannot completely eliminate all risk. It depends on your physical state, and environmental factorsSeptember 7, 2011 at 10:33 am #15302
Since joining this board some time ago, I have gone through PADI scuba training (Open Water, Advanced Open Water, and Enriched Air) and I have about 3 dozen dives under my belt now. I joined a dive rescue team and trained in Emergency Response Diving (ERDI)… I’m not the utlimate expert, but I am aware of some things some of you are evidently not.
An average scuba tank is 11 liters (80 ft3) and pressurized to 200 bar or about 3000 psi.
An efficient swimmer avoiding heavy exertion, at shallow depths (less than 20 meters) may last up to 2 hours under water (I am talking very generally). Most new scuba divers are lucky to get 50 minutes. 35 minutes is not uncommon for new guys, due to inefficient swimming, excitement/fear, and inability to contrl buoyancy. Women typically do better than men. Start doing any work whatsoever, and the time you have drops drastically. Get into colder water, time drops drasically. Go deeper, time drops drastically.
A Scuba destination seastead on a seamount that has been cultivated and groomed could be a fairly lucrative operation, if you’re willing to become a primarily service economy. Scuba gear does have moderately high costs both to purchase and to maintain.
For a working seastead with some kind of industry that requires a lot of time underwater, it would almost certainly be surface-supplied air.
Professional diving is almost all done with surface-supplied air. When working, it simply isn’t practical to carry enough air- the tanks are too bulky. Another issue is warmth. Even in the tropics, water temperature is generally less than body temperature. Working under water is strenuous and less efficient than working on land, so therefore more exhausting.
Surface supplied air allows you to constantly refresh the air supply, and to help with temperature issues as well. It has its limitations in mobility as a trade-off. Surface-supplied air can be supplemented with a “pony bottle” for emergencies, but the problem with extended bottom time on surface supplied air is that decompression times can be significant before you can return to the surface. Deco time is a factor of both depth (pressure) AND bottom time.
Every 11 meters or 33 feet, adds another atmosphere of pressure. At higher pressure, nitrogen is absorbed into the bloodstream, where at the surface it is simply exhaled. If proper decompression procedures and times are not adhered to, upon ascent, that nitrogen will no longer dissolve in the bloodstreem, but will form bubbles. These bubbles cause decompression illness, or “the bends”. Bubbles in your bloodstream and joints are NOT good for you.
So suppose you simply eliminate the nitrogen (78% of normal air) and go with straight oxygen (21% in normal air), the newby asks?
Well, at higher pressures, oxygen is toxic. Higher concentrations effectively the same. Combine higher pressure with higher content, and there’s a steep toxicity curve, that can cause convulsions. Bad enough on land, deadly under water. There are strict depth limits with tables that chart out safe levels of oxygen percentage per each maximum depth. Recreational Scuba tops out at 40% oxygen, and anything over that may void the warranty on your equipment, because the higher oxygen content is corrosive to the gear. Even at recreational scuba concentrations under 40% nitrox (enriched air) requires specially-cleaned tanks and careful handling. For 100% oxygen- the rule of thumb is no more than 20 feet (just over 6 meters) and it’s really only for emergencies, in special delivery systems (not so super-high-tech, just distinctly marked and carefully handled). There’s also a table and calculation available for how much oxygen exposure is safe over time- it is possible to exceed this safe oxgyen exposure cumulatively rather than acutely.
So the area in which you’re diving, having a variable amount of oxygen in it, would be impossible to predicton the fly for safety margins. It would vary with depth, temperature, level of sea life, area of the world, etc. You risk having too high a percentage of oxygen, as well as too little. In a stationary environment with redundancy built into the system, with measuring and metering equipment to guarantee the safety of the air you’re breathing, this could be a very useful technology. Otherwise, a traditional scuba rig rebreathing apparatus is much better. Rebreathers also require special training because of this combination of oxygen toxicity and nitrogen issues.
Regular scuba just stores air (or some version of air with more or less oxygen in it depending on your dive plan) you take a breath from an on-demand regulator, and exhale it out into the water. This is pretty wasteful, because we don’t metabolize all the oxygen in a normal breath of air. Our reflex to breathe is triggered by CO2, not by lack of O2. So we’re exhaling MUCH more O2 than we absorb. At depth, under pressure, the air we breathe is much more compressed- more molecules per volume, but we still only have a fixed amount of surface space in our lungs on alveoli to exchange O2/CO2. So even more goes to waste at depth. One lung-full at the surface equals twice as much at 33ft/11m, 3 times as much at 66ft/22m, 4 times as much at 99ft/33m and progressively on. Recreational Scuba depth is considered to max out at 140ft on standard open circuit scuba gear without special gas mixes and training.
A re-breather re-circulates the air we’re exhaling, scrubsthe CO2 and then we breathe it again on successive passes. Constant monitoring and adjustment of the mix is possible, and more or less mandatory (I am not trained on this gear.)
For technical deep diving (below 140ft), there are other gas mixtures, but these are not cheap or trivial to produce on a remote seastead. They also require specialized training and equipment.December 7, 2009 at 11:23 pm #8845
It seems nearly any design that floats, and has basically stable characteristics, will be semi-submerged. However, this description misses the point and could be misleading.
Submersible seems to imply deliberately changing state between above water and below. If you’re not designing for dual-purpose operation, it would seem that semi-submerged is a better term.
So for proposed definitions:
Submerged: Fully underwater, all the time. Probably requires a submersible vessel to reach it.
Semi-submerged: a design that has significant usable space underwater, all the time. Key point: The focus of the design is the underwater portion of the structure. Personally, I would not count simlpe displacement requirements as semi-submerged- for example in a conventional ship. Otherwise, everything that wasn’t a raft would be semi-submerged. That’s a change from the generally accepted usage that will be confusing to neophytes and possibly experts as well.
Submersible: a vessel which is able to change state at will from surface operations to completely underwater operations.
Semi-submersible: a vessel designed to change state from surface operations to mostly underwater, but maintains access/ a portion above the surface.December 3, 2009 at 6:58 pm #8822
There’s no particular advantage to ANY industry on a seastead of any kind. At least at this point. Most people here are primarly after increased political autonomy, not bottomline profits. To the extent that people here are talking about profit, it’s mostly just to justify and support the primary goal.
Here’s a profit model for you:
A phyiscally mobile arctic base camp facility, augmented by temporary burrowing into a shaped iceberg. Sail the iceberg under power of some kind from the poles to a desert region, sell the ice, decamp, and trek back to the pole for the next one.
Free tip- don’t take checks or credit cards from Dubai’s government.December 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm #8809
Natural icebergs are not stable anyway. That’s why I’m mentioning sculpting them.
The world doesn’t seem to be warming any more. Nobody rational seriously suggests that the world doesn’t have temperature differences over time. But how long those trends last is a good question. We seem to be in a stable or cooling period again. There’s decent evidence that the last few thousand years are somewhere near the top of the warm periods, with short spikes (a few decades) higher or lower.
The US military has a presence on Antarctica: McMurdo Station. In addition, I imagine enforcement of the no sduqatters rule would be handled like piracy under international law: any military force which happens upon them or is necessary to call in may enforce that rule. They simply can’t set up a permanent presence dedicated to defense or hostility. Essentially, no missile sites.December 1, 2009 at 10:10 pm #8802
Antarctica is off limits to sovereignty claims by international treaty. It would get you lots of negative press and almost certainly a forceful eviction. The enviro-nuts would be all over you too, for despoiling the pristine environment.
You could porbably build a fairly comfortable environment inside an insulated dome, tunnel beneath the surface pretty easily, etc.
You could pobably build landing strips. Your only real problem would be keeping it free of shipping lanes, far enough north to stay relatively intact, and not get crushed into the pack ice in winter. In some respects, I could see this being one of the more practical seasteading ideas. With proper station keeping, an iceberg could probably last for quite a few years in relatively unchanged form. If you shaped the entire iceberg (with explosives?) during the calving process, then trimmed to suit, you could achieve a very stable shape. Insulating the berg from damage caused by the heat of your activities would require some planning and monitoring. Start it out large enough to experience some shrinkage over a planned interval…
It would take some fairly sophistciated monitoring- probably sonar-based.December 1, 2009 at 7:24 pm #8798
You might be able to enhance stability by monitoring and sculpting on an as-needed basis. For example, a leveled surface (no necessarily perfectly level, but not jagged) would tend to melt more slowly, as well as affecting center of gravity much less.
Since many people are already discussing station-keeping for massive structures, it might not be much different to keep the iceberg in the arctic.November 28, 2009 at 4:38 am #8760
“There’s no need for someone to risk violence or worse by buying from thugs when they can get the same thing (but certified pure) just by going to their local drug store”
Violence from the drug dealers is not anything close to the only or even primary risk of violence involved with drugs. I won’t hang out with someone using meth even if they are simply using and not dealing. People get out of their minds with this stuff. Some drugs mellow people out and some wind them up. People on meth aren’t typically doing rational violence in service of their goals, they’re committing fairly random violence because they’re temporarily insane. The longer they do meth, the more “insane” fits.
While I don’t support criminalization of drug use, I do support harsh penatlies for anyone who commits a crime while they happen to be under the influence of drugs. No excuses. If you assault someone, no matter what you’ve put in your system, you are responsible.
I watched a video prouced by the ACLU the other day, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA). It’s great from a standpoint of knowing your rights and avoiding problems for yourself. Sadly, it’s not a very good representative of a responsible, liberty-oriented individual’s take on laws. It’s simply people looking for get-out-of-jail-free cards. In all of the scenarios, the people portrayed, while not terribly reprehensible, are not particualarly admirable either. My bro-in-law and I talked about the hemp industry yesterday over Thanksgiving dinner. Neither of us has ever smoked pot nor do we have any desire to do so, but we both favour legalization of hemp and marijuana. This contrasts a bit with converasations I see one this board and many other libertarian-ish fora where people seem to talk about drug use in either a vary naive way, or in a way that suggests their only issue in moving somewhere else would be to get access to drugs. I know that is not the prevailing case, but it inevitably “scares the white people” when that seems to be the point of the venture.
We should be condemning stupid drug choices, even while we say that drug use is a personal choice which should not be regulated in LAW. Libertarian is not necessarily libertine, and it helps with the cause when one makes the distinction, well… distinct.November 25, 2009 at 12:03 am #8745
Until you figure out what the purpose of your seatead is, speculation on how much or how little you need watchstanders is probably not really useful. It might even prove to be misleading in your planning. Personnel needs depdn on what kind of work you’re doing.
It’s entirely dependent upon things like stationary vs mobile, what kinds of operations you’re going to undertake (will you run a fishery, cannery, what kind of power plant do you have? Do you have diesels that need constant maintenance, or does power turn down to minimal at night? What level of automation can you afford?)
There won’t be room metaphorically or literally for non-contributors on a small seastead. If it’s a family seastead, it would almost certainly be operated like a small family farm from many decades ago- every body pitches in at harvest times or for barn-raising. In this case for any major project which requires lots of hands. Everybody would have chores that aren’t even part of your “job” but simply those things which are necessary to be done in order to live.November 21, 2009 at 8:34 am #8726
You need to think in terms of principles.
You need a philosophical basis for agreeing to a general set of principles for your society. These principles inform rule-making. Rules with exceptions are not really good rules, so you need to figure out how to make your rules consistent without needing overly wordy exceptions. Best to nest a hierarchy of principles so that in the case of an ambiguous situation, you can apply clear principles to it.
In the case of one person causing the death of another: if you have principles about initiating force, defending oneself, etc, you need to have a clear basis of one principle preceding another such you don’t need an exception to the rule.
For example, if one owns one’s person, and has exclusive rights to their own body, then one person initiating force against another would be prohibited. But defending oneself from force, even including causing the death of the aggressor is still in line with the principle of perrsonal soverignty over one’s body. It never gets to the point where an *exception* needs to be made for “justifiable homicide” or whaever, because the first principle covers it.
It’s not so easy as making a bunch of rules at random, but anybody who puts some real thought into it can probably come up with some acceptable rules for self-governing society. The ley is to start with examining principles.November 20, 2009 at 12:58 am #8722
Why not just feed the fish scraps directly to the chickens? Or to pigs?
Chickens are omnivores. Raising chickens when I was a kid always involved a table scrap bucket as well as regular feed. Some things the chickens won’t eat, or can’t eat- like bones, but they’ll pick at whatever scrap they can get off of it. We never needed to compost the scraps and raise maggots- we did have a compost pile, but merely to handle inedible stuff. Your maggot idea might work to help recycle stuff, but then it seems easier to jettison non-toxic food scraps and let the ocean recycle it (maybe even pumping up the underwater ecosystem that way), unless you’re specifically looking to make your own soil for other crops.
Mealworms are useful in some circumstances- you might want to look into raising earthworms and mealworms- it’s even been proven to be acceptable for human consumption (though not something I’m eager to do). I wonder if you could raise mealworms on copra?
There are books on raising chickens and other small animals. I’d read up on it if you don’t have any experience. If an idea seems a little unique, it might be because it’s never been necessary. I’d imagine that old-time mariners used to feed weevils to chickens on board less because it was beneficial for chicken-raising, than because the weevils were otherwise a pure negative. Food preservation was a constant problem back then.
On the plus side, subsistence fishing on a sailing vessel is much more productive and easier than commercial fishing from a noisy diesel engine-powered vessel, when you consider capital costs for equipment. Thor Heyerdahl’s team found that fish literally landed on the Kon-Tiki rafter every day.November 19, 2009 at 11:07 pm #8721
From what I’ve been reading, the concept of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch as a visible patch of debris the size of Texas is greatly misleading people….
I wouldn’t count on it as a source of raw material. If you’re thinking to use it as a source of raw material or fuel, you may have to come up with some unique new way of processing such minute quantities. It doesn’t seem technically feasible, there are much denser sources of energy from biomass.November 19, 2009 at 10:28 pm #8720
I’ll just point out a difference between critiquing something on technical grounds, and criticizing something based on a subjective definition. And I think you know I’m (mostly) teasing about people’s personal beer choices.
I doubt anyone’s feelings have been irreparably damaged, and if they have, then they’re probably too delicate to make a life on the ocean anyway. I don’t think you’ve been unconscionably rude or anything. I’m simply making a point about being a positive leader/contributor, vs discouraging people.
Even the dismissive characterization of “lashed together sailboats” is a negative comment. It is a narrow view of what “boat community” might mean.
An appropriate place for discussion of what seasteading really is might be the philosophy thread. Not to be overly strict in keeping a topic from natural conversational wandering, but keeping the structure threads largely devoted to structural considerations is helpful for people who have limited time to devote to following this community.
There’s a lot of challenging going on in these fora, and some of that is good. We’re mostly people who are interested in rugged individualism, after all- so it’s only natural. And when it comes to objective reality of structural designs, it’s important. On the other hand I have to consciously refrain from criticizing every naively idealistic utopian or fascistic vision I see described here, because it’s neither a good use of my time, nor can I contribute towards helping anybody in those arenas, both because I find them some of them repugnant, and because I don’t see that it will work, so I can’t be positive and helpful. (Well, some of the ones with repugnant, fascist outcomes I may reserve the right to occasionally argue against for moral reasons.) But for people who simply have different priorities and or motivations than I do, there is simply no benefit to anyone in arguing that what they want to do is not valid. If someone wants to use the high seas to hide from taxes rather than reform their government, I can’t say that this isn’t seasteading. For people who simply want to see the world from the deck of a sailboat, I can’t say that this isn’t seasteading. For people who want to live on the ocean floor and eat synthetic mush, I can’t say this isn’t seasteading.
I may fail occasionally to live up to these ideals, and for that I apologize in advance.November 18, 2009 at 6:10 pm #8712
I like your mangrove concept. It’s good thinking- it also increases biodiversity around your structure much more than the intentional species. A lot of biology depends on surface area, and mangroves greatly increases that. I posted some links on mangroves here: