July 19, 2008


I’d like to use this blog partly for feedback on our ideas, but posts don’t seem to get a lot of comments.  If anyone is out there, can you comment on why that is?  :).  What changes would make you comment more?  Is it the subject matter, the interface, or something else?


24 Comments on “Comments

July 19, 2008 at 6:26 am

I posted in the "TSI feedback" forum almost 3 weeks ago and no answer to my questions:

Posted to the HangingBallast talk page June 3rd  and emailed you and go no response.

July 19, 2008 at 6:41 am

Couple general feedback points:

1)  Trust in the power of a wiki (though watch changed to see that they really are improvements).  I don’t think you should have so many "official" pages that people are not allowed to help on.

2) Your distributed research topics don’t include seastead designs, which seems odd.  To me all the stuff on your distrubuted research only matters if we get a safe/affordable/usable seastead design.   So I would put all of those topics on the back burner and just focus on what seastead designs can really work first.

3) Oil companies spend billions of dollars.   We don’t have billions of dollars.   Oil companies make oil platforms.   We don’t want an oil platform.  I don’t think you should plan on developing a seastead the same way oil companies develop an oil platform.  I think your budget of $500,000 would go away in 50 days of wave tank testing at $10,000/day.   Oil companies can toss large sums of money around.  If you follow their example too closely you just won’t have enough money to do much of anything.

4) What we want may be like the FLIP Ship or other type of floating thing and so ship engineers and not just oil platform engineers should be consulted.

July 19, 2008 at 8:15 am

Perhaps the subject material seen on this site is of the variety which attracts those of a character lurkers like myself. While my interest is piqued by the ideas I see here, I don’t have tremendous confidence in this venture, given the past performance of similar endeavors.

Additionally, I think that individuals with a strong sense of independence (and a healthy paranoia) might think twice about posting to forums which do not allow anonymous content.

July 19, 2008 at 5:11 pm

 I think that if there was an option for people to post a comment without registering a full account (f.ex. just a Name/Email/URL + captcha, as on most blogs) you would get a significant increase in number of comments. It takes only a very small barrier to entry to discourage most people.

July 19, 2008 at 9:23 pm

We can’t make it easy for spam and still have a usable forum.


July 20, 2008 at 1:59 am

It has been my experience that most comments are generated out of emotional triggers.  Although your ideas may be controversial to the majority, they aren’t controversial to those who would follow the blog.  Also, your plans still seem very theorectical, further contributing to a sense of detachment.  Those of us who know anything about the history of attempts similar to yours are more likely to adopt a wait and see attitude anyway.   

Registering wasn’t very fun either. 

July 20, 2008 at 2:05 am

 it’s like that joke about kid who didn’t speak until they were eight. first words were "please pass the salt"


"but, but, why didn’t you say anything all these years?"


"why, until now, everything was perfect!"


Right now, there’s just not a lot to say outside of what direct engineering contributions there may be.

July 20, 2008 at 6:12 am

Has spam yet been a significant problem for you on this blog? If not, turn off the filtering and allow unrestricted comments. Wait until *after* you actually have a demonstrable significant spam problem to go heavier on the restrictions. You might not even need them.

I keep two blogs, one with a current google rank of 4 and another with a google rank of 2. I get a spam comment less than once every other month and the spam tends to acrue to specific postings that were well-linked by other blogs rather than postings in general so the simplest way to deal with it is to close off comments on any posting that gets spammed more than once. I’ve never needed to require a captcha or prevent anonymous posting.

Your blog has a google rank of zero so it’s yet not worth much to spammers. So don’t make posting to the blog contingent on filling out a massive form and waiting for a mail-back. If you want to collect a mailing list of people interested in seasteading, post a call to action – ask people to join the site and fill out your survey. But don’t *require* them to do so before they can comment as that demands too much up-front commitment.

I’m pretty sure I wanted to comment at least once prior to this, tried to do so, found the "you need to log in" screen and dropped the matter – my comment didn’t seem important enough to go to the trouble of creating a new account at yet another site right then.

July 20, 2008 at 6:27 am

I turned off anonymous commenting because I was tired of sorting through lots of spam comments every day to find the non-spam anonymous comments.  Since this is a drupal site, and drupal is very common, it is a common feature for spam bots to know how to spam it.

July 20, 2008 at 6:29 am

Spam is the problem.  When we allowed anonymous posting, there was lots of spam, and I had to sort through and approve anonymous posts by hand.  It was a pain.

July 20, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Most of us value our time. Reading anonymous comments is usually a waste of time, as they tend to stroke the ego of the person posting more often than they make a contribution to the discussion.

I’ll always choose quality over quantity. Prefer you to spend your time advancing seasteading rather than sorting thru spam and administering the web site.

July 20, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Most of it is just information delivery, so I don’t see a need to comment.  Don’t misplace our quietness for a lack of enthusiasm though :).

July 20, 2008 at 10:56 pm

Allow anonymous contributions. Obviously spam needs to be stopped but there should be measures that takes care of this right? Or can spam bots fill in captcha codes?

For me personally, if I´m not extremely interested in something I just won´t bother to register on sites that require it. I just use the site without contributing or go elsewhere. For instance I visit Youtube quite frequently but I´ve never registered, commented or uploaded because of the hassle with registering. Now I´m sure someone will point out that it´s not a huge effort to register and keep track of login data for a bunch of websites. But the point is that it isn´t neccessary, and forcing users to do unneccessary things is bad for business, so to speak.

July 21, 2008 at 12:27 am

There are probably tens of millions of blogs, some of them way more popular than here, that allow commenting without requiring registration (and those that do usually have short registration forms than yours). I’m sure you could find a system that works.


The real question is: Do you value having more comments more than sometimes having to deal with spammers going through the defense mechanisms.


July 21, 2008 at 8:26 am

Add a CAPTCHA and allow anonymous comments. Registration is a pain.

Also, your blog posts have been information delivery only. There’s nothing to say when you just give news about the project.

July 21, 2008 at 10:20 am

 I had some issues with the sight and a link from here took me somewhere that crashed my browser. Everything seems to be working fine now. I’ll keep checking in.

July 21, 2008 at 3:14 pm

It’s part of my daily routine to drop by and see if Patri has added anything else.  I used to read the forums everyday, too, but now there are just too many topics of which to keep track, that I "let" Patri summarize and post the links he sees appropriate.  True, I’m probably not the ideal person for which you’ve been looking, but I’m grateful that there is a group like this out there, and I see myself more and more everyday participating more actively in such an endeavor on the future.  

Lasse Birk Olesen
July 21, 2008 at 11:30 pm

CAPTCHA seems to be working worse and worse. I found that something else works much better: "Please write twohundredandeighteen with numbers" and only accept the comment if 218 is written.

Alternatively a question can be asked, like: "What are the three first letters of the alphabet in reverse order?"

July 22, 2008 at 6:24 pm

Would it be possible to have a shortcut so that one could click on a day and see a short view of all comments posted for that day on the different threads?  One could then click on the comment and be taken to the full comment and/or thread.  This would be much more useful to me than scrolling down through something like the defense thread just to find the new comment(s).

July 23, 2008 at 4:48 pm

One I like is to show three pictures, 2 of dogs 1 of a cat for example, or stuff like that, and ask the commenter to select the one (with a radio button) that is of the cat. Or of the duck. Etc. 

July 29, 2008 at 10:05 pm

I can’t speak for everyone on here by any means. But I feel discouraged, to say the least, regarding my ability as an individual to affect any kind of change with this world.  I have recently been getting involved in farming and local town government to try and change that, but i think it’s a very rough and long road until I really feel anything I say matters at all.  What I really want to say is that maybe people aren’t commenting for a couple of reasons.  Among them, is people being discouraged by our complete lack of control over a government that tells us it’s a democracy.  But equally important: I don’t have much time, to even do something as cool as this.  Maybe I don’t realize how cool this is, or maybe I just don’t believe this is actually going to happen…It’s kind of out there sounding from the Wired article that i found this in.  The multi million dollar design, that is. (i understand that this is a great way of grabbing people’s attention) but i chanced upon your post on how you will be using old boats and barges at first, and i think something like that on the home page would be much more down to earth, and people might say, oh, this could actually be possible, and say: "maybe some day in the future we can make that oil rig posts idea work, and maybe we could come up with some revolutionary power generation methods, etc, etc" OR "hey, i know a guy who has a barge" or "hey, i have an old boat of decent size" etc etc.  But until we bring this down to the level it’s really at.  Maybe people don’t see this as something that will happen.  I dunno, just something to think about i guess.

July 31, 2008 at 1:48 am

I understand how you feel, as I’ve felt the same.  You mention that you set what seem to be impossible goals, but then work to achieve them.  Keep it up!  That’s what’s needed here.  We’re not going to change the world overnight, but we WILL have a positive impact.

Many members here have discussed incremental ways of making this work.  I admire Vince’s work on the modeling and Patri /  Wayne / et al’s work on the book and framework.  Each one of us has a contribution to make – find your niche and make it.  If your contribution is floating a foam raft on a pond and growing a few heads of lettuce on it, and you care to share your experiences, that’s fine.  If you want to build the first Baystead, that’s fine.  Just don’t be discouraged.  We need you and everyone else on here to make this thing work.


August 2, 2008 at 12:44 am

 If people saw that there was an actual plan … "Build it and they will come".

Humans need fresh water then food then shelter then electricity.

OTEC will provide all that and more.  Once there is an operational floating or close to land OTEC plant "people will come."

The problem I am seeing with OTEC is everyone is thinking BIG.  When a mist lift OTEC plant of a 5 megwatt size which can sustain 4000 people or more … Then is when you have a viable base to start "seasteading"  Every community needs electricity to form a 21 century community of business and fun.  So what comes first … The chicken or the egg?  Build the power plant and the chickens will come and live along site it and the OTEC plant will bring up the nutrient rich deep water and sea life will flourish thus giving food.  OTEC will also produce hydrogen that will be used for fuel cells for boats and the like.  Fresh water will also be produced giving what we life forms NEED!  Fresh water.

The technology is here and we need to grab on and comment and there will be a very bright future for "seasteading".

BUT …  

There have to be a plan and we need to start connecting the dots.

August 5, 2008 at 1:57 am

I’ll have track down that post about the old boats and barges. That’s kind of how I envisioned starting out. Was thinking along the lines of joining a few old freighters together and building a deck on top of them. That way the floating city/state would  be "mobile" using one or more of the ship’s engines. Anyway, I’d better read the original post before I ramble on further.

I just found this site and once I’ve had a chance to look everything over and digest it I’ll be commenting a lot.




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