December 19, 2008

Ephemerisle without laws would be like Burning Man without art.

I was recently asked: "Is the plan still to have no rules during Ephemerisle, or does having it in the SF bay mean that there will have to be some rules?"

I replied: 

There will definitely have to be rules based on US safety laws / Coast Guard regulations.  There may be other rules as well.

Also to clarify, the plan for the offshore Ephemerisle is not "no rules" – it is "each local region sets their own rules".  These are very different, and this is a really important point.  Our goal with seasteading and with Ephemerisle is not anarchy in the sense of no rules, do whatever you want.  Our goal is to enable people to make up their own systems of rules, so we can find good systems. 

We want rules – that’s the whole goal!  We just want better ones.  Ephemerisle without laws would be like Burning Man without art.

This might be a good line to use in the future to respond to people who ask whether seasteads will be lawless or ungoverned.  The idea of creating a competitive market for government is profoundly different from eliminating laws or government entirely, yet a naive description can make them sound the same.  We must emphasize the point that what we want is competitive government, not no government.

Our goal is to turn Politics into Politics 2.0, from an industry like computer Operating Systems to one like web 2.0.  Politics 2.0 without any laws would be like Web 2.0 without any websites.  That is the exact opposite of our goal!  We want many legal systems, not none.