March 2, 2009

February 2009 Newsletter

Welcome to TSI’s February 2009 Newsletter! While [January]( was mainly about releases like our [ClubStead][] design, new front page, and the Wired Magazine article, this month we focused on longer-term planning, from scheduling [Ephemerisle][] and the Seasteading09 conference to a 100-year [timeline][] for seasteading.

#### Community

* [Membership Program][] is almost complete, will be kicked off in the next few weeks.
* $1000 [Design Contest]( is running, and with two months to go, we are excited to already have 4 entries!
* [February Social]( at Red Rock Cafe was excellent, about 25 people and many new faces again. Moving the socials around the Bay Area seems to work well at bringing a variety of different people.
* March Social – tentatively Saturday March 28th in the East Bay.
* Seasteading Conference / Ephemerisle:
* After some discussion and polling y’all, we decided against the proposed July 4th date. Instead, the conference will be Sep. 28-30 (Mo evening, full day Tuesday, Wed through dinner, location TBD), and [Ephemerisle][] will be Fri Oct. 2 – Sun Oct 4 (in the Sacremento River Delta).
* This date allows everyone (including us) a bit more prep time, doesn’t interfere with holiday plans, is a year from [seasteading08][], is a good time in relation to [Burning Man]( (long enough for people to have recovered, short enough for them to still have some post-festival glow), and is during the full moon.
* The river delta location has a number of advantages, including that it is already used frequently for (smaller) boating parties, so our use will be uncontroversial. It is not a challenging environment (beyond being on water) as there are few waves, but we think that’s fine for the first Ephemerisle. We will likely feature a prototype contest during the festival for models able to deal with higher-wave conditions than at the event. The hope is for these contest entrants of 2009 to become the standard platforms/vessels of 2010, which would then be in a tougher environment, and would again feature a contest for models to push the boundaries again, so we can incrementally make our way to an Ephemerisle in international waters over the course of 3-5 years.
* A full press release with more details will follow when we have a conference site, festival location, and more details nailed down.
* [Community][] stats for February – January stats in (). We’re very excited at the continued rapid growth of the mailing list and registered website users.
* []( 1067 registered users (800)
* [Facebook Group]( 330 (276)
* [Mailing List]( 318 (211)
* [LJ]( 36 (35)
* [Website](/) [migrated to a new host]( which is faster and should be more reliable. Statistics:
* Again, our 2nd best traffic month ever, beating January and only exceeded by last May’s slashdot/gizmodo/etc.
* Feb daily averages: 2400 visits (1900), 11k pages (10K), 102K hits (64K).
* Interesting Blog Posts:
* [Vince’s Seasteading Views]( – Patri posts about [Vince’s manifesto]( on the single-family seastead approach, which is [being discussed on the forums]( as well. It’s great to have such knowledgeable community members thinking about the best strategy to move seasteading forward!
* Liz posts [A bunch of rich white guys? So were the founding fathers – and their success brought freedom to everyone](, in answer to a common question.
* [FAQ: Why Not Just Hide?]( – An answer for the extended FAQ.

##### Volunteer Coordinator Report (from James)

* Key Accomplishments
* Justine Lam and Jessica Richman joined us at the BIL conference. They are planning an organizational outreach program for us, researching lists of think-tanks, schools, conferences, etc. we might be able to collaborate with and devising effective ways of reaching out to them.
* Cheryl Cline came to one of our Bay Area meetups, and is now helping write material for the upcoming seasteading book and a seasteading article for expatriation website [](
* Basia Montauk will be joining us shortly, helping with community relations and publicity among other things — welcome, Basia!
* Our ever-present sysadmin, [Ben Lavender](, got us moved over to a new hosting provider, which should make the site run much more smoothly.
* Some much-needed help on our website development team — thanks and welcome to Mike Norman and Sean Lynch, new website sysadmins, and Steve Kane and Andrea Fassina, new developers.
* We’re talking to a number of other cool, smart volunteer candidates as well. Our sincere thanks to everyone who has been offering their time.

* Key Needs ([complete list](
* [Website Development Manager](
* [Website Product Managers](
* [Volunteer Recruiter](

#### Technology

##### Wayne’s Engineering Report

* [Web cast MI&T engineering meeting on 5Feb2009]( (The webcast quality was awful; we will have to do much better.)
* Solicited and answered questions concerning [ClubStead][]
* Dropped the Hawaii to SF loop from consideration.
* Moved Seastead to be located off of Southern Calif. coast; Off San Francisco location has been dropped.
* Increased payload from 6000 tons to 7000 tons to better match the estimated payload mass.
* Wave information table for off San Diego is:

How Often     Wind Speed       Wave Height      Period
   (year)     m/sec    ft/sec      m        ft       sec
       1      16.04    52.62     7.00     22.97     12.5
      10      17.5     57.41     7.70     25.26     12.5
     100      18.9     62.01     8.30     27.23     12.5

* Wave information for off Santa Monica is similar.
* The updated design has somewhat thicker columns and slightly higher air gap.
* Fly-by video for ClubStead is nearing completion

##### Patri’s Engineering Updates:

* The [ClubStead Engineering Page]( has been updated with some new information:
* [Engineering Q&A text](
* [List of questions for next Q&A](
* [Improved SketchUp Model]( – more polished and with more architectural detail.
* New stills of the more detailed model rendered with [Rhino 3D]( (as seen above).
* The 3d flyby is still in progress – turns out that rendering at HDTV resolution takes awhile…
* We are still discussing how to proceed next, including [the possibility]( of an engineering design contest, perhaps to be held at [Ephemerisle][]

#### Awareness

* [Free Talk Live Interview](
* Upcoming stories in 2 major print outlets (6-figure and 7-figure circulation).
* TSI Talks & Conference Appearances for March and early April, from [our public TSI Google Calendar]( ([XML](, [iCal](, [HTML](
* CT – Wed, March 4 – Patri speaking to Yale College Libertarians. 7:30 EST, William L. Harkness Hall, Room 119, Yale University, New Haven, CT, open to the public.
* NYC – Thu, March 5 – Social meetup open to all. 7PM EST onwards, Gossip, 733 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10019, 212 265-2720,, We have the 2nd floor to ourselves. Gossip is on 9th Avenue, between 49th and 50th on the West side of 9th Ave. Closest trains are the C/E to 50th St., followed by the 1/9 to 49th or the N/R to 49th. Closest MTA Bus coming from the North or South is the M11, closest from the East is the M49. Contact Guy Tower for more information regarding transit or local food:
* NH – March 6 – 8: Patri at [NH Liberty Forum](, giving a talk Saturday at 11AM EST in the Main Hall. (You must pay to attend the event)
* MA – March 9th, social in Boston open to all. BOSTON BEER WORKS, 112 Canal Street, Boston, MA 02114, 7PM-10PM EST.
* Notable blog posts / referrers:
* [Blender Nation]( on the design contest.
* Bitter End, a maritime blog, [_Seasteading Water World 2.0 Or Utopia? – You be the judge_](
* Declan McCullagh’s CNET article: [The next frontier: Seasteading the oceans](
* The Popular Science blog: [Seastead, Ahoy! Don’t like your government? Maybe it’s time to make one of your own](
* Patrick Takahashi on Huffington Post: [Blue Revolution](
* [BLDG BLOG on the Seastead Design Competition](
* [Brad Taylor]( has some thoughts on the inherently libertarian aspects of seasteading.

#### Administrative / Misc

* Our [timeline][] for seasteading, while still under development, is ready for review by the community. Please discuss it [on the forums]( We are hard at work on our 2009/2010 strategy as well.
* We have started work on our 2008 Annual Report & Form 990 (tax return).
* Still muddling through HR details like an employee handbook.

#### Appendices

#### TSI Events Calendar

[Michael Dent]:
[Roman Hardgrave]:
[Staff Bio]:
[Press Page]:
[In The News]:
[Membership Program]: /contribute/membership-program