September 2, 2010

TSI September 2010 Newsletter

The Seasteading Institute September 2010 Newsletter

Table of Contents

  • In the World

    • FDA Halts Stem Cell Research – Trouble For America, But A Good Case For Seasteading
  • What’s New at The Seasteading Institute

    • TSI Welcomes Its New Director of Engineering, George Petrie
  • Sponsor Profile: Kresten Buch, Sink or Swim Sponsor

  • Call to Action

    • Help TSI find an Oceanography Researcher – up to $500 referral bonus
    • Patri Says: Help Us Create A Compelling Book Proposal!
  • Monthly Updates

    • Events
    • Blog Posts
    • Media
    • Community Links

In the World

FDA Halts Stem Cell Research – Trouble For America, But A Good Case For Seasteading

by Eric Jacobus

The FDA recently sought an injunction against the Colorado-based Regenerative Sciences to cease stem cell research. The dispute raises concerns both about the FDA’s expanding regulatory authority and whose interests the agency actually serves, and it’s an excellent case for why seasteading’s market-based approach to governance could produce superior health oversight.

Regenerative Sciences uses a patient’s own stem cells, providing for less invasive orthopedic surgery. Since no drugs other than the stem cells are used, it’s classified as a medical procedure, and the clinic assumed this exempted it from FDA regulations. Given Regenerative Sciences’ track record with the FDA and the FDA’s tendency to treat medical providers differently based on status, regulatory compliance seems to be less a priority than political maneuvering for the company. The fact that the FDA has filed this injunction under a very pro-stem cell administration shows that elected officials have either little power in these affairs or do not actually support stem cell research as much as they claim. Privatizing the medical regulatory industry would provide some competitive oversight, but this would require the FDA to relinquish its power, and we have no reason to believe it would do this.

Seasteading bypasses reform from within the American system, favoring innovation on the blue frontier. Private consumer protection agencies like the International Cellular Medicine Society and Underwriters Laboratories do survive in the American regulatory environment, but the FDA has the final word. Seasteading creates an environment where competitive agencies like these thrive and exercise real autonomy that’s catered to the customer, paving the way for a new era of medical innovation.

TSI News

TSI Welcomes Its New Director of Engineering, George Petrie

TSI is pleased to welcome its new Director of Engineering, George Petrie. George’s ongoing presence will enable TSI to increase its engineering output, making this partnership a critical milestone toward realizing the seasteading vision.

The fabric of George’s professional background is woven from many different threads that ultimately share a common bond; his passion for ships, boats, and ocean platforms. In addition to serving as a Professor of Naval Architecture at Webb Institute for more than 25 years, he has maintained an active consulting practice offering expertise in vessel motions, loads, structural analysis and design. He has been an engineering consultant for clients in the offshore industry for nearly 35 years, and has a long-standing relationship as the naval architect for a company building yachts in Asia.

Having lived and worked near the water for most of his life, he has long yearned to live and work on the water… not restricted by the confinement that exists in a live-aboard boat, but as part of a community. Seasteading is therefore much more than an interesting engineering challenge; it is a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream. The Seasteading Institute shares George’s enthusiasm, and we’re very excited to move forward on engineering research.

George has been living in mainland China for much of the past year while taking a sabbatical from Webb. The wonders of telecommuting have allowed him and his new bride to split their time between New York and Hong Kong.

TSI was also pleased to award Alexia Aubault of MI&T the advertised referral bonus of $1,000 for introducing us to George.

Sponsor Profile: Kresten Buch, Sink or Swim Sponsor

Patri had the pleasure of meeting Kresten Buch, a Danish entrepreneur living in Estonia, at Freedom Fest last year, where they argued about empiricism and Austrian economics. Kresten is very interested in the possibilities of seasteading to unleash entrepreneurship through a more business-friendly environment. Kresten later decided that a collaborative effort between his startup HumanIPO and The Seasteading Institute could go a long way towards jump-starting the seasteading business and entrepreneurial sector. His $10,000 USD sponsorship made the Sink or Swim business contest a reality, and will be remembered as the first step towards the founding of a brand new industry.

Call to Action

Help TSI Find An Oceanography Researcher – Up To $500 Referral Bonus!

The Seasteading Institute seeks an Oceanography Researcher to identify regions best suited for seasteading. This location research will lay the foundation needed to move seasteading forward.

Patri Says: Help Us Create A Compelling Book Proposal!

While Patri is busy writing the Seasteading book, TSI is seeking a book proposal to send to agents and publishers! If you think you can help, please join the Book Feedback mailing list or the Technical Book mailing list.

Monthly Updates


Personalized Life Extension Conference
Join Patri Friedman, TSI’s executive director, at the Personalized Life Extension Conference October 9-10, 2010, hosted by Christine Peterson. Patri and many TSI staffers are interested in living healthfully and longer, and the conference will hold discussions focusing on this topic, while including a range of topics covering self-experimentation, inflammation, mood, stress reduction, sleep, supplements and DNA testing. Patri will be speaking, and our seed funder, Peter Thiel, is one of the Key Note Speakers.

The speakers list for the first year of the Personalized Life Extension conference is impressive, with a line up that includes Esther Dyson and Bruce Ames. Additionally, Saturday evening there is a Speaker and Sponsor Reception where you may join speakers and fellow attendees. Find out more here:

Speakers include Peter Thiel (PayPal co-founder), Esther Dyson (investor, EDventure Holdings), Patri Friedman (The Seasteading Institute), Melanie Swan (principal, MS Futures Group), Kelly McGonigal (Stanford University expert on stress), Bruce Ames (UC BErkely Professor, inventor of the Ames test), Laura Briggs (VP R & D, Sierra Sciences), Sheldon Saul Hendler, MD (author 1st Physicians Desk Reference for Nutritional Supplements; Professor UCSD) and many more. The Personalized Life Extension Conference promises to be informative, educational and may give you ways to prolong and enjoy a healthier life.

Registration for the Personalized Life Extension Conference is $275.00 until September 15, 2010.

A $100 discount is available if you use the code “PATRI” or “SEASTEADING” when registering. Hotel rooms are available at the San Francisco Airport Marriott, where the conference is held. Parking is $7.00 per day. For more logistics details, see

We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco for this awesome event!

Singularity Summit Recap
The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence provided a great conference to attendees this year, featuring many high quality and informative speakers over the two day Singularity Summit. The conference left attendees a generous amount of time for lunch, and the Saturday Meet and Mingle Speaker Reception was one of many great opportunities to make new and interesting connections! TSI attendees certainly met some wonderful people, and we look forward to meeting again in the near future!

Reason Cruise on Facebook
Check out the new Reason Cruise Group on Facebook

Blog Posts


Community Links

TSI has a presence on most major social networking sites. These are used for announcements, discussion, and are a good way to find other seasteaders in your area.

Special Thanks

To our donors and members, who continue to astound us with their generosity, their volunteered insights, and the quality of their characters;

To our forum participants, who have been keeping discussions lively, fresh, and civil, helping to further the cause of seasteading on all fronts;

And to you, for reading our newsletter!

See you next month!