Basesteading Belize

Awhile back I posted about DanB‘s Basesteading proposal and my related ideas on Seasteading Outposts. Pastor_Jason and others have taken the idea and run with it, and are seriously considering putting a group together to form an outpost, most likely in Belize. This long forum thread has an active discussion.

It’s incredibly exciting to me to see an initiative like this form. TSI has only limited time and resources and can only pursue a limited number of strategies directly. But if we can serve as an inspiration and focal point for all the people out there who want to live freedom, not just talk about it, and are willing to go out there and build it, that gives us enormous leverage. The more people and projects are out there exploring floating cities on a sensible basis – incrementalism, pragmatism, financial and technological realism – the closer we move to the goal we all want.

It’s also important that “exploring” here means actually doing and building, not just talking. As Pastor_Jason writes:

Together we’ll make it happen. I can’t say that about a group of people on a forum… I can say that about a group of people I live with who care deeply about the success of our community.

There are huge, intrinsic differences between talking and doing. Some theory and analysis is crucial, but then you need to go implement. Here at TSI we’ve been itching to do more implementation, like building prototypes and starting businesses (perhaps a condo cruise ship?), and you’ll be hearing more about those ideas over the coming weeks. But I’ll leave the final word to Pastor_Jason:

What is the big hurdle to reaching a successful seastead? Proper Engineering? Inexpensive construction? Functional social plan? Working business plan for income? Self-sufficient industry?

I say none of these are the problem, because all of these are a problem. Someone perfects a design. Too bad it costs too much to build it. Another works on inexpensive construction… the seastead unfortunately is not designed well enough to survive in the open seas and sinks. The “seasteaders society” has a group ready to get on a seastead… they get along and work together well… too bad none of them know the first thing about making a seastead work. The “Seastead Corp” is running a functional business on land and is ready to transfer to a seastead of similar size to it’s offices… unfortunately the costs of keeping the seastead up and importing huge stores of American cuisine break the business model. The “Green Freaks” have got self-sufficiency nearly perfected with micro-farming, aqua-culture, and PV solar arrays… but it turns out none of them like anyone else and once they’re forced to live in close quarters they all turn to mass desertion.

None of these are the problem because ALL OF THEM are problems. I could probably write a book the size of Patri & Wayne’s seasteading book about the pit-holes we face. There is no easy answer. The brutal truth of the matter is building a seastead is in fact: building a whole new culture. It’s not going to be comfortable and it will require us to adapt to our new surroundings. We won’t eat the same. Our daily activities won’t be the same. The way we interact with each other will be different from how we interact will people right now. Our priorities will shift. I cannot see the end result from the shore of understanding I currently stand on, but I can be certain of this… after a couple years we won’t be recognizable as Americans, Europeans or otherwise… we will be something different. Something new.

Seastead Outpost: Belize is to be a stepping stone towards that end. Transition is never easy. I love red meat… the likelihood of eating red meat even occasionally on a seastead is insanely low. I need time to purge the culture I am used to from my system as I work toward something new. The culture that begins with a few of us at Seastead Outpost will likely be similar to the eventual culture that will rise out of seasteading… we’ll be your guinea pigs. There is a huge difference between knowing how much area one needs available to microfarm enough produce to meet our needs to be self-sufficient compared to actually pulling it off and providing for oneself. Before I leave the shore I need to know that I have the right skills and experience to make things work.

I don’t have all the answers. That was the point of Dan B’s “basesteading” concept. Seastead Outpost isn’t my answer, it is the equals sign in the equation… the connection that leads to the answers. Since seasteads don’t currently exist, we can’t set up on one and try it out… even if we could, I wouldn’t. Failure is assured and I’d rather fail in the cradle of a landmass and have the safety net of civilization than be left to the currents of the ocean that has swallowed many a sailor. We are going to do on land what everyone here wishes to do on a seastead… in the process we hope to aid the over-all effort with our work.


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