The Seasteading Institute August 2012 Newsletter
Dear Friend of The Seasteading Institute,
Attendees of The Seasteading Conference 2012 were the first to learn of an exciting development unfolding at the Institute, and today I’d like to let you know that it is official — WE HAVE A SHIP! A generous donor has donated the Institute a seaworthy, 275-foot ship, capable of carrying 900 passengers on four decks, which we’ve fittingly named Seasteader I. Built in 1985, and appraised at $10 million dollars earlier this year, she was originally a passenger ferry and most recently a gambling ship. Because of the ship’s versatile structure, she can accommodate many different purposes. We are excited to collaborate with entrepreneurs in our community to pioneer seasteading ventures. Details on our plans, ship specs, and a request for proposals can be found below.
In other news, we are pleased to welcome nanotech industry leader and philanthropist James Von Ehr to our Board. In 2010, Von Ehr made a significant donation that funded our location study. He is passionate about creating new opportunities for freedom that cannot be found in existing nations. Also, I was also honored to be promoted to Executive Director at the last Board meeting.
I hope you will be pleased with our recent progress and inspired to seastead in the near future. Our ability to push forward toward the high seas is increasingly possible due to the contributions of people like you. As in previous years, Peter Thiel will match your donation to the Institute dollar for dollar. Please make a generous donation today and demonstrate your commitment to the seasteading movement.
Toward the future,
Randolph Hencken, Executive Director
Your support goes toward creating opportunities for experimentation and innovation in the political sphere, and for unprecedented personal freedom. Please make a tax-deductible contribution to The Seasteading Institute today.
On July 13, ownership of a seaworthy, 275-foot ship was transferred to the Institute from a generous donor. The Seasteader I was built in 1985 and is rated to carry 900 people on four decks. Earlier this year she was appraised at $10 million dollars. Docked on the East Coast of Florida, she was originally a passenger ferry and more recently a gambling ship. Her solid structure and spacious interior present endless opportunities for seasteading entrepreneurs looking for a malleable space for their ocean startup.
We are now in the alpha stage of collecting proposals for her use. Our goal is to lease her out “bareboat” to a seasteading entrepreneur, meaning the lessee would take on all costs associated with the ship, such as crew, insurance, registration, etc. A ship of this size and value would lease bareboat on the open market for approximately $4,000 per day. However, for true seasteading operations and projects that fit our mission, we will lease the ship significantly below the market rate.
Essentially, we hope to provide a platform for testing both new seasteading businesses, and experimental technologies that advance long-term ocean habitation. Proposed business ventures should either be advantaged by the ocean environment (i.e., aquaculture, ocean tourism) or by jurisdictional benefits stemming from the freedom of international waters (i.e., experimental medicine, visa-free workplaces).
Hopefully, this acquisition will be just the first step toward an incredible sea-change for humanity — one thousand new nations on the high seas. As Joe Quirk said in his seasteading conference talk, “The time from the Wright Brother’s first fifteen second flight to Neil Armstrong’s happy dance on the moon is 66 years.” We believe we’ll one day look back at this ship with the same fondness as when we look back at the Wright Brother’s first “flying machine.” Or, perhaps more appropriately, we will honor this ship the way Americans honor the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.
We’re in the heat of election season here in the United States, with the two dominant political parties ramping up their empty rhetoric, trying to convince the population of their side’s superficial solutions to systemic problems in governance. Those of us who are honest with ourselves know both parties will ratchet up the power of government, create senseless new laws, waste taxpayer money on frivolous projects, engage in violence under the auspices of peace, and so on and so forth. Neither candidate from the major parties will fundamentally change government with innovative ideas to meet its citizens needs. In the United States’ winner-takes-all voting system, a party’s main objective once in power is to stay in power, leaving them with little incentive to address the fundamental flaws of our democracy.
Consequently, the need to leverage your charity towards high-impact initiatives like seasteading is greater than ever. Fortunately, the Institute is making substantial progress toward an alternative participation outlet to the maddening farce of politics. Now is a perfect time to buck the trend and donate to the Institute — Peter Thiel will match your donation dollar for dollar, up to $250,000 for the remainder of 2012. Please double your impact and make a donation to the Institute today.
Also, note that company matches can lead to a quadrupling of your individual contributions. Last year, for example, one supporter’s $20,000 gift was matched by his employer, and then doubled again by the Thiel Foundation, resulting in a total of $80,000 going to the Institute’s research and movement-building efforts.