The Seasteading Institute December 2009 Newsletter
We ought to avail ourselves of the sea, building floating cities on it so that we can move southward or northward according to the time of year…. Some such happy state will come one day, though we shall not live to see it.
Henrik Ibsen, in a letter (source)
Table of Contents
- Conference 2009 Videos
- Hired! New Employees
Awareness & Community
- Membership Program
- Special Thanks
Conference 2009 Videos
The 2009 Seasteading Conference brought many inspiring and engaging speakers to San Francisco, and we’ve been giving their presentation videos the time and individual attention they deserve. Each speaker brings a unique and complementary characterization of the seasteading movement, so in addition to their home on the newly reworked 2009 conference page, you can read more information about their presentations and watch the videos embedded in these blog posts:
- “Peter Thiel: Keynote”
- “Michael Strong: Free Zones and the Cambrian Explosion in Government”
- “Erwin Strauss: How to Start Your Own Country”
- “David D Friedman: Legal Systems Very Different From Ours”
- “Sean Hastings: Experiences with HavenCo and SeaLand”
We’ll continue to add a new video about once a week as we curate them on our website.
Hired! New Employees at TSI
In November, The Seasteading Institute succeeded in adding four new members to the team: Max Marty (business development), Gayle Young (fundraising and donor development), Alexis Bright (fundraising and donor development), and Naomi Most (development manager).
The Poseidon Project is our medium-term strategy to build the world’s first independent seastead by 2015, which we unveiled at the 2009 conference. We are still iterating on strategy, budget, timeline, and pitch. The strategy consists of three areas of focus:
- Platform. The “Platform” track is the physical and legal foundation for the project, including the location, engineering design, legal research, and diplomacy.
- Commercial. To be economically successful, there needs to be demand for our commercial real estate and jobs for people who live on SeedStead.
- Residential. SeedStead needs pioneers!
Here’s a report on the main areas of progress on the Poseidon Project towards building SeedStead:
Medical tourism has been identified as a promising business development for seasteading, and cosmetic surgery in particular makes a strong candidate due to relatively low patient risk and relatively high return on investment. Under the auspices of Max Marty, MBA, research of cosmetic surgery focused business models now reaches the stage of business relationship development.
The path of least resistance to setting up a working business and community structure on the ocean is to move into one that’s already there; to that end, The Seasteading Institute has formulated a plan of outreach to major cruise lines, whose equipment can best be described as true floating cities. While marketing efforts are well away on the horizon, the appealing qualities of cosmetic surgery match up well with the cruise industry and provide a fertile ground for consumer outreach.
The road ahead involves working with medical professionals and industry insiders to establish the processes, policies, and precedents that will address questions of patient risk assessment, pre- and post-procedure services, and related legal concerns on international, non-territorial waters.
Additionally, two for-profit businesses have been started by community members: GENESIS in Singapore and Oceanstead Development International (OSDI) in Florida, as described in the forums.
Making seasteading a reality requires a solid grasp of the scope of the engineering problems ahead, especially with respect to costs, as well as the obstacles we may enounter along the way. We’ve gained insights across the board, from a better understanding of vessel motion and its impact on human physiology (seasickness, for starters!) and much more quantified analysis of the costs of moving around versus anchoring down.
Eelco Hoogendoorn gets in-depth with waves on the Engineering Blog, where you can wade through the technical challenges of setting up accommodations that flow with sea movement, and perhaps dive in to some of the article sources he’s used to come to some practical conclusions about wave forces. The idea of several large seastead islands existing in close proximity, while interesting politically and economically, would be “complicated” in wave dynamics, says Eelco, “to say the least.”
Work is underway on turning stacks of research efforts into a polished document that demonstrates an evaluation of our best options. This work will provide a feasibility guide that leads the way to the next best engineering areas of focus.
Residential growth means inspiring interest in seasteading as a lifestyle, not just among those who would already call themselves aligned with Seasteading politically, but also those who don’t yet know they would have very important and tangible importance on a real seastead due to their skills, personality, and talents. The task ahead: bring new groups into contact with Seasteading; thread new groups together in more and different ways; facilitate the creation of regional seasteading social groups outside of the Bay Area, all while maintaining the present momentum of Bay Area socials and our yearly festival of seasteading experimentation, Ephemerisle.
This is a long-term project that requires the long view, without losing sight of the immediate and real. To invite a viable community aboard the first seastead, outreach must focus on solid community foundations.
Currently, we’re reaching out to groups with dovetailing interests, such as sailing and knot-tying enthusiasts, to put people into direct friendly contact with Seasteading, making the ideals of Seasteading that much more approachable. Meanwhile, membership to the Seasteading institute and interest on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter continue to rise, and our various blog and the forums on Seasteading.org see steady and lively involvement.”
Awareness and Community
Awareness and Community: Membership Program
Awareness and Community: Events
We now have a public shared Google Calendar to help you keep up with Seasteading Institute events both singular and ongoing, which you can subscribe to from your own Google account as well as export to many compatible formats. Find it on the newly reworked Seasteading Social Networks page.
- Patri Friedman at Humanity Plus Summit 2009 (125 people on-site, about 800 people watched through live streaming video on techzulu.com)
Upcoming in January:
- Patri Friedman at ISIL Retreat 2010 in Phoenix Arizona
Awareness and Community: Media
- “The Biggest Idea Ever Floated” – Mountain View Voice, Nov 30, 2009
- “No Man Is An Island” – Patri Friedman interviewed on Wiretap, Nov 16, 2009
- “La conquista del océano: Las Ciudades Flotantes” – CNN Expansion, Nov 11, 2009
- 1553 mailing list members, from 1484.
- 807 members in our Facebook group, from 776.
- 471 fans on our Facebook Page, from 432.
- 404 followers on Twitter, from 363.
Selected blog posts from November:
Ephemerisle Blog – on hiatus – website reconstruction underway to prep for Ephemerisle 2010
- Let A Thousand Nations Bloom
Awareness and Community: Book
Patri has been continuing to make progress on the book: with all the material from the previous version incorporated, the draft is up to 210 pages. If you’re interested in providing feedback or helping with research, join the Google Group. Patri is targeting a full rough draft by the end of December.
We have an opening for an Oceanography Intern to immediately begin work on the Poseidon Project, helping us research promising locations to place to first SeedStead ($500 referral bonus).
If you haven’t already joined TSI, consider ending your year by generously signing up for a tax-deductible membership.
To Noisebridge for hosting a new Knot-Tying Workshop, the first of which was a great success drawing in over 20 individuals from beginner to master, to learn the ropes from presenter Shannon Lee and host David Staiton. (Now every Sunday at 3pm — find out more on the Noisebridge workshop schedule page;
To all of our conference speakers and their supporters, for their enthusiastic willingness to spread and share our Seasteading Conference content and hold innumerable discussions on a multitude of blogs and forums about it all;
And to you, for reading our newsletter!
See you next month!