The Seasteading Institute February 2010 Newsletter
Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.
Table of Contents
- 2009 Conference Videos
Donor Profile: John Chisholm
Awareness & Community
- Membership Program
- Special Thanks
Second Annual Seasteading Conference Videos
We’re pleased to announce that all of the videos from the 2009 Seasteading Conference are now available on Seasteading.org’s 2009 Conference page. It’s taken a fair bit of effort to adjust for sound and lighting discrepancies; each one needed a different sort of love and care. Thankfully, Jason Sussberg, videographer at the conference and all-around-awesome documentarian, took it upon himself to painstakingly correct these problems, improving some issues with audibility and slide legibility. We took the delay in stride and posted a writeup about each and every one of these presentations; some of these blog posts seem to have inspired some pretty interesting discussions in our community forums, too.
If you’re new to these presentations, you can start by watching Peter Thiel’s keynote, to understand why one of our key backers, in his technological and entrepreneurial wisdom, feels that seasteading has an important role to play in the near future. Follow that up with Patri Friedman’s opening for the TSI Executive Director’s-eye-view. Many of the speakers make reference to these two presentations in their own talks.
Our 2009 Conference played host to many fascinating thinkers and engineers from around the world. Politics, technology, business, and all-out futurism were all roundly represented. TSI is proud to have hosted such a successful event, drawing over 80 attendees from around the world — some of whom became speakers as well through the un-conference proceedings.
To find all of these videos in one place, visit the 2009 Seasteading Conference page.
You can also find many of the presentations embedded in blog posts — see below for titles and links to the ones posted in December and January.
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 the seastead.
- Residential. We need pioneers!
Here’s a report on the main areas of progress on the Poseidon Project towards building SeedStead:
Having completed a round of inquiry into the business of medical tourism on cruise ships, analyst Max Marty now reports that we’ve succeeded in connecting with experienced medical professionals in the field of cosmetic surgery. “With their help, we’re getting closer to creating a viable plan for cosmetic surgery at sea,” says Max.
For more conceptual insight into this entrepreneurial pursuit, you can find Na’ama Moran’s presentation on ship-based medical business, aka MediCruise, from the 2009 Seasteading Conference on our main blog.
TSI’s Engineering intern, Eelco Hoogendoorn, has been compiling the research produced in the last half of 2009. At the Seasteading Conference last year, Eelco presented an Engineering Overview talk, which at the time of our last newsletter was not available online.
Now, however, you can watch the video and catch up on TSI’s engineering direction as of late 2009: Eelco Hoogendoorn’s Engineering Overview presentation.
In his production of 2009’s research documentation, Eelco has come to rethink and question his initial assumptions of the best path for the Poseidon Project’s Engineering. In particular, he has made some discoveries regarding the modularity of his proposed structures as well as the probable human comfort levels resulting from the connected-modules scenario. In an engineering blog post on www.seasteading.org, Eelco writes, “I am somewhat disappointed by these discoveries, as it nudges up the minimum scale of open-ocean seasteading which I believe to be plausible, but as someone commented, ‘that’s progress’, and I suppose it is.”
The Seasteading community worldwide has been expanding steadily, both with and without TSI’s direct influence. In December and January, we heard from several regional Seasteading groups, from Singapore to northern Europe to Honduras. We’re pleased at the initiative of these groups and happy to support them (meaning, YOU) in any way we can.
Last month, 10 members of the Baltic Seasteading group (“including 3 Swedes”) met in Copenhagen and discussed such topics as the Free State project and buying boats as a bridge to seasteading and a tool of realistic and approachable incrementalism. Group organizer Lasse Birk Olesen, a longtime Seasteading Institute supporter and presenter at the last conference, also appeared in Copenhagen on Jan 17th to give a presentation. They have expressed earnest interest in forming a European Ephemerisle event in the near future. If you’re interested in supporting the growing northern European seasteading movement, you can sign up for their mailing list through their website and also become part of the Baltic Seasteading group on Facebook.
As we ramp up business and engineering research, The Seasteading Institute will be fostering the growth of many more such regional chapters of seasteading supporters.
Donor Profile: John Chisholm
John Chisholm is a pioneer of high-tech industry. In 1992 he founded Decisive Technology, publisher of the first desktop and client-server software for conducting surveys via email and web (now part of Google). He went on to found CustomerSat in 1997, a leader in Software as a Service enterprise feedback management systems, where he served for a decade years as CEO/chairman (now part of MarketTools). He is the author or co-author of two patents in online polling technology, a graduate of MIT as a Master of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and holder of an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Chisholm believes in strong foundations, smart innovation, and solid logistics. In addition to creating new charitable remainder unitrusts to benefit students of music, mathematics, and theater at MIT, his interest in fostering entrepreneurship has led him to volunteer as a mentor with the MIT Venture Mentoring Service to help young entrepreneurs start new high-tech businesses.
Says Chisholm of The Seasteading Institute, “As governments grow bigger and less efficient, and reforms of any kind have less and less impact, Seasteading is a hopeful breath of fresh air. Few organizations try to affect political change on such a fundamental level; fewer still have concrete, incremental plans for success. I admire the TSI team’s strategy, realism, and diligence. Their initiative has the potential to profoundly improve the human condition. I am excited to support it.”
An avid mountain climber, Chisholm has summited Mounts Rainier, Shasta, Whitney, St. Helens, and live volcanoes in Chile and Indonesia.
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.
As always, you can find numerous ways to keep in touch via our Seasteading Social Networks page.
Upcoming Bay Area Socials
Feb 13th: Seasteading Simulation game. Did you miss playing this live-action role-playing game about seasteading at the 2009 Seasteading Conference? We’re running it again in a large space at Stanford University. Find out more on the Bay Area Seasteading Meetup page.
- March: we have something really special planned, but it will be limited to just 20 TSI members! Keep an eye on the Seasteading Meetup group or the Bay Area Seasteading Facebook group for info.
- Patri Friedman presented at the ISIL Retreat 2010 in Phoenix Arizona this past month.
Awareness and Community: Media
- 1645 mailing list members, from 1553.
- 807 members in our Facebook group, from 776.
- 632 fans on our Facebook Page, from 471.
- 450 followers on Twitter, from 404.
Selected blog posts from December and January:
- Let A Thousand Nations Bloom
- Nauru Recognizes Abkhazia: Recognizing Sovereignty
- “They start by acting like real countries, then hope to become them”
- Fighting for Entry
- Seasteading Gets You Agorism – and whatever else you want to try
- Avatar, and Property Rights, and New Nations
- Tax-Free Rebel City Flourishes in Northern Ivory Coast
Awareness and Community: Book
Patri was successful in forming a small group of volunteers to assist in editing and to provide comment on its content and direction. As a result, some rethinking has gone into the new draft. Patri is intent on creating an introduction and fully-realized explanation of seasteading in a manner that has broad, positive appeal. Work continues.
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, start your year off with a pioneering contribution via a tax-deductible membership.
We’ve been developing special rewards and bonuses for membership at various levels. Be sure to check the next newsletter for more information, and look out for special “members-only” events in the near future.
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!
How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.
Arthur C. Clarke