The Seasteading Institute Fall 2010 Newsletter

The Seasteading Institute Fall 2010 Newsletter

Table of Contents

  • In the World
    • Election 2010 – Virtual Democracy Means Everybody Wins
  • What’s New at The Seasteading Institute
    • Judges Selected for TSI’s Sink or Swim Business Plan Contest
    • TSI Doubles Sink or Swim Prize Pool to $10,000 and Extends Deadline to October 21
  • Donor Profile: Pasi J. Matilainen – Bringing Attention To Seasteading In Finland
  • Call to Action
    • Help Us Find a Director of Legal Strategy and get $2,500!
  • Monthly Updates
    • Events
    • Blog Posts
    • Media
    • Community Links

In the World

Election 2010 – Virtual Democracy Means Everybody Wins

by Eric Jacobus

The Tea Party and the left Democrats are entering the November election season with a shared political platform: politics has failed, and they need your vote to monopolize politics and fix it. Velma Hart’s exhaustion was symbolic of Progressives’ growing tiredness at the Obama administration’s lack of big-government policies, and Marco Rubio expressed Conservatives’ despondence at the GOP’s failure to carry out small-government policies. But if the problem isn’t solved by monopolizing politics using majority rule, “virtualizing” democracy on a seastead could at least be a worthwhile experiment.

A seastead could feature a “virtual” version of America where the political parties are converted into social insurance plans. All plans might cover basic social costs like military protection, but each one could feature different social options. One might join the fiscally conservative “Laissez-faire Plan”, the cheapest program with the fewest entitlements. There could be a “Risk-Averse Individual Plan” with high premiums and more entitlements. The citizens would form their own political borders through their political subscriptions, giving them the satisfaction of choice in their political system while shifting the burden of fulfilling the social contracts to the political corporations themselves.

Seasteaders may consider the “social insurance” model an improvement because it could result in a market for politics. The Velma Harts and the Marco Rubios both get what they want, and they can compare revenues to see which political business approach worked better that year. But perhaps western democracy won’t allow for such a market. Benjamin Powell recently wrote about Somalia’s tribal version of competitive social insurance, but the western world continues to view democracy as an evolutionary step beyond decentralized approaches. Competitive social insurance plans on a seastead could be the counterexample that proves them wrong.

TSI News

Judges Selected for TSI’s Sink or Swim Business Plan Contest

The Seasteading Institute has selected eight accomplished judges to evaluate contest entries for its Sink or Swim Business Contest. Judges include Arnold Kling of EconLog, Jim Rutt, Chairman of the Santa Fe Institute, Joe Lonsdale CEO of Addepar, co-founder of Palantir Technologies and TSI board member, Brian Singerman of Founder’s Fund, serial entrepreneur John Chisholm, and Mohammed Saeme CEO of Saemed Inc.

John Chisholm Software Entrepreneur
Jim Rutt Chair Santa Fe Institute, Former CEO Network Solutions
Dr. Mohammed Saeme Founder & CEO Saemed, International Medical Tourism & Maritime Health
Joe Lonsdale CEO Addepar, Co-Founder Palantir Technologies
Dr. Arnold Kling Economist, Entrepreneur, Blogger
Patri Friedman Exec Director & Founder of TSI
Brian Singerman Principal at Founders Fund, Developer of iGoogle
Max Marty Head of Commercial Seasteading, MBA UM

For more information on the Sink or Swim 2010 business plan contest, including rules and how to enter, click here, or contact us at with any questions.

TSI Doubles Sink or Swim Prize Pool to $10,000 and Extends Deadline to October 21

TSI has officially doubled all of the Sink or Swim Business Contest prizes. The grand prize is now $5,000 (up from $2,500) and the other prizes have gone up proportionately. The total prize pool is now $10,000! Word about this increase is still getting out, so we’ve also gone and extended the draft deadline by two full weeks to October 21st! The total number of registered contestants is still low, so high quality entries will be very competitive.

We’ve also updated the contest website with twelve sample business plans to seed creativity. You can find them here. Please visit the contest page to learn more and register, and stay tuned at our Facebook group for more updates.

Donor Profile

Pasi J. Matilainen Brings the Seasteading Message to Finland

Our featured donor this issue is Pasi Matilainen from Finland. Pasi learned about TSI after watching Patri Friedman speak at Mises Brazil. An active libertarian in Finland, Mr. Matilainen began spreading the word about seasteading on Facebook and was instrumental in bringing five Finnish donors to TSI’s membership program. TSI spoke with Pasi about how he became interested in libertarianism, from running for parliament as a “naively fierce communist” when he was only 18 to his affiliation with Finland’s small (classical) Liberal Party in a later run for parliament.

“… I started my studies at the University of Jyväskylä. Even though the Economics there were mainly Keynesian, something started turning in my head and I quickly abandoned my most extreme socialist tendencies. … I had discovered LvMI, LRC and few other libertarian sites online however, and had immediately recognized how much sense the articles on those sites made. Me and some of my friends, who can best be described as neo-conservatives at that time, read those articles all the time and discussed them both online and over pints. We became libertarians, or classical liberals, which was still the preferred term here.” Mr. Matilainen also notes that TSI’s sister blog Let A Thousand Nations Bloom played an important part in shaping his political views.

Pasi is now considering making an independent, voluntaryist campaign in the parliamentary elections next year. In his professional life, Pasi is a PC and mobile software developer, and in his spare time he blogs at The Seasteading Institute is grateful to members like Pasi who support TSI and continue to spread the seasteading message. Find out how you can make a difference by visiting our membership page!

Call to Action

Help Us Find a Director of Legal Strategy and get $2,500!

We’re hiring for another key role here at The Seasteading Institute, and we need your help — and you can get $2,500!

We’ve created a new role for a Director of Legal Strategy to lead TSI’s efforts navigating the highly unique and challenging legal issues pertaining to seasteading. This senior leadership role, reporting to TSI’s Executive Director, Patri Friedman, will be responsible for the vision, strategy, and execution of TSI’s legal strategy, from high-level planning to recruiting, management, and delivery.

This role requires an exceptional degree of talent, passion, and versatility. As a small-but-growing team, every individual at TSI carries a large part of the vision on their shoulders. The Director of Legal Strategy will need to not only inspire and manage others to do great work, but also do great work themselves on key strategic legal challenges. They will need to not only interpret and apply existing law to seasteading-related scenarios, but intelligently assess myriad intangible and conflicting risks, and work with the rest of the TSI leadership team to sculpt creative strategies to maximize seasteading’s chances of success within this complex legal context.

This is a paid, part-time position. We are based in Sunnyvale, CA, though telecommuting is also an option for this role. Full details about the role and the referral bonus are available on our website.

Few things make more of a difference to an organization than finding great leaders, so please take a couple of minutes to consider how you can help spread the word! If you don’t know of any good candidates personally, consider communities, mailing lists, or web forums you’re a part of where you could post a link to the job description.

Thank you!

Monthly Updates


  • Come join Patri for TSI’s New York Meetup at The Mercantile Grill, 126 Pearl St, New York, NY. The meetup is scheduled for Thursday, October 14, 8:00pm – 11:00pm.
  • Reason Cruise – Plan on attending the Reason Cruise but want to share a room to save on costs? Put your information down on our Reason Cruise-Pooling Google Doc to economize with other cruisers!

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!


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