Weekly Snippets, 5/19/2008

Biggest thing this week is tons of web traffic today due to links from high-traffic sites (13K visits so far today).  We’ve got some graphs below.

It’s exciting to get some publicity, but I think our main challenges revolve around engineering, economics, and politics, rather than marketing.  So I’m trying not to be too distracted by it, since it doesn’t change the fact that we have lots of hard work to do and lots of details to fill in.  My main priority right now is scaling the organization via hiring (Chief Scientist / Eng PM) and finding/coordinating volunteers, so that’s what I’ll mainly be focusing on (when I make my saving throws against distraction 🙂 ).  The additional traffic is helping somewhat by bringing us some volunteers, and hopefully that will continue.

  • Engineering
    • Wayne is working on AquariumStead
    • We are working on the Eng PM job requisition
  • Community
    • Misc
      • Posted call for volunteers.
      • Posted our 2008 strategy.
      • We’re considering the weekends of October 5th or 12th for our first annual conference, and we’re considering a couple different locations, give us your feedback on the blog post.
    • Website
      • We are working on an image gallery of seastead images/models, perhaps with a Java plugin for interacting w/ the 3d models.
      • Site speed did not seem to be affected by our ~10x increase in traffic, which is quite promising.
      • Blog Publicity Roundup
        • We were the lead story on wired.com this morning: Peter Thiel Makes Down Payment on Libertarian Ocean Colonies.  Wayne, Joe & I are quite happy with this story, it’s well-written, entertaining, and fairly accurate.  (Although just for the record, Wayne & I are not actually Ayn Rand fanatics, despite being libertarians).
        • The wired story got picked up by GeenStijl, a major Dutch blog, which got us ~10x as much traffic as the original story.  Here’s a bad english translation of their page.
        • Some other major blogs picked it up, including SlashGear (Technorati 1562), and BLDGBLOG (Technorati 1578), which had a good section that really gets why this is a big idea:

          “What interests me here, aside from the architectural challenge of erecting a durable, ocean-going metropolis, is the fact that this act of construction – this act of building something – has constitutional implications. That is, architecture here proactively expands the political bounds of recognized sovereignty; architecture becomes declarative.

          The stakes for design have gone up, in other words. It’s not just a question of producing better loft apartments, for which you can charge an extra $300,000, or of perfecting the art of luxury kitchen space; it’s a question of designing architecture for extreme conditions and, should your architecture survive, thus opening up room for a new form of what might be called post-terrestrial sovereignty, i.e. governance freed from landed terrain.

          Which is not to be confused with advocacy of the project; I just like discussing its political side-effects: architecture becomes wed with, indeed inseparable from, a political project. It is construction in the service of constitutionality (and vice versa).

          Wed with oceanic mobility, the architecture of seasteading doesn’t just aesthetically augment a natural landscape; it actually encases, or gives physical shape to, a political community. It is architecture as political space in the most literal sense.”

        • Arcologies, Urbmon 116 and protocols was another good post which gets the idea of protocols, modularity, and commoditizing housing (as we discussed earlier):

          “The idea of floating cities has been, well, floating around for a while – the ultimate pirate utopia. Governance issues aside, seems to me that this could be a fruitful area for work on interface specifications. Just as the internet doesn’t care if you are sitting in front of a Mac, or are telneted into an IBM z-series or are using WebTV (does that still exist?) as long as you comply with relevant RFCs, so too Floatopia-land shouldn’t care what your bobbing pleasure palace looks like as long as it connects to the rest of the structure in a specific way, it’s sized in multiples of X by Y by Z, complies with stability standard 1.1.1, etc. The marine environment is pretty unforgiving – marine architecture isn’t a specific field for nothin’ – but the safety and survivability problems need to be addressed regardless. RFC 1149 meets The Raft from Stephenson’s Snow Crash – let’s float!”

        • Bruce Sterling writes:

          (((I can forgive these damp geeks anything for this awesome Silicon Valley reframing of the Westphalian doctrine:)))

          “Government is an industry with a really high barrier to entry,” he said. “You basically need to win an election or a revolution to try a new one. That’s a ridiculous barrier to entry. And it’s got enormous customer lock-in. People complain about their cellphone plans that are like two years, but think of the effort that it takes to change your citizenship.”

Traffic graphs:

Posts that contain Seasteading per day for the last 30 days.

Technorati Chart

[May 2008 daily web stats no longer available.]


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