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Floating Cities and Sea-Level Rise – an unsinkable idea – Anthropoce

But Chen claims that Oceanix City will be different, partly because of lessons hes learned from working with TSI. During his time as Tahitis minister of tourism, Collins Chen helped connect his native French Polynesia with TSI to establish a self-sufficient floating city within the territorys Special Economic Zone and to test its viability as a climate-change solution. After both parties signed an MOU in early 2017, Collins Chen co-founded the Blue Frontiers company to develop and construct The Floating Island Project.

Mounting opposition from Tahitian locals to what appeared to be a floating tax-free haven for the wealthy, however, ended government support for the project in 2018. Borrowing elements from the failed project, Collins Chen moved on to found the floating cities company Oceanix, which he says will be free of the political baggage that sank the French Polynesian prototype.

Unlike TSIs autonomous libertarian utopias, Oceanix settlements will be floating extensions of host nations and subject to government rule. Most importantly, he adds, Oceanix City is being developed with a focus on egalitarian principles and environmentalism, rather than governmental reform and a bias towards the wealthy.

Oceanix has put together an impressive teamincluding MIT scientists and Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Groupto develop designs based on TSIs principles of modularity and self-sufficiency. Created to withstand extreme climate events such as Superstorm Sandy, an Oceanix City comprises hexagonal modules constructed from hollow concrete caissons that buoy the flood-proof city upwards in the event of rising waters.

Since the company will market the Oceanix City concept to governments worldwide, modularity is a key feature of the customizable design. Prefabricated off site, the 4.5-hectare floating platforms, which house 300 people each, can be joined together in a variety of configurations, with modules added or subtracted as needed. Six combined modules form a village, while six connected villages add up to an Oceanix City of 10,000 residents.

In reframing floating cities as a climate-change solution, Oceanix has earned support from the UN. Packed to the gills with sustainable techfrom locally grown food to water-to-energy plants, Oceanixs floating city redesign promises zero-waste, self-sufficient living. One notable example is the unique application of Biorock to anchor the settlements while simultaneously creating artificial reefs for marine ecosystem regeneration. Developed in the late 1970s, the mineral-accretion technology uses electric currents in seawater to crystallize dissolved minerals into heavy limestone coatings that are two to three times stronger than ordinary concrete.

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Floating Cities and Sea-Level Rise - an unsinkable idea - Anthropoce

Seasteading – Wikipedia

The concept of creating permanent dwellings at sea

Seasteading is the concept of creating permanent dwellings at sea, called seasteads, outside the territory claimed by any government. The term is a blend of sea and homesteading.

Proponents say they can "provide the means for rapid innovation in voluntary governance and reverse environmental damage to our oceans ... and foster entrepreneurship." [1] Some critics fear seasteads are designed more as a refuge for the wealthy to avoid taxes or other obligations.[2]

No one has yet created a structure on the high seas that has been recognized as a sovereign state. Proposed structures have included modified cruise ships, refitted oil platforms, decommissioned anti-aircraft platforms, and custom-built floating islands.[3]

As an intermediate step, the Seasteading Institute has promoted cooperation with an existing nation on prototype floating islands with legal semi-autonomy within the nation's protected territorial waters. On January 13, 2017, the Seasteading Institute signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with French Polynesia to create the first semi-autonomous "seazone" for a prototype,[4][5] but later that year political changes driven by the French Polynesia presidential election led to the indefinite postponement of the project.[6] French Polynesia formally backed out of the project and permanently cut ties with Seadsteading on March 14, 2018.[7]

The first single-family seastead was launched near Phuket, Thailand by Ocean Builders.[8] Two months later, the Thai Navy claimed the seastead was a threat to Thai sovereignty,[9] although the residents of the seastead had not been formally charged with a crime as of February2020[update]. Ocean Builders has re-launched in Panama, with the support of government officials.[10]

Many architects and firms have created designs for floating cities, including Vincent Callebaut,[11][12] Paolo Soleri[13] and companies such as Shimizu, Ocean Builders[14] and E. Kevin Schopfer.[15]

L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology, and his executive leadership became a maritime-based community named the Sea Organization (Sea Org). Beginning in 1967 with a complement of four ships, the Sea Org spent most of its existence on the high seas, visiting ports around the world for refueling and resupply. In 1975 much of these operations were shifted to land-based locations.

Marshall Savage discussed building tethered artificial islands in his 1992 book The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps, with several color plates illustrating his ideas.

Other historical predecessors and inspirations for seasteading include:

At least two people independently coined the term seasteading: Ken Neumeyer in his book Sailing the Farm (1981) and Wayne Gramlich in his article "Seasteading Homesteading on the High Seas" (1998).[17]

Gramlich's essay attracted the attention of Patri Friedman.[18] The two began working together and posted their first collaborative book online in 2001.[19] Their book explored many aspects of seasteading from waste disposal to flags of convenience. This collaboration led to the creation of the non-profit The Seasteading Institute (TSI) in 2008.

In March 2019, a group called Ocean Builders claimed to have built the first seastead in International Waters, off the coast of the Thai island of Phuket.[20] Thai Navy officials have charged them of violating Thai Sovereignty.[21]

In April 2019, the concept of floating cities as a way to cope with rising oceans was included in a presentation by the United Nations program UN-Habitat. As presented, they would be limited to sheltered waters.[22]

On April 15, 2008, Wayne Gramlich and Patri Friedman founded the 501(c)(3) non-profit The Seasteading Institute (TSI), an organization formed to facilitate the establishment of autonomous, mobile communities on seaborne platforms operating in international waters.[23][24][25]

Friedman and Gramlich noted that according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, a country's Exclusive Economic Zone extends 200 nautical miles (370km) from shore. Beyond that boundary lie the high seas, which are not subject to the laws of any sovereign state other than the flag under which a ship sails. They proposed that a seastead could take advantage of the absence of laws and regulations outside the sovereignty of nations to experiment with new governance systems, and allow the citizens of existing governments to exit more easily.[23][26][27]

The project picked up mainstream exposure after PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel. donated $500,000 in initial seed capital and has contributed more since. He also spoke out on behalf of its viability in his essay "The Education of a Libertarian".[28] TSI received widespread media attention.[29][25][30][31][32]

In 2008, Friedman and Gramlich said they hoped to float the first prototype seastead in the San Francisco Bay by 2010[33][34] followed by a seastead in 2014.[35] TSI did not meet these targets.

In January 2009, the Seasteading Institute patented a design for a 200-person resort seastead, ClubStead, about a city block in size, produced by consultancy firm Marine Innovation & Technology. The ClubStead design marked the first major engineering analysis in the seasteading movement.[25][36][37]

In July 2012, the vessel Opus Casino was donated to the Seasteading Institute.[38]

In the spring of 2013,[39] TSI launched The Floating City Project.[40] The project proposed to locate a floating city within the territorial waters of an existing nation, rather than the open ocean.[41] TSI claimed that doing so would have several advantages by placing it within the international legal framework and making it easier to engineer and easier for people and equipment to reach.

In October 2013, the Institute raised $27,082 from 291 funders in a crowdfunding campaign[42] TSI used the funds to hire the Dutch marine engineering firm DeltaSync[43] to write an engineering study for The Floating City Project.

In September 2016 the Seasteading Institute met with officials in French Polynesia[44] to discuss building a prototype seastead in a sheltered lagoon.[45] On January 13, 2017, French Polynesia Minister of Housing Jean-Christophe Bouissou signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with TSI to create the first semi-autonomous "seazone". TSI spun off a for-profit company called "Blue Frontiers", which will build and operate a prototype seastead in the zone.[46]

On March 3, 2018, French Polynesia government said the agreement was "not a legal document" and had expired at the end of 2017.[47] No action has been announced since.

A proposal to build a "floating island" with a luxury hotel in Jounieh north of the Lebanese capital Beirut, was stalled as of 2015 because of concerns from local officials about environmental and regulatory matters.[48][49]

Blueseed was a company aiming to float a ship near Silicon Valley to serve as a visa-free startup community and entrepreneurial incubator. Blueseed founders Max Marty and Dario Mutabdzija met when both were employees of The Seasteading Institute. The project planned to offer living and office space, high-speed Internet connectivity, and regular ferry service to the mainland[50][51] but as of 2014 the project was "on hold".[52][50][51]

Cruise ships are a proven technology, and address most of the challenges of living at sea for extended periods of time. However, they're typically optimized for travel and short-term stay, not for permanent residence in a single location.

Examples:

Platform designs based on spar buoys, similar to oil platforms.[54] In this design, the platforms rest on spars in the shape of floating dumbbells, with the living area high above sea level. Building on spars in this fashion reduces the influence of wave action on the structure.[36]

Examples:

There are numerous seastead designs based around interlocking modules made of reinforced concrete.[56] Reinforced concrete is used for floating docks, oil platforms, dams, and other marine structures.

Examples:

A single, monolithic structure that is not intended to be expanded or connected to other modules.

Examples:

Criticisms have been leveled at both the practicality and desirability of seasteading.

Critics believe that creating governance structures from scratch is a lot harder than it seems.[62] Also, seasteads would still be at risk of political interference from nation states.[25]

On a logistical level, without access to culture, travel, restaurants, shopping, and other amenities, seasteads could be too remote and too uncomfortable to be attractive to potential long-term residents.[25] Building seasteads to withstand the rigors of the open ocean may prove uneconomical.[62][25]

Seastead structures may blight ocean views, their industry or farming may deplete their environments, and their waste may pollute surrounding waters. Some critics believe that seasteads will exploit both residents and the nearby population.[62] Others fear that seasteads will mainly allow wealthy individuals to escape taxes,[2] or to harm mainstream society by ignoring other financial, environmental, and labor regulations.[2][62]

The Seasteading Institute held its first conference in Burlingame, California, October 10, 2008. Forty-five people from nine countries attended.[63]The second Seasteading conference was significantly larger, and held in San Francisco, California, September 2830, 2009.[64][65]The third Seasteading conference took place May 31 June 2, 2012.[66]

Seasteading has been imagined many times in novels as early as Jules Verne's 1895 science-fiction book Propeller Island (L'le hlice) about an artificial island designed to travel the waters of the Pacific Ocean, and as recent as 2003's The Scar, which featured a floating city, Armada. It has been a central concept in some movies, notably Waterworld (1995) and in TV series such as Stargate Atlantis, which had a complete floating city. And it is a common setting in video games, forming the premise of BioShock and BioShock 2, Brink, and Call of Duty: Black Ops II; and in anime, such as Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet which takes place mainly on a traveling city made of an interconnected fleet of ocean ships.

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Seasteading - Wikipedia

Seasteading | Ocean Builders

Seasteadingis the concept of creating permanent dwellings at sea, called seasteads, outside the territory claimed by any government. The term is a combination of the wordsseaand homesteading.

Modern seasteading began around 2008 when Patri Friedman began highlighting his idea in Silicon Valley to build seastead communities where you could essentially vote with your home. This would allow for more experimentation in governance structures and advance governance in the same way that cell phones progress due to consumers having the ability to choose their cell phone.

Initially Patri teamed up with Peter Thiel to found The Seasteading Institute (TSI). With Mr. Thiels initial donation TSI began exploring ways to make seasteading happen. They did many studies, held contests for various designs and branched off different projects. The plans have usually revolved around building large cities which were very costly and were never able to obtain the financing necessary to get off the ground.

Early designs mainly used oil rigs as inspiration working toward building structures high above the waves. Then around 2012 the idea was put forward to do a phased approach of building in a protected waterway of a host nation under a special economic zone as a Phase 1 approach. This would be followed by Phase 2 where the seastead is moved 12 nautical miles out into the ocean where the seastead could enjoy relative sovereignty (barring oil and mineral rights). The third and final phase would be to move out into the open ocean 200 nm out to sea in international waters.

The phased approach would take decades and is currently being pursued by Blue Frontiers. They are working on getting permission from French Polynesia and have several other countries in the works.

We are taking a different approach with the spar design, taking our inspiration from oil rigs, pursuing the initial idea of being able to vote with your house.

There have been many people working in many different ways to get seasteading moving forward and we hope to include as many people in this wonderful endeavor as possible. It is our hope that our first seastead sends a message to the rest of the world that seasteading is finally happening and that they should come to our seastead to put their ideas into action.

I know that by now you are probably wondering about the waves. You really want to know about the waves right? If so, then move along to the next section to find out how we plan to deal with the waves.

What about the waves!?!

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Seasteading | Ocean Builders

Seasteading – Would you move? | The Hearty Soul

Posted on: June 24, 2020 at 3:28 pm

With global warming becoming an increasingly urgent problem and much of the world having been under lockdown for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people are thinking about alternative ways of living in the future. This rocky period in human history has pushed forward the once very fringe idea of seasteading living out on the open ocean.

Just as it sounds, seasteading is living life out on the sea. Were not talking about living in a houseboat, however. No, seasteading is the building of floating homes and entire communities out on the open water. (1)

Chad Elwartowski, software engineer, bitcoin trader, and the current leader in the seasteading movement, began his second attempt at building one of these homes off the coast of Panama in May. The ultimate goal is to build entire independent cities out on the water, free from the confines of traditional government restrictions on movement the way land-dwelling nations are. The COVID-19 pandemic has bolstered the seasteading libretarian fringe group pushing for this new way of life.

Coronavirus is an opportunity to show the world that what were building is actually going to be very useful in the future, he said in a recent video. (1)

In April of 2019, Elwartowski and his girlfriend attempted to build and live in a seasteading home off the coast of Thailand, only to be chased out by the Thai government. The home was seen by the nation as a threat and the couple narrowly escaped being thrown in prison for life or worse. After a few weeks of fleeing Thai patrol boats, they eventually made it to Singapore. From there, they moved to Panama where they re-launched their company.

Groups like Seasteading have seen a surge in interest and support since the lockdowns began, as there are many conspiracists and people who believe the lockdowns are just a way for governments to have more control over their citizens.

This anti-government sentiment is what the Seasteading Institute was founded on in San Francisco back in 2008. Started by Google software engineer Patri Friedman and financially supported by PayPal founder Peter Thiel, the companys goal statement was:

to establish permanent, autonomous ocean communities to enable experimentation and innovation with diverse social, political, and legal systems (1)

Essentially, these Silicon Valley tech guys believed that governments and their regulations stifle innovation. They have dreams of building a society where that never happens. The citizens of these envisioned communities would have freedom of movement. If they didnt like the way one community was being governed, they could simply pack up and go move to another. No visas or any of the complexities involved with moving to another land country.

Read: Couple Lives Off The Grid After Spending 20-Years Building Self-Sustaining Floating Island

Theils donations only stretched so far, and Friedman only got so far as hosting a sort of river boat festival reminiscent of Burning Man. Though he has since moved towards focusing on land-based communities, the Seasteading helm has been taken up by Joe Quirk, who is an author and self-proclaimed seavangelist.

Quirk believes that water communities can help to heal all of humanity. He even wrote a book that talks of how floating cities can restore the environment, enrich the poor, cure the sick, and liberate humanity from politicians. (1)

In January 2017, however, after years of planning, feasibility studies, and government negotiations, he and his team reached an agreement with French Polynesia. They were to build their floating nation in the 5 million square kilometers of sea owned by the island country. There was a misunderstanding of purpose however and what each group would do for the other. The French Polynesian government was looking for them to address environmental concerns and the threat of rising sea levels. The Seasteading Institute was, of course, more interested in building a nation with complete autonomy.

The local people were not supportive of the project and eventually, it came to a halt. Marc Collins Chen, former minister of tourism of French Polynesia who founded the company Blue Frontiers along with Quirk, has since realized that these floating nations need to work with host countries more, and in order to have support, they need to pay taxes.

I realised that the real future for these sorts of projects has to be closer to cities, he explains. They have to be an extension of an existing citys infrastructure, they need to be run by the mayor, and they have to pay their taxes as opposed to being enclaves for the wealthy. (1)

Collins Chen has now moved to New York to build a new company focused on creating these floating cities, called Oceanix City. He believes that these floating cities could be a way to accommodate growth without disturbing the already struggling ecosystems on land. Using drag-and-drop building, you can add, move, and takeaway sections whenever you need. The cities could be powered by water and solar and essentially become self-sustaining.

Read: A community of voluntary anarchists is taking off-the-grid living to the next level

UN-Habitat, the sustainable development branch of the United Nations, hosted a discussion about the Oceanix City project in April 2019. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, UN-Habitat executive director, says that floating cities could be one of the potential solutions to current housing and climate issues facing countries around the world.

Actually having floating cities ready to live in is not something that will happen soon. Currently a factory where the citys structures will be built is under construction in Panama. The main feature of the factory will be a giant 3D printer that will print both the floating homes with underwater rooms wrapped in eco-restorative 3D printed coral reef. The cost will be between $200,000 and $800,000 per home.

Current CEO Grant Romundt says the focus is making homes that are a safe place for people to be during times such as the coronavirus pandemic.

They should be a safe place to escape to and be totally energy independent, with solar panels on the roof, water desalination on board, waste collection by drone, and aeroponic systems to grow your own food. (1)

He says they are building holiday homes that will be registered as boats under the Panama flag, but as time goes on he believes they will morph into actual real, independent cities. The best part, he claims, is that if these seasteads fail, the people can just disassemble and go away. It would be as if they were never there at all.

What do you think? Would you move to an independent floating nation?

Keep Reading: Pandemic Leads To Urban Exodus As Families Turn To Self-Reliance And Off-The-Grid Living

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/24/seasteading-a-vanity-project-for-the-rich-or-the-future-of-humanity

Originally posted here:

Seasteading - Would you move? | The Hearty Soul

Seasteading – RationalWiki

I'm gonna go build my own theme park! With blackjack, and hookers!

Seasteading is the libertarian fantasy of attempting to establish a society on (or under) the sea. Given that a large swath of the oceans are international waters, outside the jurisdiction of any one country, some people see seasteading as the most viable possibility for creating new, autonomous states with their own pet political systems in place.

Given that international maritime law doesn't, as such, recognize ginormous boats or artificial islands as stateless enclaves or independent nations, diplomatic recognition, if the owners actually need it, is somewhat problematic.

Seasteading is inspired by real life examples of boat-based provision of services not legal in certain countries. Examples include casino boats (ships that, upon reaching international waters, open up their gambling facilities to passengers) and the organization Women on Waves, which provides abortion services in countries (such as Poland, Portugal and Spain) where abortion is illegal or in which the rules are stricter than they would prefer. Another example is pirate radio stations, which got their name from the fact that many of them operated from boats in international waters.

Several seasteading projects have been started; only two have ever been completed (three if you count Sealand and its 'Prince'), and the vast majority have never even really begun. It is quite possible that herding libertarians is difficult.

Some cryonicists are seasteaders, which implies truly remarkably compartmentalised thinking about the value of large, stable social structures.

As they age, some libertarians are realising that replacing government may be more work than they can personally achieve as actualised individuals.[2] Reason, of course, tells them not to stop thinking about tomorrow.[3]

There have been four seasteading projects that could be considered "successful" in any sense of the word.

The longest-lived and most successful was the "Republic of Minerva," an artificial island in the South Pacific constructed by real estate millionaire Michael J. Oliver and his Phoenix Foundation using dredged sand to expand the tiny Minerva Reef. The intention was to establish an agrarian anarcho-capitalist utopia; presumably the libertarian supermen would evolve past the need to drink, as there was no source of fresh water on the island (nor any land at high tide, at least initially). Minerva formally declared independence in 1972 and attempted to establish diplomatic relations with the surrounding nations, though it was mostly ignored. The small settlement lasted for approximately five months, until the government of Tonga sent a military expedition (along with a convict work detail, a brass band, and HRM King Taufaahau Tupou himself) to claim the island by force (or rather, re-claim it; the original reef had been considered a culturally important Tongan fishing region). In 1982 a second group of libertarians tried to reclaim the atoll but were again forced off by the Tongan military. Since then, the project collapsed, and the island has since been mostly reclaimed by the sea.

Unabashed, Oliver tried to funnel funds into various separatist groups and revolutionaries in the Bahamas and Vanuatu, but was met with extremely little success. Today, the Phoenix Foundation still chugs on, eyeing tiny islands like the Isle of Man and the Azores and grumbling to themselves.

Rose Island, officially the "Respubliko de la Insulo de la Rozoj" (Republic of the Island of Roses) was a 400-square-meter artificial platform in the Mediterranean founded by an Italian casino entrepreneur in 1968. It styled itself as a libertarian capitalist state with Esperanto as its official language, but was in fact little more than a tourist resort complex, and had virtually no space for permanent residents. The Italian government, seeing the project as nothing more than a ploy to avoid having to pay taxes on revenue from the resort, seized the platform with police a few weeks after it opened and destroyed it with explosives[4].

Operation Atlantis was an American attempt by Libertarian soap-magnate Werner K. Steifel to create an anarcho-capitalist utopia (noticing a trend here?) in the Bahamas by building a large ferro-cement ship, sailing it to its destination, anchoring it there and living on it. The boat was built, launched from New York in 1971, and (after capsizing once on the Hudson river and catching fire) taken to its final position in the Caribbean, where it was secured in place. Preparations were made for the residents to immigrate to their new floating city-state, but unfortunately for them it sank almost immediately.[5][note 1] After two more attempts and eventually pouring a lot of money into an island off the coast of Belize that he couldn't get autonomy for, the project collapsed.

The Principality of Sealand is a cute little boy in a sailor outfit with delusions of grandeur an abandoned British anti-aircraft platform of World War II vintage located in international waters east of the British Isles. In 1967 it was claimed and occupied by Paddy Roy Bates, the self-proclaimed "Prince Roy of Sealand" (29 August 1921 9 October 2012), former offshore pirate radio station operator, who also proclaimed his wife Joan Bates (2 September 1929 - 10 March 2016) "Princess Joan". The population of this nation has never been more than one can count on both hands; nonetheless, the Principality of Sealand was invaded and conquered in 1978 by a group of German and Dutch nationals (including the kidnapping of Prince Roy's son Michael) whose coup was promptly reversed by Prince Roy who hired a helicopter to help him retake the artificial island. To this day it's as close as anyone has ever come to a functioning seastead and that isn't really saying much.

An internet service provider, HavenCo.com, actually attempted to set up its servers on Sealand circa 2000 but the deal fell through when HavenCo's founder had a falling out with Prince Paddy Roy. In 2013, a HavenCo website has appeared, stating, "Havenco is launching new services in early 2013 to facilitate private communications and storage" and boasting "The next generation of online privacy coming soon!"

Prince Roy had listed the Principality of Sealand for sale, but since one cannot technically "sell" a monarchy, it was in actuality being offered for transfer of title or something along those lines.

Such is Sealand's reputation that the nation actually has athletes who represent the country, ships who have attempted to negotiate with Prince Paddy Roy to buy the right to flag their ships under the Sealand flag, the German hip hop group Fettes Brot shot the video for their 2013 track Echo at Sealand, and a phony-baloney outfit based in Germany selling counterfeit Sealand coins, stamps, and passports (not recognized by the de facto Sealand government of Prince Roy, who considers the outfit a criminal gang descended from the earlier coup attempt). It is an inspiration to micronation buffs who see it as an example of a successful micronation. However, Sealand has never been recognized by any other country as a sovereign nation (though a British court decision held that the U.K. had no sovereignty over it).

Sealand is depicted in the anime Hetalia: Axis Powers as a child in a sailor suit,[6] and in the webcomic Scandinavia and the World as a little boy wearing a crown and a t-shirt modeled after its national flag.[7]

Prince Roy died 9 October, 2012, leaving his son and heir, Michael Bates (who had been serving as Prince Regent Michael), as Sealand's Head of State, and the author of the Principality's historical book, Holding the Fort. The Prince is dead, long live the Prince!

Libertarians are hardly the only people to try and colonize the ocean. China, for instance, has used a version of seasteading in order to enforce its claims on the Spratly Islands, an archipelago in the South China Sea that's claimed in whole or in part by six nations (the PRC, the ROC, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei). They've been hard at work using land reclamation to build artificial islands with airstrips, piers, harbors, and helipads, which they say are for military "and civilian" use.[8]

In the 1970s, relatively apolitical seasteading project was proposed for the North Sea, "Sea City", based on the idea that "Man is fast running out of living space."[9]

Eccentric right-wing entrepreneur Peter Thiel founded the Seasteading Institute in 2008 with the intent of building a floating city. In 2017 the Institute, by then Thiel-less, signed a deal with the government of French Polynesia, an autonomous territory of France in the south Pacific, but soon after French Polynesia reneged on the deal.[10][11]

In an effort to throw in as many libertarian buzzwords as possible into one news story, in 2019 bitcoin entrepreneur Chad Elwartowski attempted to set up a floating home in what he thought were international waters 26 km (14 nautical miles) off the west coast of Phuket, Thailand. He and his partner Supranee Thepdet planned to construct up to 20 homes, Chad calling himself "probably the freest person in the world". Unfortunately the Thai navy didn't agree with his interpretation of the law and boarded the floating home, pointing out it was in Thailand's exclusive economic zone and therefore a violation of Thai sovereignty, an offence potentially carrying the death penalty.[12]

The video game BioShock[13] features what is probably the best-known example of a seastead in popular culture both in form of the underwater city of Rapture and the flying city of Columbia. Spoiler: neither really panned out as intended.

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Seasteading - RationalWiki

Seasteading: How Floating Nations Will Restore the …

In these thought-provoking visions of the future (The Wall Street Journal), Joe Quirk and Patri Friedman of the Seasteading Institute explain how ocean cities can solve many of our environmental, technological, and civic problems, and introduce the visionaries and pioneers who are now making seasteading a reality.

Our planet has been suffering from serious environmental p

Our planet has been suffering from serious environmental problems and their social and political consequences. But imagine a vast new source of sustainable and renewable energy that would also bring more equitable economies. A previously untapped source of farming that could produce significant new sources of nutrition. Future societies where people could choose the communities they want to live in, free from the restrictions of conventional citizenship. This extraordinary vision of our near future as imagined in Seasteading attracted the powerful support of Silicon Valleys Peter Thieland it may be drawing close to reality. Facing growing environmental threats, French Polynesia has already signed on to build some of the worlds first seasteads.

Joe Quirk and Patri Friedman show us how cities built on floating platforms in the ocean will work, and they profile some of the visionaries who are implementing basic concepts of seasteading today. An entrepreneurs dream, these floating cities will become laboratories for innovation and creativity. Seasteading offers hope for a future when life on land has grown grim (Kirkus Reviews), proving the adage that yesterdays science fiction is tomorrows science fact.

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Seasteading: How Floating Nations Will Restore the ...

This is why the Thai navy busted a seasteading American

BANGKOK Thai authorities have raided a floating home in the Andaman Sea belonging to an American man and his Thai partner who sought to be pioneers in the seasteading movement, which promotes living in international waters to be free of any nations laws.

Thailand's navy said Chad Elwartowski and Supranee Thepdet endangered national sovereignty, an offense punishable by life imprisonment or death.

It filed a complaint against them with police on the southern resort island of Phuket. Thai authorities said they have revoked Elwartowskis visa.

Elwartowski said in an email Thursday that he believes he and Supranee also known as Nadia Summergirl did nothing wrong.

"This is ridiculous," he said in an earlier statement posted online. "We lived on a floating house boat for a few weeks and now Thailand wants us killed."

The couple, who have gone into hiding, had been living part-time on a small structure they said was anchored outside Thailands territorial waters, just over 12 nautical miles from shore. They were not there when the navy carried out their raid on Saturday.

The Thai deputy naval commander responsible for the area said the project was a challenge to the country's authorities.

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"This affects our national security and cannot be allowed," Rear Adm. Wintharat Kotchaseni told Thai media on Tuesday. He said the floating house also posed a safety threat to navigation if it broke loose because the area is considered a shipping lane.

Seasteading has had a revival in recent years as libertarian ideas of living free from state interference such as by using crypto-currency including Bitcoin have become more popular, including among influential Silicon Valley figures such as entrepreneur Peter Thiel. Elwartowski, an IT specialist, has been involved in Bitcoin since 2010.

Several larger-scale projects are under development, but some in the seasteading community have credited the Andaman Sea house with being the first modern implementation of seasteading.

"The first thing to do is whatever I can to help Chad & Nadia, because living on a weird self-built structure and dreaming of future sovereignty should be considered harmless eccentricities, not major crimes," Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer who heads The Seasteading Institute, said on his Facebook page.

The floating two-story octagonal house at the center of the controversy had been profiled and promoted online by a group called Ocean Builders, which touted it as a pilot project and sought to sell additional units.

The group describes itself as "a team of engineering focused entrepreneurs who have a passion for seasteading and are willing to put the hard work and effort forward to see that it happens."

In online statements, both Elwartowski and Ocean Builders said the couple merely promoted and lived on the structure, and did not fund, design, build or set the location for it.

"I was volunteering for the project promoting it with the desire to be able to be the first seasteader and continue promoting it while living on the platform," Elwartowski told The Associated Press.

"Being a foreigner in a foreign land, seeing the news that they want to give me the death penalty for just living on a floating house had me quite scared," Elwartowski said. "We are still quite scared for our lives. We seriously did not think we were doing anything wrong and thought this would be a huge benefit for Thailand in so many ways."

Asked his next step, he was more optimistic.

"I believe my lawyer can come to an amicable agreement with the Thai government," he said.

Associated Press journalist Tassanee Vejpongsa contributed to this report.

See the article here:

This is why the Thai navy busted a seasteading American

The Problem with Seasteading | Bottom-up

I first wrote about seasteading two years ago, shortly after the Seasteading Institute launched. The brainchild of Patri Friedman (grandson of Milton) and others, seasteading is a program for political reform based on a proliferation of self-governing ocean colonies. As I described it in 2008:

A key advantage of seasteads is what Friedman calls dynamic geography, the fact that any given seasteading unit is free to join or leave larger units within seasteading communities. Seasteading platforms would likely band together to provide common services like police protection, but with the key difference that any platform that was dissatisfied with the value it was receiving from such jurisdictions could leave them at any time. [Friedman] argues that this would move power downward, giving smaller units within society greater leverage to ensure the interests of their members are being served.

Seasteading is based on a delightfully bottom-up argument: that the problem with government is the lack of choice. If I dont like my job, my apartment, or my grocery store, I can easily pick up and go somewhere else. The threat of exit induces employers, landlords, and store owners, and the like to treat us well without a lot of top-down oversight. In contrast, switching governments is hard, so governments treat us poorly. Seasteaders aim to change that.

The pragmatic incrementalism of seasteading is also appealing. Friedman doesnt have to foment a revolution, or even win an election, to give seasteading a try. If he can just a few hundred people of the merits of his ideas, they can go try it without needing assistance or support from the rest of us. If the experiment fails, the cost is relatively small.

Yet seasteading is a deeply flawed project. In particular, the theory of dynamic geography is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationships among mobility, wealth creation, and government power. In a real-world seasteading community, powerful economic forces would cripple dynamic geography and leave seasteaders no freer than the rest of us.

To see the problem, imagine if someone developed the technology to transform my apartment building in Manhattan into a floating platform. Its owners could, at any time, float us out into the Hudson river and move to another state or country. Would they do it? Obviously not. They have hundreds of tenants who are paying good money to live in Manhattan. Wed be furious if we woke up one morning and found ourselves off the coast of South Carolina. Things get more, not less, difficult at larger scales. Imagine if Long Island (which includes the New York boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn and a lot of suburbs) were a huge ocean-going vessel. The residents of Long Island would overwhelmingly oppose moving; most of them have jobs, friends, familiy, churches, favorite restaurants, and other connections to the rest of the New York metro area. The value of being adjacent to Manhattan swamps whatever benefits there might be to being part of a state with lower taxes or better regulations.

Successful cities need a variety of infrastructureroads, electricity, network connectivity, water and sewer lines, and so forth. At small scales you could probably design this infrastructure to be completely modular. But that approach doesnt scale; at some point you need expensive fixed infrastructuremulti-lane highways, bridges, water mains, subway lines, power plantsthat only make economic sense if built on a geographically stable foundation. Such infrastructure wouldnt be feasible in a dynamic city, and without such infrastructure its hard to imagine a city of even modest size being viable.

I think the seasteaders response to this is that the advantages of increased liberty would be so large that people would be willing to deal with the inconveniences necessary to preserve dynamic geography. But heres the thing: The question of whether the advantages of freedom (in the leave me alone sense) outweigh the benefits of living in large urban areas is not a theoretical one. If all you care about is avoiding the long arm of the law, thats actually pretty easy to do. Buy a cabin in the woods in Wyoming and the government will pretty much leave you alone. Pick a job that allows you to deal in cash and you can probably get away without filing a tax return. In reality, hardly anyone does this. To the contrary, people have been leaving rural areas for high-tax, high-regulation cities for decades.

Almost no ones goal in life is to maximize their liberty in this abstract sense. Rather, liberty is valuable because it enables us to achieve other goals, like raising a family, having a successful career, making friends, and so forth. To achieve those kinds of goals, you pretty much have to live near other people, conform to social norms, and make long-term investments. And people who live close together for long periods of time need a system of mechanisms for resolving disputes, which is to say they need a government.

The power of governments rests not on the immobility of real estate, but from the fact that people want to form durable relationships with other people. The residents of a seastead city would be no more enthusiastic about dynamic geopgrahy than the residents of Brooklyn. Which means that the government of the city would have the same kind of power Mayor Bloomberg has. Indeed, it would likely have more power, because the seastead city wouldnt have New Jersey a few hundred yards away ready to take disaffected residents.

Read the rest here:

The Problem with Seasteading | Bottom-up

Floating Island Project | The Seasteading Institute

The Gulf of Fonseca, bordering three Central American nations, was chosen as a test case for the suitability of the design for protected, territorial waters this location selected was based loosely on the criteria we used for selecting host nations, such as proximity to cities and existing infrastructure, and location within an attractive climate, outside the path of hurricanes. However, site selection for this study should not be interpreted as suggesting that we have an agreement to develop a floating city in the Gulf of Fonseca. In a location like this, DeltaSync reports that the platforms could be completely solar-powered, and that this would in fact be more cost-effective than diesel generation, even including the costs of battery storage and distribution via micro-grid. This concept also assesses a scalable method of financing a breakwater, which could eventually surround the city and allow it to move out to the open ocean. Mobility of the individual modules is key from the perspective of guaranteeing autonomy for the city in the event that the relationship with a particular host nation no longer suits either party, the platforms could detach from their moorings and float to a different location. Modularity and mobility also enable dynamic geography and empower citizens of the city to rearrange into more desirable configurations as the population grows and evolves. While more in-depth engineering research is required, the preliminary analysis suggests that concrete platforms in the 50 x 50 meter dimensions strike the best balance between cost, movability, and stability in the waves of the representative region. Future research includes verifying the findings in DeltaSyncs report and honing the assumptions off of which the design is based.

Read the rest here:

Floating Island Project | The Seasteading Institute

Lighthouse to hobbit hole: 13 unusual and quirky places to holiday in Scotland – Clydebank Post

IF you are looking for a staycation that stokes the imagination, Scotland has no shortage of unusual and quirky gems.

With the nations tourism sector now reopened, weve put together a list of some of our favourite awe-inspiring holiday accommodation.

Places that bring together architectural wizardry and painstaking refurbishment to breathe new life and use into everything from a lighthouse to a modern-day broch and erstwhile modes of transportation, including buses, train carriages and even a helicopter.

Roulotte Retreat, near Melrose, Scottish Borders

There is something wonderfully romantic about this circle of seven colourful roulottes (Romany-style caravans) located in a pretty wildflower meadow below the Eildon Hills.

Each roulotte faces onto a lochan at the centre of the site. Facilities include sunset decks, wood-burning stoves, eco saunas and hot tubs. Its a perfect getaway for nature lovers with owls, deer, foxes, and badgers among the regular visitors.

Prices start from 115 per night. Call 07990 744044 or visit roulotteretreat.com

Helicopter Glamping, Mains Farm Wigwams, Thornhill, Stirling

Stay in a Sea King helicopter complete with mini kitchen, bathroom and a cockpit seating area offering stunning views over the Forth Valley. The helicopter part of Mains Farm Wigwams sleeps two adults or a family of five (two adults and three children). Theres a double bed, a single bed in the tail and seating which converts into a second double bed. The owners are currently renovating a 1959 Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer plane set to open for overnight stays next year.

Prices start from 170 per night. Call 01786 850735 or visit mainsfarmwigwams.com

Sleeperzzz, Rogart, Sutherland

Choose between a vintage railway carriage, a freight wagon or the Waiting Room B&B.

Located beside a functioning train station at Rogart (on the line between Inverness to Thurso and Wick), Sleeperzzz offers budget accommodation for backpackers, families, walkers, cyclists or those who simply fancy spending the night somewhere a bit different such as a 12-ton goods van from the 1950s.

A great base for exploring Dunrobin Castle and the North Coast 500.

Prices from 22pp per night. Call 01408 641343 or visit sleeperzzz.com

Craighead Howfs, Dunblane, Perthshire

Be transported to The Shire which could be Perthshire or JRR Tolkiens fictional Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings, depending on how you look at it with these magical Hobbit Howfs.

The Burrow and Bagend are built into the hillside with grassy roofs and round doors for an unforgettable glamping experience. Craighead Howfs also offers the chance to stay in a treehouse with panoramic views over the Ochils and a secluded summer house.

Prices start from 105 per night. Call 01786 880321 or visit craigheadhowf.co.uk

The Bus Stop, Gifford, East Lothian

If you have ever wanted to enjoy a Summer Holiday in the vein of the 1963 film, look no further. This fleet of buses in a field belonging to an arable farm in East Lothian have been transformed into holiday accommodation with armchairs, sofas, lanterns, hot flasks, log stoves and beds.

Each bus has a private wood-fired hot tub and barbecue/fire pit. Choose from rustic or luxury the latter have en suite bathrooms and swish mod cons. Oh, and theres gorgeous views of the Lammermuir Hills.

Prices from 180 for a two-night stay. Call 07508 421888 or visit thebusstop.scot

Brockloch Eco Retreat, Kirkpatrick Durham, Castle Douglas

Featured on George Clarkes Amazing Spaces, Brockloch Eco Retreat is small but perfectly formed. Located on a working farm, theres two units: a contemporary, off-grid, micro-timber bothy facing into an open field and an incredible treehouse hideaway within a bluebell wood where the closest neighbours are red squirrels.

The treehouse has a built-in double bed with a skylight to gaze at the treetops and stars as you drift off to sleep. This part of the world is a great place to see red kites.

Prices from 300 for a two-night stay. Call 01556 650249 or visit brockloch.co.uk

Black Isle Yurts, Eathie Hill, Rosemarkie

Set in private woodland, all of the yurts within this eco-sensitive, wild-glamping site are based on designs used by nomadic people in Central Asia for thousands of years.

In keeping with the Scottish climate, the traditional felt outer shell has been replaced with a waterproof canvas and theres a wood-burning stove to stay cosy on cooler nights. The site is a short drive from Chanonry Point which is fantastic for dolphin spotting.

Prices from 180 for a two-night stay. Call 01381 620634 or visit blackisleyurts.co.uk

Rua Reidh Lighthouse, near Gairloch, Wester Ross

Built in 1912 by David Alan Stevenson, a cousin of the writer Robert Louis Stevenson and one of the famous Lighthouse Stevensons, this beautiful, remote location offers B&B and self-catering, the latter in the charmingly named First Officers Quarters.

Endless views, a glorious stretch of coastline, abundant bird and sea life, tranquillity, solitude and the thrill of potentially catching a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis on dark, starry nights awaits.

Prices start from 115 per night. Call 01445 771263 or visit stayatalighthouse.co.uk

Calgary, Mull

Not to be confused with the skyscraper-filled city in Alberta, this little corner of Mull is a delight.

A byre, hayloft and dovecote are among the self-catering properties available at Calgary, each with its own distinctive character. Calgary also has an excellent cafe, art gallery and a woodland sculpture walk.

Theres a beach within strolling distance where Robins Boat sells Isle of Mull ice cream. Sea eagles, otters and basking sharks can all be seen nearby.

Prices start from 400 for a seven-night stay. Call 01688 400256 or visit calgary.co.uk

The Scriptorium Apartments at St Benedicts Abbey, Fort Augustus

The Scriptorium the once secret writing room of the monastery has two one-bedroom apartments with vaulted ceilings, gothic archways and stained-glass windows. Theres plenty to do in the grounds and gardens, be it tennis, badminton, croquet or giant chess. The former Monks Refectory has been converted into a Club Lounge and a chapel refurbished to incorporate a heated pool, sauna and steam room.

Prices start from 500 for a two-night stay. Call 07748 867825 or visit parrandier.com

The Brochs of Coigach, near Achiltibuie, Ullapool

Brochs are an ancient dwelling found only in Scotland, dating back to 500BC. Gille Buidhes Broch and Scals Broch are a bit younger than that (around a decade old) and beautifully enchanting structures.

If you love upcycling, they will impress, built using stones from old, crumbling walls on nearby land and timber recovered from a dilapidated Victorian pier. Oil paintings by John Bellany hang on the walls, alongside display cabinets filled with weird and wonderful objects.

Prices from 140 per night. Call 01854 622368 or visit thebrochs.co.uk

The Four Sisters Boatel, Edinburgh

Tucked away in the heart of the Scottish capital, this houseboat is permanently moored at the Lochrin Basin on the Union Canal the eastern terminus for the 32-mile stretch of water that comes all the way from Falkirk. Sleeping up to six adults and two children, it is an ideal base to explore Edinburgh, with Bruntsfield and the West End, as well as the Old and New Towns, all just a stones throw away.

Prices start from 120 per night. Call 07445 494331 or visit thefoursisters.co.uk

The Sawmill at Glen Dye, Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Talk about enjoying the great outdoors in style. Stay in a sleek, refurbished 1950s Airstream Safari caravan in a small pine wood beside the fast flowing lade of a sawmill.

A rustic, wooden seed store with roots back to the 1800s serves as the kitchen, dining and sitting room. There are games, books, a record player and a memorable barbecue spot. Glen Dye also offers a river cabin, a bothy and two steading cottages, as well as running residential courses in crafts and wild food.

Prices start from 490 for a two-night stay. Call 01330 850689 or visit glendyecabinsandcottages.com

More here:

Lighthouse to hobbit hole: 13 unusual and quirky places to holiday in Scotland - Clydebank Post

Lighthouse to hobbit hole: 13 unusual and quirky places to holiday in Scotland – Border Telegraph

IF you are looking for a staycation that stokes the imagination, Scotland has no shortage of unusual and quirky gems.

With the nations tourism sector now reopened, weve put together a list of some of our favourite awe-inspiring holiday accommodation.

Places that bring together architectural wizardry and painstaking refurbishment to breathe new life and use into everything from a lighthouse to a modern-day broch and erstwhile modes of transportation, including buses, train carriages and even a helicopter.

Roulotte Retreat, near Melrose, Scottish Borders

There is something wonderfully romantic about this circle of seven colourful roulottes (Romany-style caravans) located in a pretty wildflower meadow below the Eildon Hills.

Each roulotte faces onto a lochan at the centre of the site. Facilities include sunset decks, wood-burning stoves, eco saunas and hot tubs. Its a perfect getaway for nature lovers with owls, deer, foxes, and badgers among the regular visitors.

Prices start from 115 per night. Call 07990 744044 or visit roulotteretreat.com

Helicopter Glamping, Mains Farm Wigwams, Thornhill, Stirling

Stay in a Sea King helicopter complete with mini kitchen, bathroom and a cockpit seating area offering stunning views over the Forth Valley. The helicopter part of Mains Farm Wigwams sleeps two adults or a family of five (two adults and three children). Theres a double bed, a single bed in the tail and seating which converts into a second double bed. The owners are currently renovating a 1959 Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer plane set to open for overnight stays next year.

Prices start from 170 per night. Call 01786 850735 or visit mainsfarmwigwams.com

Sleeperzzz, Rogart, Sutherland

Choose between a vintage railway carriage, a freight wagon or the Waiting Room B&B.

Located beside a functioning train station at Rogart (on the line between Inverness to Thurso and Wick), Sleeperzzz offers budget accommodation for backpackers, families, walkers, cyclists or those who simply fancy spending the night somewhere a bit different such as a 12-ton goods van from the 1950s.

A great base for exploring Dunrobin Castle and the North Coast 500.

Prices from 22pp per night. Call 01408 641343 or visit sleeperzzz.com

Craighead Howfs, Dunblane, Perthshire

Be transported to The Shire which could be Perthshire or JRR Tolkiens fictional Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings, depending on how you look at it with these magical Hobbit Howfs.

The Burrow and Bagend are built into the hillside with grassy roofs and round doors for an unforgettable glamping experience. Craighead Howfs also offers the chance to stay in a treehouse with panoramic views over the Ochils and a secluded summer house.

Prices start from 105 per night. Call 01786 880321 or visit craigheadhowf.co.uk

The Bus Stop, Gifford, East Lothian

If you have ever wanted to enjoy a Summer Holiday in the vein of the 1963 film, look no further. This fleet of buses in a field belonging to an arable farm in East Lothian have been transformed into holiday accommodation with armchairs, sofas, lanterns, hot flasks, log stoves and beds.

Each bus has a private wood-fired hot tub and barbecue/fire pit. Choose from rustic or luxury the latter have en suite bathrooms and swish mod cons. Oh, and theres gorgeous views of the Lammermuir Hills.

Prices from 180 for a two-night stay. Call 07508 421888 or visit thebusstop.scot

Brockloch Eco Retreat, Kirkpatrick Durham, Castle Douglas

Featured on George Clarkes Amazing Spaces, Brockloch Eco Retreat is small but perfectly formed. Located on a working farm, theres two units: a contemporary, off-grid, micro-timber bothy facing into an open field and an incredible treehouse hideaway within a bluebell wood where the closest neighbours are red squirrels.

The treehouse has a built-in double bed with a skylight to gaze at the treetops and stars as you drift off to sleep. This part of the world is a great place to see red kites.

Prices from 300 for a two-night stay. Call 01556 650249 or visit brockloch.co.uk

Black Isle Yurts, Eathie Hill, Rosemarkie

Set in private woodland, all of the yurts within this eco-sensitive, wild-glamping site are based on designs used by nomadic people in Central Asia for thousands of years.

In keeping with the Scottish climate, the traditional felt outer shell has been replaced with a waterproof canvas and theres a wood-burning stove to stay cosy on cooler nights. The site is a short drive from Chanonry Point which is fantastic for dolphin spotting.

Prices from 180 for a two-night stay. Call 01381 620634 or visit blackisleyurts.co.uk

Rua Reidh Lighthouse, near Gairloch, Wester Ross

Built in 1912 by David Alan Stevenson, a cousin of the writer Robert Louis Stevenson and one of the famous Lighthouse Stevensons, this beautiful, remote location offers B&B and self-catering, the latter in the charmingly named First Officers Quarters.

Endless views, a glorious stretch of coastline, abundant bird and sea life, tranquillity, solitude and the thrill of potentially catching a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis on dark, starry nights awaits.

Prices start from 115 per night. Call 01445 771263 or visit stayatalighthouse.co.uk

Calgary, Mull

Not to be confused with the skyscraper-filled city in Alberta, this little corner of Mull is a delight.

A byre, hayloft and dovecote are among the self-catering properties available at Calgary, each with its own distinctive character. Calgary also has an excellent cafe, art gallery and a woodland sculpture walk.

Theres a beach within strolling distance where Robins Boat sells Isle of Mull ice cream. Sea eagles, otters and basking sharks can all be seen nearby.

Prices start from 400 for a seven-night stay. Call 01688 400256 or visit calgary.co.uk

The Scriptorium Apartments at St Benedicts Abbey, Fort Augustus

The Scriptorium the once secret writing room of the monastery has two one-bedroom apartments with vaulted ceilings, gothic archways and stained-glass windows. Theres plenty to do in the grounds and gardens, be it tennis, badminton, croquet or giant chess. The former Monks Refectory has been converted into a Club Lounge and a chapel refurbished to incorporate a heated pool, sauna and steam room.

Prices start from 500 for a two-night stay. Call 07748 867825 or visit parrandier.com

The Brochs of Coigach, near Achiltibuie, Ullapool

Brochs are an ancient dwelling found only in Scotland, dating back to 500BC. Gille Buidhes Broch and Scals Broch are a bit younger than that (around a decade old) and beautifully enchanting structures.

If you love upcycling, they will impress, built using stones from old, crumbling walls on nearby land and timber recovered from a dilapidated Victorian pier. Oil paintings by John Bellany hang on the walls, alongside display cabinets filled with weird and wonderful objects.

Prices from 140 per night. Call 01854 622368 or visit thebrochs.co.uk

The Four Sisters Boatel, Edinburgh

Tucked away in the heart of the Scottish capital, this houseboat is permanently moored at the Lochrin Basin on the Union Canal the eastern terminus for the 32-mile stretch of water that comes all the way from Falkirk. Sleeping up to six adults and two children, it is an ideal base to explore Edinburgh, with Bruntsfield and the West End, as well as the Old and New Towns, all just a stones throw away.

Prices start from 120 per night. Call 07445 494331 or visit thefoursisters.co.uk

The Sawmill at Glen Dye, Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Talk about enjoying the great outdoors in style. Stay in a sleek, refurbished 1950s Airstream Safari caravan in a small pine wood beside the fast flowing lade of a sawmill.

A rustic, wooden seed store with roots back to the 1800s serves as the kitchen, dining and sitting room. There are games, books, a record player and a memorable barbecue spot. Glen Dye also offers a river cabin, a bothy and two steading cottages, as well as running residential courses in crafts and wild food.

Prices start from 490 for a two-night stay. Call 01330 850689 or visit glendyecabinsandcottages.com

Continued here:

Lighthouse to hobbit hole: 13 unusual and quirky places to holiday in Scotland - Border Telegraph

Lighthouse to hobbit hole: 13 unusual and quirky places to holiday in Scotland – Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald

IF you are looking for a staycation that stokes the imagination, Scotland has no shortage of unusual and quirky gems.

With the nations tourism sector now reopened, weve put together a list of some of our favourite awe-inspiring holiday accommodation.

Places that bring together architectural wizardry and painstaking refurbishment to breathe new life and use into everything from a lighthouse to a modern-day broch and erstwhile modes of transportation, including buses, train carriages and even a helicopter.

Roulotte Retreat, near Melrose, Scottish Borders

There is something wonderfully romantic about this circle of seven colourful roulottes (Romany-style caravans) located in a pretty wildflower meadow below the Eildon Hills.

Each roulotte faces onto a lochan at the centre of the site. Facilities include sunset decks, wood-burning stoves, eco saunas and hot tubs. Its a perfect getaway for nature lovers with owls, deer, foxes, and badgers among the regular visitors.

Prices start from 115 per night. Call 07990 744044 or visit roulotteretreat.com

Helicopter Glamping, Mains Farm Wigwams, Thornhill, Stirling

Stay in a Sea King helicopter complete with mini kitchen, bathroom and a cockpit seating area offering stunning views over the Forth Valley. The helicopter part of Mains Farm Wigwams sleeps two adults or a family of five (two adults and three children). Theres a double bed, a single bed in the tail and seating which converts into a second double bed. The owners are currently renovating a 1959 Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer plane set to open for overnight stays next year.

Prices start from 170 per night. Call 01786 850735 or visit mainsfarmwigwams.com

Sleeperzzz, Rogart, Sutherland

Choose between a vintage railway carriage, a freight wagon or the Waiting Room B&B.

Located beside a functioning train station at Rogart (on the line between Inverness to Thurso and Wick), Sleeperzzz offers budget accommodation for backpackers, families, walkers, cyclists or those who simply fancy spending the night somewhere a bit different such as a 12-ton goods van from the 1950s.

A great base for exploring Dunrobin Castle and the North Coast 500.

Prices from 22pp per night. Call 01408 641343 or visit sleeperzzz.com

Craighead Howfs, Dunblane, Perthshire

Be transported to The Shire which could be Perthshire or JRR Tolkiens fictional Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings, depending on how you look at it with these magical Hobbit Howfs.

The Burrow and Bagend are built into the hillside with grassy roofs and round doors for an unforgettable glamping experience. Craighead Howfs also offers the chance to stay in a treehouse with panoramic views over the Ochils and a secluded summer house.

Prices start from 105 per night. Call 01786 880321 or visit craigheadhowf.co.uk

The Bus Stop, Gifford, East Lothian

If you have ever wanted to enjoy a Summer Holiday in the vein of the 1963 film, look no further. This fleet of buses in a field belonging to an arable farm in East Lothian have been transformed into holiday accommodation with armchairs, sofas, lanterns, hot flasks, log stoves and beds.

Each bus has a private wood-fired hot tub and barbecue/fire pit. Choose from rustic or luxury the latter have en suite bathrooms and swish mod cons. Oh, and theres gorgeous views of the Lammermuir Hills.

Prices from 180 for a two-night stay. Call 07508 421888 or visit thebusstop.scot

Brockloch Eco Retreat, Kirkpatrick Durham, Castle Douglas

Featured on George Clarkes Amazing Spaces, Brockloch Eco Retreat is small but perfectly formed. Located on a working farm, theres two units: a contemporary, off-grid, micro-timber bothy facing into an open field and an incredible treehouse hideaway within a bluebell wood where the closest neighbours are red squirrels.

The treehouse has a built-in double bed with a skylight to gaze at the treetops and stars as you drift off to sleep. This part of the world is a great place to see red kites.

Prices from 300 for a two-night stay. Call 01556 650249 or visit brockloch.co.uk

Black Isle Yurts, Eathie Hill, Rosemarkie

Set in private woodland, all of the yurts within this eco-sensitive, wild-glamping site are based on designs used by nomadic people in Central Asia for thousands of years.

In keeping with the Scottish climate, the traditional felt outer shell has been replaced with a waterproof canvas and theres a wood-burning stove to stay cosy on cooler nights. The site is a short drive from Chanonry Point which is fantastic for dolphin spotting.

Prices from 180 for a two-night stay. Call 01381 620634 or visit blackisleyurts.co.uk

Rua Reidh Lighthouse, near Gairloch, Wester Ross

Built in 1912 by David Alan Stevenson, a cousin of the writer Robert Louis Stevenson and one of the famous Lighthouse Stevensons, this beautiful, remote location offers B&B and self-catering, the latter in the charmingly named First Officers Quarters.

Endless views, a glorious stretch of coastline, abundant bird and sea life, tranquillity, solitude and the thrill of potentially catching a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis on dark, starry nights awaits.

Prices start from 115 per night. Call 01445 771263 or visit stayatalighthouse.co.uk

Calgary, Mull

Not to be confused with the skyscraper-filled city in Alberta, this little corner of Mull is a delight.

A byre, hayloft and dovecote are among the self-catering properties available at Calgary, each with its own distinctive character. Calgary also has an excellent cafe, art gallery and a woodland sculpture walk.

Theres a beach within strolling distance where Robins Boat sells Isle of Mull ice cream. Sea eagles, otters and basking sharks can all be seen nearby.

Prices start from 400 for a seven-night stay. Call 01688 400256 or visit calgary.co.uk

The Scriptorium Apartments at St Benedicts Abbey, Fort Augustus

The Scriptorium the once secret writing room of the monastery has two one-bedroom apartments with vaulted ceilings, gothic archways and stained-glass windows. Theres plenty to do in the grounds and gardens, be it tennis, badminton, croquet or giant chess. The former Monks Refectory has been converted into a Club Lounge and a chapel refurbished to incorporate a heated pool, sauna and steam room.

Prices start from 500 for a two-night stay. Call 07748 867825 or visit parrandier.com

The Brochs of Coigach, near Achiltibuie, Ullapool

Brochs are an ancient dwelling found only in Scotland, dating back to 500BC. Gille Buidhes Broch and Scals Broch are a bit younger than that (around a decade old) and beautifully enchanting structures.

If you love upcycling, they will impress, built using stones from old, crumbling walls on nearby land and timber recovered from a dilapidated Victorian pier. Oil paintings by John Bellany hang on the walls, alongside display cabinets filled with weird and wonderful objects.

Prices from 140 per night. Call 01854 622368 or visit thebrochs.co.uk

The Four Sisters Boatel, Edinburgh

Tucked away in the heart of the Scottish capital, this houseboat is permanently moored at the Lochrin Basin on the Union Canal the eastern terminus for the 32-mile stretch of water that comes all the way from Falkirk. Sleeping up to six adults and two children, it is an ideal base to explore Edinburgh, with Bruntsfield and the West End, as well as the Old and New Towns, all just a stones throw away.

Prices start from 120 per night. Call 07445 494331 or visit thefoursisters.co.uk

The Sawmill at Glen Dye, Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Talk about enjoying the great outdoors in style. Stay in a sleek, refurbished 1950s Airstream Safari caravan in a small pine wood beside the fast flowing lade of a sawmill.

A rustic, wooden seed store with roots back to the 1800s serves as the kitchen, dining and sitting room. There are games, books, a record player and a memorable barbecue spot. Glen Dye also offers a river cabin, a bothy and two steading cottages, as well as running residential courses in crafts and wild food.

Prices start from 490 for a two-night stay. Call 01330 850689 or visit glendyecabinsandcottages.com

See the article here:

Lighthouse to hobbit hole: 13 unusual and quirky places to holiday in Scotland - Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald

Lighthouse to hobbit hole: 13 unusual and quirky places to holiday in Scotland – TheGazette.co.uk

IF you are looking for a staycation that stokes the imagination, Scotland has no shortage of unusual and quirky gems.

With the nations tourism sector now reopened, weve put together a list of some of our favourite awe-inspiring holiday accommodation.

Places that bring together architectural wizardry and painstaking refurbishment to breathe new life and use into everything from a lighthouse to a modern-day broch and erstwhile modes of transportation, including buses, train carriages and even a helicopter.

Roulotte Retreat, near Melrose, Scottish Borders

There is something wonderfully romantic about this circle of seven colourful roulottes (Romany-style caravans) located in a pretty wildflower meadow below the Eildon Hills.

Each roulotte faces onto a lochan at the centre of the site. Facilities include sunset decks, wood-burning stoves, eco saunas and hot tubs. Its a perfect getaway for nature lovers with owls, deer, foxes, and badgers among the regular visitors.

Prices start from 115 per night. Call 07990 744044 or visit roulotteretreat.com

Helicopter Glamping, Mains Farm Wigwams, Thornhill, Stirling

Stay in a Sea King helicopter complete with mini kitchen, bathroom and a cockpit seating area offering stunning views over the Forth Valley. The helicopter part of Mains Farm Wigwams sleeps two adults or a family of five (two adults and three children). Theres a double bed, a single bed in the tail and seating which converts into a second double bed. The owners are currently renovating a 1959 Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer plane set to open for overnight stays next year.

Prices start from 170 per night. Call 01786 850735 or visit mainsfarmwigwams.com

Sleeperzzz, Rogart, Sutherland

Choose between a vintage railway carriage, a freight wagon or the Waiting Room B&B.

Located beside a functioning train station at Rogart (on the line between Inverness to Thurso and Wick), Sleeperzzz offers budget accommodation for backpackers, families, walkers, cyclists or those who simply fancy spending the night somewhere a bit different such as a 12-ton goods van from the 1950s.

A great base for exploring Dunrobin Castle and the North Coast 500.

Prices from 22pp per night. Call 01408 641343 or visit sleeperzzz.com

Craighead Howfs, Dunblane, Perthshire

Be transported to The Shire which could be Perthshire or JRR Tolkiens fictional Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings, depending on how you look at it with these magical Hobbit Howfs.

The Burrow and Bagend are built into the hillside with grassy roofs and round doors for an unforgettable glamping experience. Craighead Howfs also offers the chance to stay in a treehouse with panoramic views over the Ochils and a secluded summer house.

Prices start from 105 per night. Call 01786 880321 or visit craigheadhowf.co.uk

The Bus Stop, Gifford, East Lothian

If you have ever wanted to enjoy a Summer Holiday in the vein of the 1963 film, look no further. This fleet of buses in a field belonging to an arable farm in East Lothian have been transformed into holiday accommodation with armchairs, sofas, lanterns, hot flasks, log stoves and beds.

Each bus has a private wood-fired hot tub and barbecue/fire pit. Choose from rustic or luxury the latter have en suite bathrooms and swish mod cons. Oh, and theres gorgeous views of the Lammermuir Hills.

Prices from 180 for a two-night stay. Call 07508 421888 or visit thebusstop.scot

Brockloch Eco Retreat, Kirkpatrick Durham, Castle Douglas

Featured on George Clarkes Amazing Spaces, Brockloch Eco Retreat is small but perfectly formed. Located on a working farm, theres two units: a contemporary, off-grid, micro-timber bothy facing into an open field and an incredible treehouse hideaway within a bluebell wood where the closest neighbours are red squirrels.

The treehouse has a built-in double bed with a skylight to gaze at the treetops and stars as you drift off to sleep. This part of the world is a great place to see red kites.

Prices from 300 for a two-night stay. Call 01556 650249 or visit brockloch.co.uk

Black Isle Yurts, Eathie Hill, Rosemarkie

Set in private woodland, all of the yurts within this eco-sensitive, wild-glamping site are based on designs used by nomadic people in Central Asia for thousands of years.

In keeping with the Scottish climate, the traditional felt outer shell has been replaced with a waterproof canvas and theres a wood-burning stove to stay cosy on cooler nights. The site is a short drive from Chanonry Point which is fantastic for dolphin spotting.

Prices from 180 for a two-night stay. Call 01381 620634 or visit blackisleyurts.co.uk

Rua Reidh Lighthouse, near Gairloch, Wester Ross

Built in 1912 by David Alan Stevenson, a cousin of the writer Robert Louis Stevenson and one of the famous Lighthouse Stevensons, this beautiful, remote location offers B&B and self-catering, the latter in the charmingly named First Officers Quarters.

Endless views, a glorious stretch of coastline, abundant bird and sea life, tranquillity, solitude and the thrill of potentially catching a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis on dark, starry nights awaits.

Prices start from 115 per night. Call 01445 771263 or visit stayatalighthouse.co.uk

Calgary, Mull

Not to be confused with the skyscraper-filled city in Alberta, this little corner of Mull is a delight.

A byre, hayloft and dovecote are among the self-catering properties available at Calgary, each with its own distinctive character. Calgary also has an excellent cafe, art gallery and a woodland sculpture walk.

Theres a beach within strolling distance where Robins Boat sells Isle of Mull ice cream. Sea eagles, otters and basking sharks can all be seen nearby.

Prices start from 400 for a seven-night stay. Call 01688 400256 or visit calgary.co.uk

The Scriptorium Apartments at St Benedicts Abbey, Fort Augustus

The Scriptorium the once secret writing room of the monastery has two one-bedroom apartments with vaulted ceilings, gothic archways and stained-glass windows. Theres plenty to do in the grounds and gardens, be it tennis, badminton, croquet or giant chess. The former Monks Refectory has been converted into a Club Lounge and a chapel refurbished to incorporate a heated pool, sauna and steam room.

Prices start from 500 for a two-night stay. Call 07748 867825 or visit parrandier.com

The Brochs of Coigach, near Achiltibuie, Ullapool

Brochs are an ancient dwelling found only in Scotland, dating back to 500BC. Gille Buidhes Broch and Scals Broch are a bit younger than that (around a decade old) and beautifully enchanting structures.

If you love upcycling, they will impress, built using stones from old, crumbling walls on nearby land and timber recovered from a dilapidated Victorian pier. Oil paintings by John Bellany hang on the walls, alongside display cabinets filled with weird and wonderful objects.

Prices from 140 per night. Call 01854 622368 or visit thebrochs.co.uk

The Four Sisters Boatel, Edinburgh

Tucked away in the heart of the Scottish capital, this houseboat is permanently moored at the Lochrin Basin on the Union Canal the eastern terminus for the 32-mile stretch of water that comes all the way from Falkirk. Sleeping up to six adults and two children, it is an ideal base to explore Edinburgh, with Bruntsfield and the West End, as well as the Old and New Towns, all just a stones throw away.

Prices start from 120 per night. Call 07445 494331 or visit thefoursisters.co.uk

The Sawmill at Glen Dye, Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Talk about enjoying the great outdoors in style. Stay in a sleek, refurbished 1950s Airstream Safari caravan in a small pine wood beside the fast flowing lade of a sawmill.

A rustic, wooden seed store with roots back to the 1800s serves as the kitchen, dining and sitting room. There are games, books, a record player and a memorable barbecue spot. Glen Dye also offers a river cabin, a bothy and two steading cottages, as well as running residential courses in crafts and wild food.

Prices start from 490 for a two-night stay. Call 01330 850689 or visit glendyecabinsandcottages.com

Read more:

Lighthouse to hobbit hole: 13 unusual and quirky places to holiday in Scotland - TheGazette.co.uk

Staycation nation: 13 unusual and quirky places to holiday in Scotland – HeraldScotland

IF you are looking for a staycation that stokes the imagination, Scotland has no shortage of unusual and quirky gems.

With the nations tourism sector now reopened, weve put together a list of some of our favourite awe-inspiring holiday accommodation.

Places that bring together architectural wizardry and painstaking refurbishment to breathe new life and use into everything from a lighthouse to a modern-day broch and erstwhile modes of transportation, including buses, train carriages and even a helicopter.

Roulotte Retreat, near Melrose, Scottish Borders

There is something wonderfully romantic about this circle of seven colourful roulottes (Romany-style caravans) located in a pretty wildflower meadow below the Eildon Hills. Each roulotte faces onto a lochan at the centre of the site. Facilities include sunset decks, wood-burning stoves, eco saunas and hot tubs. Its a perfect getaway for nature lovers with owls, deer, foxes, and badgers among the regular visitors.

Prices start from 115 per night. Call 07990 744044 or visit roulotteretreat.com

Helicopter Glamping, Mains Farm Wigwams, Thornhill, Stirling

Stay in a Sea King helicopter complete with mini kitchen, bathroom and a cockpit seating area offering stunning views over the Forth Valley. The helicopter part of Mains Farm Wigwams sleeps two adults or a family of five (two adults and three children). Theres a double bed, a single bed in the tail and seating which converts into a second double bed. The owners are currently renovating a 1959 Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer plane set to open for overnight stays next year.

Prices start from 170 per night. Call 01786 850735 or visit mainsfarmwigwams.com

READ MORE:Scotland reopens: Our favourite views, picnic spots, drives, walks, hills, lochs and beaches

Sleeperzzz, Rogart, Sutherland

Choose between a vintage railway carriage, a freight wagon or the Waiting Room B&B. Located beside a functioning train station at Rogart (on the line between Inverness to Thurso and Wick), Sleeperzzz offers budget accommodation for backpackers, families, walkers, cyclists or those who simply fancy spending the night somewhere a bit different such as a 12-ton goods van from the 1950s. A great base for exploring Dunrobin Castle and the North Coast 500.

Prices from 22pp per night. Call 01408 641343 or visit sleeperzzz.com

Craighead Howfs, Dunblane, Perthshire

Be transported to The Shire which could be Perthshire or JRR Tolkiens fictional Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings, depending on how you look at it with these magical Hobbit Howfs. The Burrow and Bagend are built into the hillside with grassy roofs and round doors for an unforgettable glamping experience. Craighead Howfs also offers the chance to stay in a treehouse with panoramic views over the Ochils and a secluded summer house.

Prices start from 105 per night. Call 01786 880321 or visit craigheadhowf.co.uk

The Bus Stop, Gifford, East Lothian

If you have ever wanted to enjoy a Summer Holiday in the vein of the 1963 film, look no further. This fleet of buses in a field belonging to an arable farm in East Lothian have been transformed into holiday accommodation with armchairs, sofas, lanterns, hot flasks, log stoves and beds. Each bus has a private wood-fired hot tub and barbecue/fire pit. Choose from rustic or luxury the latter have en suite bathrooms and swish mod cons. Oh, and theres gorgeous views of the Lammermuir Hills.

Prices from 180 for a two-night stay. Call 07508 421888 or visit thebusstop.scot

READ MORE:Secrets of a crumbling castle and the heroines who defended it

Brockloch Eco Retreat, Kirkpatrick Durham, Castle Douglas

Featured on George Clarkes Amazing Spaces, Brockloch Eco Retreat is small but perfectly formed. Located on a working farm, theres two units: a contemporary, off-grid, micro-timber bothy facing into an open field and an incredible treehouse hideaway within a bluebell wood where the closest neighbours are red squirrels. The treehouse has a built-in double bed with a skylight to gaze at the treetops and stars as you drift off to sleep. This part of the world is a great place to see red kites.

Prices from 300 for a two-night stay. Call 01556 650249 or visit brockloch.co.uk

Black Isle Yurts, Eathie Hill, Rosemarkie

Set in private woodland, all of the yurts within this eco-sensitive, wild-glamping site are based on designs used by nomadic people in Central Asia for thousands of years. In keeping with the Scottish climate, the traditional felt outer shell has been replaced with a waterproof canvas and theres a wood-burning stove to stay cosy on cooler nights. The site is a short drive from Chanonry Point which is fantastic for dolphin spotting.

Prices from 180 for a two-night stay. Call 01381 620634 or visit blackisleyurts.co.uk

Rua Reidh Lighthouse, near Gairloch, Wester Ross

Built in 1912 by David Alan Stevenson, a cousin of the writer Robert Louis Stevenson and one of the famous Lighthouse Stevensons, this beautiful, remote location offers B&B and self-catering, the latter in the charmingly named First Officers Quarters. Endless views, a glorious stretch of coastline, abundant bird and sea life, tranquillity, solitude and the thrill of potentially catching a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis on dark, starry nights awaits.

Prices start from 115 per night. Call 01445 771263 or visit stayatalighthouse.co.uk

READ MORE:Summer Reads 2020: The 30 best beach and holiday books

Calgary, Mull

Not to be confused with the skyscraper-filled city in Alberta, this little corner of Mull is a delight. A byre, hayloft and dovecote are among the self-catering properties available at Calgary, each with its own distinctive character. Calgary also has an excellent cafe, art gallery and a woodland sculpture walk. Theres a beach within strolling distance where Robins Boat sells Isle of Mull ice cream. Sea eagles, otters and basking sharks can all be seen nearby.

Prices start from 400 for a seven-night stay. Call 01688 400256 or visit calgary.co.uk

The Scriptorium Apartments at St Benedicts Abbey, Fort Augustus

The Scriptorium the once secret writing room of the monastery has two one-bedroom apartments with vaulted ceilings, gothic archways and stained-glass windows. Theres plenty to do in the grounds and gardens, be it tennis, badminton, croquet or giant chess. The former Monks Refectory has been converted into a Club Lounge and a chapel refurbished to incorporate a heated pool, sauna and steam room.

Prices start from 500 for a two-night stay. Call 07748 867825 or visit parrandier.com

The Brochs of Coigach, near Achiltibuie, Ullapool

Brochs are an ancient dwelling found only in Scotland, dating back to 500BC. Gille Buidhes Broch and Scals Broch are a bit younger than that (around a decade old) and beautifully enchanting structures. If you love upcycling, they will impress, built using stones from old, crumbling walls on nearby land and timber recovered from a dilapidated Victorian pier. Oil paintings by John Bellany hang on the walls, alongside display cabinets filled with weird and wonderful objects.

Prices from 140 per night. Call 01854 622368 or visit thebrochs.co.uk

READ MORE:The remarkable secrets of Edinburgh landmark Arthur's Seat

The Four Sisters Boatel, Edinburgh

Tucked away in the heart of the Scottish capital, this houseboat is permanently moored at the Lochrin Basin on the Union Canal the eastern terminus for the 32-mile stretch of water that comes all the way from Falkirk. Sleeping up to six adults and two children, it is an ideal base to explore Edinburgh, with Bruntsfield and the West End, as well as the Old and New Towns, all just a stones throw away.

Prices start from 120 per night. Call 07445 494331 or visit thefoursisters.co.uk

The Sawmill at Glen Dye, Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Talk about enjoying the great outdoors in style. Stay in a sleek, refurbished 1950s Airstream Safari caravan in a small pine wood beside the fast flowing lade of a sawmill. A rustic, wooden seed store with roots back to the 1800s serves as the kitchen, dining and sitting room. There are games, books, a record player and a memorable barbecue spot. Glen Dye also offers a river cabin, a bothy and two steading cottages, as well as running residential courses in crafts and wild food.

Prices start from 490 for a two-night stay. Call 01330 850689 or visit glendyecabinsandcottages.com

Continue reading here:

Staycation nation: 13 unusual and quirky places to holiday in Scotland - HeraldScotland

Floating Cities: The UN’s Solution to Land Scarcity or Science Fiction Dream? – Propmodo

Imagine a fully-functional city, bobbing in the ocean waters, floating like a rubber duck in the tub. The city and all of its occupants gradually follow natures ebb and flow, coasting along the earths currents. Does this sound like science fiction? Thats because it is. But the plans for floating city developments, along with the technology enabling them to work, already exist. In fact, two seasteading proponents successfully lived on the first ever floating modular seastead prototype, created by Ocean Builders. The couple, made up of retired Bitcoin investor Chad Elwartowski and Thai native Nadia Summergirl, are touted as the first seasteaders, according to the Seasteading Institute, whose goal is to build politically-autonomous cities on the sea. But the first seasteaders stay was cut short when the Thai navy confiscated the prototype after just a few weeks because they claimed it threatened the nations sovereignty and interfered with international shipping routesa large feat for such a tiny vessel and a crime that can be punishable by death in Thailand.

Ocean Builders has since begun a new venture in Panama to test their Seapod concept. They are currently accepting applications for seasteaders that want to join their Panama Incubator, that boasts one of the worlds largest 3D printers, which they intend to use for printing smart homes as well as a coral reef. Not so long ago, the idea of printing a coral reef would have also been written off as science fiction, so perhaps there is a possible future where floating cities exist. Elwartowski, who is in Panama working on the project, released a video in March describing plans to continue full-steam ahead. In regards to the COVID-19 outbreak, Elwartowski said, Weve been working hard, trying to get everything still going. We are not going to stop through the virus. Later in the video, which tests an underwater drone, he continued, No matter if youre scared of the virus or the reaction to the virus, living out on the ocean will be helpful for both of those situations.

Elwartowski doesnt go into detail on how he envisions floating cities being useful for situations like COVID-19. But I spoke with Brydon T. Wang, a technology and construction lawyer and a researcher at the Queensland University of Technology. Wang, who studied architecture and public policy in addition to law, explained that floating cities could provide flexibility in terms of use, allowing buildings to be mobile and reprogrammable to different parts of the city and beyond. In terms of COVID-19, he said, floating emergency housing facilities could be repurposed and attached to cities and used for quarantine facilities. Converting buildings into temporary hospitals during the pandemic has been a huge challenge for everyone involved, requiring people to work around the clock to get these treatment centers open for use. Floating cities could help alleviate this stress. Wang said, These floating structures could come with state-of-the-art medical facilities that can be towed to areas [or] cities of need, depending on how each site is impacted by new waves of COVID-19 infections (or any other pandemic).

Wang also gave the example of how the widespread bushfires in Australia caused a need for emergency evacuation, stranding thousands of people on a beach in Mallacoota. When navy vessels were sent to evacuate them, families with infants and toddlers could not evacuate as they needed to climb ropes to get onto the vessels, Wang explained. In emergency situations, accessibility can be the difference between life or death for societys most vulnerable members who lack the mobility to escape without assistance. Floating emergency structures can be designed to have easier accessibility, closer to the waters surface, as well as on site emergency housing and all of the facilities needed to sustain displaced communities for extended periods of timeperhaps even full time.

Last year, as a part of its Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, the United Nations announced an initiative to research floating city developments as a sustainable solution to the growing problem of urban density, land scarcity, and climate change. During a high-level roundtable on the topic, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed explained that the way weve built cities in the past, citing New York and Nairobi as examples, is not sustainable for the future because of their impact on climate change and susceptibility to rising sea levels. She explained how floating cities can help communities in places like Bangkok, where the risk of flooding threatens to destroy them. Mohammed cited other examples including Lagos, where the urban poor have responded to the lack of land and a growing population by living in floating villages on the outskirts of town. She also mentioned Singapore, where scarcity of land has led to massive reclamation, expanding the citys size by almost a quarter (and undoubtedly destroying marine habitats in the process).

Land reclamation can have detrimental environmental impacts, and according to Wang, its also a slow processthe ground needs to settle after you create it. However, you could manufacture multiple modules of floating structures at different sites and assemble these on-location comparatively quicker than land reclamation. Floating developments are far more eco-friendly than land reclamation, but they are also more resilient to the effects of climate change. Floating cities are a means of ensuring climate resilience, as buildings can rise along with the sea, Mohammed said. Land reclamation developments, on the other hand, are still susceptible to rising sea levels and flooding. Wang reiterated these sentiments and added, Floating structures are also earthquake resistant unlike reclaimed land.

Mohammed provided examples where successful floating development precedents exist: Cities such as Seattle, Jakarta and Mexico City have made way for houseboats and floating markets for some time, expanding the places where people can live and work onto the sea. A few summers ago, I visited Victoria, British Columbia, which boasts one of these floating markets called Fishermans Wharf. Shops, restaurants, boats, and colorful float homes are all connected by a grid of docks along the harbor. I remember thinking that the unique location probably garnered a premium for float home rentalswhat tourist wouldnt want to wake up to a harbor seal splashing outside their window? It turns out that these particular float homes were not for rent, but the added tourism benefit could help cities broaden their economic activity.

Existing floating developments, like those in Victoria, often run on the same power sources as the mainland and require the same access to utilities as land developments. However, the newer, more futuristic floating city models run autonomously on green energy with net zero emissions and actually support marine environments rather than disturb them. When entire floating communities are designed from scratch, they can be designed as climateneutral from the onset. Why not use the abundant wind and water to cover all of their electricity needs? said Mohammed.

Elwartowskis confiscated prototype ran on solar provided by rooftop panels. Many of these floating city concepts include things like hydroponic grow walls to farm food and ways to convert algae into energy or rain into usable water. More advanced concepts like Oceanix, designed by BIG architecture firm, or Aequorea, a futuristic oceanscraper by Vincent Callebaut, also boast fully developed underwater marine habitats that thrive just below the waters surfacea Utopian Atlantis that looks as though it could house mermaids as well as people. Some of these concepts can feel a bit foreign or hard to imagine in real life. They end up lumped in with flying cars and actual hoverboards (not those wheel-based imitations that caught fire and ruined Christmas a few years back). But what if, instead of dumping money into land reclamation and the creation of artificial islands, we focused on actual, sustainable floating city concepts?

Elwartowski may have been onto something when he said that COVID-19 could act as a catalyst in helping people realize the value of living on the sea. Indeed, densely-populated places like New York City have seen a recent exodus of people moving to the suburbs. Whether the result of the work from home movement, a desire to avoid crowds, or because so many businesses (and livelihoods) were shut down, the flocks of people leaving the city for more rural areas means that urban density could be less of an issue in the future. But Wang sees this shift in urban density happening only to a certain degree: In many places, there are limits to how much the suburban surrounds can absorb increased population growth.

COVID-19 also seemed to be a catalyst in lessening the impacts of climate change. Many cities reported reduced smog and clearer skies as people across the world were forced to stay home, meaning less cars on the road and less energy consumption. While these COVID-19 side effects may only be temporary, they also teach us important lessons about the futures possibilities. We have a legitimate conundrum: continue excavating land from the sea to bulk up our coasts, protect us from rising sea levels, and provide more land to build upon, or explore different directions.

While seasteaders like Elwartowski might be after autonomy to self govern, the concept could also be used to create more of these live-work-play floating markets like Fishermans Wharf in Victoria, but on a grander scale. Floating cities dont necessarily need to drift through international waters. They could instead be used as a portable extension of land. Mohammed welcomes both humble houseboats and oceanscrapers alike in the discussion about sustainable floating cities. She also approaches it in a practical way, much like any other commercial development with partnerships that allow stakeholders in various roles to contribute expertise.

Innovators, researchers and private sector leaders can develop the technologies that allow floating cities and buildings to be constructed in a manner that is sustainable, resilient, and liveable. Governments can create [] incentives for innovation to thrive. And local authorities can facilitate the construction of pilot projects, Mohammed said. Much like the planning of any city, floating cities will rely on technology to establish an infrastructure that supports the needs of the population. Floating cities dont need to be libertarian utopias of the future. They can be more sustainable extensions of the cities that already exista green alternative to destructive land reclamation or deforestation, a solution to land scarcity that doesnt require actual land.

More:

Floating Cities: The UN's Solution to Land Scarcity or Science Fiction Dream? - Propmodo

Seasteading a vanity project for the rich or the future of humanity? – The Guardian

A white steel pole rises out of the sea off the Caribbean coast of Panama, poking above the waves like the funnel of a sunken steamship. Launched into the water last month, this is no shipwreck, but the base of what will soon become a floating home and, in the eyes of its makers, the first step towards building a brave new post-Covid-19 society, out on the open ocean.

Coronavirus is an opportunity to show the world that what were building is actually going to be very useful in the future, says Chad Elwartowski, in a recent video post from his beachside base in Panama. The Michigan-born software engineer turned bitcoin trader is a leading figure in the seasteading movement, a libertarian group dedicated to building independent floating cities on the high seas. Along with the bunker builders and survivalist preppers, their long-held ambitions have been bolstered by the current global pandemic. No matter if youre scared of the virus or the reaction to the virus, he adds, living out on the ocean will be helpful for these situations.

It is not the first time Elwartowski has attempted to realise his dream of a floating future. In April last year, he and his Thai partner Supranee Thepdet (aka Nadia Summergirl), were forced to flee their first floating home off the coast of Thailand, just moments before it was raided by the Thai navy. They had constructed what they declared to be the first seastead 12 nautical miles from Phuket, but the authorities decided that the six metre-wide fibreglass cabin, perched on top of a floating pole, posed a threat to Thailands sovereignty. It was an offence punishable by life imprisonment or even the death penalty. The couple announced on social media declaring their autonomy beyond the jurisdiction of any courts or law of any countries, including Thailand, said Rear Admiral Vithanarat Kochaseni, adding that they had invited others to join them. We see such action as deteriorating Thailands independence.

After a few weeks on the run, dodging Thai patrol boats and eventually making their way to Singapore, the couple moved to Panama to relaunch their company, Ocean Builders with the financial backer of the project, Rdiger Koch, a retired German aerospace engineer. This event has doubled down our efforts, the group said in a statement, following the Thai ordeal. We can all clearly see that seasteading needs to happen now as tyranny creeps ever more deeply into our governments to the point that they are willing to hunt down a couple of residents residing in a floating house in middle of nowhere.

The coronavirus pandemic has given fringe libertarian groups around the world renewed vigour to pursue their dreams of building autonomous new societies. Government-enforced lockdowns and increased digital surveillance have added fuel to their suspicions of state control, while the suspension of day-to-day norms and the spectre of an economic meltdown have amplified their calls to rethink society. When youre not sure which virus is more contagious, says the slogan of a recent meme made by Americans for Liberty, shared on Elwartowskis Facebook page. Covid-19, or those fine with complete government control.

The sentiment lies at the core of the seasteading community, a disparate group that has grown since 2008, when the Seasteading Institute was founded in San Francisco by Patri Friedman. The self-styled anarcho-capitalist (and grandson of Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman) was working as a Google software engineer when he managed to attract funding from PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel to set up the institute. In a founding statement, they described its goal as being to establish permanent, autonomous ocean communities to enable experimentation and innovation with diverse social, political, and legal systems. Thiel was nothing if not confident: The nature of government is about to change at a very fundamental level, he proclaimed.

A new kind of government arises, born in Earths last free places, fated to advance the human frontier

Seasteading represents the ultimate Silicon Valley approach to governance, conceiving society as a technology that can be hacked and innovated upon as simply as an operating system. It is predicated on the idea that government regulation stifles innovation, and therefore the route to a better world can only be found by unleashing a new generation of start-up societies that are forced to compete for citizens in a free market of ideologies. Dont like the rules of your current micro-nation? Simply move to another one. We will give people the freedom to choose the government they want, said Friedman, instead of being stuck with the government they get. Its boosters see it as the route to salvation; its critics say it would lead to an apartheid of the worst kind.

Progress has been bumpy. Thiels donations soon dried up, and Friedmans plans never got much further than launching Ephemerisle a waterborne version of the Burning Man festival, staged in the Sacramento River delta near San Francisco, where rival floating pontoons compete for the attention of soggy partygoers. He has since moved his focus away from the water, recently launching a company to develop experimental cities on dry land instead. But the Seasteading Institute continues without him, headed by author and self-appointed seavangelist, Joe Quirk.

Nearly half of the worlds surface is unclaimed, says Quirk, who published a book on seasteading in 2017, with the ambitious subtitle: How floating nations will restore the environment, enrich the poor, cure the sick, and liberate humanity from politicians. In an introductory video, he describes the planets oceans as a sort of research and development zone where we could discover better means of governance, and says that seasteading could provide the technology for thousands of people to start their own nano-nation on the high seas, giving people opportunities to peacefully test new ideas about living together. The most successful seasteads, he says, will become thriving new societies, inspiring change around the world.

So far, his own attempts dont bode particularly well for the future of floating utopias. In January 2017, after years of technical feasibility studies and political negotiations, the Seasteading Institute signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of French Polynesia to build the first seasteads in its territorial waters. The designs, developed by Dutch architects Blue21, looked like a high-end resort in the Maldives, depicting a series of villas linked by an undulating green landscape. It was all to be magicked from the waters by an initial coin offering, a form of crowdfunding through selling tokens of a new cryptocurrency, all the rage among the tech community in 2017. Were going to draw a new map of the world with French Polynesia at the centre of the aquatic age, Quirk declared.

The choice of location was strategic. Comprised of almost 120 dispersed low-lying islands and atolls, French Polynesia is at severe risk of suffering devastating consequences from even the slightest rise in sea level. It also happens to boast the worlds largest exclusive economic zone, an area of sea that can stretch for 200 nautical miles from a territorys coastline, over which it can claim exclusive economic rights. At five million square kilometres, French Polynesian waters span an area as large as the landmass of the entire European Union, making it an ideal place to experiment with novel forms of aquatic jurisdiction. In theory.

We explained to the Polynesians how having a quasi-autonomous area nearby was a good thing, says Tom W Bell, professor of law at Chapman University in Orange County, California, who drew up the legal agreement for the project. Look at Monaco, or Hong Kong or Singapore special jurisdictions create a lot of growth outside their borders. In his book, Your Next Government? From the Nation State to Stateless Nations, Bell traces the projected evolution of a seastead. It would begin like a coral polyp, he writes, protected by a countrys territorial waters, where it would start to generate economic activity, enriching its environment and attracting still more life, before breaking free to start a new autonomous life on the open ocean. Ultimately, he imagines seasteads nurtured by different host nations congregating in mid-ocean gyres, sheltered within floating breakwaters. A new kind of government arises, he writes, born in Earths last free places, fated to advance the human frontier.

The reality didnt quite pan out that way in the South Pacific. There wasnt a perfect alignment of interests, says Marc Collins Chen, former minister of tourism of French Polynesia, who co-founded the company Blue Frontiers with Quirk to realise the project. The government was looking for something to address sea level rise and environmental degradation, whereas the Seasteading Institute was more about autonomy. He says that the prospect of a tax-free enclave held little appeal for the locals, given that Polynesians dont pay income tax anyway. One Tahitian TV host compared the situation to the evil Galactic Empire in Star Wars imposing on the innocent Ewoks, while secretly building the Death Star. The libertarian position didnt help either. As Collins Chen puts it: Its very difficult to ask for government support when your narrative is that you want to get rid of politicians. In retrospect, Bell agrees: They already had a beautiful paradise in French Polynesia. The local community wasnt very enthusiastic about the project, and I get it. They didnt need strangers coming in and ruining their view.

Over the next 40 years, the world is expected to build 230bn square metres in new construction. This could be a way to accommodate that growth

Collins Chen has since moved to New York, where he has established a new company to develop further plans for floating cities, this time stripped of any libertarian tax-dodging ideology. I realised that the real future for these sorts of projects has to be closer to cities, he says. They have to be an extension of an existing citys infrastructure, they need to be run by the mayor, and they have to pay their taxes as opposed to being enclaves for the wealthy.

His plan, titled Oceanix City, has been designed in slick Ted Talk style by Bjarke Ingels, the Danish architect beloved of Silicon Valley tech companies. His twinkling animations depict a floating world of interlocking hexagonal islands, where power is harvested from waves and the sun, where residents live on a diet of seaweed and fish, and where marine life is regenerated by artificial reefs. If this floating city flourishes, said Ingels in a presentation, it can then grow like a culture in a petri dish. On a screen behind him, the floating hexagons multiplied until they took up an area more than three times the size of Manhattan, a vision of low-density suburbia sprawling virulently across the sea.

Over the next 40 years, the world is expected to build 230bn square metres in new construction, says Collins Chen, the equivalent of adding one New York City every month. This could be a way to accommodate that growth, without the devastating effects of land reclamation or deforestation. He says part of the appeal is the ability to reconfigure the urban form according to changing needs, in a process of drag-and-drop city building. You could literally float one a city block away and put a different one in its place, when the need for a new school, hospital or university arose.

Remarkably, their sci-fi scheme has won the support of the United Nations sustainable development arm, UN-Habitat, which hosted a round table discussion for the project in April 2019. As global heating accelerates, sea levels rise and more people crowd into urban slums, floating cities is one of the possible solutions, said UN-Habitats executive director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif.

Back in Panama, the notion that floating habitats could be an inclusive solution to global housing need seems a long way off, to put it mildly. Despite the countrys coronavirus lockdown, the Ocean Builders team has been at work throughout, laying the foundations for a factory that will soon house the largest 3D printer in Central America, ready to produce what their website touts as the worlds first 3D-printed, smart floating home with an underwater room wrapped in an eco restorative 3D-printed coral reef yours for between $200,000 to $800,000 (160,000 to 640,000).

In light of the global pandemic, were really focusing on making the homes feel like a kind of lifeboat, says the companys CEO, Grant Romundt, who worked on the Freedom Ship project in Florida in the 1990s, an aborted plan to build a mile-long cruise ship for 40,000 people, topped with a runway. They should be a safe place to escape to and be totally energy independent, with solar panels on the roof, water desalination on board, waste collection by drone, and aeroponic systems to grow your own food.

Designed by Koen Olthuis of Dutch architecture practice Waterstudio, the plans for the luxury SeaPods look like a row of gigantic motorbike helmets on poles, sticking up out of the sea in pearlescent shades of blue, green and grey. We wanted to have something that was very futuristic looking, very clean and flowing, says Romundt. I didnt want to have a 90-degree corner anywhere in the house. I think thats bad feng shui. The interiors recall supersized sanitaryware, envisaged as white, wipe-clean worlds of free-flowing surfaces, echoing retro-futuristic visions of streamlined space capsules. The similarity is no accident: for company founder, Rdiger Koch, seasteading is merely a stepping stone for trialling exploits in space. He has long harboured plans to build a cable launch loop to propel payloads into space without rockets, and he sees the ocean as the perfect launchpad. There are almost only large open spaces at sea, he told German regional newspaper, Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, and you need them to make sure that nothing goes wrong and nobody is hit by possible flying parts.

Romundt insists that the company is merely building floating holiday homes, which will be registered as boats under the Panama flag for legal purposes, and likely operate on a timeshare basis. That would give you the slow adjustment period, he says, then more of an economy would start to build as more people come requiring more services, and it would start to self-perpetuate and grow.

For Bell, the ultimate goal is to see such floating communities raise their own flags in the open ocean. Right now, a self-flagged seastead would have effectively no status at all in international law, he says. The coast guard would show up, assume you were either a pirate or a floating meth lab, and tow you right back in to shore. But if seasteaders can say they have enough people and a big enough territory, and start flagging themselves, thats when things will start to get interesting.

And if they fail? Thats the marvellous thing about seasteads, says Quirk. If a government fails, theres nothing much the people who live there can do about it, but if seasteads fail, they simply disassemble and go away seeing all those bitcoin dollars sink into the sea just as quickly as they were conjured.

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Seasteading a vanity project for the rich or the future of humanity? - The Guardian

Billionaire ‘Seasteading’ Obsessives Believe The Time Is Now [Video] – 2oceansvibe News

[imagesource: OCEANIX]

The concept of seasteading isnt new, but it has been gaining traction over the past two years or so.

Seasteading is a term used to describe man-made islands, or rather cities, built in the ocean.

These arent your reclaimed plastic, hippy islands, though.

Theyre high tech superstructures aimed at sustainable living not dissimilar to the ones that youll find in Dubai, or that floating hotel in Sweden, only bigger and aimed at housing entire communities.

Theyre billed as a solution to climate change and rising seas levels, but The Guardian isnt convinced.

The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired fringe libertarian groups to double down on their dreams of building new, autonomous societies.

Lockdowns, increased surveillance, and complete governmental control have added fuel to their already entrenched suspicions of state control.

The sentiment lies at the core of the seasteading community, a disparate group that has grown since 2008, when the Seasteading Institute was founded in San Francisco by Patri Friedman. The self-styled anarcho-capitalist (and grandson of Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman) was working as a Google software engineer when he managed to attract funding from PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel to set up the institute.

In a founding statement, they described its goal as being to establish permanent, autonomous ocean communities to enable experimentation and innovation with diverse social, political, and legal systems.

Thiel was nothing if not confident: The nature of government is about to change at a very fundamental level, he proclaimed.

Seasteading is the ultimate Silicon Valley approach to governance. It imagines society as a type of technology that can be tinkered with and innovated, and indeed saved by a series of start-up societies.

Think of it as the social media of brick and mortar living spaces with unique ideologies independent of the rule of law.

Dont like Facebook? Move to Instagram. Only this time its man-made islands, not social media platforms.

Seasteading company OCEANIXsees what theyre doing as a solution to rapid population growth and climate change.

The ocean is under threat from land reclamation. As coastal cities struggle to cope with rapid population growth, many simply pour sand into the ocean to create new land.

Unfettered coastal urbanization is destroying millions of hectares of the ocean and marine life; close to 50 percent of people in the world live in coastal areas. The rising sea and climate change are compounding the problem. Oceanix is taking bold steps towards a more resilient future.

Oceanix designs and builds floating cities for people to live sustainably on the ocean. We believe humanity can live in harmony with life below water. It is not a question of one versus the other. The technology exists for us to live on water, while nature continues to thrive under.

Oceanix is trailblazing a new industry with blue technologies that meet humanitys shelter, energy, water and food needs without killing marine ecosystems.

OCEANIX CITY, their pilot project, is supposed to house 10 000 residents, with modular neighbourhoods housing up to 300 residents apiece.

This video from last year, shows the concept behind OCEANIXs seasteading project:

These super seasteads arent the only projects in the works.

Back to The Guardian for a classic example of the pursuit of seasteading freedom found in the tale of Chad Elwartowsk, who recently tried his hand at his own seastead for the second time.

Heres what happened the first time:

They had constructed what they declared to be the first seastead 12 nautical miles from Phuket, but the authorities decided that the six metre-wide fibreglass cabin, perched on top of a floating pole, posed a threat to Thailands sovereignty.

It was an offence punishable by life imprisonment or even the death penalty. The couple announced on social media declaring their autonomy beyond the jurisdiction of any courts or law of any countries, including Thailand, said Rear Admiral Vithanarat Kochaseni, adding that they had invited others to join them. We see such action as deteriorating Thailands independence.

And here it is being towed away by the Royal Thai Navy:

While seasteading might seem like a utopian and sustainable plan for the future, the reality is that the growing interest from billionaires like Peter Thiel paints a different picture.

The likelihood that your average Joe is going to be able to afford a place on the OCEANIX seastead and others like it is highly improbable.

The drive to create communities outside of the rule of law also poses obvious problems.

Weve all readThe Lord of the Flies although what would really happen if a bunch of young boys were stranded on a remote island may differ wildly from the outcome imagined by Willam Golding.

Read the Guardians superb article on the real Lord of the Flies story, when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months, here.

[source:guardian&oceanix]

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Billionaire 'Seasteading' Obsessives Believe The Time Is Now [Video] - 2oceansvibe News

This libertarian Bitcoin trader wants to build a city on the sea – Decrypt

Chad Elwartowski, an American software engineer turned Bitcoin trader, is one of the leading lights of the "seasteading" movementa libertarian drive to build independent floating cities on the high seas. Right now, he's constructing a prototype for the worlds first 3D-printed, smart, floating home, off the Caribbean coast of Panama. A prior effort, in Thailand, was towed off by the Thai navy in 2019.

Interest in seasteading is enjoying a renaissance among libertarian, tech millionaires, keen to escape the threat of increasing government surveillance. The movement has come a long way since entrepreneurs Peter Thiel and Patri Friedman (grandson of eminent economist Milton) launched the Seasteading Institute in 2008.

Coronavirus is an opportunity to show the world that what were building is actually going to be very useful in the future, said Elwartowski, in a recent video update on his project.

But Elwartowskis vision has changed since his first attempt at seasteading in Thailand, when he and his Thai partner Supranee Thepdet were forced to flee, dodging Thai patrol boats. He was tipped off that the authorities had determined that the fiberglass cabin, on top of a floating pole, posed a threat to the country's sovereigntypunishable by death.

Now, theyve settled in Panama and joined a local business called Ocean Builders, which is creating 30 "seapods," and selling them on the open market for between $200,000 to $800,000 each. The pods will be registered as boats under the Panama flag for legal purposes.

Its somewhat ironic that staunch libertarians are now asking for government permission to complete their utopian dreams. But the fact is that attempts, over the years, to set up floating societies have flounderedeven those sanctioned by national governments.

In 2017, the French Polynesian government approved the Seasteading Institutes plans for an autonomous community near the French Polynesian coast, using a cryptocurrency called Varyon. However, the authorities rescinded its approval a year later, in response to objections of tech colonialism by the residents of Tahiti, the nearest well-populated island in the archipelago.

Friedman is now involved in the Marshall Islands scheme to introduce a sovereign digital currency. He said recently that, in the past month, he is seeing a lot of inquiries from peers who want to know wheres best to move.

He and Thiel have moved on to self-governed "charter cities" in developing countries, allowing international firms to set up shop in the semi-autonomous zones. The project takes the form of a venture fund, bolstered by $9 million in funding from Thiel, as well as investors and Bitcoin heavyweights Marc Andreessen, Roger Ver, and Balaji Srinivasan.

Seasteaders have found out it is probably better to make an agreement with the government, said Titus Gebel, CEO of Tipolis, another startup developing semi-autonomous cities run by private companies.

It may not be the original libertarian dream but it'll do for now.

Original post:

This libertarian Bitcoin trader wants to build a city on the sea - Decrypt

A Day That I Will Never Forget Part Three – Fiji Sun Online

Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto is the Commander Republic of the Fiji Military Forces. The events he recounts here occurred when he was the Commanding Officer of the RFNS KULA. This

RFNS Kula on its way to the aid of a distressed yacht early last year just outside of Suva Harbour. The vessel was decommissioned on December 21, 2019. The vessel served the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Naval Division for 25 years. Photo: RFMF Naval Division

Ireproduce below a search and rescue story that I penned many years back that did not make it to the dailies then. I retell this story in the hope that someone will know the two girls and let me know how they are, better still perhaps a chance to meet them again. I reproduce it exactly the way I wrote it then. Here is Part Three

Our first attempt was to launch upwind, meaning that the ship was to be moving forward, heading into the wind (and waves) at around six to eight knots while the seaboat is launched.

This is an evolution that we set a record in whilst we were doing our work up in Australia before we sailed KULA to Fiji. The way this is tested is usually through a man overboard exercise.

The testing officer will throw Oscar into the sea whilst the ship is steaming at some speed, after which he will run into the bridge with a fake panic look on his face and blurts out man overboard starboard side! or port side depending on which side of the ship Oscar was thrown into the sea.

The officer who is on watch will immediately turn the ship to whatever side Oscar was in and do a few other standard turns and at the same time, someone in the bridge will sound the relevant alarms and announce via the PA System Man overboard, man overboard, man overboard, man overboard starboard/port side, standby to recover by sea boat.

This is when the stopwatch starts and will stop when the seaboat takes off. We would do this evolution in just two minutes and in no time Oscar is back safely on board. If you are getting worked up reading this bit, you should relax, Oscar is a dummy, not a real person!

Launching the seaboat has a few moves. First, the seaboat is winched up from its cradle and then swung out to the side of the ship, and then lowered to the sea and then the boat crew will get in and drive the seaboat away. It is an easy evolution when done in calm seas, but extremely dangerous when the sea is rough.

We were going to attempt this in conditions way beyond the safe working condition. We had no other better choice. The one thing that kept me going was my complete confidence in the ability of my crew. They were a seasoned bunch and very close buddies and at times like this, we were even closer, our hearts beating almost as one.

All hands attended to the launching of the seaboat except for Petty Officer Vasukiwai (our Radio Operator) who stayed with me on the bridge. I manoeuvred the ship upwind at eight knots and gave the okay to commence, but as soon as the seaboat was off the cradle it was sitting on, it became a fast-moving projectile as it began swinging back and forth uncontrollably at a fast pace even with the extra weight that the crew had exerted on it trying to keep it steady.

The ship was pitching at too sharp an angle because of the high waves, that it created a pendulum effect on the seaboat that was difficult to control and there was a great risk of it crashing into one of the crew or smashing someone overboard.

My attention was divided between three situations. I would watch the wave in front then quickly look back to the crew with the seaboat and then across to where the two girls were, just to confirm that the punt had not capsized. We exchanged signals with Sub-Lieutenant Kean and cancelled the evolution.

The seaboat was now back on the cradle safely and I turned the ship around. Now we had to try again but launching downwind in five to seven-metre swells. All this was done in full view of the young girl who was kneeling and it must have been demoralising for her to see us not being able to launch.

I steadied the ship, now downwind and we started the evolution again. This time the ships movement was not as bad, so the crew managed to hoist the seaboat off the cradle and swung the seaboat to the side of the ship ready to lower. Now the trick was all in the timing of lowering the seaboat to the crest of a wave and quickly disengaging the winch hook from the seaboat and let the seaboat drop with the wavetime it wrongly and the seaboat will free fall when the wave disappears from beneath it and the cable could snap causing injury to those in close range and a high chance that the boat will land awkwardly, the outboard engine could be damaged or even fall off or worse still, the seaboat could capsize.

To fully understand this part of the story, let me first explain a few rigging around the seaboat.

Whenever KULA puts to sea, a rope about the size of your thump is always made ready on the Port side of the ship. One end is secured to a bollard from the bow and the rope is then run along the ship side towards the back and the other end is then secured on the railing near the position where the seaboat is lowered. On this end of the rope is a quick disengaging hook. On this hook is a small lever that when you pull, the hook is disengaged.

This rope is called the boat rope. Fixed onto the front end of the seaboat is the partner clip of this hook. When the seaboat is lowered, it will be swung outboard to the shipside, the boat rope is clipped on to the partner clip on the front end of the seaboat and then the seaboat is lowered to the sea. Fixed to the back of the seaboat is another small rope that is used to secure the stern and is used as a steading line when the seaboat is being lowered or hoisted. Once the boat crew are in they will start the engine, let go the stern rope, drive the seaboat forward and away from the ship, disengage the boat rope and attend to the task at hand. Remember this all done whilst the ship is steaming at around 8 to 10 knots.

Our boat rope is rigged differently, thanks to the ingenuity of Petty Officer Vodo. It is rigged in such a way that the boat rope is disengaged by pulling on a small rope that is tied to the lever and the rope is long enough for someone standing on the deck to disengage it. This pieces of seaboat equipment feature prominently in this next part.

Now my attention was on four situations; watching that bow of the ship and the aspect of the wave in front, looking back to the situation with the launching crew, look across to where the two girls were, and now I had to pay attention also to the huge swells coming from behind the ship.

Credit to the launching team, the seaboat was safely lowered and now all that was left was for the boat crew to climb down the side of the ship via the Jacobs Ladder (those rope ladders with wooden planks) into the seaboat and drive it away from the ships side.

Now all this is done while the ship is moving forward at some speed because, in addition to the engines, the ship is also being pushed forward by the huge swells from the back.

Yes, success, a wonderful feeling indeed given the unsuccessful attempt to launch upwind. Next second it was gonedisaster struck!

The seaboat was on the water and the two boat crew were scrambling to climb down the Jacobs Ladder, but before they could even start, I felt from the flying bridge that the aspect of the bow to the surface was too steep which meant that the back end was higher than the front and as I looked back, a huge swell had caught up with us from the back, lifted the stern of KULA and the seaboat (that is hooked up to the boat rope and the steadying rope at the stern ) and pushed us forward at some speed.

To be continued

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

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A Day That I Will Never Forget Part Three - Fiji Sun Online

Couple in Hiding After ‘Seasteading’ Attempt Goes Wrong | Time

The Royal Thai Navy plans to remove a house built on a platform 12 miles off the coast of Phuket according to the Bangkok Post.

American Chad Elwartowski and his Thai partner Supranee Thepdet, also known as Nadia Summergirl, were reportedly living in the house, built by Ocean Builders, to promote the concept of seasteading.

Seasteading is the concept of creating permanent dwellings at sea, called seasteads, outside the territory claimed by any government, says the company on its website.

In a promotional video posted to YouTube in March, Elwartowski toasts his partner with champagne on the roof of their ocean dwelling. He says 20 more floating homes are planned so others can join them in a libertarian-style community that they believe will be beyond legal jurisdictions.

Governments have a monopoly on land but they dont have a monopoly at sea, Elwartowski says in the video. Were looking forward to freedom-loving people to come join us out on the open ocean.

In an earlier video, he says international waters are where there are no laws other than the law of the sea.

But Thai authorities have a different view. They have filed a compliant, accusing the couple of breaching a section of the countrys criminal code that relates to threatening the sovereignty of a state, and erosion of a states independence, according to the Post. The charges carry the death penalty.

We have already prepared a vessel, equipment and manpower to move the structure. We will try to move it within a week a Thai vice-admiral told the newspaper.

Elwartowski says the couple are now in hiding. This is ridiculous. We lived on a floating house boat for a few weeks and now Thailand wants us killed, he said on his Facebook page.

He told TIME by email that he and his partner have no claim to the home. It was never ours, we just lived there and promoted it.

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Write to Amy Gunia at amy.gunia@time.com.

More here:

Couple in Hiding After 'Seasteading' Attempt Goes Wrong | Time


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