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Seasteading – Wikipedia

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

Seasteaders say such autonomous floating cities would foster faster development of techniques “to feed the hungry, cure the sick, clean the atmosphere and enrich the poor”.[1][2] Some critics fear seasteads are designed more as a refuge for the wealthy to avoid taxes or other problems.[3][4]

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.[5]

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[6][7], but as of 2019 its status was uncertain.

Many architects and firms have created designs for floating cities, including Vincent Callebaut,[8][9] Paolo Soleri[10] and companies such as Shimizu and E. Kevin Schopfer.[11]

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).[13]

Gramlichs essay attracted the attention of Patri Friedman.[14] The two began working together and posted their first collaborative book online in 2001.[15] 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.

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.[16][17][18]

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.

“When seasteading becomes a viable alternative, switching from one government to another would be a matter of sailing to the other without even leaving your house,” said Patri Friedman at the first annual Seasteading conference.[16][19][20]

The Seasteading Institute (TSI) focused on three areas: building a community, doing research, and building the first seastead in the San Francisco Bay. [21]

The project picked up mainstream exposure after having been brought to the attention of PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel. Thiel donated $500,000 in initial seed capital to start The Seasteading Institute, and has contributed $1.7 million [22] in total to date. He also spoke out on behalf of its viability in his essay “The Education of a Libertarian”.[23]

As a result of Thiel’s backing, TSI received widespread media attention from a variety of sources including [24] The Economist[18] Business Insider,[25] and BBC.[26][27]

In 2008, Friedman and Gramlich had hoped to float the first prototype seastead in the San Francisco Bay by 2010[28][29] Plans were to launch a seastead by 2014,[30] and TSI projected that the seasteading population would exceed 150 individuals in 2015.[31] 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.[18][32][33]

In the spring of 2013,[34] TSI launched The Floating City Project.[35] The project proposed to locate a floating city within the territorial waters of an existing nation, rather than the open ocean.[36] TSI claimed that doing so would have several advantages:

In October 2013, the Institute raised $27,082 from 291 funders in a crowdfunding campaign[37] TSI used the funds to hire the Dutch marine engineering firm DeltaSync[38] to write an engineering study for The Floating City Project.

In September 2016 the Seasteading Institute met with officials in French Polynesia[39] to discuss building a prototype seastead in a sheltered lagoon. Teva Rohfristch, Minister for Economic Recovery was the first to invite The Seasteading Institute to meet with government officials.The meeting was arranged by Former Minister of Tourism, Marc Collins.[40]

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.[41] The prototype will be based on a design by marine engineering firm Blue 21.[6][7]

On March 3, 2018, a mayor from French Polynesia said the agreement was “not a legal document” and had expired at the end of 2017 in response to a challenger trying to make it an issue for the May, 2018 elections.[42]

In May, 2018 Blue Frontiers began raising funds through a cryptographic token to prepare for building in the Sea Zone when the French Polynesian government passes the SeaZone act. [43]

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.[46] 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.[32]

Examples:

There are numerous seastead designs based around interlocking modules made of reinforced concrete.[48] 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:

The SeaOrbiter is an oceangoing research vessel designed to give scientists and others a residential yet mobile research station. The station will have laboratories, workshops, living quarters and a pressurized deck to support divers and submarines. It is headed by French architect Jacques Rougerie, oceanographer Jacques Piccard and astronaut Jean-Loup Chretien. The cost is expected to be around $52.7 million.[53]

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[54][44] but as of 2014 the project was “on hold”.[55][54][44]

Criticisms have been leveled at both the practicality and desirability of seasteading. These can be broken down into governmental, logistical, and societal categories.

Critics believe that creating governance structures from scratch is a lot harder than it seems.[56] Also, seasteads would still be at risk of political interference from nation states.[18]

On a logistical level, seasteads could be too remote and uncomfortable (without access to culture, restaurants, shopping) to be attractive to potential residents.[18] Building seasteads to withstand the rigors of the open ocean may prove uneconomical.[56][18]

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.[56] Others fear that seasteads will mainly allow wealthy individuals to escape taxes,[3] or to harm mainstream society by ignoring other financial, environmental, and labor regulations.[3][56]

The Seasteading Institute held its first conference in Burlingame, California, October 10, 2008. Forty-five people from nine countries attended.[57]The second Seasteading conference was significantly larger, and held in San Francisco, California, September 2830, 2009.[58][59]The third Seasteading conference took place May 31 June 2, 2012.[60]

Seasteading has been imagined many times in fictional works.

Read more:

Seasteading – Wikipedia

Thailand says US man’s seasteading home violates sovereignty …

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 nation’s 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 Elwartowski’s 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 Thailand’s 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.

“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.

Read the original post:

Thailand says US man’s seasteading home violates sovereignty …

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 more from the original source:

Floating Island Project | The Seasteading Institute

Seastead Institute, Ocean Builders promote seasteading: What …

Thai naval officers inspecting a a floating dwelling in the Andaman Sea.(Photo: Royal Thai Navy)

Seasteading, living on floating dwelling on oceans outside nation boundaries,is beingpromoted by groups that want to test new ideas on communal living in a utopian experiment.

One groupchampioning it is the Seasteading Institute, which claims that the sea, through “floating cities,”is a way to “allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for how to live together.”

Another is Ocean Builders a group that describes itself as “a team of engineering focused entrepreneurs who have a passion for seasteading and plans to sell dwellings.

A floating dwelling, 12 nautical miles off the coast of Phuket, Thailand, is part of a controversy involving a Michigan native and his girlfriend.(Photo: Royal Thai Navy)

Butthis week,Chad Elwartowski, a Michigan man who sought to live on the ocean in a prototype,octagon-shaped dwellingwith his girlfriend, a Thai citizen,is in deep water with theThai government, which alleges that he infringing on its national sovereignty.

Elwartowski said he is is now on the run, and could bebe imprisoned for life or suffer the death penalty if he and his girlfriend are caught.

The Seasteading Institute says that living in international waters on permanent platformsarea way to “allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for how to live together.”

Read more:

Michigan man living in ocean has desperate plea: Thai government ‘wants us killed’

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The institute was founded in 2008 by Patri Friedman a political economic theorist who also is the grandson of Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman and technology entrepreneur Peter Thiel.

It also is encouraging countries to pass legislation that could lead to moreseasteading projects.

Elwartowski, who moved into a seastead built by Ocean Builders,has suggestedthat seasteading efforts allow people a chanceto start over.

“It’s basically a blank slate,” he says in a YouTubevideo, promising that 20 more seasteads would be built based on what his experience. “Hopefully, with this great blank slate, we can create some great governance.”

Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or fwitsil@freepress.com.

Read or Share this story: https://www.freep.com/story/news/world/2019/04/18/seasteading-institute-chad-elwartowski/3509205002/

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Seastead Institute, Ocean Builders promote seasteading: What …

Seasteading Bitcoin Fans Say They’re ‘On the Run’ From Thai …

It was supposed to be the first seastead in international watersa small white box protruding from the waves off the coast of Phuket, Thailand, occupied by two would-be pioneers who decided to live there in the pursuit of a new life unfettered by national laws.

But now, Chad Elwartowski and Supranee Thepdet (AKA Nadia Summergirl), say theyre on the run.

According to the Bangkok Post, the Royal Thai Navy filed a criminal complaint with police under a section of the criminal code that concerns threats to national sovereignty. Violations of this section of the criminal code are punishable by life in prison or death, the Post noted.

The six-meter wide structure, known as XLII, was supposed to be the first real application of seasteading, a libertarian idea that advocates for new societies to form on structures floating in international waters. According to Ocean Builders, the startup behind the project, the structure was allegedly located in international waters, 12 miles off the coast but still within Thailands exclusive economic zone.

After it launched in early 2019, Elwartowski and Thepdetvolunteers, according to Ocean Buildersmoved in. Elwartowski, a Bitcoin enthusiast, told me he had enough in cryptocurrency holdings to retire and Thepdet posts online as Bitcoin Girl Thailand. Joe Quirk, president of the Seasteading Institute advocacy group, directed a short documentary series about the pair, titled The First Seasteaders.

We were very enthusiastic about the idea of being able to live on the new frontier, Elwartowski told me in an email. It has been my dream for 10 years to live on a seastead. Nothing will take away the fact that I was able to be free for a few moments.

Trouble started, Elwartowski said, when the couple saw news reports about the government cracking down on their home while celebrating the ongoing Thai holiday of Songkranwhich began on Saturdayon land. Fearing the potentially stiff consequences, the pair bugged out, Elwartowski told me, a phrase that essentially means fleeing. When I first contacted Elwartowski through Ocean Builders site admin email, he said, We are on the run.

According to the Bangkok Post, the Royal Thai Navy sent officers to the XLII structure on Saturday and attempted to make radio contact with the occupants, but nobody replied.

Thai officials claim that XLII obstructs a shipping route, the Post reported. Elwartowski disputed this in an email, noting that the structure is small, located in an area rife with fishing boats, and outfitted with a solar anchor light as well as a navigation beacon for nearby ships.

When Motherboard contacted the US embassy in Thailand, an after-hours duty officer did not have any information to share.

The origins of Ocean Builders are murky, apparently intentionally so. Despite Elwartowski and Thepdet arguably being the faces of the XLII project, and Elwartowski responding to the companys main email account, even while on the run, a company statement described the pair merely as volunteers excited about the prospect of living free.

In an email, Elwartowski told me he and Thepdet arrived to the project in September of last year and repeatedly referred to the companys founder as “Seatoshi,” evoking Bitcoin’s pseudonymous inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto. Ocean Builders describes itself as a team of engineering focused entrepreneurs.

In a statement, Ocean Builders acknowledged that the project team is made up of early Bitcoin adopters, but that Elwartowski didnt fund the project personally and moved in with his own sheets and dishware.

What is clear is that the modest XLII structure was hardly the end of Ocean Builders plans. The company had planned to start a pre-sale on 20 more units on Mondaya sale that is now postponed, according to a statement by Ocean Builders. A minimal, barebones structure was to sell for $150,000 USD, according to the company.

According to Elwartowski, Ocean Builders didnt liaise with the Thai government before the planned sale, and instead intended to wow officials with an impressive lineup of prospective buyers.

We wanted to see if there was enough interest before going to the Thai government, he told me. The key was we needed to show them how much money we planned on bringing in for our project. We couldn’t just go to them with the hopes of something happening. So we figured we would do the sale, see if there was enough interest then get started building with the permission of the Thai tourism authority and Board of Investment.

Elwartowski said that he and Thepdet are now seeking safety and asylum.

We just want to be alive somewhere not fleeing, he told me. I may be able to get to the US embassy but Nadia is Thai. She has to leave her family behind. Her son, her mom.

If the pair do make it through, they may decide to leave seasteading behind and simply live peacefully in their new location, Elwartowski said.

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Seasteading Bitcoin Fans Say They’re ‘On the Run’ From Thai …

Thailand says US man’s seasteading home violates sovereignty

BANGKOK (AP) 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.

Thailands 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 countrys authorities.

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:

Thailand says US man’s seasteading home violates sovereignty

Navy to remove ‘seasteading’ floating home off Phuket coast …

This floating living platform, built off the coast of Phuket by an American man and his Thai wife, will be removed within one week, says the Third Navy Area commander. (Supplied photo via Achadtaya Chuenniran)

PHUKET: The Royal Thai Navy Third Navy looks set to remove “seasteading” couple’s living platform, 12 nautical miles from this island province, within a week.

Authorities have filed a complaint with Wichit police station over the floating platform set up in international waterssoutheast of Racha Yai island, said Vice Adm Sitthiporn Maskasem, commander of the Third Area, during a media briefing on Wednesday.

Representatives from concerned agencies met to discuss legal procedures to be taken against those who set up the floating structure, said Vice Adm Sitthiporn.

In the police complaint, authorities accused American national Chad Andrew Elwartowski and his Thai wife, Supranee Thepdet, with an English alias of Nadia Summergirl, of breaching Section 119 of the Criminal Code.

The section concerns acts that cause the country or parts of it to fall under the sovereignty of a foreign state, and deterioration of the state’s independence.

The complaint has been filed against them for breaching Section 119 of the Criminal Code as there is evidence showing that they have publicly invited people on social media to stay at the site, which is adjacent to our territorial waters…we have laws to deal with this. It affects our sovereignty, said the Third Naval Area commander.

Officials hold a media briefing about a plan to remove the floating living structure 12 nautical miles off the coast of Phuket. (Photo by Achataya Chuenniran)

Preparations were already made to remove the floating structure from the sea as soon as possible, he said.

The structure hindered shipping navigation since fishing trawlers and cargo vessels ply the route to transport goods to Phuket, he said.

We have already prepared a vessel, equipment and manpower to move the structure. We will try to move it within a week said Vice Adm Sitthiporn.

Phuket deputy governor Supoj Rodruang Na Nong Khai said the American national, who set up the floating structure, had entered Thailand in November last year and had a temporary residence in tambon Rawai of Muang district, Phuket.

An investigation found that the man had run a Bitcoin trading business and wanted to set up an independent nation by exploiting legal loopholes, said the deputy governor.

The pair reportedly aimed to set up a permanent shelter out of any state territories by exploiting a loophole in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The practice of attempting to establish micronations that claim to be independent but are not recognised by world governments or major international organisations is expanding globally, particularly among those who become rich from cryptocurrency trading, according to officers.

Earlier, the Maritime Enforcement Coordination Centre’s third area command held a news conference about the seastead, attracting coverage in both domestic and foreign media.

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Navy to remove ‘seasteading’ floating home off Phuket coast …

Thailand says US man’s seasteading home violates sovereignty …

An April 13, 2019 photo provided by Royal Thai Navy shows a floating home lived in by an American man and his Thai partner in the Andaman Sea, off Phuket island. (Royal Thai Navy via AP)

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 nation’s laws.

The Royal Thai Navy said Chad Elwartowski and Supranee Thepdet endangered national sovereignty, an offence punishable by life imprisonment or death.

It filed a complaint against them with police in Phuket. Thai authorities said they have revoked Mr Elwartowski’s visa.

Mr Elwartowski said in an email on 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 houseboat 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 Thai territorial waters, just over 12 nautical miles from shore. They were not there when the navy carried out its raid on Saturday.

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

“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 cryptocurrency including bitcoin — have become more popular, including among influential Silicon Valley figures such as entrepreneur Peter Thiel. Mr 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 iteration 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-storey octagonal house at the centre 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 Mr 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,” Mr 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,” Mr 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.

More:

Thailand says US man’s seasteading home violates sovereignty …

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 Ireland, 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]

The video game BioShock[12] 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.

Read the original post:

Seasteading – RationalWiki

‘We just want to live.’ MI man on the run from Thai gov. for …

(WXYZ) A Michigan man and Bitcoin fan who wanted a life free of international laws is on the run from the Thai government for living in the first seastead off the countrys coast.

Chad Elwartowski and Supranee Thepdet (AKA Nadia Summergirl) are facing criminal charges punishable by death related to living in the waterborne structure, according to the Bangkok Post.

Chad and his wife Nadia were meant to be pioneers of seasteading an idea popular in the Libertarian culture, which advocates for societies to be set up on floating structures in international waters.

Instead, the couple, who say theyve made enough with Bitcoins to retire, is on the run.

They’re accused of trying to lay claim to Thai maritime territory with their seastead, according to the Bangkok Post, that also reported that their source said officers “found evidence which led them to believe the couple was engaging in the setting up of an independent state. Such an act would have a negative impact on the country’s shoreline.”

The couple volunteered to be the first tenants of Ocean Builders first structure, and documented the process on video .

They moved into the floating six-meter wide structure, located 12 nautical miles off the coast of Phuket, Thailand, in March.

Trouble started when the couple saw media reports about the government cracking down, and then on Saturday, the Royal Thai Navy attempted to make radio contact with occupants of the seastead, but nobody replied, the Bangkog Post reported.

Shortly after that, Chad posted on his public Facebook page.

“I’ll say it right here. Nadia and I did not design, construct or pay to have the seastead constructed. We promoted it and lived on it. We helped out by giving the builder updates and we participated in the launch. We did not decide where to put the seastead.”

Yesterday, Chad updated his friends saying he and his wife are safe and in hiding.

But as long as Nadia and I are able to live through this that is all that matters to us right now. We just want to live, he posted.

Read more here:

‘We just want to live.’ MI man on the run from Thai gov. for …

Bitcoin Couple Nadia Thepdet and Chad Elwartowski Face Death …

Nadia Thepdet takes beautiful photos of the ocean. One recent picture on her Instagram shows the sun setting over the waves. In another, she stands on a boat off Thailands coast, holding a golden coin with bitcoin logo.

But Thepdets love of bitcoin and the sea could cost her her life.

She and her boyfriend Chad Elwartowski are cryptocurrency evangelists who tried to live out the libertarian idea of seasteading. The concept, beloved by tech types like Peter Thiel, proposes a set of floating islands in international waters. The idea is to escape countries and laws.

Now the law is coming for Thepdet and Elwartowski. The couple moved into the first off-shore house by seasteading company Ocean Builders earlier this year. Their new home was located atop an oil rig-like structure 12 miles off the Thai coast, technically in international watersbut Thailand says they werent far enough from the coast. Thai authorities accuse the couple of breaching a law prohibiting acts that endangers Thai sovereignty, according to the Bangkok Post.

Breaking the law is punishable by death, or life in prison. Now Thepdet and Elwartowski say theyre on the run.

This is ridiculous, Elwartowski wrote in a Monday Facebook post. We lived on a floating house boat for a few weeks and now Thailand wants us killed.

At its heart, seasteading is like living on a glorified houseboat. The idea has a strong fan base among a certain fringe of libertarians and anarcho-capitalists who believe in establishing a new society with little to no government.

One of seasteadings earliest and most notorious failures was Operation Atlantis, a 1968 effort to build libertarian civilization aboard a boat in international waters. The plan sank with the boat, which caught fire while leaving New York and went belly-up in a hurricane near the Bahamas. (The plans founder later tried to build paradise on an offshore oil rig that was also swept away in a hurricane.)

More modern visions of seasteading have imagined entire cities built across boats or oil rigs. Ocean Builders, which is run by early bitcoin adopters, says it wants to build the first seasteading homes. If all goes according to plan, those houses might become the beginning of a city at sea.

Some of seasteadings biggest backers come from the cryptocurrency community, where Thepdet was a minor celebrity, posting as Bitcoin Girl Thailand. The pair claimed to have generated their wealth from the untraceable digital currency, which is a favorite of libertarians.

In a Facebook post last year, Thepdet envisioned luxury homes floating on the ocean. The reality was less glamorous.

In February, Ocean Builders announced it had constructed the worlds first seastead in international waters 12 nautical miles out from Phuket, Thailand. Thepdet and Elwartowskis new home was very basic: a short, round room atop stilts.

It was also very illegal, Thailand authorities allege. If it is left untouched, it will hinder ship navigation since the route is used for the transport of oil to Phuket, a government source told the Bangkok Post. The government reportedly alleges the structure was in Thai maritime waters.

One seasteader said the couples plan to live 12 nautical miles off the coast came with legal setbacks.

12nm [nautical miles] is not the high seas, Patri Friedman, founder of the Seasteading Institute, wrote on Facebook. It is the Contiguous Zone, where a state has many rights, several of which seem likely to pertain here. Do not listen to anyone who tells you that the high seas starts at 12nm; it means they havent even spent 5 minutes reading Wikipedia.

Friedman, who has pushed an anti-democratic brand of libertarianism, is one of seasteadings leading proponents and previously led an aborted effort to create a libertarian city in Honduras.

Even the actual high seas (roughly 200+ nm from land) are not a magical realm of freedom where you can just plant a flag and be an independent polity, he continued on Facebook.

With Thai authorities searching for them, the couple is now denying allegations that they tried to undermine Thai sovereignty.

Nadia and I did not design, construct or pay to have the seastead constructed, Elwartowski wrote on Facebook. We promoted it and lived on it. We helped out by giving the builder updates and we participated in the launch. We did not decide where to put the seastead. We are enthusiastic supporters of the project who were lucky enough to be the first ones to stay on it.

The couple were back on the mainland when they started reading news reports about Thai officials raiding the seastead, they told Motherboard.

In a follow-up Facebook post, Elwartowski said he and Thepdet were safe, and that they were trying to find a way out of the country. Elwartowski is a U.S. citizen, but Thepdet is Thai and might try to apply for asylum in the U.S., he said.

Hunting us down to our death is just plain stupid and highlights exactly the reason someone would be willing to go out in middle of the ocean to get away from governments, he said.

Read more:

Bitcoin Couple Nadia Thepdet and Chad Elwartowski Face Death …

Seasteading: How Floating Nations Will Restore the …

This energetic and enthusiastic book gives a fascinating glimpse of the blue revolution to come, as human beings experiment with more sustainable ways of managing the biology of the sea and experiment with more sustainable ways of living and governing ourselves as well, free from the constraints of land-based governments. (Matt Ridley, author of The Evolution of Everything)

Really disruptive, definitely visionary, and even more proof thattomorrowwill look nothing like today. Seasteading is a grand adventure in sustainability and possibility and its definitely a trip worth taking! (Steven Kotler, author of The Rise of Superman, and coauthor of Bold and Abundance)

“Seasteading provides some thought-provoking visions of the future. Messrs. Quirk and Friedman introduce us to some very interesting people experimenting with some very interesting technologies, all having to do with living and working on the sea. (Shlomo Angel The Wall Street Journal)

Seasteading is an enormous opportunity for humanity. Not only will these sea-based communities be able to try new sciences and technology . . . they will allow new forms of community with a fresh start, and an ability to experiment as to form. . . . Anyone willing to work for a living can come and go from a seastead. People can finally be citizens of the world. (Timothy Draper, founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson)

Passionate and convincing. The idea of individual sovereignty could finally come true with floating ocean cities. (Titus Gebel, Founder & CEO of Free Private Cities Ltd.)

Today a new set of futurists is envisioning the next iteration of the floating city. . . . Quirk and Friedmans book also serves as a manifesto for the movement. (Rachel Riederer The New Republic)

View post:

Seasteading: How Floating Nations Will Restore the …

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.

View original post here:

Floating Island Project | The Seasteading Institute

Seasteading – Wikipedia

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

Seasteaders say such autonomous floating cities would foster faster development of techniques “to feed the hungry, cure the sick, clean the atmosphere and enrich the poor”.[1][2] Some critics fear seasteads are designed more as a refuge for the wealthy to avoid taxes or other problems.[3][4]

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.[5]

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[6][7], but as of 2018 its status was uncertain.

Many architects and firms have created designs for floating cities, including Vincent Callebaut,[8][9] Paolo Soleri[10] and companies such as Shimizu and E. Kevin Schopfer.[11]

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).[13]

Gramlichs essay attracted the attention of Patri Friedman.[14] The two began working together and posted their first collaborative book online in 2001.[15] 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.

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.[16][17][18]

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.

“When seasteading becomes a viable alternative, switching from one government to another would be a matter of sailing to the other without even leaving your house,” said Patri Friedman at the first annual Seasteading conference.[16][19][20]

The Seasteading Institute (TSI) focused on three areas: building a community, doing research, and building the first seastead in the San Francisco Bay. [21]

The project picked up mainstream exposure after having been brought to the attention of PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel. Thiel donated $500,000 in initial seed capital to start The Seasteading Institute, and has contributed $1.7 million [22] in total to date. He also spoke out on behalf of its viability in his essay “The Education of a Libertarian”.[23]

As a result of Thiel’s backing, TSI received widespread media attention from a variety of sources including [24] The Economist[18] Business Insider,[25] and BBC.[26][27]

In 2008, Friedman and Gramlich had hoped to float the first prototype seastead in the San Francisco Bay by 2010[28][29] Plans were to launch a seastead by 2014,[30] and TSI projected that the seasteading population would exceed 150 individuals in 2015.[31] 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.[18][32][33]

In the spring of 2013,[34] TSI launched The Floating City Project.[35] The project proposed to locate a floating city within the territorial waters of an existing nation, rather than the open ocean.[36] TSI claimed that doing so would have several advantages:

In October 2013, the Institute raised $27,082 from 291 funders in a crowdfunding campaign[37] TSI used the funds to hire the Dutch marine engineering firm DeltaSync[38] to write an engineering study for The Floating City Project.

In September 2016 the Seasteading Institute met with officials in French Polynesia[39] to discuss building a prototype seastead in a sheltered lagoon. Teva Rohfristch, Minister for Economic Recovery was the first to invite The Seasteading Institute to meet with government officials.The meeting was arranged by Former Minister of Tourism, Marc Collins.[40]

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.[41] The prototype will be based on a design by marine engineering firm Blue 21.[6][7]

On March 3, 2018, a mayor from French Polynesia said the agreement was “not a legal document” and had expired at the end of 2017 in response to a challenger trying to make it an issue for the May, 2018 elections.[42]

In May, 2018 Blue Frontiers began raising funds through a cryptographic token to prepare for building in the Sea Zone when the French Polynesian government passes the SeaZone act. [43]

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.[46] 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.[32]

Examples:

There are numerous seastead designs based around interlocking modules made of reinforced concrete.[48] Reinforced cement 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:

The SeaOrbiter is an oceangoing research vessel designed to give scientists and others a residential yet mobile research station. The station will have laboratories, workshops, living quarters and a pressurized deck to support divers and submarines. It is headed by French architect Jacques Rougerie, oceanographer Jacques Piccard and astronaut Jean-Loup Chretien. The cost is expected to be around $52.7 million.[53]

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[54][44] but as of 2014 the project was “on hold”.[55][54][44]

Criticisms have been leveled at both the practicality and desirability of seasteading. These can be broken down into governmental, logistical, and societal categories.

Critics believe that creating governance structures from scratch is a lot harder than it seems.[56] Also, seasteads would still be at risk of political interference from nation states.[18]

On a logistical level, seasteads could be too remote and uncomfortable (without access to culture, restaurants, shopping) to be attractive to potential residents.[18] Building seasteads to withstand the rigors of the open ocean may prove uneconomical.[56][18]

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.[56] Others fear that seasteads will mainly allow wealthy individuals to escape taxes,[3] or to harm mainstream society by ignoring other financial, environmental, and labor regulations.[3][56]

The Seasteading Institute held its first conference in Burlingame, California, October 10, 2008. Forty-five people from nine countries attended.[57]The second Seasteading conference was significantly larger, and held in San Francisco, California, September 2830, 2009.[58][59]The third Seasteading conference took place May 31 June 2, 2012.[60]

Seasteading has been imagined many times in fictional works.

Read more from the original source:

Seasteading – Wikipedia

World’s first floating city to be built off the coast of …

Ambitious plans to create a city in the sea, complete with homes, offices and restaurants, are beginning to materialise.

Long touted as the next frontier for humanity by tech billionaires and libertarians, seasteading the idea of building autonomous, self-sustaining cities in international waters has moved one step closer to reality.

A pilot project underway in the coastal waters of French Polynesia is set to become the first functioning floating community by 2020, offering homes for up to 300 people.

From 15p 0.18 $0.18 USD 0.27 a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras.

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Joe Quirk, president of the Seasteading Institute, outlined his plans for cities in the ocean that are free from the constraints imposed by world governments in a recent interview .

If you could have a floating city, it would essentially be a start-up country, Mr Quirk told the New York Times, explaining his disillusionment with current governments that just dont get better, and are stuck in the past.

He said he sawseasteading as a way to escape this system.

We can create a huge diversity of governments for a huge diversity of people,” he said.

For the time being, however, the seasteaders seem prepared to cooperate with existing governments in order to get their initiative off the ground. For their Floating Island Project, run by a new company set up by Mr Quirk and his collaborators called Blue Frontiers, they are working with the local government of French Polynesia to create a Semi-Autonomous Floating Venice in Paradise.

This floating city will exist in a special economic seazone, allowing the the Seasteading Institute to try out some of its ideas in a relatively controlled environment.

Engineers and architects have visited an undisclosed location where the project is set to begin. Their ambitions extend to the creation of a research institute in the floating city, and even a power plant to sell energy and clean water back to their host nation.

The project is projected to cost $167 million.

The team has made a deal with French Polynesia to create a “unique governing framework”in a patch of ocean where their project can begin.

Mr Quirk, who describes himself as a seavangelist, first became interested in the notion of seasteading at Nevadas Burning Man festival in 2011. The festival provided him with an idea of the type of unconstrained society he would like to see flourishing in offshore cities.

Another early backer of seasteading, the Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, has invested $1.7 million in The Seasteading Institute, but has since fallen out of love with the idea.

“They’re not quite feasible from an engineering perspective,” MrThiel told the New York Times in a separate interview. “That’s still very far in the future.”

Indeed, past efforts to get seasteading off the ground have not been successful, with a prototype planned for the San Francisco Bay in 2010 failing to appear.

But the team behind the Floating Island Project are sure of their new idea, and are currently in the process of demonstrating the projects viability to the French Polynesian local government.

The Memorandum of Understanding they have signed is based on the seasteaders ability to show the positive economic and environmental impact it would have for their host nation.

If that all goes to plan, they anticipate work beginning on development of the pilot project as early as 2018 and beyond that, many more.

I want to see floating cities by 2050, thousands of them hopefully, said Mr Quirk.

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World’s first floating city to be built off the coast of …

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.

Go here to read the rest:

Floating Island Project | The Seasteading Institute

World’s first floating city to be built off the coast of …

Ambitious plans to create a city in the sea, complete with homes, offices and restaurants, are beginning to materialise.

Long touted as the next frontier for humanity by tech billionaires and libertarians, seasteading the idea of building autonomous, self-sustaining cities in international waters has moved one step closer to reality.

A pilot project underway in the coastal waters of French Polynesia is set to become the first functioning floating community by 2020, offering homes for up to 300 people.

From 15p 0.18 $0.18 $0.27 a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras.

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Picture: the Seasteading Institute

Joe Quirk, president of the Seasteading Institute, outlined his plans for cities in the ocean that are free from the constraints imposed by world governments in a recent interview .

If you could have a floating city, it would essentially be a start-up country, Mr Quirk told the New York Times, explaining his disillusionment with current governments that just dont get better, and are stuck in the past.

He said he sawseasteading as a way to escape this system.

We can create a huge diversity of governments for a huge diversity of people,” he said.

For the time being, however, the seasteaders seem prepared to cooperate with existing governments in order to get their initiative off the ground. For their Floating Island Project, run by a new company set up by Mr Quirk and his collaborators called Blue Frontiers, they are working with the local government of French Polynesia to create a Semi-Autonomous Floating Venice in Paradise.

This floating city will exist in a special economic seazone, allowing the the Seasteading Institute to try out some of its ideas in a relatively controlled environment.

Engineers and architects have visited an undisclosed location where the project is set to begin. Their ambitions extend to the creation of a research institute in the floating city, and even a power plant to sell energy and clean water back to their host nation.

The project is projected to cost $167 million.

The team has made a deal with French Polynesia to create a “unique governing framework”in a patch of ocean where their project can begin.

Mr Quirk, who describes himself as a seavangelist, first became interested in the notion of seasteading at Nevadas Burning Man festival in 2011. The festival provided him with an idea of the type of unconstrained society he would like to see flourishing in offshore cities.

Another early backer of seasteading, the Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, has invested $1.7 million in The Seasteading Institute, but has since fallen out of love with the idea.

“They’re not quite feasible from an engineering perspective,” MrThiel told the New York Times in a separate interview. “That’s still very far in the future.”

Indeed, past efforts to get seasteading off the ground have not been successful, with a prototype planned for the San Francisco Bay in 2010 failing to appear.

But the team behind the Floating Island Project are sure of their new idea, and are currently in the process of demonstrating the projects viability to the French Polynesian local government.

The Memorandum of Understanding they have signed is based on the seasteaders ability to show the positive economic and environmental impact it would have for their host nation.

If that all goes to plan, they anticipate work beginning on development of the pilot project as early as 2018 and beyond that, many more.

I want to see floating cities by 2050, thousands of them hopefully, said Mr Quirk.

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