Floating Cities: The Next Big Real Estate Boom – Forbes

Floating island.

"I'm a real estate developer and this is a developer's dream, spoke Lela Goren, a NYC-based developer and investor during a UN Habitat event as she looked over a scale model of Oceanix Citya floating city concept that could be deployed around the world. In this era where the value of and need for coastal property throughout Asia is so high that dozens of countries are creating hundreds of square kilometers of artificial land for urban development, her words resonated throughout the room. Not only may floating cities be a salve to help to mitigate the impacts of rising sea levels, but also a way for governments and developers to create vast swaths of much-coveted space for highly profitable coastal development by building out into the sea in a more environmentally sustainable way than land reclamation.

Most cities are located nearby water and this number will also increase in the next decades, said Kees-Jan Bandt, the CEO of Bandt Management & Consultancy. This was already the case a hundred years ago: water is life and always has been a center of economic activities.

For this reason, coastal cities have been drawing people towards them at an ever-increasing rate. Nearly three million people move from the countryside into cities each week, with the bulk of this migration heading to coastal cities, which now contain over half of the worlds population and are, quite literally, bursting at the seams. This is a situation that is expected to only grow more dire, as UN Habitat predicts that by 2035 90% of all mega-citiesmetropolises with over 10 million peoplewill be on the coast.

Over the past decades, coastal cities across Asia have been responding to the need for more land by simply making it themselves. Land reclamationdumping or corralling sand in aquatic areas to create new landhas grown to bonanza-like proportions, as Asian cities build arrays of high-value housing, luxury shopping malls, entertainment facilities, transportation infrastructure, and even entirely new cities where there was only open water not long ago. From 2006 to 2010, China was tacking on an additional 700 square kilometers of new land each year. Malaysia is engaged in mass reclamation work for the 700,000-person Forest City project as well as a slew of luxury developments in Penang and Melaka. Sri Lankas capital of Colombo reclaimed enough land to build an entirely new financial district thats meant to rival Singapore. South Korea built the Songdo smart city entirely on land expropriated from a bay. Dubai has turned reclamation into an art. While upwards of 20% of Tokyo and nearly 25% of Singapore is on land that nature didnt make.

In some Asian countries it is sometimes easier, quicker, and, on the long-term, cheaper to reclaim land from the sea than develop on existing land because of land ownership, Bandt explained.

In already crowded coastal cities, large swaths of development land are rare, and the procurement of such often requires costly and complicated evictions and relocations. So land reclamation was often seen as a win-win for developers and municipal planning boards: they could get fresh, barren land in high-value, central locations without needing to deal with the trouble of land owners or tearing down already built-up areas. Also, in most countries, reclamation is a land rights wild card, as there are no existing statutes on the ownership of land created on the seaits a simple matter of makers-keepers. And the profits from land reclamation? According to Ocean University of China professor Liu Hongbin, land reclamation in China could produce a 10- to 100-fold profit.

However, there is another side of land reclamation that isnt all glittering shopping malls and gleaming gantry cranes. It turns out that land reclamation is environmentally hazardous.

Once you reclaim, you lose the ecosystem, Professor Jennie Lee, a marine biologist from Malaysia Terengganu University, stated bluntly. The coral reef, the mangrove are the shoreline's protector, so once you reclaim, you destroy the natural protection to the coastline and, over time, you will see the water currents change and physical changes of the coastline itself: some beaches will have more sands piling up and some beaches will be eroded away. When you pile side dunes on an area, you have a lot of runoff, a lot of siltation happens, she continued. When you increase the turbidity of an area the phytoplankton reduces because there is not enough light, and then it just goes to the next level: the fishes reduce because there is no more food for them, and after that it will just change the ecosystem itself.

Besides being environmentally hazardous, land reclamation is contributing to the depletion of a resource that until recently was thought to be inexhaustible: sand. According to many reports, the sand wars have already begun, with many countries throughout Asia banning the export of the resource and organized crime syndicates filling the void by trafficking it like a narcotic. The world is running out of suitable sand for developmentour thirst for concrete, of which sand is a necessary component, and artificial land has pushed the resource to the brink.

There is also another unfortunate, often inopportune thing about land reclamation: it is often no match for nature.

Even in Dubai, with the worlds best engineering and obviously a lot of money, many of their land reclamation projects dont hold after a decade, said Marc Collins Chen, the founder of Oceanix, one of the leading companies driving the development of floating cities. If you look at Japan, the Kansai airportbuilt with state of the art engineering and a lot of moneyits sinking, and its sinking fast.

As the years pass, countries throughout Asia have started to understand the pernicious impacts of their land reclamation activities, and many want to see the projects come to an end. China has already banned all but essential land reclamation developments in 2018, and earlier this year, Zhejiang province doubled-down on Beijings order.

Meanwhile, the demand for more coastal development land continues to exist, signaling that a new solution is needed.

A substitute for land reclamation is now being proposed, offering the same perkscheap and easy to make blank slates for developmentwithout as many of the environmental and social drawbacks. They call them floating cities, but the term is an overt misnomer. Floating cities dont actually float, but are essentially platforms that are anchored to the seabed in coastal areas. The technology is not newits basically the same idea as an oil rig or large dock, only with a city built on top of it. Once the intellectual property of libertarians looking to construct utopias and tax shelters, the idea is now creeping into the consciousness of the commercial real estate sphere worldwide.

The economic potential is in the hundreds of billions of dollars, opined Collins Chen. More and more countries are banning commercial land reclamation while population pressures on coastal cities continue to grow. Floating cities become the only option to expand onto the ocean sustainably.

There are currently dozens of floating city models that are being tested and proposed around the world by a new class of innovator dubbed the aquapreneurs. In the Netherlands there is a company called WaterStudio, that has already built small-scale floating buildings, including UNESCO-backed schools. Recouping from its failure in French Polynesia, the Seasteading Institutewhich was founded by PayPal founder Peter Thiel and Milton Friedmans grandsonis still adamant about building floating cities to create a space for innovative forms of governance and economics. The Chinese construction giant CCCC is also in the floating city game, commissioning a design for a floating city that looks like a sprawling buoyant landmass made from prefabricated hexagonal modules. The French architecture firm XTU developed a floating city concept called X SEA TY. The architect Vincent Callebaut designed a floating city called Lilypad that would house 50,000 people in an array of high-rise towers that look like, yes, lily pads. Then theres Marc Collins Chens Oceanix Citya design that has already received considerable traction.

This visionary group of aquapreneurs believes that humanitys future isnt found in recoiling from sea level rise or stemming the tides of coastal migration, but in facing the reality in front of us and building out into sea to an extent that would make even the most ambitious land reclamation engineer blush. Rather than engaging in a perpetual fist fight with the ocean, the aquapreneurs are saying that we should build over top of the sea and just let nature do its thing down below.

Eventually, it's going to happen. There is no turning back. We are going to eventually have floating cities, declared Nathalie Mezza-Garcia, a complexity scientist who once worked with the Seasteading Institute.

While there is not yet an example of a living floating city, the model does present the potential of being less environmentally hazardous than land reclamation. Floating cities dont require large amounts of sand to create, preserving a dwindling resource and negating the damage done to the environment in the locales where the sand is sourced and where it is deposited.

Floating is a lot better than land reclamation because it protects the marine environment. It can be easily be removed or expanded, whereas land reclamation usually takes a bunch of sand and dumps it over a place, killing everything that lives there, Mezza-Garcia explained.

Floating cities are also being touted as being cheaper and faster to construct than land reclamation. When developers reclaim land there is generally a multi-year waiting period for the sediment to settle before it is safe to build on. Floating cities have no such requirements: you can start building the day the platform is anchored.

So let's say Shenzhen needs 5,000-person low income housing, Collins Chen proposed. You could literally tow it in within months instead of waiting ten years [for the reclaimed land to settle]. Reclaimed land is expensive because you got to bring trucks and trucks of sand and dirt and then you have to bring all of the teams to actually build and lay the concrete slab. Whereas, floating cities can be entirely built in a factory, towed out, and assembled. So it really is about the environment, costs, and speed.

Floating cities are not only for idealistic libertarians anymore, but grounded entrepreneurs looking to be a part of the next big boom in real estate development.

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Floating Cities: The Next Big Real Estate Boom - Forbes

Future ahoy: Are you ready to live in a floating city? – San Francisco Chronicle

When the ice caps melt, covering the earth with water, and Kevin Costner sails the seas alone, wearing a set of fish gills and a hardened scowl, the rest of us will be happily content, living comfortably on fancy floating city-states. No fighting cigarette-crazed pirates on greasy Jet Skis, just lazing like frogs on teched-out lily pads.

Why, you ask? Its simple, really. Subsections of humanity will have made the migration from terra firma to the mighty oceans decades earlier. The transition will come partially as an urgent response to our worsening climate crisis and partially as an extreme outgrowth of free market economics.

Thats the theory of Patri Friedman, co-founder and board member of the Seasteading Institute in San Francisco, who happens to be the grandson of the highly influential Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman. His ultimate goal is to facilitate a situation in which governments overtly compete for inhabitants on an open market.

To me, hell is one-world government, Friedman told me earlier this year. Even if (the law) had whatever the closest to what everyone in the world would together choose to me thats hell because its vulnerable.

The engine of Friedmans mission is seasteading (think homesteading), which involves creating city-scale offshore habitats for self-sustaining communities of intrepid humans. Securing your plot on one would be as simple as joining a new gym but, you know, as a full-time citizen.

Friedman, who consults on seasteading projects around the world, isnt the only one who sees this vision. Blue Frontiers, a company founded in 2017 by the former executive director of the Seasteading Institute, Joe Quirk, has been trying to jump-start a project to save French Polynesia from the rising Pacific.

Our ambition is to build the worlds first sustainable floating islands, said Marc Collins, managing director of Blue Frontiers and former minister of French Polynesia at a United Nations hearing in 2017. What our country needs and what a lot of the island-nations specifically in the Pacific need are mitigation strategies for sea level rise.

The fact that seasteading sounds like the utopian basis of pulp sci-fi hasnt stopped countries and groups around the world from expressing interest. Proposals have gained traction with varying degrees of failure so far in Thailand and elsewhere. Soon enough, believers say, the first permanent seastead will launch, the floodgates will open, and civilization may find itself hopping aboard a flotilla of giant Petri dishes.

As the oceans stretch and grow, seasteaders will already be in great shape. I do like to joke, Friedman wrote in an email, that the higher the seas, the better for seasteads!

Gregory Thomas is The Chronicle travel editor. Email: gthomas@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @GregRThomas

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Future ahoy: Are you ready to live in a floating city? - San Francisco Chronicle

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.

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The Problem with Seasteading | Bottom-up

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.

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Thailand says US man's seasteading home violates sovereignty

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.

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Thailand says US man's seasteading home violates sovereignty ...

Seasteading bitcoin couple charged with violating Thai …

Posted April 21, 2019 14:16:17

The Thai navy has boarded the floating cabin of a fugitive couple who are prominent members of the "seasteading" movement and may face the death sentence for setting up their offshore home.

Thai authorities have revoked the visa of bitcoin trader Chad Elwartowski and charged him and his partner, Supranee Thepdet, with violating Thai sovereignty by floating the cabin 14 nautical miles off the west coast of the Thai island of Phuket.

The cabin had been promoted as the world's first seastead by the group Ocean Builders, part of a movement to build floating communities beyond the bounds of nations as a way to explore alternative societies and governments.

"I was free for a moment. Probably the freest person in the world," Mr Elwartowski posted on Facebook on April 13, days before the Thai navy raided his vessel.

The 46-year-old and Ms Supranee, whose Facebook page describes her as a "Bitcoin expert, trader, chef, seastead pioneer", were not on board when the navy boarded, having apparently fled after a surveillance plane flew overhead the previous day.

The US embassy in Bangkok said Mr Elwartowski had engaged a lawyer and was being provided with appropriate assistance.

The Royal Thai Navy had planned on Saturday to seize the structure and tow it back to shore for use as evidence.

In a video posted last month detailing the construction of the floating home, Mr Elwartowski said 20 more similar homes would be up for sale to form a community.

Mr Elwartowski and Ocean Builders said the vessel was in international waters and beyond Thailand's jurisdiction, but Thai authorities said the structure was in its exclusive economic zone and therefore a violation of its sovereignty.

A Thai navy task force inspected the floating home on Saturday as it prepared to tow the structure back to Phuket.

"We will invite technical units and officials who have inspected the object to consult on the methods of towing to minimise damage," Captain Puchong Rodnikorn, chief of staff of the Operations Squadron of the Third Naval Area Command, said.

"Once the sea house reaches the shore, the owner of this house can come to inspect it, as well as come forward to the Thai authorities in order to prove themselves in the legal process."

The navy said it had evidence the floating home was built in a private boatyard in Phuket and the couple wanted to establish a "permanent settlement at sea beyond the sovereignty of nations by using a legal loophole".

It said the action "reveals the intention of disobeying the laws of Thailand and could lead to a creation of a new state within Thailand's territorial waters", adding this would undermine Thailand's national security as well as the economic and social interests of maritime nations.

Mr Elwartowski referred all questions to the Seasteading Institute and pointed to online statements from the Ocean Builders website in response to questions over the charges.

Mr Elwartowski and Ms Supranee are members of Ocean Builders, which has denied they were planning to set up an independent state or "micronation".

The group said the pair did not build, invest in or design the floating home themselves, but were "volunteers excited about the prospect of living free".

According to Ocean Builders, the concept of seasteading has been discussed for years, but the cabin Mr Elwartowski and Ms Supranee lived on was the first attempt at living in what it described as international waters.

Other groups, such as the Seasteading Institute, which was originally backed by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, have sought to build floating cities with the cooperation of host nations.

Reuters

Topics:law-crime-and-justice,community-and-society,currency,thailand

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Seasteading bitcoin couple charged with violating Thai ...

Bitcoin Couple’s Seastead Dreams Sunk by Thai Navy

By CCN: The Thai Navy has dismantled the floating sea cabin of U.S. bitcoin investor and seasteading advocate Chad Elwartowski. His Thai girlfriend Supranee Thepdet was living with him in the seastead. The Thai Navy boarded the boat over the weekend and returned its pieces to shore in three boats. The Thai government plans to use the dismantled floating home as evidence in a case against Elwartowsi and Thepdet.

The two are on the run and have engaged the U.S. embassy. The couple says that the Royal Thai Government is pressing to have them tried and killed for violating the Southeast Asian countrys national sovereignty. Its a crime that carries the death penalty in Thailand. Luckily, when the authorities moved to seize the vessel, the two had fled; Elwartowski had spotted a surveillance plane flying overhead the day before.

Although the government of Thailand maintains the seasteaders violated its national sovereignty, the couple most certainly did not. They did not engage in sedition against the government. They did not attempt to overthrow it, nor did they encourage anyone to break its laws. They simply chose to peacefully withdraw from its territory.

In the style of historys millions of homesteaders who left their countries and built something for themselves in unexplored and unsettled lands, this couple is a pair of explorers and pioneers. They are obviously not criminals.

In a statement released Monday, Patri Friedman,the chairman of the Seasteading Institute, urged compassion for the pair. Friedman insists their actions were no threat to Thai sovereignty.

The Thai governments response to the seasteading couple has sent shock waves throughout the international community and media. These events have likely spurred the most mainstream media coverage that the burgeoning seasteading movement has ever received. It is unfortunate that this publicity has come at so great and unfair a personal cost to two of the movements pioneers.

Seasteaders seek to settle humanitys next frontier this planets vast and abundant oceans.

The seasteading movement received a huge boost in 2008 when billionaire libertarian and tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel invested nearly $2 million in the Seasteading Institute. The rise of seasteading certainly introduces questions about national and individual sovereignty, but these challenges should be met with reason and understanding by the worlds sovereign states, not naked aggression.

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Bitcoin Couple's Seastead Dreams Sunk by Thai Navy

Michigan man faces death penalty in Thailand for building …

A Michigan man is on the run and hiding from Thailand police as he and his girlfriend are wanted by the Thai government for violating that countrys sovereignty by building a floating home off the nations coast.

According to the Associated Press, Chad Elwartowski and his girlfriend, Supranee Thepdet, - also known as Nadia Summergirl - have been charged by the Thailand Navy after they had been living on a small floating house anchored outside Thailands territorial waters. The seasteading home was approximately 12 nautical miles from shore.

Seasteading is a movement popular among those who wish to live free from the laws of countries by living in international waters. Elwartowski was living in a home built by a company known as Ocean Builders, which also picked the location.

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 AP.

The company hoped to use the first house as proof that it worked and to sell more units based on that success.

However, Thailand officials say Elwartowskis home threatened national security.

Rear Adm. Wintharat Kotchaseni told Thai media last week the floating house also posed a safety threat to navigation if it broke loose because the area is considered a shipping lane, the AP reports.

Elwartowski has documented part of the issue on his Facebook page, saying he did nothing wrong and asking for help. However, those pages have been removed. Elwartowski spoke with the AP last week about the issue.

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.

He went on to say he hopes his lawyer can hash out an agreement with the Thai government.

Elwartwoski graduated from Tecumseh High School in Tecumseh, MI and attended Michigan State University. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, one of Elwartowksis sisters said her brother made a significant amount of money by being an early investor in Bitcoin.

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Michigan man faces death penalty in Thailand for building ...

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.

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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 ...

What is Seasteading? DIS Magazine

disaster issue Alessandro Bava, architect and Renaissance man Martti Kalliala, and artist Daniel Keller discuss #seasteading and Tech-Secessionism.

The Seasteading argument:

1. We need a better legal system in order to increase freedom and efficiency.

2. The best way to find a better system is through diverse experimentation and competition.

3. One needs a location to make an experimental society.

4. All land is claimed by governments who wont give up their land, yet 70% of the earth is covered by oceans.

6. In order to make experimental societies we must build competing floating city-states on the ocean.

Daniel Keller: Seasteading is a portmanteau of Sea and homesteading. It is the concept of building semi-permanent cities at sea, usually in international waters and armed with novel socioeconomic and legal systems. Its sold as the optimal libertarian solution to the lack of innovation in government. Yet its essentially a fantasy escape plan for a permanent minority to circumvent a representative democracy, which is inherently unsympathetic to their devotion to tax evasion and secession.

Libertarians argue that the Federal government should consider itself a public option provider of citizen experience in the governance industry, and open the market to competing options. Obviously no national government is going to let this happen within their borders, so the idea is that they might, for some reason, just go ahead and tolerate it as long as it takes place in international waters. So a seastead is seen as the only way to lower the barriers of entry to the governance industry which are insurmountably high in any sovereign (land-based) nation. These platforms would ideally be built modularly so that citizens or groups could merge and split off to form new seasteads in the constant search for their optimum-blend society. (Islands having sex with other islands, then divorcing them).

ExitCon, Martti Kalliala

Alessandro Bava: Since the 15th century, understanding the legal and political status of the sea has been a struggle. Political philosophers like Hugo Grotius and Carl Schmitt have produced, in very different times, theories to define the immense and fluctuating body of water in terms of power relations. The renewed interest in seasteading seems to reignite that struggle by trying to inhabit the voids left by contemporary regulations on the sea, in times of global political instability. Do you think the seasteading option is a form of new colonialism, and in a way interprets current frustration with traditional governance models?

Martti Kalliala: I dont think the colonial lens necessarily sets a meaningful frame in which to understand seasteading even though you could say its rooted in a narrative sequence beginning with Manifest Destiny (then hitting the Pacific Wall, and reopening the idea of the frontier via a literal application of Blue Ocean Strategy).

But yes, frustration and anxiety for sure re: broken governance systems that have been experienced across the political spectrum. Theres a whole lot to be said about the current, and to a certain degree generational, disposition towards exit over voice. The tendency to favor opting-out over staying in, to create new structures rather than improve what already exists, to build a startup instead of a tracked career in existing organizations or to start a new country. Exitcore might then be the aesthetic limit of utopia.

DK: I agree that the narrative basis of seasteading could be seen as a literal extension of Manifest Destiny off of the California coast and into the Pacific and beyond. But as opposed to classic forms of colonialism there arent any people out there being directly displaced or subjugatedseasteading has all the excitement and potential of a frontier without the humanitarian guilt. When I asked Peter Thiel about his interest in seasteading at the DLD conference a few years ago he framed it exclusively as fulfilling an emotional need for new exploitable frontiers as a catalyst for innovation and economic growthfirst the oceans and then space.

AB: Will the next war be fought at sea?

DK: A lot has already been written about the emerging scramble for the North. The Nordic countries, Canada, Russia and the USA are all jockeying for resources and access trade routes in the soon-to-be ice-free Arctic Ocean. In fact a lot of potential geopolitical hotspots involve access to the sea, most notably Russias annexation of Crimea which was primarily about maintaining control of its only southern naval base and access to the Black Sea or the dispute over the resources around the Spratly Islands in the S. China Sea which threaten to escalate into a regional war.

Moreover, its a common belief that wars over access to freshwater will be the 21st century equivalent of wars over oil. So one way or another wars this century will be fought on or for water.

Simon Denny, TEDxVADUZ REDUX at T293 gallery / Courtesy T293, Rome

AB: Is it untimely that such interest in the sea is territorial even in times when the biggest industries are non-territorial (i.e finance)?

MK: But the body is still territorial. And the banality and awkwardness of needing to deposit ones physical body somewhere to be free is really fascinating: one would choose this total unfreedom and hardship that comes with living on an isolated platform in a corrosive, at times hostile ocean environment in exchange for a set of abstract, mainly negative freedoms. Culturally its a bizarre combination of settler machismo battling the challenges of the life aquatic and an almost autistic disregard for ones physical environment like whatever as long as there is soylent, hi-speed internet and a lax tax code.

DK: I think its a misconception that weve moved beyond the territorial. I think its similar to fantasies of the internet as immaterial when in fact it is an enormous, lumbering stack of physical infrastructure. This is also why I think people were so shocked by Russias territorial expansion into Ukraine fighting for territory felt so retro. But even finance is super-territorial (not non-territorial). Enormous profits are derived from exploiting the differing energy states between jurisdictions, through tax avoidance schemes like the double irish or the dutch sandwich, sort of comparable to a steam engine generating energy from thermal gradients. If the world was really post-territorial, this would no longer be possible. A uniform and post-territorial world would be akin to a state of maximum entropy.

AB: Martti how do you think seasteading is relevant in architecture, or rather how is architecture relevant to seasteading?!

MK: Its pretty obvious how existing and historical architectural typologies of living and working could be applied in more intelligent and interesting ways compared to these naval engineer / archi-hobbyist designs that now circulate online.

More interesting is the fact that designing a seastead would mean collapsing spatial concepts such as country, city, neighborhood, territory, site and building into basically one architectural gesture. Or, at the other end of the spectrum, in a design where secession is possible down to the scale of an individual building or cell a seastead as a kind of plankton raft of floating mini-steads these concepts become almost meaningless.

AB: Daniel how has your interest in seasteading translated into your art practice. In general whats the relationship between your research and your art-making?

DK: Its always a bit difficult for me to translate my interest in something into an exhibition format intended for art world audiences (without veering into didactic illustration on the one hand or obscurant poetics on the other). But of course on an allegoric and visual level seasteading is so incredibly rich with potential that I think it is worth trying. In my exhibition Lazy Ocean Drift last year at New Galerie in Paris (which was my first solo show post aids-3d) I tried to introduce a constellation of ideas around seasteading, offshore finance, labor automation, and ecological disaster in the form of sculpture, sound, installation and video.

I am working on a proposal for a follow-up exhibition in an institution in Germany where I will transform the space into a sort of site-specific immersive seastead simulator. The centerpiece of the proposal is a 7 channel video projection onto the windows of the space, which will display a real-time rendered seascape generated in a video game engine.

AB: Theres something beautiful about imagining the sea horizon as the only view from your future windowis that just romantic? Or is it a generational phenomenon that arises from the implication of false ideas of limitlessness in technology, and the actual physical and phenomenological limitation we experience everyday?

MK: If its romantic, the ocean-as-image is also culturally (and apparently also biologically) imprinted with a host of associations that have been successfully appropriated by financial capitalism. Just think of concepts such as liquidity, offshore, Blue Ocean Strategy etc. and the imagery they are typically associated with. This is of course something that Daniel has been looking at a lot in his practice.

DK: Yes, I think the appeal of this imagery really boils down to an almost lizardbrain attraction to blue and green landscapes. By employing that sort of imagery to illustrate entirely artificial concepts like liquidity, it lends them a sense of naturalistic inevitability. I imagine liquidity looks more like cubes on a conveyer belt than a splash of refreshing aquamarine mouthwash.

AB: For me ultimately the idea of seasteading conflicts with the idea of world order, meaning: imagining the coexistence of many tiny floating utopias where you can choose your preferred form of life seems totally nuts. Thats what happened in colonial americaand then the USA happened

MK: Or you could consider seasteading as being a completely predictable glitch of that very world order inhabiting its voids as you said earlier. If nature abhors a vacuum then human nature abhors any vacuum of governance. So pretty much every opportunity for jailbreak from so-called Westphalian state space, which is the foundation of our current world order, has been ruthlessly exploited in the form of thousands of extra-state, extra-legal real and virtual spaces covering our globe from special economic zones to offshore finance to Guantanamo. Seasteading is just a tiny sub-narrative of this rearranging and relayering of sovereign space. In itself I doubt it could pose an existential threat to this so-called world order, but it doesnt claim to be one.

AD: How do you imagine your island?

MK: I think the neo-Victorian New Atlantis from Neal Stephensons Diamond Age mixed with Leon Kriers Atlantis would offer an attractive USP.

DK: I imagine a real seastead to be an incredibly depressing unabomber style man cave. A barnacle-pocked corroding metal platform, littered with semen-encrusted socks, stockpiled food in filthy barrels and broken algae bioreactors; the water surrounded by floating plastic garbage.

Daniel Keller, Lazy Ocean Drift at New Galerie / Courtesy New Galerie, Paris

AB: In 2012 I did a project for a seasteding island off the shore of Naples, Italy. The idea was to create a free trade zone in the sea, operated by the Italian government, which would benefit from a new neighborhood. The project was published online on the most read left wing newspaper, La Repubblica, and generated tons of negative responses Why do you think seasteading has so many enemies?

MK: Id presume its as unattractive as most libertarian ideas in general to the vast majority of people. Thats also part of the libertarian argument for it: people with a natural disposition for libertarian ideas will always remain a minority, hence a libertarian government can never get into power through the democratic process, hence seasteading.

In any case, funny that you mention the hostility towards your project as I just last week had the opposite experience. In 2008 I produced a rather well researched but completely preposterous project to construct an artificial island a kind of SEZ-meets-TAZ social laboratory in the Baltic Sea between Helsinki and Tallinn by using the excavated rock material of a potential railway tunnel dug between the two cities. I just got mail from the mayors office in Helsinki requesting the drawings as they would like to bring the idea back into discussion. Now Im not sure if this is a good idea

Daniel Keller, Lazy Ocean Drift at New Galerie / Courtesy New Galerie, Paris

DK: Yeah there is a huge disconnect between the idea of seasteading as a platform for experimenting with various forms of governance and the reality that the vast majority of people interested in pursuing it are orthodox libertarians who see some kind of anarcho capitalist libertarianism as the inevitable winner in a fair fight between political systems. I really think that a belief in libertarianism is linked to a distinctive and relatively rare neurological type, and therefore will never convince the vast majority of people who tend towards a more altruistic and collectivized morality.

Daniel Keller, Lazy Ocean Drift at New Galerie / Courtesy New Galerie, Paris

AB: Martti recently you have rewritten Rem Koolhaas text City of the Captive Globe, readapting it for seasteading, could you explain that connection?

MK: So the original text was an early hypothesis of the theory of Manhattan written before Koolhaass seminal book Delirious New York. In it he abstracts Manhattan into its essential parts: a gridded archipelago in which each science and mania has its own plot. On each plot you have a base (platform) on top of which each philosophy can construct its own edifice, suspend unwelcome laws, facilitate speculative activity, etc. Here 1920s Manhattan works as an ideological laboratory and an incubator of the world itself (the actual office and condo-filled Manhattan obviously failed to deliver on this hypothesis). Today of course the incubator is a startup incubator and the grid is the smooth unobstructed space of the ocean. So suddenly the text becomes the subconscious theory of seasteading

While I understand the relative pragmatism of the Seasteading Institute looking into solving the fundamental hard problems of settling in an ocean environment which Im sure is necessary for them to gain any mainstream acceptance, the potential of the seasteading imaginary is to a degree wasted on trying too hard to make sense of it. It will probably never make sense, and it shouldnt. For it to be truly attractive I believe it ought to be explicitly charged with libido, excess, and insanity essentially the unfulfilled promise of Manhattanism as a kind of boiling aquaculture. So instead of the lock-in of the grid, a liquid substrate on which islands can copulate and produce mutant offspring, collapse, burn and rise again. And, why not resurrect seapunk as some kind of aesthetic practice of every day life?

Daniel Keller, Lazy Ocean Drift at New Galerie / Courtesy New Galerie, Paris

On December 11, Martti Kalliala is organizing a symposium in NYC about Seasteading, including new work by Daniel Keller:

ExitCon a Symposium on the Formal Imaginary of Tech-Secessionism

Van Alen Institute30 W. 22nd StNew York, NY

See the original post here:

What is Seasteading? DIS Magazine

Will Seasteading Create First Truly Non-Violent Nations …

Why do the nations rage?

I don't know. Maybe because they're out of ammo culturally. As Joe Quirk, president ofThe Seasteading Institute calls them, the 193 monopolies on government that control 7.6 billion people right now" could benefit from some peace-loving competition. More importantly, the existence of his planned seasteads, floating platform-based ocean communities, could benefit the ostensible customers of monopoly governments by modeling nonviolent, voluntary community making.

Iinterviewed Quirk because I am interested in the cause of liberty and nonviolence from an anthropological perspective. I am curious about why humans group together and assent to monopolies of violence called states. I want to know how humans came to morally condone and even consecrate the violence such entities employ against nonviolent people for disagreeing with majoritarian might-makes-right rules.

Watch the interview here:

In the news today we are hearing reports that an elderly pundit Dr. Jerome Corsi is likely facing prison time for getting tripped up in a perjury trap during psychologically abusing grillings by grand inquisitor Robert Mueller. Corsi's actions, whatever the specifics, did not produce a victim. (Robert Mueller did when he helped mislead the nation into the Iraq War, as tens of thousands of wounded or killed soldiers prove.)

Regardless of what you think of his politics, Corsi is facing the prospect of being locked in a cage merely for the impotently cathartic game of DC blood sport. Seemingly near half the country seems to be foaming at the mouth at the sight of a political writer being caged in his last years just because he favored their rivals' presidential pick. Who wants to live in a society where its law and liberty is decided by these violent bouts of scapegoat ping pong?

Centralized monopolies that demand the right to initiate violence against any nonviolent misfit are devolving into anarchic schisms of mad groupthink. Where do we get off this ride?

To exit the vehicle safely, we must know how we got in it and why it is breaking down and making us sick on its way out of commission.

The enigmatic Jewish prophet Habakkuk once wrote, Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by injustice!

He wrote it at a time in which evidence suggests the world was filled with societies founded and mediated by controlled acts of bloodshed. Today, we call it ritual human sacrifice and tribal war campaigns for glory. As sophisticated moderns, we are embarrassed to address the seeming fluke of sacrifice so ubiquitous to human history so we awkwardly shuffle it off to the corners of our museums. At best, the fashionable answer is that sacrifice was a quirk of religion or agriculture or proto-patriarchy or some other such cultural institution that soiled our primal nobility.

In reality, sacrifice was a safety valve ancient communities used to channel pent up resentment, fear, and conflict into misfit human vessels of destruction. These scapegoats were marked out from the masses by some arbitrary difference that made them unbearably peculiar to suspicious crowds looking to avert famine, disease, or other harbingers of social in-fighting and disorder. Eventually, the governing authorities streamlined the process of sacrifice to include foreign-captured slaves who first received orgies and feasts to make them tainted enough with the local spirit of the community in tension.

We think we educated ourselves out of human sacrifice but this is a convenient myth we tell ourselves to justify its continual residue in our daily lives. Every culture that sends state agents to lock up a woman sellingunlicensed tamales or a politicaldissident or an addict or an Amishherbal salve seller is still very much enthralled by the one-for-all logic underlying our generative sacrificial origins.

Today, we hide our consent for coercion against misfits by telling ourselves it is for the protection of victims and children. As if, for example, another Amish farmer thrown into a violent prison cage would cause the nation to perish if he was left alone to sellhis raw milk.

Beyond domestic sacrificial violence in the name of victims, it is difficult to find a single country in existence today that did not have its founding determined by self-justifying war. As another remnant of sacred ritual, war has been a socially binding agent for societies: a means of uniting restless neighbors in righteous self-sacrifice of life and wealth for the defeat of a less-than-human foreign foe. Yet recent years have shown that as the public is more frequently exposed to the images of constant intervention in countries like Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Syria, whatever unifying high war has long held is rapidly dissipating.

Our increasing sensitivity to the plight of the other, be it the drug war-ravaged family or drone strike victims abroad, make the governance models built on the initiation of physical violence against nonviolent people increasingly ineffective. No wonder criminal justice reform and ending wars are now the few areas of overwhelming political unity. Yet political systems, always in a lag from cultural trajectories because of structural incentives to maintain the status quo, are dramatically slow to decisively satisfy such popular demands.

A command-and-control economy where medical innovation and scientific reform are bugs to be blocked by bureaucracies simply has too much inertia built on the foundation of sacrificial wars and regulations to change its ways any time soon.

That's why Joe Quirk and the Seasteading project are such a fascinating case to consider. As sacrificial forms of governance continue to leave their citizens in disunity and internal resentment over who gets what spoils in a supposedly zero-sum economy, we have a real chance to see the first sovereign societies develop free from bloodshed.

An ocean-platform community voluntarily funded and organized, if successful, is a monumental event in human anthropology.

Just having a place where problem solvers and innovators can develop potential breakthroughs in science, medicine, and innovation, free from deeply captured regulatory apparatuses could be a tremendous leap forward for mankind. And if these societies can maintain a thriving, non-monopoly state-managed existence, the rest of the world's governments will be on notice to wean off of sacrificial violence or perish through increased social unrest and decline.

Competition may be a sin to John D. Rockefeller. But when it comes to bloated bureaucracies buoyed by outdated ways of treating human beings, it looks like a big beautiful blue ocean to me.

See the article here:

Will Seasteading Create First Truly Non-Violent Nations ...

Patri Friedman – Wikipedia

Patri Friedman (born July 29, 1976) is an American libertarian activist and theorist of political economy.[1] He founded the nonprofit Seasteading Institute, which explores the creation of sovereign ocean colonies.[2][3][4]

Friedman grew up in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of Upper Merion Area High School, class of 1994, where he went by the name Patri Forwalter-Friedman. He was named after Patri J. Pugliese, a close friend of his parents.[5] He graduated from Harvey Mudd College in 1998, and went on to Stanford University to obtain his master's degree in computer science. He also holds an MBA from New York Institute of Technology Ellis College.[6] He worked as a software engineer at Google.[7][8] As a poker player, he cashed in the World Series of Poker four times.[9]

Friedman was executive director of the Seasteading Institute, founded on April 15, 2008, with a half-million-dollar donation by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.[10] The Institute's mission is "to establish permanent, autonomous ocean communities to enable experimentation and innovation with diverse social, political, and legal systems".[11][12] This was initially a part-time project one day a week while working as a Google engineer the rest of the time[7] but Friedman left Google on July 29, 2008 to spend more time on seasteading.[13] He and partner Wayne Gramlich hoped to float the first prototype seastead in the San Francisco Bay by 2010.[14][15] At the October 2010 Seasteading social, it was announced that current plans were to launch a seastead by 2014.[16]

Since attending the Burning Man festival in 2000, Friedman imagined creating a water festival called Ephemerisle as a Seasteading experiment and Temporary Autonomous Zone. Through the Seasteading Institute, Friedman was able to start the Ephemerisle festival in 2009, aided by TSI's James Hogan as event organizer and Chicken John Rinaldi as chief builder. The first Ephemerisle is chronicled in a documentary by Jason Sussberg.[17] Since 2010, the event has been annual and community-run.

On 31 July 2011, Friedman stepped down from the position as Executive Director of Seasteading Institute, but remained chairman of the board.[18] Later, he co-founded the Future Cities Development Corporation, a project to establish a self-governing charter city within the borders of Honduras.[19][20]

In 2012 it was announced the initiative would be halted due to the changing political climate of Honduras.[21]

During his poker career, Patri Freidman was predicted to become a world champion by Card Player Magazine.[22] He claims to have created AI bots for online poker.[23]

Patri is the grandson of Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman[24] and economist Rose Friedman and son of economist and physicist David D. Friedman.[24][25] He has two children by his first wife. As of Feb 10 2018, he is married to Brit Benjamin.[26]

View post:

Patri Friedman - Wikipedia

Floating islands project in French Polynesia The …

Who is Blue Frontiers?

Founded in 2017 by members of The Seasteading Institute and a former minister of French Polynesia, Blue Frontiers has a diverse team from around the world, working on developing floating islands in French Polynesia. It is now independently responsible for all aspects of the project.

Blue Frontiers aims to build an ecosystem of products and services to promote sea level rise resiliency, sustainable development, and societal innovation.

The project consists of constructing ecological floating platforms in a lagoon of French Polynesia that could offer a response to the challenges of rising sea levels and sustainable development.

These platforms would also provide a basis for homes, offices and infrastructure to encourage the formation of vibrant communities and explore new ways of living together.

At the same time, we want to promote innovation in digital and marine technologies by creating an attractive destination benefiting from its unique framework.

The Institute was in the process of evaluating potential host countries when it was invited by a Polynesian to consider French Polynesia, given the many strengths of the region:

The Polynesian government will fund neither the studies nor the completion of the project. No Polynesian tax dollars will fund Seasteads. No local investors will get tax exemptions either. The Institute estimates that the amount we are going to have to invest in Polynesia will be between 30 to 50 million USD for the pilot phase.

The floating island project will improve the traditional framework of special economic zones with provisions specifically designed to attract investors in French Polynesia. Because free zones already exist elsewhere, we need an innovative legislative framework and streamlined administrative procedures to attract partners and investors.

During our trip to French Polynesia in September 2016, we visited several promising sites. Detailed studies must now be undertaken, taking into account in particular the local residents, the seabed, the currents, and the profile of the wind and waves.

The images on our website come from ideas and studies done before we chose French Polynesia as our host country. Our architects will design floating islands that suit the specific environmental and aesthetic needs of the site we select.

The environment is a major concern of the project, and our architects are very sensitive to protecting it. Our islands are designed to have a negligible impact on the environment, use renewable energies and may even, according to some preliminary studies, lead to an improvement of the ecosystem under certain conditions. We plan to form partnerships for the monitoring of the seabed and to share knowledge about our progress.

The protocol signals the willingness of the government and the Institute to work together. In 2017, Blue Frontiers completed and submitted to the government environmental and economic studies. Following that, the government will develop an appropriate legislative framework for the project.

You can download the text of the protocol (english text at in the second part).

Our partners and companies attracted by this project will contribute to the diversification of the Polynesian economy and help retain local graduates who might otherwise look abroad for opportunities.

Significant investments in construction will spread to the local economy, and businesses and residents will maintain or increase employment with domestic suppliers and traders.

We hope to help place Polynesia at the center of international efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change, notably by developing the technologies needed to maintain populations threatened by rising sea levels in the Tuamotu and elsewhere.

Listen to Minister Jean Christophe Bouissou present the project and its benefits to TNTV:

Read more here:

Floating islands project in French Polynesia The ...

French Polynesia cuts ties with libertarian Seasteading …

A South Pacific island nation is cutting ties with tech billionaires and libertarians.

In 2017, government officials in French Polynesia signed an agreement with the Seasteading Institute, a group founded by investor and entrepreneur Peter Thiel, that would give the libertarian group access to build a floating and politically autonomous city, called a seastead, off the coast.

Now the country's ruling political party says the agreement has expired.

The ruling Tapura Huiraatira party said in a Facebook post that the memorandum of understanding, a non-binding document that sealed the government's intent to work with the group, had a "deadline of validity" at the end of 2017. The agreement became void in January 2018.

"It's not a contract. This document does not bind the Country [sic] in any way. It has no legal value," the Facebook note said.

Facebook/tapura-huiraatira-officiel

In 2008, Thiel, a longtime tech industry fixture and a Trump transition team member, set out on a mission to develop a floating city that would run independently from existing nations. Thiel invested $1.7 million in The Seasteading Institute, but resigned from its board in 2011.

Thiel later said in an interview that engineering seasteads is "not quite feasible."

After the group's founding in 2008, some tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley chastised the idea, saying that the island paradises would be too wild, expensive, and elitist to generate real results.

But the seasteading concept began eventually gathering support from libertarians and people living outside the Silicon Valley bubble. A 2013 crowdfunding campaign raised over $27,000.

For years, the Seasteading Institute wanted to set up camp in international waters. Eventually, the group determined the costs of building hundreds of miles from a shoreline, away from an existing nation, were too extravagant. So the institute decided to team up with a host country.

French Polynesia fit the bill.

The island chain is located an eight-hour flight from Los Angeles. It has a fiber cable that runs underwater to Hawaii, providing the bandwidth that tech workers require.

Rising sea levels threaten French Polynesia's existence, which made a proposal to build new land appealing to the government.

An artist's rendering shows the plans for a seastead off the coast of Tahiti in French Polynesia. Blue Frontiers

In 2016, the Seasteading Institute sent a delegation to meet with French Polynesian officials. They drafted an informal agreement between the government and the Seasteading Institute.

But as the Seasteading Institute plotted its vision, locals from Tahiti the largest island in French Polynesia grew increasingly concerned about the prospect of "tech colonialism."

A documentary film crew followed the Seasteading Institute leadership at a conference in Tahiti last year. They found that locals weren't given much of a voice at these events. In the film, Alexandre Taliercio, a local radio and TV personality, describes the seastead project as a cross between "visionary genius" and "megalomania."

In a 2017 interview with The Guardian, Taliercio argued that rich Americans just want to skip out on paying taxes. "These millionaires have much more to gain than we do," he said.

The Seasteading Institute has not publicly addressed the sunken plans. Its website features a video about the French Polynesian "floating island" splashed across the front page.

Business Insider contacted the Seasteading Institute and did not immediately receive comment.

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French Polynesia cuts ties with libertarian Seasteading ...

Press Mentions The Seasteading Institute

David Slack: Maybe I found an island

Stuff.co, 4 February, 2018

A seastead is an idea; a floating community at sea. It is a homestead, just like in the John Wayne movies, but on the water, not the prairie; outside the reach of any government.

Read More

WIRED.com, 16 January, 2018

This is one of the most important books Ive ever read. Dave Barr Kirtley, science fiction author & host of Geeks Guide to the Galaxy podcast.

One hour podcast, no edits.

Listen and Read More

The Daily Sentinel, 5 January, 2018

The Seasteading Institute has steadily grown in credibility, its vision no longer considered science fiction, especially because there is now an actual prototype being designed. It involves several private companies, architects, scholars, and now the government of French Polynesia The Institute created a company called Blue Frontiers to construct and operate the proposed city, planned for occupation by the end of this decade. Its artist drawings are fascinating, showing a floating island with houses and commercial buildings attached by floating causeways Perhaps the oceans covering 70 percent of the Earth may really be the next frontier.

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TABI LABO, 4 January, 2018

Japan Media

In preparation for the tsunami disaster due to typhoons and earthquakes, the Seasteading Institute has selected narrow places with little influence of the open oceanWe can hardly imagine ourselves shifting from the present life to the maritime life, but the research of the Seasteading Institute may be drawing attention as a useful techniquelets continue to focus on the magnificent project for the future.

Progrss, 2 January, 2018

Featured on Home Page!

San Franciscan non-profit, The Seasteading Institute, is working towards building self-sufficient and self-reliable floating cities in an attempt to reverse environmental damage and jumpstart the global economy.

The organizations goal is to maximize entrepreneurial freedom and reverse damage accrued to the environment.

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Newshub, 28 December 2017

Marvelous Mainstream TV in New Zealand!

The movement is called sea steading, a man-made floating community that sets its own laws and is self-sustaining, and the first one could be built on our Pacific doorstep in French Polynesia.

Watch and Read More!

Radio New Zealand, 27 December 2017

The creators of a man-made floating island off Tahiti say they want a quarter of its population to be made up of Polynesian people.

`We feel weve convinced the government and a lot of the population theres a real opportunity to work together to improve the lagoon. [Co-founder] Marc Collins said first figures show living there would be affordable and might cost about the same as an apartment in Papeete.

He said Blue Frontiers was still in talks with the French Polynesian government about creating a special regulatory environment for the project which is aimed at attracting investment and talent.

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INHABITAT, 27 December 2017

Inhabitat spoke with architect Simon Nummy and Blue Frontiers co-founder Joe Quirk to hear more about the vision for the worlds first floating city.

`Each building strives for energy independence and the architecture results from this;energy efficiencyandpassivestrategies are vital, Nummy told Inhabitat. `Polynesian architecture is primarily about the roof and we have tried to interpret this in a contemporary, sensitive way that both reflects local precedents whileharvesting rainwaterand discretely maximizing the opportunities for photovoltaics andvertical axis wind turbines.'

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Straits Times, 24 December 2017

With seasteading, we can put tens of thousands or perhaps millions of people on platforms in our lifetime. With the Mars plan, the reality of many people going in our lifetime is slim. Its cool to colonise the solar system, but theres an atmosphere on earth and we can live here. Oceans are the only place were not really living. We should own our own planet first, and it will be much cheaper. How many billions or trillions of dollars would it take to put dozens, not to mention thousands, of people on Mars? posed Randolph Hencken, the executive director of the Seasteading Institute.

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Newsmax TV, 22 December, 2017

Newsmax TV reaches 40 million homes!

My imagination is definitely excited, saysNewsmax host Bill Tucker. This is fascinating. Basically what youre talking about is a free market of government. Dont like this one? Go move to another place. Joe, good luck, really and truly, with the venture. It sounds tremendously exciting.

Watch!

History of an extraordinary project:

Imagine a handful of artificial islands forming an arc of a circle, with houses with raised roofs, offices, laboratories, trade, underwater restaurant and artificial beaches This maritime city, politically autonomous, does not depend on any government!

Read PDFfor free or paid content on-line

La Dpche de Tahiti, 21 December 2017

The initial project of the floating islands of 7,500 square meters on the water could triple in sizemore than 2,000 jobs could be created [by 2030].Blue Frontiers offers a strict environmental impact control framework

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France TV Info, 21 December, 2017

These are young people who believe that we have a better tomorrow, says Marc Collins, ambassador to The Seasteading Institute and Managing Director of Blue Frontiers.

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CNN Tech, 20 December, 2017

This is a huge score for mainstream acceptance of seasteading.

The US-based Seasteading Institute intends to build a Floating Island Project off the coast of Tahiti. It would consist of cities built on modular platforms. The project could be proof-of-concept for future politically autonomous countries built on water.

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DailyMail, 18 December 2017

The structures will feature green roofs covered with vegetation and construction will use local bamboo, coconut fibre, and recycled metal and plasticthe project will still need to be approved by the local government, and possibly France, which holds the territory.

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The Sun, 18 December 2017

Great British Press!

`If we can be behind a reef break, then we can design floating platforms that are sufficient for those waters at an affordable cost. We dont have to start from scratch as this is a pilot project. They also have very stable institutions so were able to work with a government that wants us there, that we have respect for and they have respect for us.

Randolph [Hencken] added that he was confident the project could benefit the French Polynesias economy and draw in a fresh wave of tourism.

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O Globo, 18, December, 2017

The consortium believes that by 2050 the Pacific is home to thousands of new city-states.

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Fault Lines, 18 December 2017

Listen!

Business Insider, 17 December 2017

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52-insights, 16 December 2017

A highly eccentric ideafrom the fringes of Silicon ValleyWe talk to American author Joe Quirk.

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Novinky, 14 December 2017

Great Czech Republic Press!

A place on the shores of French Polynesia has already been visited by architects and engineers The floating town of Polynesia is also set to operate in a Special Economic Zone where it is possible to test the ideas of Quirk and his colleagues.The authors of the project want to have their research institute and also a power plant capable of delivering and selling clean energy.

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Mundo, 10 December 2017

Major Brazilian Press!

The Economist (German), 8, December 2017

Stupendous German Press!

Private Cities in International Waters.

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iNews, 8 December 2017

Great British Press!

Floating cities may sound like science fiction, but if Blue Frontiers has its way, about 250 people will be living on about 15 artificial islands in the lagoon by 2020. By 2030, the company hopes to have installed a total of 45 islands and its effort to extend the concept of civilisation into something it likes to call sea-vilisation will be well underway.

Blue Frontiers is the commercial wing of the Seasteading Institute, an organisation committed to building floating startup societies that offer innovative governance models. In Tahiti it will attempt to achieve both aims by locating its islands in a newly created special economic zone that offers latitude to experiment with new ways of running a community.

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Science and Future, 31 November 2017

Great French Press!

The aim of the project is multiple, to the point where we no longer know where to turn our heads: it would be an opportunity to test different modes of governance, to experiment with sustainable technologies (desalination, renewable energies, floating food production), but also constitute scientific marine stations. Or even serve as liferafts for coastal populations displaced by sea level rise.

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Tahiti-Infos, 30 November 2017

Great Tahiti Press!

The floating island project sponsored by the Californian Seasteading Institute is starting to take shape The Polynesian manager of the structure, Marc Collins, confirms to us that [Blue Frontiers] will be on time to respect its commitments towards the Country, with a publication of the environmental and socio-economic impact studies of their artificial island before the end of the year.

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Latina Geeks, 30 November 2017

ICOs to WatchBlue Frontiersis the for-profit arm of theSeasteading Institute, a non-profit that is exploring the concept of building floating societies on man-made islands that will act as self-governing organizations of startups, research labs, and homes.

Blue Frontiers has signed an MOU with French Polynesia (Tahiti) to build a floating island in the protected waters of a Tahitian lagoon, which will be the first of these startup society ecosystems. The Tahitians are on the front lines of climate change, as it is predicted that a third of the Tahitian Islands will be underwater by 2100. As a people, Tahitians are aware of their need to find options to keep their cultural traditions and people alive beyond climate change impact. Tahitians also consider themselves the original Seasteaders as they have been sailing and living at sea their entire history.

With seasteading as a viable option in the coming decades, we can look beyond the frustration of modern political systems. Peacefully exploring alternative methods of governance for the betterment of humanity is worthy of pursuit.

~ Randy Hencken, Cofounder Blue-Frontiers

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Original post:

Press Mentions The Seasteading Institute

Seasteading: living in international waters indefinitely

Not affiliated with The Seasteading Institute (TSI), but huge supporters. Recommend visiting them: http://seasteading.org/

Contribute to the TSI Wiki

What is Seasteading? [Patri Friedman]

Infographic: How Seasteading Can Improve the World

Joe Quirk's new book is out: "Seasteading: How Ocean Cities Will Change The World"

The Steasteading Institute (TSI) resources:

STOP FIGHTING: How seasteading can improve the world (video)

TSI Floating City Project Report shows that there exists a market for seasteading now, that seasteads can be built within the price point of this market, and that host nations are likely to offer significant political autonomy.

Read the TSI|Delta-Sync "Seasteading Implementation Plan: Final Concept Report" detailing how a model seastead community could be built, structured, and rolled out.

Get Involved: become a Seasteading Institute Ambassador and help spread the word about what we're trying to do, and how seasteading can improve the lives of everyone.

Interested in one day moving to a seastead? "This survey measures the preferences and demands of future pioneers including full- and part-time residents as well as time-share holders." Take the Floating City Survey.

DeltaSyncs Design & Feasibility Report. TSI determined that DeltaSyncs concept is better adapted for the strategy of the Floating City Project, which encourages early seasteads to form within protected waters.

Phase II: Fact-finding & Diplomatic Floating City Project Mission

Want to stay informed? Sign up for the Seasteading Institute's Newsletter here.

Have relevant experience or expertise to contribute to seasteading, the Seasteading Institute is looking for you, apply here: info@seasteading.org

Related Subreddits:

/r/Aquaculture

/r/Floathouse

/r/Blueseed

/domain/seasteading.org

See the article here:

Seasteading: living in international waters indefinitely

Seasteading | Book by Joe Quirk, Patri Friedman | Official …

A bold vision of the near future: cities built on floating platforms in the ocean, where people will forge their own governments and by living sustainably will solve many of our critical environmental problems.

Our planet is suffering from serious environmental problems: coastal flooding due to severe storms caused in part by atmospheric pollution, diminishing natural resources such as clean water, and so on. But while these problems plague Planet Earth, two-thirds of our globe is Planet Ocean. The seas can be home to pioneers, seasteaders, who are willing to homestead the Blue Frontier. Oil platforms and cruise ships already inhabit the waters; now its time to take the next step to full-fledged ocean civilizations. In their fascinating examination of a practical solution to our earthly problems, Joe Quirk and Patri Friedman profile some of the visionaries who are implementing basic concepts of seasteading: farming the oceans for new sources of nutrition; using the seas as a new sustainable energy source; establishing more equitable economies; reinventing architecture to accommodate the demands of living on the ocean.

These pioneers include Ricardo Radulovich, an agricultural water scientist who has built prototypes for giant seaweed farms to create new food sources; Neil Sims, a biologist who has invented new sustainable free-floating fish farms; Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones, a biotechnology entrepreneur investing heavily in algae fuel to replace fossil fuels; Patrick Takahashi, a biochemical engineer who wants to create floating cities that draw on the oceans as an energy source, and many others. Their research efforts have been supported by organizations like the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Lockheed Martin.

An entrepreneurs dream, these floating cities will become laboratories for innovation and creativity. Seasteading may be visionary, but it already has begun proving the adage that yesterdays science fiction is tomorrows science fact. Welcome to seavilization.

Link:

Seasteading | Book by Joe Quirk, Patri Friedman | Official ...