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Diary of a Seasteader
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Diary of a Seasteader's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
2:33 pm
New LJ Community for Seasteaders
If you're following this journal, you should join us over at seastead, the new seasteading LJ community.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
10:54 am
Last chance to register for conference events
This week is the last chance to RSVP for our upcoming conference and related events.

First annual conference - Friday, October 10th
Post-Conference Kayaking! - Saturday, October 11th
Post-Conference Dinner on Floating Island Restaurant! - Saturday, October 11th

You are welcome to come to kayaking or the Forbes Island dinner whether or not you attend the conference.
Wednesday, May 28th, 2008
10:27 pm
Snippets through 5/28/2008
Snippets through 5/28/2008

And lots of other posts, friend tsi_main_full (full feed) or tsi_main (post summaries) to get them all, as this blog will be discontinued soon. Seems a little strange that the syndicated feeds have a total of 17 friends while this journal has 115...
Monday, May 19th, 2008
7:54 pm
Monday, May 12th, 2008
5:26 pm
Monday, May 5th, 2008
11:26 am
Seastead blog posts for the week
Why Seasteading Matters

Heading to Offshore Technology Conference next week!

Name for an agglomeration of seasteads

This week's snippets were quite short:
Not a lot of external progress to report this week, as we were focused on our first Board meeting and 2008 strategy. Now that we've done that, expect to see some detailed volunteer project specs and job requisitions coming up. I'm headed to the OTC tonight, and may blog from there.

Happy Cinco De Mayo!
Monday, April 28th, 2008
10:28 pm
Weekly Snippets, 4/28/08
(you can comment on the original post on the new blog)
  • Community
  • Administrative
    • We have a board meeting this week, and will be finalizing 2007 strategy so we can get some job/volunteer reqs and projects posted.
    • We're on track to apply for nonprofit status in a couple weeks.
    • Wayne toured some potential office/workshop/dock space in Redwood City, there's also a conference center on the water there we might snag for our first conference in the fall.
  • Research - natch
  • Engineering - Wayne wrote up a Base Seastead design to serve as a strawman for discussion.  We talked to a helpful offshore structure engineer and got a lot of useful info about how to set up our research program.
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008
5:05 pm
new blog posts
This blog still seems to have a lot more readers than the new one (tsi_main, RSS, HTML), so I'll cross-post a few items here to advertise the new blog, since there's been some (IMNSHO) interesting stuff:
Wednesday, April 16th, 2008
11:15 am
LJ feed of seasteading blog
tsi_main, press releases (very occasional, major announcements, like yesterday's): tsi_pr
Tuesday, April 15th, 2008
8:00 pm
This blog is going inactive
I will be blogging over at the new Seasteading Institute website. Here's my blog. We'll be adding more specialized blogs over time.

Bye for now...see you soon!
7:58 pm
Introducing The Seasteading Institute

Mountain View, CA, April 15th, 2008. The Seasteading Institute today announced that it has been established in order to establish permanent, autonomous ocean communities to enable experimentation and innovation with diverse social, political, and legal systems. It will continue and expand on the work of Patri Friedman and Wayne Gramlich, authors of "Seasteading: A Practical Guide to Homesteading the High Seas".

"The public sector is simultaneously the largest industry in the world and the least innovative, with a barrier to entry and lock-in on its customers that dwarfs any private monopoly", says Patri Friedman, TSI's Executive Director. "The world needs a new model of politics where a diverse ecosystem of providers offers a variety of institutions that evolve to serve their citizens. The open oceans, Earth's last frontier, are the ideal place to nurture this vision of a better world. By making it safe and affordable to settle this frontier, we will give people the freedom to choose the government they want instead of being stuck with the government they get."

To help launch the organization, entrepreneur and philanthropist Peter Thiel has pledged $500,000 to The Seasteading Institute, saying: “Accelerating innovation is rapidly transforming the world: the Seasteading Institute will help bring more of that innovation to the public sector, where it’s vitally needed. Decades from now, those looking back at the start of the century will understand that Seasteading was an obvious step towards encouraging the development of more efficient, practical public sector models around the world. We’re at a fascinating juncture: the nature of government is about to change at a very fundamental level."

The Institute will initially focus on three major areas:
  • Community: Building a network of potential residents who are inspired by the possibilities of seasteading and have the skills and resources to establish vibrant new communities.
  • Research: Exploring the core requirements for seasteading to be safe and affordable, such as structure design, political feasibility, and infrastructure (power, heat, food) and advancing key seasteading technologies through independent research and partnerships.
  • Engineering: Proving that the mission is viable by building a safe, cost-effective, gorgeous seastead, based in the San Francisco Bay and able to travel in the open ocean.

For more information, see the Institute's website, www.seasteading.org.


The Seasteading Institute

(The Seasteading Institute is a California nonprofit corporation that is in the process of applying for recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.)

Original press release can be found here.
Thursday, April 10th, 2008
9:39 am
What forums would you most like to see on the (soon to be launched) new website? I think we should have a fairly small number to start, we can expand based on the amount of traffic. Note that we get to group forums into "containers". I'm thinking something like:

* Social Chat
* Feedback for TSI
* Conference
* Other New Country Projects

* Structure
* Infrastructure
* TSI Prototypes

* Current Politics
* Seastead Political Systems

* Seastead Businesses
* Environmentalism
Tuesday, April 8th, 2008
1:51 pm
An octopus's garden...in the shade
It seems quite likely that our large sea-cities will be free-floating, for various reasons. First, there are not very many seamounts to anchor to in international waters (> 200nm from any place a rock sticks its nose above water). Second, the need for an exit from unhappy nation-neighbors and the dictates of dynamic geography to be modular suggest that we'll get more freedom and safety if we aren't tied down. Just common sense, really.

One downside to being in the vasty deep is missing out on one of the traditionally neat things about the ocean: its multicolored bounty of fish, ranging from lovely to wonderfully freaky in appearance. But perhaps we can nurture our own artificial reef, hanging below us and carried along with us, in a similar way to how Delaware had been turning old subway cars into fish condominiums:
Sixteen nautical miles from the Indian River Inlet and about 80 feet underwater, a building boom is under way at the Red Bird Reef.

One by one, a machine operator has been shoving hundreds of retired New York City subway cars off a barge, continuing the transformation of a barren stretch of ocean floor into a bountiful oasis, carpeted in sea grasses, walled thick with blue mussels and sponges, and teeming with black sea bass and tautog.

“They’re basically luxury condominiums for fish,” Jeff Tinsman, artificial reef program manager for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, said as one of 48 of the 19-ton retirees from New York City sank toward the 666 already on the ocean floor.
I can imagine a seastead doing the same, perhaps with old cargo containers. The main issue I see is nutrients - many parts of the ocean are nutrient poor. The garden might require an associated pump to bring up nutrient-rich water from the seabed...which is going to be tough if the seabed is miles deep. Or perhaps organic waste from the city above will be a sufficient nutrient supply.
Friday, April 4th, 2008
10:48 am
Floating Home 3d Warehouse challenge
Google's 3D Warehouse for SketchUp models has a weekly challenge. Last week's was to model a floating home.
Thursday, April 3rd, 2008
2:53 pm
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008
10:55 pm
Name poll
There's a poll about what to name the nonprofit up here.
9:07 pm
Wayne had an awesome idea today for a demo device we could build in the Bay, we call it the sea-elevator (sealevator?).

Here's the motivation. Imagine you have a bunch of really big seasteads floating near each other, and they don't want to actually be directly connected (maybe they are very independent and want to be able to leave at a moment's notice, maybe it's a big storm and that's tough on connections, maybe a consultant tells us you just can't connect these things). But of course, you want a way to get between them without going all the way down to the ocean's surface, or having to deal with waves. And you want a way to get from boats up to the platforms, and back. There will probably be an elevator in the spar on each big seastead, but this is more fun...

Imagine a "seastead" with a really really long thin pillar (say 200' long), and a little tiny platform on top (10' diameter). It has a propeller below the water's surface (maybe on it's buoyancy, maybe on a floating collar so it's always just below the surface). And you can pump water into the floatation chamber to reduce/increase buoyancy of the sealevator to make it go up or down (this has always been our plan for seasteads).

So you could get onto it from a big seastead, and it would motor you over to another big seastead. Or you could lower it all the way to the water, get from a boat onto the sealevator platform, and then inflate the buoyancy and zoom! Shoot up to the level of the big seasteads.

In other words, it's a horizontal and vertical elevator!

The best part is, we can build one of these in the bay relatively cheaply, because it doesn't have many parts or materials. So you take a boat out to this thing, and you see a little platform floating on the water, and you get on, and zoom! You go up 100' in the air. You get a great 360 view of the bay, maybe you do something crazy like rappelling down (for fun), or jumping off with a hang-glider, or you bring it down to just 30' and dive off into the Bay, I dunno. Wouldn't that be a rad demo? Plus a good test of some of the basic technology.
Monday, March 31st, 2008
2:02 pm
Plausibility of refusing federal funds for FSP in NH?
One of the things I've been writing up lately is a pitch to libertarians about why they should see seasteading as the most promising road to a libertarian society. Part of this is an analysis of proposed alternatives, such as the Free State Project.

My basic thoughts on the FSP are that it displays the kind of systems-level thinking that I think is crucial to any practical proposal, but that the idea has serious problems. Briefly: First, it doesn't seem to be attractive to enough people - the current estimated time to 20K is about 6 more years. Second, the FSP, by targeting the state level, is trying to fix what least needs fixing. Most problems are federal - we expect this theoretically (the bigger the government, the worse it works) and it is true empirically if you look at tax burden.

The most plausible response to this addresses the second point, claiming that much of the federal influence over the states is not enforced coercively (via the supremacy clause), but through the threat of withdrawing federal funds which are directed to the state. Thus New Hampshire could achieve significant autonomy by refusing these funds.

I know nothing about this subject. Does anyone know if their claim is true? Do the feds control states partly through federal funding? Have states ever tried to follow the route of refusing such funds? More speculatively: would it increase practical autonomy, or just provoke a massive counter-response of legislation?

(I should note that I still think the FSP is a good idea. I am a big fan of community, and encouraging a community of freedom-oriented people to congregate in a fairly free state seems like a great idea. I'm just skeptical of how much impact it will have beyond the immediate increased freedom for those who move, and the pleasantness of having a community of like-minded individuals.)
Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
3:56 pm
New intro to seasteading
and a short description of the nonprofit foundation I'm working on setting up, here.
12:57 pm
Wayne's latest design thoughts

As the project has been getting more active lately, Wayne & I are going to start meeting more on Wednesday's. We had an interesting design discussion about some of his thoughts on spar construction, Personal Seasteads, and detachable spars. Highlights:

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