Oakland nonprofit the Seasteading Institute, a group devoted to the development of floating colonies adrift from the oppressive moorings of society, has announced its dreams are closer than ever to reality. As soon as 2017, the institute hopes to break ground — er, ocean? — on its first seastead off the coast of French Polynesia in the South Pacific, Business Insider writes.
“We look forward to working with French Polynesia to develop floating islands that will benefit our host country and our international community of seasteaders,” Randolph Hencken, the Seasteading Institute's executive director, said according to a press release. “With numerous protected waters where we could station the first pilot platforms, French Polynesia offers many optimal locations for seasteading from an engineering point of view.”
One motto from the Seasteading Institute, "Stop Arguing. Start Seasteading," hints at its goals, which extend far beyond the technological — what if we built floating cities? — to the ideological — people can't get along on land, so what about building those floating cities, huh? What about that? No, seasteading isn't just an endeavor to get away from society, Hencken explains. It's an endeavor to build it anew. "I somebody wants isolation, they can go buy a sailboat right now and be out at sea for months at a time," Hencken tells Business Insider. To be separate from society, "Go be a hermit," he says. Instead, "Seasteading is for people who want to engage in the marketplace of ideas, the marketplace of commerce, and the marketplace of government."
Those are people like Paypal co-founding billionaire Peter Thiel, a noted libertarian whose dissatisfaction with American government lead him to support Donald Trump and whose fearsome love for free speech brought him to secretly fund lawsuits against a media company in order to protect it. In 2008, Thiel co-founded the Seasteading Institute along with Patri Friedman, a grandson of famed libertarian Nobel Prize-winner Milton Friedman, who in 2011 called his Seasteading dream "Burning Man meets Silicon Valley meets the water." Actually, that sounds a lot more like Ephemerisle, but I digress.
Executive director Hencken says the plan in French Polynesia will cost $30 million to execute and that the floating city would consist of two or three platforms, each home to 30 people and roughly half a football field in size. "Our sustainable modular platforms are designed by the Dutch engineering firm Blue21, who showcased their engineering ingenuity with the famed Floating Pavilion in Rotterdam,” Joe Quirk, co-author with Patri Friedman of the forthcoming book Seasteading: How Ocean Cities Will Change the World, said via the press release.
Considering the differences between his current subsistence as a landlubber and his future home on a seastead, Hencken explained that "The difference would be, I would probably start my day going kitesurfing," before sagely adding that he is likely to eat more fish. "All the land is claimed," Hencken explains, "the ocean is our last place on Earth." Ummm, excuse me Mr. Hencken. Haven't you considered colonizing mars along with OTHER Paypal mafia member Elon Musk? Puny earthling!