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The ultimate goal of seasteading is to create communities in international waters with a high degree of self-sufficiency, but this not an easy first step in colonizing this new frontier. Sea steads close to shore are being pursued as a more manageable way to develop technology, infrastructure, and awareness for this [hopefully] budding industry. Early adopters will have to rely on the shore for the vast majority of their goods and services, and the interface between the two should facilitate as free a flow of commerce as possible.

A few of the less frequently considered but fundamental goods that may have to flow through this interface are electricity, internet, and municipal water/sewage. All of these are commonly carried through fragile and often rigid pipes that pose serious health risks in case of failure. The potential cost and complexity of making these pipes safe, less necessary, or unnecessary poses an important design constraint both for the micro design of individual sea steads and the macro design of sea communities.

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