RELEASE: Vote with your house
Draft!!! Not for release
Mountain View, CA, August 18th, 2008.
If the Seasteading Institute has its way, you will soon be able to relocate your house--or even your entire town--as easily as you move your car.
"We plan to build permanent floating settlements on the ocean. The first prototype will be built in the sheltered waters of the San Francisco Bay, but future designs will be capable of surviving 100 foot waves in the deep ocean." says Patri Friedman, founder of the Mountain View based non-profit.
Friedman and many other "seasteaders" are motivated by a desire to try new forms of government.
"The founders of the U.S. intended for the states to be laboratories of democracy. However, as time has passed, the federal government has usurped more and more power, until states have very little room to experiment with alternative systems of law."
The seasteaders hope that floating cities will introduce greater competition in the provision of government services. "Government behaves badly largely because they have a captive customer base. We want to change government's incentives by reducing the costs of switching. If you don't like your government, you should be able to pull up anchor, and sail to a jurisdiction more to your liking."
Unlike many past efforts to build ocean based communities, the Seasteading Institute advocates an incremental approach. "Our first seasteads will be built in sheltered waters, and are designed to be comparable in cost to high end land based homes." The Institute recently received some substantial backing for their approach, in the form of a $500,000 grant from Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel.
Seasteading advocates point to the Netherlands as an example of a country that is gradually moving to an aquatic lifestyle. "In the Netherlands, many homes are built on floating platforms moored to canal bottoms. If the sea levels rise, the homes simply float on the water." Dura Vermeer, a Dutch firm, also recently deployed a prototype floating greenhouse.
"Unlike the Dutch floating homes, we plan to build unmoored platforms suitable for the high seas. So we have to solve additional problems, such as how to stay in one place (stationkeeping) without being moored to the ocean floor, and how to deal with large waves during storms."
To help solve some of those problems, the Seasteading Institute plans to hold its first annual conference in Burlingame, CA on October 10th.
For more information, see the Institute's website, www.seasteading.org.
The Seasteading Institute firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.seasteading.org/
(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.)