At the far end of the Seasteading spectrum are independent seastead polities through which Individuals can self-establish political asylum. I can’t wait! At the other end of the spectrum are simple, low-cost ‘blue’ ideas and technologies that can benefit Humanity by utilizing ocean resources. These are the beginnings of the incremental approach to Seasteading.
In particular, Costa Rican Water Sciences Professor (and sea-farming researcher extraordinaire) Dr. Ricardo Radulovich, previously introduced, recognizes the value and utility (indeed, necessity) of seasteading to sea-farming. By way of further introduction, through more than ten-years of marine agriculture research in Central America, funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The World Bank, Dr. Radulovich has proven that the ocean can be sustainably ‘sea-farmed,’ in a manner cost-effective for developing countries, to produce nutritious and protein rich macroalgae (seaweeds), shellfish and fish—without requiring an inch of land, a drop of freshwater, or any additional input. Dr. Radulovich’s research has demonstrated a Sea-Farming Efficiency Metric of five persons fed year-round from one-half hectare of diversified sea-farm plot and $200.00 (USD) in material costs, which is extraordinary.
An important part of Dr. Radulovich’s research are micro-seasteads, beginning with simple sea-based work stations. Sea farming, as every form of agriculture, requires frequent monitoring by workers/caretakers to conduct both daily maintenance and to deter theft or vandalism of equipment and infrastructure. Ideally, sea-farmers’ basic needs—namely, safe shelter, food, water, recreation, communication and sewage disposal—would be at least minimally provided at sea. While safety and basic comfort and facilities cannot be compromised, low-cost, locally-available materials can be utilized to create simple work stations alongside sea-farms, supporting researchers, farmers, and initial processors’ basic with basic shelter comforts and workspace. These work stations may be the 21st Century, ocean equivalent of Charles Goodnight’s Chuck Wagon, without which cattle drives as we know them would not have been possible.
Here’s a glimpse of what Dr. Radulovich has in mind: (Macroalgae on ocean surface, hanging columns of shellfish, low-cost fish cages for filter-feeder and/or herbivorous fish (which theoretically could be utilized as feed for tuna and other pelagic gamefish farms).
Repeat after me: Harnessing the ocean’s trophic cyle is the future of food production.
The Seasteading Institute recently received good news, tidings of joy, and all that. (Spoiler alert: TSI has a BOAT.)
On July 13, ownership of a seaworthy, 275-foot ship was transferred to the Institute from an generous donor. The Seasteader I was built in 1985 and is rated to carry 900 people on four decks. Earlier this year she was appraised at $10 million dollars. Docked on the East Coast of Florida, she was originally a passenger ferry and more recently a gambling ship. Her solid structure and spacious interior present endless opportunities for seasteading entrepreneurs looking for a malleable space for their ocean startup.
We are now in the alpha stage of collecting proposals for her use. Our goal is to lease her out “bareboat” to a seasteading entrepreneur, meaning the lessee would take on all costs associated with the ship, such as crew, insurance, registration, etc. A ship of this size and value would lease bareboat on the open market for approximately $4,000 per day. However, for true seasteading operations and projects that fit our mission, we will lease the ship significantly below the market rate.
Essentially, we hope to provide a platform for testing both new seasteading businesses, and experimental technologies that advance long-term ocean habitation. Proposed business ventures should either be advantaged by the ocean environment (i.e., aquaculture, ocean tourism) [READ AS: BLUE REVOLUTION] or by jurisdictional benefits stemming from the freedom of international waters (i.e., experimental medicine, visa-free workplaces).
If you’re not already aware, check out Blueseed (a project to station a vessel 12 nautical miles from the coast of San Francisco, in international waters. The location will allow startup entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world to start or grow their business near Silicon Valley, without the need for a US work visa. The vessel will most likely be a used cruise ship, converted into a coworking and co-living space. So far, over 900 entrepreneurs from 50+ countries expressed interest in living on the ship. The project is backed by PayPal founder and Facebook early investor Peter Thiel.”)
Hopefully, this acquisition will be just the first step toward an incredible sea-change for humanity — one thousand new nations on the high seas. As Joe Quirk said in his seasteading conference talk, “The time from the Wright Brother’s first fifteen second flight to Neil Armstrong’s happy dance on the moon is 66 years.” We believe we’ll one day look back at this ship with the same fondness as when we look back at the Wright Brother’s first “flying machine.” Or, perhaps more appropriately, we will honor this ship the way Americans honor the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.
Freedom is Happening.Aloha, Ryan William Nohea Garcia Individual, Entrepreneur, Esq. DuelingBarstools | @Divinryan ==============================Libertopia Oct 11–14 2012, San Diego CA http://Libertopia.orghttps://www.facebook.com/LibertopiaFestival
By way of (further) introduction, Seasteading is the establishment of autonomous, sea-based, political entities to innovate new political and social systems that serve humanity better than do existing governments. Again: Seasteads are fresh ‘ground’ to innovate new political and social systems that may better give effect to humanitarian ideals, and over time may result in genuinely new, supranational cultures and traditions premised upon peace, industry and mutual pursuit of happiness.
As every critic of Seasteading will tell you, however, the difficulties, risk, and cost of establishing even a single Seastead are enormous. It is also true that “all noble things are as difficult as they are rare.”–Baruch Spinoza. Therefore it is nevertheless instructive to consider, even if only conceptually, the socio-political possibilities and opportunities Seasteading presents—for the same reasons that discussions amongst European serfs as to the possibilities of creating monarch-less countries in new lands—if only such lands existed—were valuable long before discovery of the New World.
The emergence of communities relatively free from the political status quo offers possibilities far beyond the economic impetuses, whether they be sea-based ‘Blue’ technologies, or relief from usurious taxation and anti-competitive ‘markets’, that will initially launch Seasteads. Indeed, the prospect for Individuals to compete in the political marketplace for human and financial capital currently monopolized by land-based nation states is the most valuable economic and socio-political opportunity Seasteading offers. Seastead entrepreneurs should embrace this perspective as a primary basis of Seasteading’s viability and seek to develop political solutions that serve humanity better than existing governments. This perspective will best attract the interest, investment and human creativity necessary to solve the complex challenges dwelling on the ocean presents, such as economically providing energy, fresh water, food, safety and real-time communication.
Nation states presently exert dominion over Individuals and foreign affairs, as every Libertopian can tell you. But this Berlin Wall falls when a Seastead negotiates a treaty with a land-based entity providing for visitor and residency visas, and investment terms and incentives, for Seasteaders. New polities offering an array of socio-economic and political terms under which Individuals may abide indefinitely enables Individuals to peacefully self-establish political asylum. The following broadly discusses this bright picture.
Citizen A of any country obtains permission to reside at Seastead X, pursuant to the terms and conditions of Seastead X. Citizen A may obtain concurrent citizenship, subjecting Citizen A to the terms of mother country and Seastead X. Or Citizen A may renounce his/her native citizenship. Individuals who renounce will only possess a Seastead ‘Identity’, and may be fairly said to occupy a sort of living political purgatory between traditional citizenship and technical international anonymity.
Power of Self-Established Asylum
Citizen A renounces his/her native citizenship under protest, on any grounds (maltreatment by or conscientious objection to mother country) and obtains indefinite asylum aboard Seastead X. For such Individuals Seastead X is a valuable, and previously unavailable, forum for self-imposed political exile lasting until mother country enacts reforms sufficient to entice their return. Phrased another way, Seasteading permits Individuals to peacefully ‘opt-out’ of existing State systems. Importantly, however, no such public protest is necessary, and there may be many advantages to confidentially seeking asylum and citizenship at sea.
Citizen A may live aboard Seastead X, harboring some or all of his/her assets there. Or, he/she may reside in land-based countries and territories with which Seastead X has negotiated treaties providing for tourist and residency visas, safe harbor for financial assets, and investment incentives. Many countries already offer investment incentives and free economic zones in which foreign residents may live and work remotely. The emerging Honduran free cities might be instantly amenable to such a treaty.
On this point, it should be noted that the mere prospect of perfectly good human and financial capital floating at sea was among the reasons Honduras amended its Constitution to permit Special Development Regions. Honduras’ immediate interest in providing forums for innovative government suggests that additional land-based countries may proactively court Seasteaders, their assets and burgeoning cultures.
As stated previouslythe Berlin Wall of nation state hegemony falls when a Seastead negotiates a treaty with a land-based entity providing for visitor and residency visas, and investment terms and incentives, for Seasteaders. Each land-based nation that accepts the residents of Seastead X further legitimizes the concept and practice of Seasteading, and normalizes the concept of self-established sovereignty.
While attracting industrious and peaceful Seasteaders and their assets is a strong incentive for land-based nations to legitimize Seasteading through acceptance, there are also compelling, non-financial motives for nations, industries, and Individuals to support the concept of Seasteading.
Private Space Industry
Now that a private space company has successfully delivered cargo to the International Space Station, the burgeoning private space sector may have significant interest in establishing autonomous political bases on earth from which to explore space and to provide space services to nation-‐states lacking space capabilities. However proud Sir Richard Branson is to be British, the prospect of entering space—the ultimate frontier—on his political terms, rather than those of Great Britain (or the United States, where Virgin Galactica’s physical operations currently reside) presents untold advantages warranting consideration.
Individuals Already In Political Purgatory
Consider Seasteading’s appeal to non-native Emirate Individuals born in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Such Individuals (often of Indian ethnicity) may not technically be citizens of the UAE or any other country, placing them in a type of living political purgatory or state of anonymity that effectively prohibits them from traveling, migrating or meaningfully affecting domestic politics. For such Individuals establishing independent bases of ‘sovereignty’ may be necessary to obtain even the barest of human rights.
Globally Oriented Businesses
Globally oriented businesses are curiously tethered to the whims of existing nations. Why? They don’t have to be, and increasingly they hold the cards.
Consider Apple, which famously has $64 Billion in cash lying fallow due to American economic disincentives. Apple might better serve its global customer base by reestablishing itself, or a portion of its present or future operations, on a Seastead. And imagine the howling protest citizens of existing nation-states would muster if their government refused to allow Apple products entry because Apple tolerates, supports, or participates, in what amounts to a necessary and just end-around of the existing status quo.
Groups in Exile
Many identifiable ethnic and cultural groups lack sovereign physical territory, such as the 5 million (plus) Circassions in exile worldwide. Establishing a Seastead (or a borough within a free city…) will afford such groups a political voice, and could conceivably result in better treatment and a peaceful return to homeland. In the interim, self-establishing political marks the beginning of the end of exile, and may result in previously closeted ethnic and cultural groups gaining international recognition. In time, such groups, now possessing an identifiable ‘territory’ could conceivably participate in the Olympic games.
Individual Conscientious Objectors
What if the Dalai Lama obtained asylum aboard a Seastead, effectively renouncing the International status quo, which treats him as a political puppet? Would land-based nations deny his Seastead passport and refuse him entry? What if he refuses to visit countries that deny the legitimacy of his self-determined citizenship? How loud would Humanity howl?
Recently a brave North Korean escapee confirmed the (long suspected) existence of prisoner breeding camps in North Korea producing de facto slaves for relatively short, malnourished lifetimes of forced labor to that wretched State. Even by North Korea’s miserable standards this is particularly reprehensible, and should be considered among the greatest humanitarian crises on earth. It should further remind that any “humanitarian” argument for military intervention in Syria or elsewhere demands immediate action in North Korea. For many political reasons, however, North Koreans should expect no such help. Conversely, if and when military intervention occurs in Syria, as Libya before it, it will be due to politics, and certainly not humanity.
This is but one example of the political status quo preventing meaningful humanitarian action even where every moral fiber demands it, and highlights why humanity needs new players and fresh ideas in the International political arena. The emergence of polities unencumbered by the political status quo provides sovereign bully pulpits from which concerned Individuals may advocate for economic, civil and political reform in mother nations, and, most importantly, actually undertake politically meaningful humanitarian action–Such as globally concerned citizens financing a Seastead purposed to housing oppressed political dissidents when other countries chicken out.
Advent of self-established political asylum mechanisms launches a political market for and by the earth’s industrious that will end the nation-State monopoly over industrious Individuals. Seasteading will prove to be a valuable check and balance on the (current) excesses of modern social democracies, and it is capable of ending the nation-State monopoly. That alone is sufficient reason to politically set out to sea.
Freedom is Happening.Aloha, Ryan William Nohea Garcia Individual, Entrepreneur, Esq. DuelingBarstools | @Divinryan ==============================Libertopia Oct 11–14 2012, San Diego CA
The ‘Blue’ Revolution is a movement whose perspective is that oceans are frontiers with abundant space and renewable resources that can and should be sustainably developed to meet many of humanity’s most urgent needs. Few people, however, conceptualize the Ocean as a frontier yet to be settled–in much the same way that few people believed the inhospitable desert regions surrounding Las Vegas and Dubai would ever host cities.
The Seasteading Institute is among the few groups committed to furthering the Blue Revolution, and thereby (further) opening the Ocean frontier. The Seasteading Institute’s motivation for doing so is two-fold. One, because the world needs places to innovate social and political systems that serve Humanity better than existing governments (and if we need to develop sea-based city communities in order to do so, We fucking will).
Two, because there are a billion chronically hungry people, and many more than that are malnourished. Humanity urgently needs more food, but land-based agriculture cannot provide it due to a dearth of additional agricultural territory, unsustainable agriculture methods, and limited freshwater resources. At sea, however, is abundant space and plentiful, renewable, and currently fallow agricultural resources. The Blue Revolution ideal is to realize, at sea, the successes of the Green Revolution (attributed to Human Hero Norman Borlaug), which vastly increased global food production capacity by giving the developing world tools to grow their own food.
The oceans and rich marine environments surrounding even the poorest coastal countries can be sustainably and cleanly farmed to improve nutrition among the over 1 billion chronically undernourished humans and provide greatly needed employment and enterprise opportunities. Realizing the ocean’s potential to sustainably feed Humanity is the Blue Revolution’s overarching motive , and achieving it unlocks enormous human potential.
In June, 2012, The Seasteading Institute hosted a conference (lots of conference videos at the link) focused on the technologies, discoveries, and partnerships that could soon unlock the oceans’ vast potential. (This was surprising to the media in attendance, which expected vigorous debates about politics or ideology; for instance the idea of self-establishing asylum in sea-based communities, because that’s how to really live under your own roof!)
The Ocean Frontier will see sea-farmers ‘herding’ mobile (drifting or self-powered) polyculture sea-farms that produce mass amounts of seafood and macroalgae (seaweeds) simply by harnessing the ocean’s natural trophic cycle. (On this point, see Dr. Ricardo Radulovich’s Seasteading Conference presentation. Dr. Radulovich’s duplicable sea-farm models can immediately be implemented in even the poorest of coastal countries, and he has also experimented with floating greenhouse-like pods (growing tomatoes, citrus, and other traditional foods) that uptake nutrients from the sea and capture freshwater from the atmosphere (condensation). One day fruit orchards will drift at sea, to be herded near shore at harvest time.)
And are you aware that macroalgae, which grows like a weed, is a renewable source of polymers, the building blocks of plastic? The talk around the Seasteading conference was the increasingly feasible idea of growing mass amounts of macroalgae on the open ocean to supply processing ships that reduce macroalgage polymers into biodegradable 3-D printer feedstock.
Hell, jet fuel can be created from ocean thermal energy conversion.
Big ideas spawn innovation creating new technologies, particularly when the State gets out of the way. On that point, a primary feature of all frontiers is relative space from cloistered, stagnant homelands. The Ocean is no different.
The people and companies that take advantage of Frontiers will have a great say in the rules systems that will ‘govern’ the high seas. The World has a frontier–the Ocean–with virtually endless space and resources, and it would be better if Seasteaders and Libertopians are first footers shaping the rule systems that in time will ‘govern’ the high seas.
ps: Credit, to my knowledge, for coining the term ‘Blue Revolution,’ and laboring for many years to effect it, belongs to Professor Emeritus (of the University of Hawai’i) Patrick Takahashi. See also Neil Sims, who is at the very tip of the open ocean fish-farming spear.
Rejoice! Honduras’ Regiones Especiales de Desarrollo (Special Development Regions (REDs)) are official. (Roundup of news: here, here, and here.) REDs are forums within Honduras for innovative political and legal systems that better promote prosperity by securing Individual rights, offering stable regulatory and judicial structures, and implementing more streamlined immigration procedures. This is great news for Hondurans and the greater Free City movement. This blog post recognizes and praises the Honduran officials who advocated and implemented for REDs, a fortiori in the face of significant domestic, nativist opposition.
It is quite remarkable that a number of Honduran politicians pushed for REDs in the first place, because doing so tacitly admits that the Honduran state, and its laws, structures and representatives do a comparatively poor job of serving Hondurans vis a vis other rule systems and structures. Such an admission is tantamount to the King himself declaring he has no clothing. (And, as any Libertopian could tell you, the State definitely doesn’t have any clothing.)
Special economic zones around the world better promote prosperity than surrounding nation states, which begs the question of why entire countries are not free trade zones, and calls into question the entire nation-state fiction–which nation states are loathe to do. Therefore, promoting and implementing REDs was a brave political position for Honduran representatives. Respect where it’s due: the Honduran representatives who advocated for REDs should be recognized and praised for demonstrating intellectual honesty, a rare quality in politicians, and true commitment to the Honduran people (also very rare) by putting the Honduran people’s economic needs above political and personal self-interests.
Nothing would benefit Humanity more than the peaceful creation of new places to innovate social and political systems that serve Humanity better than governments do today. As ever, many of Earth’s ostensibly successful and moral nations are fiscally unsustainable, increasingly authoritarian and impossibly governed–and by all appearances, intractably so. These are reasons to endeavor to create voluntary societies purposed to innovating systems that facilitate freedom and prosperity. Honduras’ REDs are a major step towards the normalization of new free trade zones, which in turn will lead to more opportunities for even broader free city endeavors.
Freedom is Happening.Aloha, Ryan William Nohea Garcia Individual, Entrepreneur, Esq. DuelingBarstools | @Divinryan
Libertopia Oct 11–14 2012, San Diego CA