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  • Seastead??

    amazing concept

    City floating on the sea could be just 3 years away

    * Story Highlights
    * Prototype floating city, called a seastead, may be ready in 3 years, engineer says
    * Not clear if construction is possible or what it would cost, he admits
    * The cities would look a bit like oil platforms but wouldn't be fixed in place
    * Floating cities could experiment with new forms of government, planners say

    By Shelby Erdman

    (CNN) -- A floating city off the coast of San Francisco may sound like science fiction, but it could be reality in the not-too-distant future.

    The Seasteading Institute already has drawn up plans for the construction of a homestead on the Pacific Ocean.

    One project engineer described the prototype as similar to a cruise ship, but from a distance the cities might look like oil-drilling platforms.

    According to the plans, the floating cities would not only look different from their land-based counterparts, but they might operate differently, too.

    Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer who now works for the Seasteading Institute, said floating cities are the perfect places to experiment with new forms of government.

    Some of the new political ideas the group is tossing around include legalizing marijuana and making intellectual property communal -- so that everyone would take ownership in art produced on the city at sea.

    "The idea isn't just about getting away from rules or getting rid of rules. It's about a system that encourages experimentation with different political systems," he said.

    Friedman said the floating city may be built in modular pieces so that city blocks and neighborhoods can be recombined to create new urban layouts.

    The idea of building cities on the sea is not new, he said, but the Seasteading Institute has come closer to realizing the goal than others.

    "A lot of people over the past hundred plus years have had this idea and even specifically building cities on the ocean to try out new forms of government," he said. "But they've pretty much been totally imagined and if they did try, they totally failed."

    There are several unknowns about future attempts to create floating cities, said Christian Cermelli, an engineer and architect with Marine Innovation and Technology, based in San Francisco.

    Cermelli, who is part of a team of designers creating a blueprint for the first seastead, said it's unclear if construction is possible -- or what it would cost.

    Still, a prototype for the idea may be finished in as little as three years, he said.

    Friedman said seasteads are loosely based on oil rigs, but with important modifications.

    "We care more about sunlight and open space, so the specifications are different," he said. "Also, oil platforms are fixed in place. We think it's important to have more modular cities. So you would build a city out of buildings that can actually be separated and rearranged."

    Cermelli said the ocean cities may use technology from suspension bridges "to expand the space at sea and basically get a roomier platform."

    Friedman says the idea of seasteading has met a range of reactions.

    "Some people think we're crazy. A lot of people think we're crazy," he said. "Some people think terrible things could happen, others think it would be great."

    About 600 people have joined the Seasteading Institute.

    Some of them, like Gayle Young, say the idea is exciting partly because it's so different.

    "I love the idea because it's audacious. It's big," she said. "It's about pushing frontiers."

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  • #2
    Very interesting story.Wonder what "New Types " of goverment they'll experiment with? Here's the same concept on a much smaller scale.A guy made his own island with recycled plastic bottles.


    • #3
      would this be a new country?? or just a floating city of the usa???
      Go ahead and run, you'll only die tired


      • #4
        I think if you get out in international waters you can be your own "country"

        I think it would be interesting, but I think i would want to go with a more conservative group. I like owning my intellectual property (not much).\

        It sounds like they want to go communist to me.
        My weapon can kill, it isn't limited to mere assault


        • #5
          These already exist. They're called pirate ships! If you don't like what the king (captain) tells you, you get to walk the plank or go into the gallows. I guess that'd be a dictatorship? Or is it Tolitarian?
          Harm none, and do what you will.


          • #6

            Here is a project that has been in the making for years:

            Freedom Ship--The City at Sea

            Things like this present interesting opportunites for self-reliant long as floating cities are ran with respect for the principles of individual rights and limited government.

            If a floating city didn't recognize intellectual property rights, I sure wouldn't go there if I were a commercial author, artist, musician, advertiser, or inventor. All they would get from me is a blank CD and/or a download of the nastiest computer virus imaginable.

            And if the floating city ran upon any principle of tyranny such as Absolute Monarchy, Absolute Democracy, Absolute Oligarchy, or any form or flavor of Theocracy, Communism, Fascism, Nazism, or Junta Rule, I would want that garbage scow as far from my shores as possible, if not torpedoed. The last thing I would want obstructing my view of the sea horizon is a rickety bloody beheamoth followed by flocks of carrion birds and spewing death-camp smoke!

            As far as I'm concerned, we don't need any more "experiments" in government. We know that government limited to protecting individual rights works best. All we need is someplace on Earth that recognizes this fact and structures government accordingly.
            "Apocalypse is by no means inevitable." --Jim Rice.


            • #7
              If the floating city could be a place where everyone docks their own privately owned boats and then had common places it might work. Part of freedom is the freedom to pull anchor and leave.

              I have thought about taking to the seas in a sailboat as a bug out plan, it would be much easier in a small group of 3 or 4 boats.
              My weapon can kill, it isn't limited to mere assault


              • #8

                You wrote:

                If the floating city could be a place where everyone docks their own privately owned boats and then had common places it might work. Part of freedom is the freedom to pull anchor and leave.
                My thoughts exactly!

                Either that, or have the floating city made of modular, detachable parcels, working much like the principle of Lego Mindstorm blocks. Once you've paid for your parcel, you have the option of either staying or leaving and reattaching with other like-minded parcel owners to form new floating cities. And, of course, each parcel would have to have it's own means of defense to prevent "annexation."

                Some parcels could serve as trade and cultural hubs between independent floating cities as well, allowing for trade and travel between the cities.

                I have thought about taking to the seas in a sailboat as a bug out plan, it would be much easier in a small group of 3 or 4 boats.
                That's a good idea too. It would also be super if some people set up off-shore platforms that serve as general stores and rest-stops for international Survivalists, Preppers, and other freebooting wayfarers on the High Seas.

                I had read somewhere, I believe Reader's Digest, that Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church, actually had the wild idea of an over-the-water superhighway that would run from the Pacific Coast of the U.S. to Asia.

                That would be a wonder of mega-scale engineering if someone could pull that off, but I would hope that both East and West were freer, more friendlier places before that superhighway were set up.
                "Apocalypse is by no means inevitable." --Jim Rice.


                • #9
                  to easy of a want fast mobilaty and have none on the sea!


                  • #10
                    Target for who?

                    Remember you can have whatever weapons you like in international waters.
                    Enough defensive weapons and pirates and the like will leave you alone.

                    Countries just wouldn't have reason to involve themselves with you.
                    My weapon can kill, it isn't limited to mere assault


                    • #11
                      It is a little off topic but I own a book on homesteading on the sea. They guy lives on an old fiberglass sailboat and basicly homesteads on the ocean. He has turned the V-berth area into a greenhouse on board and is pretty much self sufficient. It is called "Sailing The Farm". He has built his own desalienators so he makes his own fresh water also. Great book on all kinds of skills such as drying fish, etc. Just thought I would throw that into the mix since we are talking about ocean living.