A life on the ocean wave: more seasteading concepts

Opinions differ as to whether seasteading is a plausible libertarian utopia or an unfeasible dream aimed at prising investment out of those whose desire to escape government control isn’t tempered by political realism, or something in between the two.

But one thing’s for sure – it’s an idea that catches people’s imaginations. National Geographic has images of the five winning entries of the Seasteading Institute’s design competition, and all of them have that science fictional *snap* – they look cool, futuristic and (most importantly) plausible, even though they are not intended as actual blueprint designs. This one is titled “Rendering Freedom”, by Brazilian architecture student Anthony Ling:

"Rendering Freedom" seasteading concept

Leaving political and logistical realism aside for a moment, wouldn’t it be awesome living on that thing? For a month or two, at least… until the first big storm brews up, inundating you with rain for weeks on end and keeping the supply ships from coming near enough to deliver food that isn’t fish…

Sarcasm aside, I expect sea-borne micronations are something of an inevitablity – though I doubt they’ll be luxuriously purpose-built and instigated by successful businessmen like the Seasteading Institute imagines them. I think they’re more likely to form themselves out of groups of nomads and refugees, and to use hardware that’s already available – abandoned oil rigs or tankers, for example, or lashed-up flotillas of smaller vessels floating Sargasso-like in regions with little legitimate traffic. To be honest, I’d not be at all surprised to find there are a few of them already. [via grinding.be; image by Anthony Ling courtesy of Seasteading Institute, ganked from linked NatGeog article and published here under Fair Use terms, contact if take-down required, etc.]

6 thoughts on “A life on the ocean wave: more seasteading concepts”

  1. Larry Niven brought this up very well in oath of fealty.

    This is bad. Even though I simply adore and cheer for these concepts, it is trouble ready to happen, largely because we are still societally shackled with a scarcity/exclusion paradogm. In other words – create these posh arcologies out in the sea and only rich people will go there, resources will flow away from current existing infrastructures and ghettos filled with “the excluded” will be left in the wake.

  2. The idea is romantic, but reality is against it. High costs of construction and maintenance, the inevitable corrosion and decomposition, resource acquisition and and management, waste disposal and natural force dangers – there is not one of these points that are much, much easier to manage on land. And anyway, there is still massive amounts of arable land unoccupied on earth, so why waste all that energy on a difficult and transition to sea?
    If we want to take on improbable ventures, we need to start colonizing mars – at least there we will find a planet full of untapped resources to exploit as well as taking the first step toward hedging our chances against extinction by a cataclysmic event.

  3. Living in or on the seas is inevitable as most of the world is covered with water and living on Mars is a pipe dream. As land based states continue to squeeze the life out of society individuals will turn to the only accessible areas where states don’t have control. A form of tax revolt if nothing else. Of course rich people will fund the initial pioneering projects; so what? They will be followed by poor people as is always the case. As a wise man once said “I ain’t never worked for a poor man.” The real challenge will be fending off the bomb-happy tax-grabbers who feel they must snuff freedom out before it grows.

  4. I agree with Mark here. Especially his last line.

    To Mr. Jim. Yes, there is a lot of arable land around but the warlord states would never allow anyone to live freely on any of it.

  5. Well, as the world economy continues it’s collapse we just might see a few more aircraft carriers and such for sale on eBay 😉 viva The Raft!

    A far easier way would be to buy up some of these flooding Pacific Islands, especially the mirco-islands. There’s a base to build on right there. All you’d need is a bunch of recently redundant engineers to pool their resources (ie payouts) and start building the things they’ve been doodling in their sketch-books, whilst bored in meetings.

    Dare we dream?!

  6. I work in the offshore industry and there are platforms that are still in great shape that have been in operation since World War II that are anchored to the sea floor by substructure and there are free floating platforms for the initial drilling process. They take oversized tubes of concrete that is open on the bottom and it’s like a glass upside down in the water to make it float. All of the technology is there for man to break away from land and venture out to sea. These platforms that I work on are more than sufficient for the storms and hurricanes with everyone onboard living in relative ease with little motion from waves. One thing that I think is left out a lot is aquaculture (the seas version of agriculture). Independant, free floating modals already exist, used for scientific research for long periods of time are already in use by marine biologists today and similar types could easily be used for fish farming on a large scale. I think that organizations such as the seasteading institute are wrong however in that it will be the poor that will go first. The wealthy will have their little condos or whatever, but they will not put in the work that will be required for the jobs that will overnight be created by these seasteads, nor will they wish to get their hands dirty in any of these ventures from maintenance to fish farming which will most likely be the major motivating drive for seasteading in a realistic manner as we continue to over fish the seas

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