Monday, August 22, 2011

Take me to the Promised Land

Happy Monday Freaks and Freak-ettes!

For anyone who has ever spent a decent amount of time in the water wondering what it might be like to live in a community completely established in international waters, free of the chains of established government and society, your dreaming may be coming to an end.

From Paypal Founder Peter Thiel Invests $1.25 Million to Create Floating Micro-Countries

Peter Thiel, founder of Paypal, is working closely with Seasteading Institute to create the worlds first floating sovereign nations. These floating countries will basically be giant movable oil rigs with full cities built upon them, with all the amenities of home. These diesel powered, 12,000 ton structures will be able to house over 250 residents, with plans for each separate city to be able to link together into a massive grid.

One incredible thing is the rate at which this project seems to be advancing. Thiel claims that the first city will be launched by the end of next year, an office park planned to be based off the coast of San Francisco, and plans to be fully inhabited by 2019. If that's not ambitious enough, Thiel and Seasteading are aiming to have over 10 million floating residents by 2050.

Thiel, a self-proclaimed Libertarian, has said that the goal for these floating independent nations is to be able to experiment with new types of government, without the restrictions already put in place by land based societies. Basically he's just removing the revolution step from the equation and embarking on settling the last true frontier left on the planet - the open ocean. Without having to contend with laws and regulations of already existent governments, Thiel and his aquatic citizens will be able to not only build a "test-run" government from the ground up, but there is no limit to the number of "trial-and-error" tests he can run. One island can be libertarian, while another across the ocean can give a theocratic ruling party a shot, and still another can give the reins of control to a corporation who has paid for the construction. One proposed island that will run off a familiar capitalist approach will be called Appletopia, a corporate run island where the real-estate value will increase with the fiscal success of the island.

Who knows? Maybe one of them will actually give democracy an honest shot. Lord knows this hijacked Congress paying lip-service to the people while their pockets are stuffed full with checks of nefarious origin isn't doing the ideal a proper service.

The truly interesting prospect to all of this in my mind is the possibility of a return to community values. We could give our evolutionary clock a chance to catch up with ourselves. We were designed to excel as a tribal people, existing in close-knit groups of around 500, not entire nations that spread from coast to coast and number in the hundreds of millions. It will be fascinating to see how morality might evolve if people were forced to give up with masks of anonymity in this technological age and go back to being in a small village-like community where everyone knows everyone again.

Either way, wonder how long it's going to take until "Island City Maintenance" is a path of study offered at engineering universities? Sign me up.

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