David Kirkpatrick

June 11, 2008

More on libertarian seasteading

Filed under: et.al., Politics, Science — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:35 pm

I’ve blogged about this subject before, and here’s a take from Cato-at-Liberty by Timothy B. Lee on libertarian seasteading. I think the concept of post-, extra-national libertarian communities is very interesting. My above linked blog post covers Peter Thiels’ investment in the Seasteading Institute. Looks like Tim also thinks this monetary input is a strong factor in this idea’s potential for success.

From the second link:

Over at Ars Technica, I have an in-depth discussion of seasteading, an effort by a group of Silicon Valley libertarians to develop technology for living on the open oceans in a cost-effective manner. They argue that government is an industry with excessive barriers to entry, and they aim to change that by creating a turnkey solution for starting your own community.

History is littered with utopian projects, libertarian and otherwise, that fell far short of their lofty goals. At first glance, the Seasteading Institute looks like just another utopian scheme. But there are at least two reasons to think this one might accomplish more than its predecessors. First, recognizing that it would take many decades to develop a self-sufficient ocean metropolis, Friedman and his partners have chosen to focus largely on short-term engineering challenges. They want to build cheap, durable sea platforms that anyone can purchase. Second, they’ve raised half a million dollars from Peter Thiel, the libertarian entrepreneur who co-founded PayPal and is now a major investor in Facebook. Thiel’s backing will allow them to move beyond the extensive background work they’ve already done and begin the expensive task of actually designing and building their first prototype, which they hope to splash down in San Francisco Bay in the next few years.

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