28 Oct 2009

The Seasteading Institute’s Annual Report (from last April)

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I decided to check in on Patri Friedman and The Seasteading Institute. I’m very excited for them to actually get a floating residence up and running in international waters. I think the oceans will be the frontier of the 21st century.

Anyway here is their one-year report [.pdf] from last April. They opened up shop in April 2008 largely fueled by a $500,000 grant from Peter Thiel. Friedman predicts that within 5 years there will be at least 10–and possibly hundreds of–full-time residents on “Ephemerisle.”

Since I’m really hoping that this thing pans out, I read the opening letter from Friedman looking for concrete achievements. Besides media hits, new donors, etc. (all crucial of course), he reported:

On the technical front, we have finished and applied for a patent our first seasteading 368K ft^2 spar platform resort for 200 guests at a cost of about $300 per square foot. This confirms our initial thesis that new land can be built for less than the cost of Silicon Valley estate. In addition, the community has experimented with smaller structure designs.

Let’s just hope they applied for the patent in self-defense. I don’t know that I could live on a floating anarchist utopia that was propped up by IP laws.

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