Friday, March 13, 2009

Experiments In Government

Sea Steading

There are plans afoot for a floating city off the coast of San Francisco.
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.
That is very interesting. But it is not the most interesting part of the plan.
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.
Now that sounds very libertarian to me. And being of a libertarian persuasion myself I find the whole idea very appealing.

In the late 1880s people were lamenting the closing of the American frontier. This could portend the opening of a new American frontier. I wonder if they have considered the need for a Navy for protection from pirates?

And what will they do for power? Too bad they can't buy a Bussard Fusion Reactor off the shelf.

Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained
Why hasn't Polywell Fusion been fully funded by the Obama administration?

You can learn even more about the project at The Seasteading Institute.

And if you want to read a science fiction story about floating cities may I suggest A Floating City by Jules Verne.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Anonymous said...

Q: Why hasn't Polywell Fusion been fully funded by the Obama administration?

A: Q << 0.000001

RavingDave said...

Another Utopian idea. It will probably works as well as the other hundreds or so that worked so well in the past. Take away the greed factor for intellectual property and you probably won't get any intellectual property.


M. Simon said...

Let 1,000 flowers bloom.

LarryD said...

RavingDave: Some people will create because that's what they do. Patents and copyrights are only a few centuries old, after all. Sharing may be a different matter. Patents and copyrights were invented to encourage people to publish.

Isolated communities, voluntary social experimentation, no problem. I hope they aren't so starry eyed as to have overlooked the need for defense.

J Carlton said...

The "Economy of Cities." Read it. This is just another bad idea that will be a very ugly floating rust pile in short order. As a city it performs no useful functions, is not large enough to go through import reduction and with the communal property ideas the people living there wouldn't have any reason to create anyway.