Good Thinking

Paypal founder invests in floating autonomous cities

Paypal founder invests in floa...
Paypal founder Peter Thiel is investing in a project that hopes to create floating cities that are free from political agendas (image by Seasteading Media)
Paypal founder Peter Thiel is investing in a project that hopes to create floating cities that are free from political agendas (image by Seasteading Media)
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The Seasteading Institute's founders, Patri and David D. Friedman (image by Seasteading Media)
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The Seasteading Institute's founders, Patri and David D. Friedman (image by Seasteading Media)
Seasteading Design Contest Winner by Andras Gyorfi (image by Seasteading Media)
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Seasteading Design Contest Winner by Andras Gyorfi (image by Seasteading Media)
Paypal founder Peter Thiel is investing in a project that hopes to create floating cities that are free from political agendas (image by Seasteading Media)
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Paypal founder Peter Thiel is investing in a project that hopes to create floating cities that are free from political agendas (image by Seasteading Media)
Paypal founder Peter Thiel is investing in a project that hopes to create floating cities that are free from political agendas (image by Seasteading Media)
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Paypal founder Peter Thiel is investing in a project that hopes to create floating cities that are free from political agendas (image by Seasteading Media)
Seasteading Design Contest entry by Team 3da - Refusion (image by Seasteading Media)
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Seasteading Design Contest entry by Team 3da - Refusion (image by Seasteading Media)
Seasteading Design Contest Winner by Andras Gyorfi (image by Seasteading Media)
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Seasteading Design Contest Winner by Andras Gyorfi (image by Seasteading Media)
Seasteading Design Contest Winner by Andras Gyorfi (image by Seasteading Media)
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Seasteading Design Contest Winner by Andras Gyorfi (image by Seasteading Media)
Seasteading Design Contest entry - SESU (image by Seasteading Media)
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Seasteading Design Contest entry - SESU (image by Seasteading Media)
Seasteading Design Contest entry bu Anthony Ling - Rendering Freedom (image by Seasteading Media)
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Seasteading Design Contest entry bu Anthony Ling - Rendering Freedom (image by Seasteading Media)
Seasteading Design Contest Entry - Oasis of the Sea (image by Seasteading Media)
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Seasteading Design Contest Entry - Oasis of the Sea (image by Seasteading Media)
The Seasteading Institute is passionate about remaining apolitical and hopes to witness the fruition of thousands of seasteads around the globe
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The Seasteading Institute is passionate about remaining apolitical and hopes to witness the fruition of thousands of seasteads around the globe
(image by The Seasteading Institute)
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(image by The Seasteading Institute)
(image by The Seasteading Institute)
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(image by The Seasteading Institute)
(image by The Seasteading Institute)
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(image by The Seasteading Institute)
(image by The Seasteading Institute)
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(image by The Seasteading Institute)
"We're opening this new frontier because humanity needs better ways to live together to unlock our full potential" declares The Seasteading Institute
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"We're opening this new frontier because humanity needs better ways to live together to unlock our full potential" declares The Seasteading Institute
These "floating cities will allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government," says the Seasteading Institute
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These "floating cities will allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government," says the Seasteading Institute
Paypal founder Peter Thiel is investing in a project that hopes to create floating cities that are free from political agendas
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Paypal founder Peter Thiel is investing in a project that hopes to create floating cities that are free from political agendas
Seasteads should be economically built and fully self sustainable (image by Seasteading Media)
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Seasteads should be economically built and fully self sustainable (image by Seasteading Media)
The Institute has put out the challenge to architects and Libertarians alike, to create the world's first Independant Seastead by 2015 (image by Seasteading Media)
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The Institute has put out the challenge to architects and Libertarians alike, to create the world's first Independant Seastead by 2015 (image by Seasteading Media)
In constructing the seasteads designers should keep in mind that they can't flee rough seas and need to be able to weather a heavy storm (image by Seasteading Media)
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In constructing the seasteads designers should keep in mind that they can't flee rough seas and need to be able to weather a heavy storm (image by Seasteading Media)

When creating new companies has become passé, why not start creating countries? So is the case for Paypal co-founder and billionaire Peter Thiel, who is currently the Seasteading Institute's "most generous funder." His support constitutes a bold move towards creating floating autonomous states. The initiative is inspired by the idea of creating cities that are free from political agendas and social construction. These "floating cities will allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government," says the Seasteading Institute. "The most successful can then inspire change in governments around the world."

The Seasteading Institute was founded in 2008, with recent funding initiatives being led by Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel (who was also the first investor in Facebook). "When you start a company, true freedom is at the beginning of things," Thiel told Details magazine. "The United States Constitution had things you could do at the beginning that you couldn't do later. So the question is, can you go back to the beginning of things? How do you start over?" Creating floating cities is obviously Thiel's answer to that question.

The Seasteading Institute is passionate about remaining apolitical and hopes to overcome the many legal and logistical hurdles, and eventually witness the fruition of thousands of seasteads around the globe. Whilst Thiel remains its most generous supporter, the Institute states that "this doesn't mean that he dictates our plans."

"We're opening this new frontier because humanity needs better ways to live together to unlock our full potential" declares The Seasteading Institute
"We're opening this new frontier because humanity needs better ways to live together to unlock our full potential" declares The Seasteading Institute

The Institute has put out the challenge to architects and Libertarians alike, to create the world's first independent seastead by 2015. The Poseidon Award will be awarded to the first seastead which houses at least 50 full-time residents, is financially self-sufficient, offers seastead real estate on the open market and has de-facto political autonomy. In constructing the seasteads, participants should keep in mind that they can't flee rough seas and need to be able to weather a heavy storm. They should also be modular, with the possibility of expanding as the population does, be economically built and fully self sustainable.

"We're opening this new frontier because humanity needs better ways to live together to unlock our full potential" declares The Seasteading Institute.

27 comments
Julien Couvreur
As much as I support the idea of being \"free from political agendas and social construction\", seasteading seems an expensive way to go about changing people\'s understanding of government. That said, it may be the only way to escape government (secession is hard too).
Gabriel Grove
the only way to enforce politically free agenda environments is by using a political agenda... against political agendas. impossible, contradictory philosophy. but i love the designs!!!
ChrisandAlan Horne
As a Conservative Geek, I am thrilled to see this idea being developed, and would move there in a minute if I could take 50 of my closest friends (notice, I didn\'t say family...lol) As a Christian who doesn\'t like people, but loves them with all my heart, I have to wonder if it won\'t end up being a cross between \"Water World\" & \"Escape from New York\" scenario where the elite just leave the lost behind....... Anyway, full speed ahead....... Freedom Ship is flippin amazing as well!!
Facebook User
he should start by making sure the island has a supply of energy or something otherwise valuable. since we already know that if you tried \'deep drilling\' somewhere offshore, that any government and pirates would try stealing your rights, if not wait for you to set up shop and then steal your entire rig by force---- then obviously, starting an island/oil rig is not the way to go. of course the greenies are going to say, well you got all that ocean-real estate so just make solar panels or wind turbines. well of course, if you do this near any coastline...you\'ll get in trouble, but if you try this somewhere far away from land, i predict that you if you wind up developing any real successful economic model, you will either be hijacked by pirates, or , if you can defend yourself from them, then you will be extorted by nations who have navies. and if you think you are going to fish your way into self sufficiency.......you\'re going to run into problems with other fishing boats that have national navies behind them. so if you really want to start your own nation---not just another utopian failed micronation like the many that were tried in the last 30 or 40 years (i\'ve read about this , you should to)----then you start by calling eric prince, ( i wouldn\'t trust him myself---) or another experience mercenary and you start finding out how to build a military from the bottom up --a grass roots military. and THEN>>>>>every member of your nation must have a civilian job, and a nation job----participating in the nations military ( if they are a fighting man or a fighting woman )-----or a job as an administrator or other \'public service provider. people have forgotten what it means to start new outpost communities. the western pioneers, the pilgrims that settled new england, these people confronted ALL problems including violence by outsiders. if you think you\'ll start a micronation by piggybacking off of the u.s. militaries navy, than you are not only not going to be \'independent\' but you are also just going to be vulnerable to many pirates and other entities because your micro-nation is not a financial or strategic priority to the u.s. navy or coast guard. so you need to defend yourself and be self sufficient and self defending.
venusvegasvada
There are a few ways of looking at this: 1. Nothing more than a rich folks backyard tree-house, but as far as \"floating cities will allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government,\" dreamworld. Your existing in a protective and supply bubble. Your living of the shirtails of everyone else around you- for supply, defense, etc. 2. More ominously, the only thing I see coming out of this is as a vehicle for international corporations that want to totally remove themselves from a tax standpoint from any one nation to have a place to be. If multiple companies banded together to create such a place, it could theoretically be able to afford it\'s own defense and security. They could even purchase a real island somewhere and not have to build something that floats.
VoiceofReason
What is it all of a sudden with the floating island stuff. Seriously, how many is that this month....ten? It\'s NOT a new idea, been around a long time. Love the bit about \"minions\" in the last one. Nothing says super rich like being able to afford to push around minions.
Womp
A Billionaire, his wealthy buddies, and their expensive toys, all floating in the ocean beyond the protection of the Police and Armed Forces. It doesn\'t take a genius to predict the likelihood of the wealthy being kidnapped and ransomed, their expensive toys taken from them by force, and them being evicted from their \"island\" so it can be turned into a floating methlab. It seems very likely indeed. Plus, I don\'t really understand why they need an \"island\" at all. It seems to me that this fellow is objecting to the Society that allowed him the freedom to become a Billionaire, he objects to the Society that allows him to spend his money on foolish schemes such as this one. If he were homeless, or persecuted, or just poor, I could understand wanting to try a different system. This just seems like the work of a spoilt wealthy whinger.
Defiant Idealist
Could be an interesting opportunity to show the world what a functioning anarchist community looks like. Why the requirement to be selling real estate? What\'s that got to do anything? If you designed it to be resource self-sufficient you wouldn\'t even need money, economies, or a state at all. Now THAT\'s how you scare the shit out of governments.. keep the politicians waking up in cold sweats, terrified that we\'ll realise one day that we don\'t need any of them. ;) Great way however to say to the world that you don\'t recognise the authority or legitimacy of the established states to tell you how to live your life.. I wonder if someone will take the opportunity?
Slowburn
There are countries that would appear to be easy to conquer but they are not. Why? No ship taken by Somali pirates had so much as an AK47 in the hands of the crew. Failed utopias are founded by either people who have no idea how to make it work. look at there literature long on what it will be like, but without explaining why it will be like that. Or they are based on false assumptions; collectivism will always fail because most people will not work their ass off for the common good. Utopian societies are possible. The Amish for example, but they were founded on hard work and common belief. There are easier ways to set up a floating meth-lab than taking a floating island from some one competent. Just make sure the floating country that you are planing to join is pro guns, anti welfare, and exports stuff that you approve of.
Griffin
I\'d suggest the option of submergibility- if we can\'t live on the ocean floor how will we ever live in space? Go deep,storms are not a problem. As for the surface, why not just convert a ULCC(Ultra Large Crude Carrier) to an island research center for alternative energy?