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The Link Archipelago

April 27, 2009

Robin Hanson asks

  1. What institutions are especially good as meta-institutions?
  2. What institutions should we use to evaluate meta-institutions?

Two very difficult questions to answer with respect to governance.  Robust transnational mobility with low transaction costs would serve as a good meta-institution.  Alas, these are but inchoate longings. As for question two, Hanson’s preferred meta-institution, the prediction market, excels at aggregating information and delivering judgments. Are there any prediction market contracts out on the feasibility of seasteading or competitive government? I can only find one market on Ephemerisle. 

In the cover story for the May-June Futurist Magazine, Thomas Frey dubs nation-building the new extreme sport for the wealthy and creative class.  Frey makes some predictions: 

  • Island countries will begin to emerge within the next 10 years, and they will dramatically shift the face of global politics.
  • As more and more countries come into being, vying to attract the wealthy and talented, existing countries will be forced to compete to retain their own citizens. A great migration of wealthy families will begin to cause grave concerns among established governments.

Can we get an Intrade contract on the first?  In the same issue of The Futurist, McKinely Conway, Erwin Strauss, and George Dunford offer their thoughts on DIY nation-building.  Dunford says it all: 

Many more aspiring micronationalists find hope in Frank Zappa, who opined, “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline — it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.” 

Patri, does the Seasteading Institute have a microbrew yet? 

In more sober symposium–Foreign Policy–Parag Khanna heralds the coming neomedievalism: a fractured world dominated by cities and city-states.  His forecast is not so rosy: 

But the Middle Ages were fundamentally a time of fear, uncertainty, plagues, and violence. So, too, their successor.

Ummm, yeah, prediction markets?

One Comment
  1. May 13, 2009 11:13 pm

    The Middle Age was an age of “fear, uncertainty, plagues, and violence” as much as the Modern Age. But it was an age of great innovations and revolutions.

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