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Joe Quirk on WIRED, “Seasteading: Come for the Algae Bacon, Stay for the Freedom”

January 6, 2018

WIRED podcast, Geeks Guide to the Galaxy, has a new hour-long podcast with Joe Quirk, in which he makes the case for seasteading to a sympathetic host:

Eventually the Seasteading Institute hopes to develop floating platforms for individual families, which would make it easy to leave one seastead and join another. Hopefully that sort of freedom would force seasteads to compete over who can treat their residents the best. “The idea is to vote with your house,” Quirk says.

It’s nice to see the single-family seastead concept making a comeback, even though Joe missed a golden rhyming opportunity (“vote with your boat”).

It’s also nice to see WIRED coming back around to the idea of seasteading. Their 2009 article, Live Free or Drown, was one of my first introductions to The Seasteading Institute. However, in 2015, they reported a greatly exaggerated rumor under the headline, SILICON VALLEY IS LETTING GO OF ITS TECHIE ISLAND FANTASIES.

Joe notes that the seasteading movement is as much about people as it is about the ideas of competitive governance, dynamic geography, OTEC, etc. I especially enjoyed this anecdote:

“A reality TV show got in touch with the Seasteading Institute and got very interested in showing the conflicts that occur between people trying to build a new society that floats. They scouted out Ephemerisle and became discouraged, because everybody was getting along—because you can take your house and float somewhere else. So they decided not to do Ephemerisle, and they basically imitated Ephemerisle, and went back to the UK, and tried to set up a TV show on several forts—old, abandoned military forts on the water—that are sort of set on land, where people are forced to live together. So basically they removed the dynamics of seasteading, which is if you don’t get along with people, you can simply take your house and go float elsewhere.

I wonder what ever happened to that reality show… Let’s keep Ephemerisle drama free in 2018 and beyond.


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