reflections of a pragmatic optimist, lover of freedom

Category: Environment (Page 1 of 4)

Oceans First, Space Next?

Contemplating the promised benefits of “seasteading” usually leaves me hung up on seemingly hard unsolved problems such as defense, but I have to admit the arguably outlandish idea offers more immediate practical potential for competitive governance and decentralization in support of individual sovereignty than colonizing much more hostile, distant, and hard- and expensive-to-reach worlds beyond Earth. This video makes an interesting pitch worth considering, that proposes development of seasteads as both a worthwhile end in itself and a potentially helpful equatorial stepping stone on our way to the heavens and colonizing [and perhaps eventually seasteading on] other worlds.

Seasteading does appear to offer a key advantage over territory-based governance: the potential for rapid reconfigurability. If you don’t like your land-based government, you can usually move elsewhere, but doing so is a high-inertia process that may involve selling your home, buying or renting another, possibly needing to apply to change citizenship, and moving your possessions a long distance. This inertia and the time and costs involved sets a high threshold for what people are willing to put up with, inhibiting salutary feedback loops and giving power to incrementalism. In theory at least, seasteaders can move and establish new voluntary associations at will and with much greater ease than people with land-based ties. There’s enough in that to make the idea worth giving further thought, and it will probably make a good topic to delve into in a future episode of The No Fear Pioneer. In seeking new frontiers to advance to, it certainly makes sense to consider as wide a variety of viable possibilities as we reasonably can.

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