First Seastead in International Waters Now Occupied Thanks to Bitcoin Wealth – Reason.com

Seasteading was developed more than a decade ago out of libertarian enthusiasm for ways to improve governance through the explosive proliferation of new forms of government. Building a modular floating “land” on the high seas, its proponents argue, would increase our ability to escape looting by existing governments.

Ocean builder

In a short video documentary that premiered last night – part one of a four-part series due out over the next week – Seasteading Institute President Joe Quirk (co-author of Seasteading: How Floating Nations Will Restore the Environment) said , Enrich the Poor, Cure the Sick, and Libeate Humanity from Politicians) tells the story of the first functional single-family seed that now exists 12 nautical miles off the coast of Phuket, Thailand.

Its residents are Chad Elwartowski and Nadia Summergirl. In a chat window interview before the video premiered on YouTube last night, Elwartowski told me that his “main motivation was to find true freedom in this life. I have participated in several other projects that promised so, but.” never have delivered, “including the” “Free State Project, Libertarian Party Elections, Ron Paul Campaign, other Seastead projects.”

Now he lives in a private seastead in international waters with Thai-born Summergirl, who says in the video that she was tired after watching seasteading for 10 years, just saying, “I just want seasteading to really happen . I want to make it happen here in Thailand. ” The team around the project was an early adopter of Bitcoin, and with the fortune acquired in this way, they spent around $ 150,000 on the project, says Elwartowski. That’s about $ 30,000 more than they expected – “since it’s experimental, we ended up adding and adding and adding,” he tells me. (I wrote speculatively about funding libertarian projects with Bitcoin wealth last year before this project went public.)

The Seastead has been swimming since February 2nd. “We have about a week, a week off, to take care of things on land,” Elwartowski told me via email. “Last week we bought a sailboat and had the floor painted so we could have a commuter boat. After that, we should be there all day. Except to visit the many islands around us.”

Although the sea-head is only a six-meter-wide, two-story octagon, Elwartowski says: “We never had a problem with space. We lived in a small bungalow in Tahiti. I lived in a small box in Afghanistan for 2 years.” . There is enough space. Nadia likes to fish while I work on the computer downstairs at the marine station or in the bedroom. “

Its octagon sits on a floating spar with ballast made of concrete and sand, 20 meters long, 2 meters in diameter and 14 mm thick. According to the website of the company that builds and places it, under the name Ocean Builders (which mainly employed local Thai workers), “the Seastead is capable of withstanding 5-meter waves but will sit in the Andaman Sea where the average wave height is half a meter. “

They haven’t bothered to do business with the Thai government, says Elwartowski: “We’ve stayed under the radar so far, but we obey all of Thailand’s laws, so we’re only living on a boat in the water. As for them .. All we expect from the Thai government is that they obey international law. We will do the same. But Nadia and I are not doing anything we cannot do on land. “

The Seasteading Institute is not directly involved in Elwartowski and Summergirl’s Seastead, other than Quirk documenting and disseminating his story in his role as “Sea Evangelist”. But Quirk tells me that he’s more than thrilled to see a real Seeburg castle. The concept’s last big hurray was an agreement with French Polynesia to build a seastead, a project that is at least for the time being dormant.

Elwartowski and Summergirl had “lived on the atoll” where they hoped to have built the first Seeburg. When this project stopped, they moved to Thailand to do it themselves.

“It seems like the global sea-reading movement has become robust and anti-fragile,” says Quirk. “Every time [the concept] takes a punch, it goes faster! We felt we were bold, “with their claim in the French Polynesia deal that” we would have the first Seastead built by 2020, 2019. “

The world of people interested in building lakeside sites is still small. When Quirk found out about Ocean Builders’ plans a few months ago and came to Thailand to check it out with a camera crew, he found a dozen volunteers to help, whom he knew from his years of promoting the idea.

He is wonderfully surprised to learn that the Seasteaders’ fears that it might be too expensive to go direct to international waters, that it might be too expensive, or that something as constructed as an oil rig might be required, seems false. He’s also impressed that Elwartowski and his team are pushing an aspect he advanced in his book – the idea that seasteads can be meaningful compounds for marine health – who are experimenting with growing edible algae and growing corals around their seastead promote savings.

Quirk believes that “the idea of ​​making Seasteading environmentally friendly and increasing life in the world” will begin with this very first Seastead. On the Ocean Builders blog, Elwartowski writes that “Fish really do love hanging out on the Seastead. They love it. We used to go to the site to investigate various things about this place and we hardly saw any fish out there. Now. Now.” It’s like a fish sanctuary. We see dolphins and tuna around our lake all the time. In my theory, this little place is the only place the large number of Thai fishing boats can’t go so they thrive here and not in open water where the fishing nets can sweep them up. “

The first part of the documentary is mainly devoted to some of the political ideas that animate the locals and other Seasteading World volunteers, as well as some references to the physical challenges of setting their spears at sea, which will be explored further as the video series progresses next week. More details can also be found on the website of Ocean Builders, which is trying to sell seasteads to others in order to build an active seasteader community around Chad and Nadia. Her oceanfront home was cheaper than most homes in the United States.

Part one of Quirk’s video documentary, Facing the Storm, is embedded below. The next three parts, which will be released in the next week, will be titled Raising the Spar, Lifting the ‘State and Living the Life. Chad and Nadia and their team will be teaching sea-reading techniques this spring.

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