Perhaps you think that humans are running out of room on our finite Earth. Antarctica is too cold and the deserts are too dry, although the Arctic seems to be warming nicely. Unfortunately, condo living in the Arctic is still several decades away. But the human pioneering spirit never dies!
A group of rich techies in Northern California is planning on starting its own nation on artificial islands in the ocean. They call themselves "seasteaders" and are sort of a mix between geeks and hippies.
The visionary behind the group is Patri Friedman. The former Google software engineer also happens to be the grandson of the Nobel Prize-winning economist and free marketeer Milton Friedman.
It's his voice that opens a trailer for a documentary [below] about the seasteaders. As his words float above visuals of rolling waves we hear what sounds like a vision of paradise at sea.
Friedman imagines that on these islands there will be "a lot of tourism from the world. The most cutting-edge hospital facilities on the planet. Probably the largest fish farms in the world."
And for foodies: "Best sushi you can imagine."
The seasteaders have been meeting regularly at bars in Silicon Valley and San Francisco to discuss their plans for creating nations at sea.
One meeting at a bar in Millbrae, Calif., drew a mix of people with long hair, beards and wizened faces; casually dressed engineer types; and a few suits. It was mostly guys.
There was a lot of chatter about what's wrong with our country — everything from the school systems and the bickering in Washington to the rising price of health care and long lines at the department of motor vehicles.
"They just want to avoid taxes so they can own what they make," says filmmaker Adam Jones, who became part of the group because he shares their frustration. "So they can truly be free and that's the nature of true liberty and that's what the founders wanted in America."
What is the pioneering spirit? You can find it in Government Versus New Frontiers.
Pioneers are individuals who are dissatisfied with the status quo.
Pioneers have a vision of something better beyond their immediate world and ways.
Pioneers take responsibility for their own lives and futures.
Pioneers exercise their independent judgment, often in opposition to conventional wisdom, using their ingenuity to come up with new ideas, inventions, innovations, or enterprises.
Pioneers are risk-takers who have the courage to travel down untrodden paths and into perilous territory to reach their goals. And as a result of their efforts, pioneers make life better and more fulfilling for themselves, and they make the world a better place for the rest of us.
Perhaps you yawn that yes, you’ve heard America described as a pioneer nation, but the days of covered wagons crossing the prairies are as gone as are our prehistoric ancestors.
And those orbiting Hilton hotels might have been the projected vision in the movie 2001 but they certainly didn’t materialize when the actual year rolled around. So what does all of this pioneer stuff have to do with today?
Well, are you concerned that living standards in this country might have peaked and are now on their way down?
I sure am!
And I say, regarding seasteading, if you're going to fuck up the planet, why do a half-assed job?
Make it so!
Have a nice weekend.