Friday, April 25, 2008


MR pointed to this website:
What is "Seasteading"?
Seasteading means to create permanent dwellings on the ocean - homesteading the high seas. A seastead, like in the picture above, is a structure meant for permanent occupation on the ocean.

I've been reading it's online book. It's an interesting website and like all interesting websites it led me to different things:
1. Monolithic Dome Institute (MDI)
2. IMF (no, not that IMF)

The founders take this concept seriously although it sounds like the main reason they are pursuing this is idealogical/political rather than technological. They believe the technology is there and have already decided on the technology (and now need funding - what else is new). They haven't convinced me that they have all the non-political issues ironed out - mainly waste disposal. I buy into wind, current and solar as their power source but their solution to waste disposal is multi-pronged - recycle, reuse, incinerate, compost and ship to land. They discuss the pros and cons of all these but I think that the only real solution unfortunately is ship to land for most products.

We visited the Maldives once (and when I think of this proposal, I think of the problems that small island economies face -- everything needs to be shipped!) and they had designated one atoll for garbage which sounded like it was reaching its capacity.

I found the MDI site really interesting. I've always wanted to live in a dome! There is one near us that uses some of the MDI concepts of inflatable airform and polyurethane. See for a description and here and here for pictures. It claims that it is more energy efficient than a conventional home but isn't polyurethane petroleum based?

More interesting was the home they built to withstand hurricanes on Sullivans Island, SC. Why do I buy into the dome concept? I buy into its energy efficiency and living on a busy road, the insulation in these domes sound great. They can also be buried which moderates the temperatures. Unfortunately, solar panels don't seem like a good option for these houses - perhaps with nanotechnology this will become more feasible.

Will seasteading be successful? Perhaps. I think ...
1. It will probably start out in Europe - and perhaps even in the Netherlands.
2. It will probably start by clustering around off shore wind farms.

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