STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
How “Seasteading” Might Just Solve All the World’s Problems (Book Review)
By Joe Jarvis - October 15, 2017

When I first read the title of Joe Quirk’s book, I laughed.

The full title is, Seasteading: How Floating Cities Will Restore The Environment, Enrich the Poor, Cure the Sick, and Liberate Humanity from Politicians.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of seasteading: creating floating city-states free to experiment in governance. But I figured Quirk must have been overselling the prospects a bit with that title. Joe Quirk is a guy who likes to joke around, so I assumed the title was a lighthearted exaggeration. A hyperbolic hook.

By the time I finished the book I was utterly convinced that seasteading will save the world.

The biggest takeaway is how remarkably unimaginative world leaders currently are. Quirk’s book presents countless technologies and businesses which are solving the world’s biggest problems.

Many of these are still in research and experimentation phase. Certainly, not all of them will emerge as viable models.

But I was surprised by how little I had heard about these emerging technologies and promising innovations.

From sustainable ocean farming to providing healthcare to the poorest people on Earth, why aren’t politicians pursuing these things? Why isn’t the media reporting on the fact that private enterprises are cleaning the oceans as a byproduct of their business model, or that city-states like Hong Kong and Singapore are able to subsidize housing without charging high taxes?

The powers that be are not interested in real solutions. They are interested in fake solutions that give them real power. In fact, perhaps if a solution seems too promising, it will be marginalized by those politicians and their media tools.

Why would world leaders want to promote a good thing that they are not a part of?

And what happens when private enterprise solves all the problems government has failed to make a dent in?

Real Solutions

The book covers all angles, as the title suggests. This is not about libertarian philosophy, although the benefits of competing governments is certainly a theme. This is about real solutions to pressing problems.

There is so much useful information in this book, that I was wondering the whole time why I had never heard much of it before. Why didn’t I know ocean fish farming can be profitable and actually improve the environment? Why hadn’t I heard about advancements in wave power and ocean current electricity? How has an organization delivering affordable care to the poorest people via floating hospitals not been widely touted?

That is the path you are taken down in Seasteading. Quirk leads you slowly through the stories of why people are trying to seastead. And it is definitely not just libertarians!

Environmentalists and ocean conservationists see seasteading as the best, and possibly only way, to stop the deterioration of the ocean and reverse its death. They understand that seasteading will help remove carbon pollution and provide non-polluting farms with staples of sustainable fish, seaweed, and algae.

You may think these environmentalists are wrong about carbon footprints, and the environmental impact humans have made. And that is what’s great about these solutions: they are private businesses. No one is trying to raise your taxes to pay for carbon credits or make the price of fuel skyrocket. These people are not trying to restrict you in any way, like the politicians’ anti-human stance on climate change. The seasteaders are in fact providing benefits like lower cost fuel and cheaper healthier food.

The defenders of the poor and oppressed see that seasteading can provide opportunities for the poverty-stricken, and safe havens for refugees. Ocean-going medical tourism is the quickest way to solve severe problems in the American healthcare system. The seas are bubbling with energy that could be harnessed for electricity.

One business provides medical care for Westerners at a fraction of the price in their homelands. But the real passion behind the business was giving medical care to the poorest people in India. Rather than run a charity that depends on donations, they created a for-profit business. That’s how you make “charity” sustainable. Rich folks from the west benefit by saving money on important procedures. Poor Indians benefit by having their insurance and procedures subsidized by the rich Westerners.

And yes, seasteading will absolutely improve government, because you can easily exit a bad situation. Quirk provides interesting details about Singapore’s quick prosperity after being expelled from Malaysia. He explores why Hong Kong has been able to remain independent despite the giant at its door. He looks at tiny nations that have historically benefitted from being islands. Would they benefit even more if they could move?

The information in this book is huge. We are on the horizon of seeing governments behave like businesses, which means peace is more profitable than war. War will become a burden for governments and contractors alike, not a way to monopolize resources and funnel wealth from the poor. Energy will become a clean commodity as abundant as salt water. Saltwater, by the way, will become fresh water–well some of it, for drinking and such.

Quirk brings his book to an informative crescendo, where you can almost hear the symbols clashing with every fact he drops. Antiquated oppressive structures of society crumble under the truth, as Atlantis rises from the depths of the ocean.

You obviously should take what I am saying with a grain of salt. I was already super excited about seasteading. I am basically THE target audience for this book. But it won’t just appeal to the likes of me. It has history, science, philosophy, politics, and even a touch of literature.

And of course, you have to take what Joe Quirk says with a grain of salt as well. He works for the Seasteading Institute, and this book is an avenue of promotion. He backs up the facts, but of course, he is going to present the best case scenario for Seasteading.

Still, I can’t recommend this book enough. And no, I was absolutely not incentivized in any way to provide this glowing review. I’m not looking for a job with the Seasteading Institute, and I even paid for the book myself.

(I listened to it on Audible, while building a new pen for my goats. Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks)

So if you want to hear stories about the people not just theorizing and talking about seasteading, but actually doing it, get this book.

It may just convince you that the politicians and media are simply noisemakers, distracting from the immense possibilities of solving the problems they claim are impossible. Don’t believe the hype about overpopulation, environmental destruction, or growing poverty and disease.

Seasteading basically slaps all the doomsday politicians in the face. Here are the solutions. And they empower humanity, not enslave it.

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  • toddyo1935

    “For lack of vision, My people perish” says the Lord. Proverbs 28:19

    I spent a few hours with a genius inventor the other day who showed me his desalination concept that would fit nicely in this concept – as would one I built in 1975, but never could complete.

    “Dreamers” is another term bastardized by the MSM. We need dreamers like Quirk who can see past the ends of their noses.

    • jackw97224

      Well put, toddyo. I like that verse, Prov. 28:19. Thank you.

      • Paul_Morphy

        “He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty” ~ Prov 28:19

        Isn’t this the actual text of Prov 28:19?
        Still, a good choice for this topic.

        • jackw97224

          Thank you Paul_Morphy, Yes and I looked it up and found more.
          Proverbs 28:19 https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Proverbs-28-19/
          “He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough.”

          2 Thessalonians 3:10, King James Bible
          For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

          1 Corinthians 3:8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+3%3A8&version=KJV

          Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

          These verses of course a condemnations of commie/socialism that amoung other immoral beliefs, uses force/violence/aggression to loot A to satisfy B via all sorts of taxes and fees and regulations. Oopsy, I just described US politicians no matter their make, model or flavor.

  • jackw97224

    As I agree with Marc Stevens and Lysander Spooner, The No State Project and No Treason No. 6, The Constitution of No Authority, respectively, that there is no factual evidence that the constitution and law apply to me or you, then there is no authority for any government to grant some kind of “homestead” on the land or the ocean.

  • Mike Baz

    Stopped reading when carbon was spoken of as a pollutant

    • joequirk

      Aqueous carbon dioxide reacts with water, forming carbonic acid, which increases ocean acidity, which kills much life. In this context it can be interpreted as a pollutant, just as too much oxygen in other contexts can interpreted as pollution. But carbonic acid can be absorbed by ocean crops, which is what many seasteaders propose.
      “Pollution is nothing but resources we’re not harvesting,” wrote Buckminster Fuller. “We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.”

      • Number 6

        CO2 currently constitutes only 0.04% of our atmosphere and the mass of the oceans is a huge 268 times the mass of the atmosphere, and CO2 in our oceans is in concentrations of over 10 times that of our atmosphere.

        Therefore Even if you dumped ALL of the CO2 currently in our atmosphere, not just the minuscule amount of 0.0012% which the global warming alarmists attribute to man, (and that figure is dubiously high) it could not possibly decrease the oceans PH levels by any meaningful amount, it certainly couldn’t make it acidic by any stretch of the imagination.

        Also the same people who claim CO2 is causing ocean acidification are the same people who claim CO2 is causing the atmosphere to increase in temperature. Both are ludicrous but one things for certain you cant have it both ways, it is a well known fact, that an increase in water temperature will reduce the solubility of CO2 and so says Henrys Law. warm a can of coke and see how much more quickly it goes flat than one placed in a fridge. Its called outgassing and its by far and away the number one cause of CO2 in our atmosphere, CO2 does indeed follow temperature not the other way around !

        Either the oceans are getting warmer and the CO2 concentration in seawater is decreasing, which means that ocean acidification from man-made CO2 from the atmosphere is nonsense.

        Or the oceans are getting cooler and the man-made CO2 from the atmosphere is dissolving in those cooler oceans and causing insignificant ocean acidification, which means that warming oceans and the associated sea level rises are nonsense, the “Fraudsters” cant have it both ways .

      • Don Bancroft

        Joe, I can’t believe it, An hour ago I gave a Cub Scout a keychain that said “Seastead!”.
        For a year I’ve been making name tags for Keychains on a 3D printer that I realized look like seasteads only with the letters as buildings with water around them in an oval lagoon.
        Love your book, I’m telling everyone I know about it.

      • Mike Baz

        ocean pH has barely budged since pre-industrial days
        I’m done responding to doom environmentalism
        Peter Thiel failed to set up a sea stead
        I put my hope in Bitcoin Jesus buying an island off some bankrupt state

  • F DeWitt Beckett

    Some years before Seasteading came out, New Utopia was a dream of Lazurus Long. A log had been done toward it before his death but the concept was that of a made made island in the south gulf where new laws would permit medical treatments not allowed in the US, a gold backed currency, and free enterprise in its best terms. The web site still is up for those interested. Yes Seasteading and New Utopia offer hope and promise of a different world that is for the citizen and not the governing politicians.

    • LawrenceNeal

      a gold backed currency always leads to violent intervention from Central Banks.

    • sarah

      ‘new laws’, ‘a gold backed currency’, who is in charge of these things? Please don’t say ‘the citizens’. Your different world sounds a lot like the current world.

    • CommonSense033

      Would be ended in a month by pirates arriving at night to kill and take.

  • Don

    I’m half way through the book and I’m sold, but I’m old.
    They’re saying 30 years till their first one. Milton Friedman’s grandson as coauthor caught my attention.

  • Doc

    How is territorilizing also the water going to solve the issues coming from territorial governments? It looks to me to be a great disfavor. Playing it straight into the hands of our overlords.

    • Don Bancroft

      It’s about escaping overlords & it’s well worth a try. The overlords have claimed all the land territory.

      • Doc

        And now we want to do the same with the water. Hmm. How long will it take before someone has made a floating city into a territorial and monopolistic government? Or is that the plan to begin with?

      • Number 6

        Yes but their “claim” isn’t a rightful claim is it, they rule by illusion, they would be nothing without deceiving the 99%. It seems to me rather than allowing ourselves to be pushed into the ocean onto a floating raft with precious little resources, the solution is simply for people to wake up to the fact tax is theft, without tax (our money) they would be nothing, they cant bribe anyone without it, therefore they couldn’t rule and their claim would be no greater than the next persons.

        Even with our tax they couldn’t cope with mass disobedience, for example if 20% of the population refused to pay tax, they couldn’t pay enough people to police tax collection, it would be impossible. For example here in the UK they try and force the masses to pay a TV licence, for years they had a ludicrous advert on TV about TV detector vans which could magically detect if you were watching TV without a licence, of course complete nonsense ! But it just demonstrates its all about fear of the consequences. Now more and more people are refusing to pay their TV licence, their solution. Youtube videos showing people being arrested for not paying their licence fee (as if the police would be involved in collecting licence fees, that doesn’t seem to have had the desired effect so now they’re trying to get it tacked onto the council tax an admittance they cant police it. Rule and tax is all illusion and fear nothing more !

  • LawrenceNeal

    Just as the Western Hemisphere wasn’t ‘discovered’ by Europeans, with some 60 million people living there at the time, there are beings already living in the ocean. Human presence never bodes well for other living things.

  • Seems like the UAE are taking another tack, with their planning and building of an Earth Bound Space Station ….. https://www.sciencealert.com/to-prepare-for-mars-the-uae-is-building-a-simulated-martian-city-on-earth

    Bravo, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Leading from the front and for forces going in a wholly different direction.

  • Samarami

    You can run but you can’t hide. I plan to be the first to elect myself president of my personal empire: me. Then I can cease worrying about “…the-powers-that-be…”
    I’m it. Sam

  • CommonSense033

    One boat arriving with no lights at night, a bunch of pirates, gang members or third world ex-military sorts, the rapid stutter of AK-47s, some screams, and then nothing but flames and ruin, with all the valuables and money, precious metals and art and other items gone.

    And that will be the end of that.

    Nation-states have militaries for a reason.

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