Joe Quirk on Seasteading (podcast)

Listen to Joe Quirk’s great interview on Seasteading.

Is this the future of mankind? Is Seasteading the answer to all of humanity’s most pressing challenges?

As we battle to hold duopoly governments to account, reverse the damage of climate change, reduce inequality, and provide health care to the disadvantaged – perhaps it’s time to accept that our old system is broken beyond repair.

Rather than try to fix the irredeemable, it might be time to try something new.

Seasteaders are convinced that their vision will provide the innovative platform to launch the civilisations of the future – and my guest in this episode makes a pretty good case.

Joe Quirk is an author and Seavangelist at The Seasteading Institute. His enthusiasm will infect you and leave you with fresh hope for the future of humanity.

Seasteading promises to restore the environment, enrich the poor, cure the sick and liberate humanity from politicians.

Lessons Learned

Here’s what I took from the episode:

Why Seasteading?

Seasteading solves two of the world’s biggest problems at once:

  1. Sea level change
  2. The lack of innovation in governance

The Basics

Seasteading = Politically independent cities that float on the ocean

Start up countries on the blue frontier

Half the world’s surface is unclaimed by any country

Seasteading brings a Silicon valley sensibility to the problem of Governments not innovating

The Seasteading Institute has already found that if they provide the opportunity for innovators to contribute to a nano-nation, innovators will come along with their own brilliant niche ideas

Innovators are held back by 20th century regulations

The Seated Institute takes no position on what type of society should be formed – they are providing the technology for others to decide

The vision is that people will join and leave seated communities voluntarily – Seasteads compete to attract = best societies emerge

French Polynesia sees itself as the blue frontier:

’We’re going to draw a new world map with FP as the centre of the aquatic age’.

Pacific nations sinking below sea level – easily transition to floating nations.

When will this happen?

Before 2020 there’ll be the first seastead civilisation established on French Polynesia.

The seasteading phenomena will start as the coastal expansion of exisiting states.

Joe thinks that our children will be living on floating cities. They will look back at our way of life, the way we lived under the rule of a monopoly government, and shake their heads.

Build it and they will come

The Seastead Institute has found that putting this idea out there, talking and getting excited about this new model of civilisation, innovators have come to them. They have been inundated with a range of thinkers and problem solvers – all wanting to be part of the movement.

‘I’ve been astounded by the solutions that people bring to this movement’

‘So many of the problems that we get frustrated about on land are based on the problem of monopoly of governance that doesn’t allow the network effects of solutions that can work together’

Source: http://www.teams.guru/podcast/052-seasteading-civilisations-future-joe-quirk/

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SteemFest interview

The first ever international Steemit conference was held on November 11, 12 and 13. I loved the positive vibe that radiated from the community and I enjoyed meeting people I have had known only from the Steemit online platform.

Steemit is a social network that looks quite similar to Reddit and that rewards people with the cryptocurrency Steem for blogging and curating content. SteemFest, consisting of 206 attendees, had a remarkable mix of people from different nationalities. They joined the event from 32 different countries including Russia, China, India, Japan, Panama, Lithuania, Cambodia, Mexico, and the US. There were also many female attendees, something that you don’t see often in other cryptocommunities. 35% were female and 25% were developers. The event attracted famous writers like for example Neil Strauss, bitcoin artists like Tatiana Moroz, and Ned Scott who is the co-founder of Steemit. I loved listening to people’s stories and how they got involved with Steemit. I met someone who lived together with Vitalik Buterin (founder of Ethereum) in Barcelona, a homeless person who tries to get by by living on the cryptocurrency Steem, and so many other interesting people.

I was one of the 35 speakers at the event, and was also interviewed on some of my philosophical views. You can see the interview above.

If you’d like to know more about Steemit, then visit Steemit.com to see what it’s all about.

Why the state is the “coldest of all cold monsters”: an anarchist perspective of Nietzsche’s critique of government

As a libertarian anarchist and student of philosophy, I find it interesting to read through the history of thought and to find philosophical passages that are leaning towards libertarian anarchism. This time, I will discuss Friedrich Nietzsche’s critique of government that will muse many libertarians and anarchists.

In a passage, entitled “The New Idol” in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche introduces the state as “the death of peoples”.

He continues by saying:

“State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies; and this lie slips from its mouth: “I, the state, am the people.”

What follows will be my analysis of what I think are the most important points in the passage. I will dissect this passage into three separate critiques of the state.

1. The state lies when it says: “I, the state, am the people!”
Statists have often propounded “we are the government”, or “we are the state”, or “the voter is always right”. This is however, nothing but an illusion – a metaphor that has been repeated so many times that we have forgotten that they are illusions. It gives us a false sense of self-empowerment and a belief that we possess a certain political power to change the political process.

If “we are the government”, what are its logical implications? If everyone is the government, then is our government’s foreign policy not our foreign policy? If the Dutch government attacks Libya, then it should be us that attacks Libya. If German politicians, due to political disputes decide to attack the Netherlands, then according to this statist logic it should be us that are attacked by them, the Germans. German Jews are not murdered by their Nazi government, but ‘committed suicide’. If our governments hold us in prison, it is us who imprison ourselves. If our governments decide to put sanctions on Iraq which lead to hundreds of thousands of starving children, it is us who do this to the Iraqi children.

This logic is absurd. We are not the government or the state. It is not us who starved the Iraqi children to death. It is not us who attacked Libya. It is the political elite who did this.

2. Whatever the state gives you, it has stolen from the people.
Nietzsche continues the passage by saying that the state is created by destroyers

“who lay snares for the many, and call it state: they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them… the state lies in all the tongues of good and evil; and whatever it says it lies; and whatever it has it has stolen.”

According to Nietzsche, the state artificially creates cravings and determines what is good and evil. Moralities would naturally erupt among the people, but the state poisons this natural process and makes those who don’t obey its laws turn into enemies of the people.

The essential point, I want to focus on here is the claim that whatever the state possesses has been stolen. This phrase puts the state as a group of bandits who dominates and exploits its people. This view is in line with what Franz Oppenheimer calls, “the political means”. According to Oppenheimer, there are two means through which one can acquire wealth. The first means, “the economic means”, is by producing goods and services and through voluntary exchanges. The state does not produce anything, but acquires its wealth through organized theft and taxation of the productive classes. This is “the political means”.

3. The state is a false idol that preaches death, seeks power and drowns in corruption.
Nietzsche writes that

“It [the state] will give everything to you, if you worship it, the new idol: thus it buys the lustre of your virtue, and the glance of your proud eyes. Through you it seeks to seduce the all-too-many! Yes, a hellish artifice has been created here, a death-horse jingling with the trappings of divine honors! Yes, a dying for many has been created here, which glorifies itself as life: verily, a great service to all preachers of death!”

The state understands that people are corruptible and willing to give up their values and virtues in exchange for power. In addition, the state creates idols and honors that are not honorable at all. It even elevates the dying for the state as an honorable activity and calls those who are willing to give up their lives for the state ‘heroes’. In this sense, states are preachers of death!

They are corrupt and we should

“[E]scape from their foul stench! Escape from the idolatry of the superfluous!
Escape from their foul stench! Escape from the steam of these human sacrifices!
The earth is yet free for great souls.”

Reference
Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883-1885)