Aug 17, 2011

Get Ready For Floating Countries

Peter Thiel has a lot of money.  A LOT of money.  The guy founded PayPal, but he's probably better known as the billionaire angel investor who brought Facebook into the big time.  That makes him largely responsible for a major share of both the social and commercial interactions of the virtual world.  Now Thiel wants to move into the physical world.

According to Details Magazine, Thiel's Founders Fund (co-founded with Napster creator Sean Parker) has just donated $1.5 million to the Seasteading Institute, a group that plans to build a series of independent floating/underwater libertarian city-states located in international waters.  Seasteading is the brainchild of Patri Friedman, grandson of Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman.  He's hoping to utilize Thiel's recent donations to build a prototype series of floating offices just off the San Francisco coast within the next year.  He projects that they could have fully populated compounds within seven years, and aims to have millions of residents in his floating libertarian utopia by 2050.

One conceptual model even has companies like Apple literally purchasing and forming their own sovereign nations, complete with "no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons."  While I'm sure plenty of Apple aficionados would enthusiastically sign on to live on an island devoid of Windows, I'd think that actual governments would be none to happy to let companies literally export workers to their own countries with no minimum wage laws.  Fortunately it'll be quite some time before floating corporate nations are a legitimate concern.  It's too bad, as this sounds like Ron Paul's best chance to get elected leader of anything.

1 comment:

  1. Would you have to go through customs on your way to and from work if you lived on the mainland? Crazy. Btw, I'm waiting to see this turn into real-life Bioshock.