Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Comment on the Seastand FAQ


Patri,

Good luck, I stumbled on this while surfing. 33 years ago your grandfather lived around the corner from my freshman dorm. We walked to campus together a few times. Practical questions come to mind, my apologies if they have already been addressed.

First is that to be truly free of government intrusion and regulation you will have to be more than an offshore commune. If you were for arguments sake a community of 100 located on a platform 5 miles off the coast you would be wrong to assume that would make you free from regulation. While some posters might hope that your supplying power and other goods to the shore would give leverage that might be wishful thinking. You could expect a visit from the Coast Guard or even the State authorities under a host of regulations and even if you felt that suppressing you would be economically irrational. We are talking about government here, remember? Someone can at any time post a rumor that a child is being endangered in any way and the game is over.

Second and more importantly to me is the problem that any small community that sees itself as refugees threatened by a hostile alien power is subject to terrible internal pressures. Call this the "Lord of the Flies" issue. You can gather the best people with the best of intentions and over time politics, desires, grievances and just plain insanity, will occur. Surviving these threats in any particular small pioneer settlement is not probable. Most small businesses fail for personal reasons and most large entities survive on inertia but become unproductive. The answer is to have a larger number of start ups so that the failure of any single location will not invalidate the whole enterprise. The high cost of entry is the barrier to that approach.



Hope you can take these criticisms as constructive. You have good people putting serious work into this project.

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