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Mindborg

Building Atlantis; find the flaws

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Hi there

I'm completely new here, so please tell me the things I'm doing wrong and I'll try to adjust.

 

Inspired by Galt's Gulch in Atlas and after making some money I'm working on a project to create a community of rational individualists. It's crazy and will never work, I know.

But still I have not yet found any specific reason why it shouldn't work, and so far no problem has come up that cannot be solved.


Spot 5 errors in this project: http://mindshore.weebly.com

1) Why do you think it will fail? Very good if you can find 5 reasons we'll fail, but we're thankful for any number.

2) How much do you like the idea? (1-5 stars)

3) What's the most attractive part to you?

4) What are the barriers that would stop you from joining this project next month, if you wanted to join?

5) How much do you want to join if it works? (1-5 stars)

6) What parts of the content did you not like? What did you like? Is there too much text, or too little?

7) Other improvements we should make?

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1)

https://dollarvigilante.com/blog/2015/12/07/whatever-happened-to-galts-gulch-chile.htm

Already depends on an existing legal structure (Atlas Shrugged is a fictional world where there were no options)

Massively limited opportunity to trade due to being a self-sufficient tribe without incentive for it to grow into a government.

7) It sounds like a gated community that's treated as a business. Treat it the same as a resort and then it might work.

 

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There have been so many such projects in the last few decades. They've all been more or less the same, and they've all been flops. I'm not sure how many promoters were scammers and how many were (let's say) dreamers. 

Personally, I'd have zero interest in a project where a small group of Objectivists or even more widely some group of libertarian-leaning folk, go live on a small island somewhere. So, from my own personal perspective, I'd say: the project offers little of value.

 

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Posted (edited)

I visited the Seasteading website.  What is Mindshore's relationship with Seasteading?

Edit:  For anyone on the forum, the SeaSteading.org has more information, including a Business Plan, due diligence reports with both Legal and Engineering reports, etc.

Edited by New Buddha

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On 6/13/2017 at 8:11 PM, softwareNerd said:

... the project offers little of value.

 

The proposition is: "live in a cool little town, outside the U.S., with some other Objectivists". 

All too often, the attraction is a cool place to live. However, that blurs things. I can always go live in a little tourist town in California, or Florida. The mid-west has some very cute towns: head to western Michigan's lake shore. [The bulk of people choose to live somewhere other than these cute little towns for practical reasons. So, that would be the counter-argument.]

Next: what advantage does one get by selecting a place outside the U.S. For instance, the folks from the "Free State Project" chose New Hampshire. What is the benefit, in real, day-to-day terms, of being outside the U.S.? 

Finally, what is the advantage of living near other Objectivists? It sure would be cool to be surrounded by like-thinking people, but I'd pose a question: if you live in a typical urban or suburban area in the U.S., there are probably a few Objectivists and definitely many libertarian-leaning folk around you. Most of us really don't need that many friends. A handful of good ones is usually perfect. SO, why go anywhere at all? 

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Posted (edited)

Mostly agree with above responses.

I'm not starving or oppressed.  So, I'm not a pioneer running away from Europe, or a refuge seeking to escape a potato famine.  North America was populated (mostly) by people who felt compelled to leave where they were for greater opportunity.  I'm not incensed and angry at the government.  No where near as angry as the original American colonists were when they started the revolution.

This all stated, I realize I live in an unjust mixed economy semi-socialist/altruist democracy.  My rights are continually violated and I am forced to serve (to some degree) the state and the public.

What I would want is a proper government.  IF such a proper government "existed" there would still be many considerations.

1. Does the government have sufficiently developed policies and laws and processes which successfully support its role of protecting individual rights?  Is there a constitution?  Is there a body of objective laws and a planned institutional framework?  Are there sufficient checks and balances and most importantly are there sufficient protections forbidding the expansion of government action (laws and institutions) beyond its proper role? (This should be a rock solid part of the constitution)   

2.  Does the government have sufficient infrastructure to implement its valid role of protecting individual rights?  Does the government have a sufficient military to defend its geographical borders? Is there an adequate police force?  Is there a judiciary and a legal system in place?

3.  Is there sufficient population, production and trade, such that I would be able to trade value for value sufficient to ensure shelter, health, and safety for me and my family?

 

Simply put, the move would have to be based on everything about my and my family's potential life at the new place in comparison with our lives where we are now.  Unless and until that reaches a point where it is not a sacrifice to move, I am staying put.

No one enslaved by a goose-stepping Nazi with a gun is under a moral obligation to provoke him, no matter how wrong the enslavement because in the balance it risks more according to the standard of life, than waiting for a chance to escape.  Equally, no one "enslaved" by a rights violating semi-socialist/altruist mixed economy state is under a moral obligation to consign himself to freedom at the price of starvation, exposure, piracy, disease, typhoons, etc.

 

As for a place like Mindshore... I would have to wait and see.  Once it actually became big enough and independent enough it might warrant attention...

I love the ocean, but I like owning a modest patch of land for my house... so in the end its really a tough sell.

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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Mindborg:

(from the other thread, on respecting the US flag),

"What would it take for you Repairman to put up 100 dollars? If I gave you 1 month free rent in Tahiti on a simple but functional platform with free internet, power, shower, bathroom, bedroom and a promise that you can have discussions with an investor and a builder who loves reason and philosophy, would that be attractive? If I tell you that you have a >0% chance of becoming a founding father of a new America, would that be attractive?"

My response is that I have been to Tahiti: Nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. The reef in Cozumel was much better. Your offer does not include free medical or dental care. I think we both know that there is no free-lunch. As for my chances of becoming a founding father of any revolutionary movement, or a new America, I have 0% interest. I have no desire to be remembered by anyone other than those who know me now, and in my passing, the only monument to be erected in my honor will be over my grave. As tough as it is in these United States, the benefits of our institutions, as dysfunctional as they may be, and our infrastructure, as byzantine as it may be, are suitable for my security and comfort. I would be poorly suited as an experimental pioneer. Sorry, no deal.

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On 6/13/2017 at 11:49 PM, Eiuol said:

1)

https://dollarvigilante.com/blog/2015/12/07/whatever-happened-to-galts-gulch-chile.htm

Already depends on an existing legal structure (Atlas Shrugged is a fictional world where there were no options)

Massively limited opportunity to trade due to being a self-sufficient tribe without incentive for it to grow into a government.

7) It sounds like a gated community that's treated as a business. Treat it the same as a resort and then it might work.

 

I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner, for some reason I didn't know there were replies on this thread, maybe I didn't check my email properly.

1a)

As the FAQ on our site says, I'm not taking any investments, any donations or sell any product at this stage. The project is so risky at this stage that I allow nobody but myself to take any significant risk.

You will be able to take the risk of traveling to visit the project in Tahiti, and I do want potential customers to take the risk of putting down 100 dollars or something like that to express interest. But nothing on the magnitude of buying a property.

1b)

Yes, it does, and I agree it's a risk we need to address.

1c)

There will be limited trade, and difficult to get an economy started. I agree that's a substantial risk that needs to be addressed.

 

7)

You think it's infeasible to build a community as a business (perhaps for lack of trade), but if it's a resort for the community it might work better?

Thank you for that suggestion, it's noted.

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Posted (edited)

On 6/14/2017 at 7:11 AM, softwareNerd said:

There have been so many such projects in the last few decades. They've all been more or less the same, and they've all been flops. I'm not sure how many promoters were scammers and how many were (let's say) dreamers. 

Personally, I'd have zero interest in a project where a small group of Objectivists or even more widely some group of libertarian-leaning folk, go live on a small island somewhere. So, from my own personal perspective, I'd say: the project offers little of value.

 

This is true, there have been flops. This project will probably fail as well, I expect it to have a 20-30% chance of success, which means 70-80% chance of failure. I'm probably just another dreamer, but I'm not a scammer. I'm here to stay on planet Earth for quite a few decades, and living with integrity is much easier in that timeframe than being a scammer. I have been scammed a few times until I learned, and the scammers are not having good lives. I don’t need to scam people, Nathan Branden’s tips on living with personal integrity is much better for happiness. Howard Roark is also a strong motivation for me to live with integrity.

One of the differences from Galt's Gulch Chile is that I take about 100% of the financial risk. The GGC founders took very little personal financial risk, they let the customers carry that risk. There were many other mistakes made in GGC that I'm learning from, but we don't need to go into all of that. Tell me if you want to know more, I'm happy to share.

I do think that Lean Startup methodologies make a lot of sense, which is why I do want to get feedback from potential customers early on. Are they willing to put down a small sum, perhaps 10, 50 or 100 dollars?

Here your scam flags are probably alerting you, as they should. But those red flags I have to overcome for this to have any chance of success.

This project offers you little of value. That's much more potential than 0 :). Which to me means you see some potential value in the future? How could a small scale community be of value to you, if you had a magic wand? Maybe a job? Maybe higher standard of living? Maybe good friends? Free accommodation in Tahiti for one month if you cover your own travel?

I'm not saying I can deliver any of those values, but I'm asking what it would take for you to be interested?

Edited by Mindborg
Add more about customers risk

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On 6/14/2017 at 10:34 AM, New Buddha said:

I visited the Seasteading website.  What is Mindshore's relationship with Seasteading?

Edit:  For anyone on the forum, the SeaSteading.org has more information, including a Business Plan, due diligence reports with both Legal and Engineering reports, etc.

The Seasteading Institute (TSI) has of course been a huge inspiration for Mindshore. I didn’t think of seasteading before hearing from them.

I also went to the gathering in French Polynesia and met the people there, and talked quite a bit with the TSI guys.

We don’t have a formal working relationship at this point, but that’s something that I’m very open for. At this time Mindshore is a tiny project.

I understand TSI wants a thousand nations and governments, and I have a specific vision of how one of these could look.

I think Blue Frontiers is designing platforms, so if they do that at a reasonable cost, it might be possible to purchase one of the platforms. I’m not sure about a lot of things, but in general action beats inaction. I’m not going to sit around waiting all my life for someone else to build my values. It’s my job.

 

I met with a lot of the people at the conference, and many of them love seasteading, but few were rational individualists. To me, philosophy is extremely important. That’s why I want to build Mindshore with explicit philosophical values.

I hope that clarifies, but please ask more if you have more questions.

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1 hour ago, Mindborg said:

There will be limited trade, and difficult to get an economy started. I agree that's a substantial risk that needs to be addressed.

I don't see how trade would work well without being a territory of a country.

1 hour ago, Mindborg said:

You think it's infeasible to build a community as a business (perhaps for lack of trade), but if it's a resort for the community it might work better?

I mean if it is going to be a business and more, it would be the same as an ancap plan to be free of any state at all at any point. That's bad and nothing I'd ever support. Or you assume the world is as bad as in Atlas Shrugged, which it's not.

A resort has at least existing standards and ways to attain potential funding.

If you're looking to have a government form out of it, colonizing the moon is seriously more plausible. (That's not sarcasm.)

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55 minutes ago, Mindborg said:

of value. That's much more potential than 0 :). Which to me means you see some potential value in the future? How could a small scale community be of value to you, if you had a magic wand? Maybe a job? Maybe higher standard of living? Maybe good friends? Free accommodation in Tahiti for one month if you cover your own travel?

I'm not saying I can deliver any of those values, but I'm asking what it would take for you to be interested?

I admire your "glass half full" attitude. 

It would be fun to have my few Objectivist friends live in the same city as I do. However, we each have our own jobs and established lives, and it really isn't an important enough personal value to move. 

Also, just because someone is Objectivist does not mean I would like them as a friend. I've found that the proportion of self-described Objectivists I like -- as a friend -- is not significantly higher than what I encounter in the general population. Of course, when I like a person and want to be friends with them, it makes it even better if they share much of my philosophy; but the causation doesn't work the other way around.

If I ever were to move to a community of self-described Objectivists, it's likely that I'll be in the middle of some schism within a year and that I and my closest friends will either leave or be forced out through some boycott or some such tactic :) 

New Buddha likes this

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17 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

The proposition is: "live in a cool little town, outside the U.S., with some other Objectivists". 

All too often, the attraction is a cool place to live. However, that blurs things. I can always go live in a little tourist town in California, or Florida. The mid-west has some very cute towns: head to western Michigan's lake shore. [The bulk of people choose to live somewhere other than these cute little towns for practical reasons. So, that would be the counter-argument.]

 

That's the general outline. I imagine that spending time with rational individualists can be quite enjoyable. I have some experience, my girlfriend and me discuss rationality and the impact of philosophy every single day. I love it. Another reason was that I met with many cool people at Galt's Gulch Chile, and I found it to be a very good experience. The fallout was not good, but that was because of bad leadership and business practices, not because of the customers.

 

The question is, what does it take for this project to have such high value that you would come? I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that it has to be very valuable, because the trip to Tahiti alone costs about 2000 dollars. I know some Apple products when I bought them was easily worth 10x what I paid for them. I'm no Steve, but maybe with a lot of effort I can deliver more than 2000 dollars worth to some customers. The project has to offer you some combination of values that are so high that you're willing to take a small risk at first, and when you get a taste of how good the product is, you might be willing to come back again and again until you decide to join permanently. It's probably going to take years to build that up.

 

I'm open to ideas. What do you find valuable? What are you missing in your life?

Lower taxes is an obvious long term value. But for the short term we don't have the special economic zone, so I'm thinking very cheap housing for a week or a month in Tahiti. Eventually we need to charge for this service, so maybe it's not a good idea. I'm not sure, I think we need to run experiments.

 

17 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

Next: what advantage does one get by selecting a place outside the U.S. For instance, the folks from the "Free State Project" chose New Hampshire. What is the benefit, in real, day-to-day terms, of being outside the U.S.? 

 

Benefits:

That's an excellent question, and I currently don't have a good answer. I need to understand objectivists other than myself well to find out how I can build something that is valuable to you. I know what I want; to live and work among people I respect, with a prospect of one day becoming a nation of individuals of high self-esteem who demonstrate how objectivism works and thus change the world and direct it towards a rational philosophy.

But to get what I want, I need to give many customers what they want. So that's the difficult thing. How can I provide you with value as soon as possible? How can I make your life better?

I think the answer is that I have to build something that just a few people like, then make it better and better over time, and as things get better, it becomes more valuable to more people, perhaps even so good that you might like it :)

17 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

Finally, what is the advantage of living near other Objectivists? It sure would be cool to be surrounded by like-thinking people, but I'd pose a question: if you live in a typical urban or suburban area in the U.S., there are probably a few Objectivists and definitely many libertarian-leaning folk around you. Most of us really don't need that many friends. A handful of good ones is usually perfect. SO, why go anywhere at all? 

Have you tried living among objectivists? I have not, not really, so I don't know if there are any benefits at all. I know my girlfriend, and we talk a lot. I love that. I want to run an experiment to see if it's valuable or not. If I find that other objectivists are not really enjoyable to be among, then I'll write it off as a successful experiment and I'll find something else to do. But I think there's a good chance that living with awesome people can be better than what I experience day to day.

 

One potential benefit could be access to capital. Let's say that you want to start a business. If people around you know that you're a person of integrity, then you might have an easier time getting funding. I’ve been thinking of setting up a venture fund for funding startups on Mindshore. The potential problem here is that that would be very time consuming and have a long payback time, and the funds might be needed for building Mindshore. But it's definitely something to think about.
Another potential benefit is access to employees. Have you ever tried hiring people? It's such a painful job, and then you're trying to teach them the total basics of working skills... What if you knew that the people you hired had at least the working attitude and philosophy in place, and what they needed was just to learn the job skills? Save you a lot of pain right there, no need to explain that money is a good thing, not the root of all evil.

 

We have a philosophy where money and creation of value is central. I think we can create something of value here, but much more work is needed to find a good path. So much value must be created in this project that your life becomes significantly better by joining than if you don't

join. It's difficult I know.

 

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Posted (edited)

If you truly have the money and/or backing for a development of this nature, then you need to seriously overhaul your website.

Here are two things that caught my eye.

For the first stage, we build a floating hostel for up to 10 people with private capsule beds and shared spaces. We welcome all people interested in living here with low cost, since we’re going to collect feedback to improve our product.

Early on we may cover the basics like rent for the first settlers. In exchange for this, the early settlers would be expected to do work like maintaining, improve and build new facilities, improve their knowledge of rational individualism, building systems for making sure the culture is keeping a high and improving standard.

This makes your project sound like Scientology.  What successful, accomplished professional living a comfortable life in the U.S. would be attracted to this?  Giving you, essentially, free labor in exchange for being judged for how well they "improve their knowledge of rational individualism".  The type of people that this would be attractive to would be the last people in the world that you would want.

When I went to the Seasteading website (to see who did all those beautiful professional renderings) one of the first things I looked at was the Bio page.  That goes a long way to establishing credibility. You really should provide more info about who you are, when you formed, an address, etc.  You're way too anonymous.

To be clear, I'm not criticizing the project, I'm criticizing the presentation.  There really isn't any information on the project to provide feedback as to it's feasibility.

Edited by New Buddha

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Posted (edited)

58 minutes ago, softwareNerd said:

Also, just because someone is Objectivist does not mean I would like them as a friend. I've found that the proportion of self-described Objectivists I like -- as a friend -- is not significantly higher than what I encounter in the general population.

Lol, too true.  A lot of construction in SW Washington State is "controlled" by what is known (good naturedly) as the the Apostolic "Mafia".  Many are my friends - and yet I'm an atheist.  I go out of my way to hire them and enjoy being around them.

Edited by New Buddha

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16 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Mostly agree with above responses.

I'm not starving or oppressed.  So, I'm not a pioneer running away from Europe, or a refuge seeking to escape a potato famine.  North America was populated (mostly) by people who felt compelled to leave where they were for greater opportunity.  I'm not incensed and angry at the government.  No where near as angry as the original American colonists were when they started the revolution.

This all stated, I realize I live in an unjust mixed economy semi-socialist/altruist democracy.  My rights are continually violated and I am forced to serve (to some degree) the state and the public.

What I would want is a proper government.  IF such a proper government "existed" there would still be many considerations.

OK, so I see you got some pain points here. While not desperate, there are still things that you experience as unfair. It will take long time to deliver a system where you are free from injustices like that. It is my long term dream to build that with a lot of help, but it's not a value I can deliver tomorrow. I'm trying to figure out what value I can bring to objectivists like yourself tomorrow or very soon, and then we can slowly move towards a system that are designed according to rational standards.

 

17 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

1. Does the government have sufficiently developed policies and laws and processes which successfully support its role of protecting individual rights?  Is there a constitution?  Is there a body of objective laws and a planned institutional framework?  Are there sufficient checks and balances and most importantly are there sufficient protections forbidding the expansion of government action (laws and institutions) beyond its proper role? (This should be a rock solid part of the constitution)  

 

As a software engineer I do not believe at all in big up-front designs. It doesn't work very well. I don't know what laws, processes etc. is needed for a modern society to work. But I can tell you with certainty that we have much more advanced ideas how to make things work today than was accessible over 200 years ago. I believe that certain meta-techniques are so powerful that we don’t need to know all the specifics.

It’s similar to how self-esteem works. If you have high trust in your abilities to learn, then you’re able to learn specifics with ease. You just deal with difficulties so easily, because you got powerful abstract tools.

Similarly I know how to figure out what we need. No big up-front design of laws are needed, instead we’ll evolve a system of law when it’s needed. If you’re not familiar with Lean, continuous delivery, software engineering etc. it might sound risky. But it’s the only way to work effectively in today’s world, and the risks are magnitudes lower than up-front design.

 

Protection of individual rights:

I don’t know what’s needed here. I know my girlfriend and I don’t have any written contract, but we work really well together still.

Constitution:

If it’s needed, we’ll develop that. We don’t need it when we’re 5 people. Perhaps when we reach 100 or 1000? I don’t know, but we’ll figure it out as we go.

 

Stopping government from expanding beyond its role:

I think building our philosophy into everything in the community is essential. I think that rational individualism should be woven into the social fabric so strongly that it can never be pulled out. That I think is the only way to stop government from growing. If people’s value is security over freedom, people will crave bigger government and will get it one way or the other. If you’re instantly asked to leave the community if you even dare suggest that the government should take care of anyone, then we’ll have a culture that is next to unbreakable.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Alaska has the same number of seats in the Senate as California, even though the populations are very different. This was how it was set up back in the days, and it’s next to impossible to change. We got to make the culture so strong that it becomes impossible to change. Constitutions are not strong enough. Cultures can be much stronger than constitutions, which is proven time and again all over the world; even if they adapt new constitutions, the cultures of the countries don’t change.

17 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

2.  Does the government have sufficient infrastructure to implement its valid role of protecting individual rights?  Does the government have a sufficient military to defend its geographical borders? Is there an adequate police force?  Is there a judiciary and a legal system in place?

3.  Is there sufficient population, production and trade, such that I would be able to trade value for value sufficient to ensure shelter, health, and safety for me and my family?

2.

I doubt we'd start as a government. I don't know what social structures are needed, but I do think that computer science offer a completely different way of thinking of social structures. I think what's needed is entrepreneurship and independent thinking. As we move, we have to figure out the problems that we face, but then we design new solutions, probably with a heavy element of computer science. Computers today can do next to anything, and I think almost all of social problems can be fixed by designing incentives into computer systems. Computer systems are dry code, and forces people to behave in certain ways. The system won't execute if you try to do something it doesn't allow.

For example:

Problem: purchase and sale of property.

Old solution: lawyers and a court system.

Potential new solution: cryptographic signature system. Property only responds to the keyholder. No laws or jails needed.

 

Example 2:

Problem: copyright; difficult to stop others from copying your trademark.

Old solution: lawyers and a court system.

Potential new solution: attach a double QR code to your product; a scan of the QR will instantly verify if the product is fake or real. Attach social stigma to using fake products. No laws or jails needed.

 

3.

Yes, we'd be starting out at Tahiti, so you got access to all regular facilities. There is a market on Tahiti, there's about 29 000 people in Faaa. So a small businesses can work from very early stages. But if you want to be a billionaire in the next 3 years, this is not your target market. But it's possible to build a smaller business here.

If you have a viable business idea that can be started on a small budget, I've been thinking of investing in that. A lot of work have to go into that, so I'm not sure if it's a good idea. But please tell me if you think it's worth thinking more about.

17 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Simply put, the move would have to be based on everything about my and my family's potential life at the new place in comparison with our lives where we are now.  Unless and until that reaches a point where it is not a sacrifice to move, I am staying put.

No one enslaved by a goose-stepping Nazi with a gun is under a moral obligation to provoke him, no matter how wrong the enslavement because in the balance it risks more according to the standard of life, than waiting for a chance to escape.  Equally, no one "enslaved" by a rights violating semi-socialist/altruist mixed economy state is under a moral obligation to consign himself to freedom at the price of starvation, exposure, piracy, disease, typhoons, etc.

 

As for a place like Mindshore... I would have to wait and see.  Once it actually became big enough and independent enough it might warrant attention...

I love the ocean, but I like owning a modest patch of land for my house... so in the end its really a tough sell.

Yes, I don't think I would want anyone with a family to take the risk at this stage. There's a low probability of success at present, and you want to make sure that you're not taking too much risk. You should expect the project to fail at this stage. There have been reports of people ending up living in a car, losing everything after Galt's Gulch Chile. I do not want that to happen on this project.

If it's going to fail at an early stage, I alone should carry the costs.

I would still love to hear what things would be valuable to you, so that as we reduce the risk of the project, we could perhaps entice you to consider taking a trip for a week or a month at Tahiti?

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13 minutes ago, Mindborg said:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Alaska has the same number of seats in the Senate as California, even though the populations are very different.

 

This is a good thing.  It's hard to tell if you think it's good or bad.

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3 hours ago, Repairman said:

My response is that I have been to Tahiti: Nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. The reef in Cozumel was much better. Your offer does not include free medical or dental care. I think we both know that there is no free-lunch. As for my chances of becoming a founding father of any revolutionary movement, or a new America, I have 0% interest. I have no desire to be remembered by anyone other than those who know me now, and in my passing, the only monument to be erected in my honor will be over my grave. As tough as it is in these United States, the benefits of our institutions, as dysfunctional as they may be, and our infrastructure, as byzantine as it may be, are suitable for my security and comfort. I would be poorly suited as an experimental pioneer. Sorry, no deal.

That's all right Repairman.

Thank you for telling me.

As for free lunch; no there's no such thing. I expect is to make a lot of money on this long term. But I can wait for a very long time before I need to make money, so what I'm really after at this stage is information about what things objectivists find valuable, if there's any interest at all, what things would be interesting to see etc. Then maybe I can create some value for early adapters, perhaps get a community started, then we can step by step get more and more customers. Perhaps one day I can live among awesome people. I know for certain that I don't do that today.

Down the line, if I do a good job and I beat the odds, I might get paid in money, friendships and happiness.

 

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

I don't see how trade would work well without being a territory of a country.

I mean if it is going to be a business and more, it would be the same as an ancap plan to be free of any state at all at any point. That's bad and nothing I'd ever support. Or you assume the world is as bad as in Atlas Shrugged, which it's not.

A resort has at least existing standards and ways to attain potential funding.

If you're looking to have a government form out of it, colonizing the moon is seriously more plausible. (That's not sarcasm.)

Trade:

Early on we got access to infrastructure on Tahiti. There's access to a regular port there. Later we might set up a floating port, but still under the flag of French Polynesia.

Ancap:

I am 100% sure that there are solutions to problems that neither you nor I have thought about. All we know is what exists today. Is there a way to build computer systems that replaces many of current government services? Almost certainly. Do we need systems to enforce contracts? Maybe, maybe not. I know I have certainly thought of several systems that can replace these functions. Can those system work in practice? There's only one solid way to find out, and that is to try on small scale and see if it works.

My strong assumption is that if this project develops, it's going to be neither ancap nor purely according to what Ayn Rand suggested. Rand probably didn't imagine that a lot of code could be run on computers, and that is a big game-changer. Code run on computers is fundamentally different from code run by social structures and in the head of lawyers and judges. For one thing, it's much cheaper and can handle high volume much better. This changes how resources should be deployed.

 

World as bad as in Atlas:

No, we're not there. In Venezuela I do think it's perhaps that bad, perhaps worse.

But I don't want to spend my life doing "not as bad as fantasy horror". I have one short life, and I want to live it to it's fullest. I want to do awesome, I want to build, build, build. I want to see how far I can go. I want to dance with no chains attached, I want to flaunt my virtues, not hide them like I do now, I want to see how far the merger of my brain and good ideas can take me. I want to build a place where bragging about your virtues and your success is encouraged. I think human society today is an engine operating at 3% of capacity. I want to see how it operates on pure philosophical fuel at 50% or more of it's capacity.

 

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

A resort has at least existing standards and ways to attain potential funding.

If you're looking to have a government form out of it, colonizing the moon is seriously more plausible. (That's not sarcasm.)

Funding is not a problem at this stage.

As for resort, I don't know much about it. Can you guide me to some links or tell me more about this?

Moon:

Yes, I agree the moon is a good long term option, not to mention other planets. The problem there is that I'd need substantially more money than I currently have, and I'd have to operate inside of current legal structures here on earth. Most of the assets would be placed on earth, giving governments substantial leverage. Perhaps I'm wrong, but from my perspective the route of going to sea seems to be shorter.

As for convincing Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk (both have rocket companies and envision a very bright future in space), I don't know if that's the best route either. Why would they listen to me? Not only that, but they both have so much assets in the US that they would never dare risk that for trying out new structures of government.

I think only small actors have the freedom to take on the kind of risk we're dealing with here.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

I admire your "glass half full" attitude. 

 

Also, just because someone is Objectivist does not mean I would like them as a friend. I've found that the proportion of self-described Objectivists I like -- as a friend -- is not significantly higher than what I encounter in the general population. Of course, when I like a person and want to be friends with them, it makes it even better if they share much of my philosophy; but the causation doesn't work the other way around.

If I ever were to move to a community of self-described Objectivists, it's likely that I'll be in the middle of some schism within a year and that I and my closest friends will either leave or be forced out through some boycott or some such tactic :) 

Thank you for that softwareNerd :)

It's a very valid objection. I've met some libertarians and found that some I enjoyed hanging out with, and others not. I don't yet know what would make this different, but I do think that it should be possible to figure out systems that can minimize the impact of all the shortcomings of Objectivists (I certainly know I have many shortcomings) and boost their strengths.

Perhaps it's possible to build a social machine that is handling the conflicts that usually arise between Objectivists?

 

What objections did you have in your last encounter with other Objectivists? What pain-points did you experience? What were the things you did enjoy?

Edited by Mindborg
adding thanks

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, New Buddha said:

If you truly have the money and/or backing for a development of this nature, then you need to seriously overhaul your website.

Here are two things that caught my eye.

For the first stage, we build a floating hostel for up to 10 people with private capsule beds and shared spaces. We welcome all people interested in living here with low cost, since we’re going to collect feedback to improve our product.

Early on we may cover the basics like rent for the first settlers. In exchange for this, the early settlers would be expected to do work like maintaining, improve and build new facilities, improve their knowledge of rational individualism, building systems for making sure the culture is keeping a high and improving standard.

This makes your project sound like Scientology.  What successful, accomplished professional living a comfortable life in the U.S. would be attracted to this?  Giving you, essentially, free labor in exchange for being judged for how well they "improve their knowledge of rational individualism".  The type of people that this would be attractive to would be the last people in the world that you would want.

When I went to the Seasteading website (to see who did all those beautiful professional renderings) one of the first things I looked at was the Bio page.  That goes a long way to establishing credibility. You really should provide more info about who you are, when you formed, an address, etc.  You're way too anonymous.

To be clear, I'm not criticizing the project, I'm criticizing the presentation.  There really isn't any information on the project to provide feedback as to it's feasibility.

Excellent comment New Buddha

I appreciate that you're direct, honest and take the time to voice your opinion.

As for funding; the function works like this: time = money / burn rate. So I'm saying that the burn rate is very low, and I intend to keep it like that for long ;) 

Yes, collection of data is very important. There most certainly will be a long list of problems regarding living on the sea. I will probably have to live there and take the risk at first, and then when it's safe, we can open for more. As for 10 persons, this has now been corrected to "a few people". I think 10 people are too high expectations early on.

 

Scientology:

I'm not very familiar with that religion, but you might have a valid point. So one idea is to perhaps rent the facilities out on AirBnb and get feedback that way. Then a person who's very interested in this project might have a managerial role, maintaining the facilities etc. I've found that many libertarians have not bothered to read and learn much philosophy, so that's why "improve their knowledge..." is in there. Since continuous learning and philosophy is so important to the culture, I put that in there.

Do you see some wrong assumptions here, or should I formulate it differently perhaps?

I did change it on the website, it's now saying that early settlers are expected "to give lot of feedback so we can improve the facilities and build the systems needed for further expansion."

As for free labor;

It would be an exchange of value. Free rent and the experience is certainly a value, but there could be others. Perhaps options in the project, perhaps direct payments. I think experiments need to be run to figure out what will work the best.

 

As for credibility:

TSI has credibility I have no hope of matching. I am a very private person, and have chosen to take the most difficult path to success by trying to establish credibility while remaining quite private. Quite feasibly it's an impossible path to take, but I have seen artists do something similar; Daft Punk being one success story, Satoshi Nakamoto another. If this project succeeds it might become big news. If it becomes big news people will recognize my face if I'm public, and I cannot walk in the streets without people wanting to take pictures etc. I love walking in the streets and think for myself. I don't want to be famous, at least not for now. I want to establish credibility by my actions and my ideas over time. When you meet me in person you’ll see my face.
I've been thinking a lot about this. It would be so much easier in the short term to make my face public. But I'm here for the long term, and I have to optimize for long term happiness. I'm very open for being wrong on this, but thus far I have not seen the evidence that will convince me. If I see it, I will be more public.

At the same time, I think that many people today automatically associate public figures, faces and addresses with trustworthiness. I think that is a mistake. In Galt's Gulch Chile all the people were public. It didn't matter, and the victims are no better off for them being public. If the leaders were anonymous they wouldn't get away with anything of it, because people would be much less gullible. In the same way, if I can fight such an uphill battle as steep as having a robot face and still gain the trust of those around me, then I can only do that by having a different level of integrity. If I'm a person of integrity it will shine through my actions and my words.

Said in a discussion between Gail Wynand and Howard Roark (paraphrased):

(Howard) "I had an ally I could trust"

(Gail) "Who? Your integrity?"

(Howard) "No. Yours Gail".

You have to judge for yourself if I'm trustworthy or not. Many, probably most, will have a difficult time trusting a person who doesn't want to show his face in public. I'm increasing the short term risks of the project by doing it this way. I still think it's doable.

I don't expect other participants to be more public than me at current stage. It might change later.

 

Feasibility:

I agree; there's too little information on this point. My current thoughts (subject to change) are as follows:

1) Get a lot of feedback from this forum. Thank you all, you have no idea how much I appreciate you taking the time. You might not buy in with cash until later, but you buy in enough to care to write comments.

2) Try to get some buy-in for the project. This will take time.

3) When I have some buy-in, start building in Tahiti.

4) Take pictures; display the facilities and why people should come.

5) Make experience good to awesome. This will be very difficult. Get a lot of feedback from first people. Improve things a lot and repeat.

In other words, I hope to increase the credibility of the project over time, as well as demonstrate its feasibility. By documenting facilities, progress etc.; I think that it should be possible to establish a track record and reputation over time.

 

Ah, one more thing. People who have established lives are not the target market for round 1. I don't want married couples with kids to uproot and take the kind of risk that is in this project. As I say, it will probably fail. You don't want to quit your job when there's a 70-80% chance that things will fail.

I think early on I should take most risk, and perhaps we can find some young people with no responsibilities with high ambitions and dreams. Then as the risk reduces, we can take people with smaller risk tolerance.

Edited by Mindborg
Add more on target market round 1

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2 hours ago, New Buddha said:

This is a good thing.  It's hard to tell if you think it's good or bad.

I have no idea if it's good or bad, or even how to judge it. My point is that once you set up certain systems, they tend not to change for a very long time. I think the same can be done here. If we set up the culture and systems in a certain way, it will maintain itself.

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1 hour ago, Mindborg said:

... perhaps we can find some young people with no responsibilities with high ambitions and dreams. Then as the risk reduces, we can take people with smaller risk tolerance.

How do you anticipate these people will earn a living? 

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Posted (edited)

I think this should be a sort of living /standing sketch of what is possible.  Call it an Exposition, or a theme park, or a living monument.  Make a vision of the future with actors, a story, a fake history and have that alongside a resort.  The resort should be fun and beautiful enough to attract people while the theme park would be a reason certain people would go to your resort.  Target lawyers engineers doctors people who could donate money and contacts for refining the exposition ao that it eventually could become reality.  Allow volunteers to work at the theme park and live at the resort. Time share or permanent.  Slowly adapt the monument into reality, real systems infrastructure, real living spaces, allow people to start living there.  Slowly your ant farm spectacle could become reality.

 

PS come to think of it, I think Walt Disney had an approach something like this in mind when he started Epcot centre?  I'm not sure ...

One big reservation with this approach is that it will not be organic and completely free but more of a "planned" community effort... perhaps allowing true freedom would only happen much later.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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9 hours ago, Mindborg said:

The problem there is that I'd need substantially more money than I currently have, and I'd have to operate inside of current legal structures here on earth. Most of the assets would be placed on earth, giving governments substantial leverage. Perhaps I'm wrong, but from my perspective the route of going to sea seems to be shorter.

Shorter to what?

As for problems:

You would have a hard time finding funding at all for seasteading, while a moon base has some real economic value that would attract investors. Seasteading - or at least Mindshore - is equal to building a cabin in the woods and inviting people, I'm not seeing a difference. At best, it's a slightly modernized Walden experience.

There's a fix to that. Agreements and explicit co-operation with existing governments, perhaps as an independent special zone with its own municipal government for you as you offer various services that are lucrative on their own.

Being explicitly connected to a government is desirable, I'd imagine the EU or anyone else at all would be able to offer legal leverage as far as ability to protect rights. That's all you need to be a potentially viable urban development, whether on the moon or in the Pacific.

You seem to be after "a group of people run as a business". Sounds more like an idea that's based on anarchist premises that only needs to be market-efficient. But it needs grounding with government.

9 hours ago, Mindborg said:

As for resort, I don't know much about it. Can you guide me to some links or tell me more about this?

SL mentioned Epcot - that's the closest example.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPCOT_(concept)

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