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Mindborg

Building Atlantis; find the flaws

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Return on investment

 

 

Have you experienced that many times there is no correlation between how much effort something is, and how much money you make?
(Hint; if you have not yet gotten into the investing game, I suggest getting started with just a few dollars. Get in to learn at first, not to make money.)
As an investor I’ve experienced the lack of correlation between effort and how much I make multiple times. I’ve put in a lot of effort into an investment, only to have negative results. No payoff at all. Other times I’ve put in a little effort, and have very good results. Other times I put in a lot of effort and had very good payoff.
What are the properties of the winning investments?
Sometimes the upside is dependent on my efforts, other times not. But usually the winners have a large potential upside and a limited downside.
 
That’s what Mindshore has. It has a huge upside, and very limited downside.
What if it works to build a community first, then a society, then a nation at sea? What if we long term can start a new country? Instead of changing existing structures, where you’ll have almost 0 payoff if you win, and you’ll probably lose, your effort can go into a project with a decent chance of success and a massive payoff if it works; a new country based on rational values.

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After working on Mindshore for some time, I’ve come to the realization that it might be difficult to go the direct route. Some of the more complicated issues that we came up against were the following:

* How to create solid jobs on Mindshore in the short term. People want to build careers for the long term, and with the level of uncertainty that a startup has, what we can provide is not solid enough at this stage.
* How to get the right people to travel to Tahiti in small, then large numbers. For what we’re trying to achieve with Mindshore, this one would be extremely difficult. Adding up the probabilities for the different required events to take place, we’re looking at 1:100 chance of success, maybe less. Life is short, and these odds are too low.
We’ll be taking a different route to the same destination, a route that looks like a much higher probability.
 
Does it mean it’s time to give up? Not even close. Sam Altman says that the time to give up is when things are not working and you’re out of ideas. I firmly believe that Seasteading is going to work, it’s just some more issues that needs to be resolved first. In the case of Mindshore, it’s still a car without an engine. We need to build an engine first, and then we can continue assembling the other systems. The engine that is going to drive Mindshore will have to be creation of jobs, and a full economy. So we’ll have to design a system for doing this first, then we can get back to building Mindshore.
Hopefully The Seasteading Institute will succeed with their efforts, and they can push the technology forward while we’re building the engine needed for Mindshore.
So for some time, probably several years, there should be less activity on Mindshore, and then hopefully we’ll be able to pick it up again later.

 

I think Mindshore or a project like it will be very strongly needed in the world, because the amount of irrationality in the world is on a constant rise.

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27 minutes ago, Mindborg said:

I firmly believe that Seasteading is going to work, it’s just some more issues that needs to be resolved first.

 

27 minutes ago, Mindborg said:

The Seasteading Institute will succeed with their efforts, and they can push the technology forward while we’re building the engine needed for Mindshore.

1

From what I've reviewed of Seasteading's available information (and to their credit, there is a fair amount) there is no new technology to "push forward".  Nothing they are proposing involves new technology - it's all "off-the-shelf" engineering.

The hindrance wrt to Seasteading is that there is no tax incentive (or any monetary incentive that I can see) to offset the exorbitant costs of building a floating city if the taxes are the same.  By their own proforma, the initial development and life-cycle costs of the development are ludicrously high, compared to building something similar on land.

It's not rocket science.  We build buildings on all types of crappy soils, in earthquake-prone zones, etc.  The only question is, "Does Seasteading pencil".  The answer is no.  You have to understand too, that developments don't generate revenue via cash-flow.  Developments are long-term investments and build equity over time (decades).  This has to be balanced against maintenance and depreciation in order to be profitable.  Building on a floating platform in a sea salt, moisture rich environment will offset any possible equity.  And land values are driven by three things: 1) location 2) location 3) location.  There is nothing remotely valuable about building a quasi-floating city.

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3 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

there is no new technology to "push forward".  Nothing they are proposing involves new technology - it's all "off-the-shelf" engineering.

There are substantial difficulties and a lot of engineering that's needed to make it work, especially on deep waters. Today I cannot buy a platform off the shelf for 100 000 dollars and just go to the deep sea. So I must disagree with you :)

 

5 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

initial development and life-cycle costs of the development are ludicrously high, compared to building something similar on land.

I think there will be developed technologies that will drop the cost dramatically. I hope to be a part of that, but at a later stage.

9 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

It's not rocket science.  We build buildings on all types of crappy soils, in earthquake-prone zones, etc.  The only question is, "Does Seasteading pencil".  The answer is no.  You have to understand too, that developments don't generate revenue via cash-flow.  Developments are long-term investments and build equity over time (decades).  This has to be balanced against maintenance and depreciation in order to be profitable.  Building on a floating platform in a sea salt, moisture rich environment will offset any possible equity.  And land values are driven by three things: 1) location 2) location 3) location.  There is nothing remotely valuable about building a quasi-floating city.

A lot here I disagree with, but it will will take probably several years before you will be proven wrong.

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1 hour ago, Mindborg said:

There are substantial difficulties and a lot of engineering that's needed to make it work, especially on deep waters. Today I cannot buy a platform off the shelf for 100 000 dollars and just go to the deep sea. So I must disagree with you :)

My post was a critique of Seasteading.  From their website:

"Based on our research, we believe that many seasteading needs can be met with off-the-shelf technology." 

For a review of their engineering reports see this link: Engineering.

 

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Posted (edited)

I think a big hindrance to sea-steading is neither technical nor political. Rather this: most people do not want to go live on a commune somewhere, even if it seems to be with people who share their political views.
Firstly, people receive lots of value from those who do not share their political values.
Second, people don't like others just because of their shared political views.
Finally, people realize that commune-like communities tend toward a certain "uni-think" because of the social-pressure exerted by a lack of alternatives.

On the positive side, if you find people whom you like and who also share many of your political views, it can be a truly rewarding friendship. I think this can be done outside a commune-like setting, and is probably better achieved outside that setting. For evidence, see how a few Objectivist groups have enriched the lives of their members in a few key cities.

 Yes, they don't live on a beautiful island, and they still pay their taxes, but I'll say something that I've said before in other contexts: "it's only money"

Not something I'd say in a different context, but we Objectivists should internalize this in the right way: money -- and the values it buys-- are only one form of value. My grandpa had far less than I do, but he was a really happy guy, lived a contented life, and died knowing his life had meaning. 

Edited by softwareNerd

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