The disruption hippies are building their very own lawless, seaborne libertarian paradise complete with Jonestown-ian overarching philosophies and a probably-delusional head captain who’s sure to get weird about it when people start leaping off the side into shark-infested waters to escape him.
It’s a sunny Tuesday afternoon in Palo Alto, and seasteading entrepreneur Max Marty is trying to persuade me that putting 1,500 immigrant entrepreneurs together on a floating startup city in international waters 12 miles off the coast of San Francisco is a good idea.
“The exchange of ideas and collaboration is really, really helpful in the creation of new technologies and innovations,” Marty tells me. “It’s really a win-win-win for everybody—obviously it’s a win for the entrepreneurs, but also for the local governments, for the economy, for the environment.”
“It’s an ideological bent of ours,” Marty adds. “We like win-win situations.”
For anyone who has ever met a “seasteader,” this enthusiasm is unsurprising, if not entirely comprehensible. The founder and CEO of Blueseed, Marty is at the forefront of a small but zealous cadre of Silicon Valley libertarians who view the ocean as a new frontier where people can live and work without the burden of national boundaries and government regulations. His unusual startup is the latest—and most promising—attempt at achieving this techno-libertarian dream.
Part-tech incubator and part-college dorm room, Blueseed is billed as the “Googleplex of the Sea,” promising a “perpetual hackathon atmosphere.” The company plans to lease a decommissioned 1,500-passenger cruise ship, and outfit it with coworking spaces, high-speed wifi, 24-hour concierge services, and a gym, with a tentative launch date of spring 2014.
It almost sounds like the backstory to ‘Lost’ – but with less polar bears.
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