So your humble Devil will be wandering along to the Adam Smith Institute on the 31st March to hear Patri Friedman expand upon Seasteading and the Future of Freedom and to discuss the future of The Seasteading Institute.
What is "Seasteading"?
Seasteading means to create permanent dwellings on the ocean—homesteading the high seas. A seastead, like in the picture above, is a structure meant for permanent occupation on the ocean.
Why would you want to do that?
Because the world needs a new frontier, a place where those who are dissatisfied with our current civilization can go to build a different (and hopefully better) one.
Currently, it is very difficult to experiment with alternative social systems on a small scale. Countries are so enormous that it is hard for an individual to make much difference. Seasteaders believe that government shouldn't be like the cellphone or operating system industries, with few choices and high customer-lock-in. Instead, they envision something more like web 2.0, where many small governments serve many niche markets, a dynamic system where small groups experiment, and everyone copies what works, discards what doesn't, and remixes the remainder to try again.
Think about all the hot air and argumentation about a whole host of different political issues - freedom vs. security, absolute wealth vs. inequality, strong family vs. tolerance, open vs. closed borders, whatever the topic du jour is. Instead of deciding them through rhetoric, or voting on a few representatives to decide them for tens or hundreds of millions of people at once, imagine if we could try them each on a small scale and see what happens. If people could create societies with different priorities - the environment, civil liberties, economic freedom, religious values - we'd be able to see how well these ideas actually work in practice. In some cases, certain approaches will work so well (or terribly) that everyone (or no one) will use them too. In others, it will turn out to be a matter of preference, in which case we'll be giving people the choice to choose to live in whatever small society is closest to their ideal.
In short, we seasteaders are people who, whatever our ideals, want to stop arguing about them, stop proselytizing them, and start living them. And it looks like homesteading the oceans is our best opportunity.
It should be an interesting evening...
* Look, I'm sorry about all the Rand stuff cropping up: you'll just have to bear with my current enthusiasms...