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libertarian island?

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by beast, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    Pay Pal founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel has given $1.25 million to an initiative to create floating libertarian countries in international waters, according to a profile of the billionaire in Details magazine. Thiel has been a big backer of the Seasteading Institute, which seeks to build sovereign nations on oil rig-like platforms to occupy waters beyond the reach of law-of-the-sea treaties. The idea is for these countries to start from scratch--free from the laws, regulations, and moral codes of any existing place. Details says the experiment would be "a kind of floating petri dish for implementing policies that libertarians, stymied by indifference at the voting booths, have been unable to advance: no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons."
    "There are quite a lot of people who think it's not possible," Thiel said at a Seasteading Institute Conference in 2009, according to Details. (His first donation was in 2008, for $500,000.) "That's a good thing. We don't need to really worry about those people very much, because since they don't think it's possible they won't take us very seriously. And they will not actually try to stop us until it's too late."

    The Seasteading Institute's Patri Friedman says the group plans to launch an office park off the San Francisco coast next year, with the first full-time settlements following seven years later.
    Thiel made news earlier this year for putting a portion of his $1.5 billion fortune into an initiative to encourage entrepreneurs to skip college.
    Another Silicon Valley titan, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, announced in June that he would be funding the "Clock of the Long Now." The clock is designed to keep ticking for 10,000 years, and will be built in a mountain in west Texas.
  2. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    A modern 'Gault's Gulch," well...with the exception of having scant natural resources.

    If he could figure out a way to turn sewage into fuel and compost; grow enough food to feed everyone; catch enough fish to provide protein; de-salinate water in an efficient manner, tap into underground gas/oil stores for power; and be able to repel hostels...maybe.

    It would be an interesting book.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    This is mostly a "Fools Errand", in that an Oil Rig REQUIRES Energy, and they aren't drilling for it, so where is it coming from. Folks, the FIRST thing that one does, when doing ANY Project, on this scale, is to do and Energy Budget. If that pans out then you go look at other things, but if it doesn't, you DROP the whole Idea, as being Beyond Economical. Most of these "Dreamers" have never even heard of an "Energy Budget", and have NO Idea what it takes to do a project like this. I know ghrit and the other Engineer Monkeys know what I am talking about, here. there are LOTS of Dreamers and Schemers, out there. Most are more than willing to use other folk's money to fund these FLOPS. Just look at what has come of OBUMMER's Green Energy Programs, in the last 4 years. 90% of them are NOW, or are ready to declare Bankruptcy, because they were just NOT Baked in the first place. The world waits for the NEXT BIG BREAK-THRU, in the mean time, the Crisis just gets BIGGER, and it really all comes down to Energy In, and Goods Out..... at a profit....
    Cephus likes this.
  4. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    "If he could figure out a way to turn sewage into fuel and compost;" guit_fishn

    methane digesters have been around for years and work well
  5. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    Yeah, you can burn the gas, but what to do with the solids? You can treat it, but that's not using it. To be an efficient, self-containing system, it would be best to use that in some way, either compost or fuel.
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Once the gas is digested out, then you can compost the solids. It takes a while to cook and dry the solids, but when that's done it can serve as fertilizer, or burnt for heat and or power. Gotta say, it takes a lot of s**t to heat a gallon of water, so fertilizer is a better use. Just make sure it is well cured to eliminate any possibility of pathogen carry over.
  7. Yoldering

    Yoldering Monkey+

    Yeah...no thanks!
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Hey Ghrit, as i recall it takes more energy, to digest and convert to Fertilizer than you get from the burning the Methane produced. Isn't that a negative Energy sink, rather than a producer? Now, if you just dump the residual solids, then it just barely becomes positive energy producer, Right... So if your really GREEN, then it costs you more than it produces, BUT if you are a Polluter, you just barely make out fine.... Hmmmm....
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Sewage plants frequently use digester gas to reduce commercial power costs, both for digester heating and power generation. At least one plant I know of burns the solid residuals and recovers heat to go with the gas recovery and use. The process doesn't use extra power after the return is accounted for. If you don't use it, the act of rendering the waste harmless before disposal is pricy.

    You have to remember that sewage treatment costs. It is considered a social cost in that the environment benefits. This is one of the few green things I can fully support. Others? Meh, too much of it returns too little.

    Think Milagro, a commercial end result of sewage solids. Makes money, start to end.
  10. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Why are you worried about ''crap''...Your in International waters...
  11. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

  12. thebastidge

    thebastidge Monkey+

    If you go to the seasteading.org forum, there are stupid ideas and good ideas. I've been a member over there for several years.

    I am actually looking at farm-scale methane production for the vineyard (writing a business plan to apply for financing of the real estate right noow). Farm scale methane (or in this case, seastead-scale) can be a net positive. It's transportation costs and transportation infrastructure that makes it not commercially viable. If your only source of energy is local point-sources or massively costly imports, a lot of things become more economicallly viable.

    Methane can be blended with diesel fuel to run in diesel generators. Some pllans I've seen run up to 90% methane and 10% diesel is for start-up and on-going lubrication of the engine. In a complete absence of petro-diesel, you could coneivably run a blend of biodiesel and methane. Biodiesel can be refined from algae, or even from fish oil.

    The main engineering concern most sea steaders have is engineering the platform o handle storms, given that they would not be very mobile. There are several different proposals for energy production from biodiesel, methane, wind power (a high-enough mast with vertical wind turbine is a popular concept.) There's also underwater turbines anchored in the current, deep water termperature differentials to tap. Lots and lots of impractical stuff, but some really good ideas as well. And some of them are putting their money and time where their mouth is, so much respect to them.
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