There are many reasons to doubt that the Seasteading Institute will realize its vision of floating cities in the sea; but there are at least two reasons to think that seasteading may prove to be more successful than past efforts to escape the grasp of the world’s governments. First, the project’s planners are pragmatic-at least by the standards of their predecessors-pursuing an incrementalist strategy and focusing primarily on solving short-term engineering problems. Second, they recently announced a half-million dollar pledge from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, giving them the resources to begin serious engineering and design work. While there are many obstacles to be overcome before they will have even a functioning prototype-to say nothing of a floating metropolis-their project doesn’t seem as obviously hopeless as most of the efforts that have preceded it.
(The founders of the Seasteading Institute would do well to study the problems of Pitcairn)