Re: New Utopia

Anders Sandberg (
28 Jun 1998 23:07:33 +0200

This is another of those threads that seem to reincarnate from time to
time. The appeal is obvious: a place where we can be free and do what
we want to do. Great! But then reality intrudes, and we get all the
problems of practicalities of sea engineering, silly laws about
territories, the worry about defenses, and eventually it tend to run
into the perennial libertarian discussion. There have been several
similar projects beside Oceania, and none have succeeded (most never
left the paper). The reason seems to be that while a lot of people
like the idea, few are really wanting to pay a lot to participate, and
you need serious funding and planning for a project like this. This is
actually a worry I have about the Millennial Project, which at least
has thought about making the islands profitable from the start.

Maybe we should rethink the question. Last time this thread of
building an extropia came up people began to discuss various islands
instead. After all, a completely independent new nation might be
overdoing it, it might be enough to have breathing room. Maybe one
could back down even further: the most important thing in order to
really create a working community for this kind of project is of
course the community itself. Where it is and what jurisdiction is
involved is really secondary, since if you don't have the community in
the first place there is no way you could make the floating island
work. It is a good idea to figure out how to build the core community
and test it out first before trying to achieve soverignity.

What form the community might have is interesting. Right now we have
the extropian nexi, and one could imagine something like an
employee-owned transhumanist corporation that grows out from it. If we
can create transhuman communities that have not just social but also
economical potential I think we will be on to something.

To sum up: I want to live in Oceania/New Utopia/Stateless too, but we
need more than a loophole in UN regulations to do it. It might be
better to start with thinking of how to create transhumanist

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y