Discover the hilariously epic failure of a crypto-fueled libertarian cruise

That was my first thought, too. That, and: what do they do in a big storm? (which is inevitable)


And then some.
Even the floating communities that are designed to host a couple of thousand people as self-sufficient as possible, and with a design life of 50+ years - aka nuclear-powered aircraft carriers - rely on an insanely complex, costly, mostly land-based logistics & maintenance train. Backed by the resources of a nation state and its economy.
And spend a lot of time in a port. Or a drydock.


Good thing they don’t have hurricanes down there! What’s that…?
Seems like the design came about for homes on lakes, and this is not a great use case.

And you’re not even beyond the reach of government - these are being designed and sold as “beachfront” units. I.e. for placement very close to land and subject to that country’s laws. It feels like the customer base for these, beyond people who haven’t thought about what they’re buying, is guys who are low-budget Jeffrey Epsteins, who want their own pedo islands, but can’t afford to buy an actual island.


Well the design IS floating. with a bouyant structure below the surface and a very small waterplane area, like some oil platforms. That makes it pretty stable, it just bobs up and down in the waves but tilts very little. It also makes it a very inefficient shape to move. There’s a REASON that FLIP tips over to be towed from place to place.* Of course the whole “We’ll make it cheap enough to be affordable for the middle class,” completely ignores how much it will cost to keep these habitable over time. Shipping in food, water and fuel, as well as people to do maintenance is going to make living in these as expensive as a pretty nice mansion, but with only a small fraction of the space. Eliminating the economies scale of will make these profoundly more expensive to live in than the cruise ship. The lack of tenders tied up below them in the rendering shows just how little attention is being paid to people actually LIVING in these.

They remind me a bit of “flying cars,” in fiction. By making them not look like aircraft, people think that a roadable aircraft will somehow be easier to fly than any other aircraft, or worse a helicopter.** Similarly, by making these not look like boats people can imagine them somehow being more like houses, instead of REALLY inefficient boats. In reality, living in these would require massive amounts of MONEY to solve even the simplest tasks, like groceries, trash removal, keeping the lights on.

**Hovering a Helicopter is Hilariously Hard - Smarter Every Day 145 - YouTube


I wish they would have gotten further since I’d love to see a floating Gulch’s Gulch fail in the predictable ways. Also it could have sequestered some jerks for a while.


I can imagine them all shouting at each other: “Has anyone got a ladder and a boat?”


Oh gods, that’s worse. Some of the text made it sound like it was supposed to sit on seabed, but yeah, it floats. And tips over easily.

They only exist as nebulous idea(l)s, rather than concrete plans. It’ll be interesting to see what happens if they ever get one in the water.

Yeah, that’s exactly it. (I’ve never understood how people could treat aircraft like automobiles, when they’re clearly aircraft with all the usual issues and costs, but it’s the name and form factor that sucker people in, and boy does it work.) Though these people are clueless about the issues around boats, too, so there’s a double whammy of surprises.


Now they just have to sink it…


At some level, the idea of people being free to dynamically choose their neighbors is kind of interesting. But the reality is that the people that are willing to make all the sacrifices to make that idea a reality (expensive, small, isolated living) are the kind of people that score so highly in “Does not play well with others,” that inevitably most of these “pods” would be solo efforts.


Moreover, chances of winning a lottery are better if you just get the randomized “quick-pick” tickets rather than whatever biased hocus-pocus players often use. Being clever is helpful in many situations, but above all else the most important thing to be in life is to be lucky!


Like many renderings of fictional Zeppelins, these don’t have nearly enough volume for the required amount of buoyancy. You would need enough volume to not only keep the “house” supported out of the water, but also the considerable mass of ballast to keep this upright. Because the tiny waterline would would not raise the metacentric height above the center of mass. Unlike a conventional ship hull (but like a submarine) the center of mass would need to be below the center of buoyancy. To have this sort of “house on a stick” floating, would require enough ballast that it would be very stable. It would bob up and down vertically in the waves. Without enough ballast, it would tip over as soon as it was put in the water, just as a broomstick floats on its side unless you weigh down one end.

edited to add: Not surprisingly, all of this means that this is bigger and less efficient than a boat with the same living area. I’m guessing several times the cost per square foot of above water living area. The only benefit I can see over a regular boat is less rocking in the waves. When you look at all of the disadvantages compared to a regular boat, I have to think that this design is driven by it not LOOK like a boat so that people will forget that this is just living on a boat with all that entails. And literally hiding some of the infrastructure below the water.


Except that the pseudo random nature of the “quick pick” tickets make some combinations much more likely to come up than others. So with many people using the quick pick it is more likely that nobody will win or that the prize will be split. Of course it is also true that people’s ideas of “random” are also non-random. If you ask people to pick a random number between 1 and 10, somewhere north of 20% of them will pick “7” because it is the most “random” feeling number. Which is why I randomly pick numbers using dice to avoid either error.



Plus they are not designed as an ideal habitat for the comnunity of people living on board. They are designed to ferry aerial weapon systems across the globe to kill people and break stuff. Living conditions on board being secondary to that function.

Unlike a “libertarian paradise”, its function requires a strict adherence to a heirarchal structure enforced by law, custom and violence if necessary.


That’s a great analogy. A common theme with utopian libertarians is a total lack of understanding of the supply chains required for their lives to be comfortable. Like, hundreds of thousands of people and hundreds of links in a chain are required to get coffee on the store shelf. It took us hundreds of years of building up social systems, governments, technologies, and trade to create a world where everyone can just have coffee whenever they want. Or chocolate. Or nectarines. Or toilet paper. The notion that you can just “start over” on civilization and get something better is mind boggling hubris and ignorance.

Another common theme in tech bro libertarians is a casual disregard for the expertise of others. This is the conversation I would like to have with these fools:

“Big ship you got there, So, how many pipe fitters in your group?”
“How about a marine electrician?”
“Uh, no”
“You must have a few great diesel mechanics, though, I’m sure”
“Underwater mixed gas welders? Gonna need a couple of those, probably”
“A who?”
“Well, good luck then”

The world runs on the specialized expertise of others. We all benefit from that expertise because of… wait for it… community and social contracts.


You should really read the article - it’s a great read. They did not even get close to living on the open ocean - or anywhere else for that matter.


A ship of fools, but it was an awesome ship. (It isn’t the generic one above this BoingBoing article; it’s this beauty, designed by Renzo Piano.)


… or… in an alternate version, a less functional version of The Raft in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash:

Hiro heads north to where the Raft, a huge collection of boats containing Eurasian refugees, is approaching the American coast. The center of the Raft is L. Bob Rife’s yacht, formerly the USS Enterprise nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Rife has been using the Raft as a mechanism to indoctrinate and infect thousands with the virus and to import it to America. Y.T. is captured and brought to Rife on the Raft, who intends to use her as a hostage, knowing her connection to Uncle Enzo. With help from the Mafia, Hiro makes it onto the raft and recovers the nam-shub of Enki, which Rife had been concealing. With help from Juanita, who had previously infiltrated the Raft, the nam-shub is read out and Rife’s control over the Raft is broken. Rife flees the Raft,


The whole “who’s going to make the ball bearings” question that sometimes gets lobbed into discussions of utopia scenarios.

How telling, how very telling, that the liber-tech-ians themselves can’t deal with their own shit.


No metaphor more apt.

Wot? (clutches pearls)

How can such ancient and time-worn practices possibly be a successful strategy today when the “DiD mY OwN rEsEaRcH” crowd places value on individuals over the group? … why, it’s as if the modus operandus of “move fast and break things” (and other disruptive-tech clichés) simply will not work in a closed system, where the feedback loop is altogether shorter and pitiless as well?


Nukes, probably?

Oh snap!
Good thing I left my iced tea in the other room or it’d be sprayed all over my keyboard right now.


Using their own money, they funded the first attempt at a single residential seastead, in the form of a floating white octagonal box 12 nautical miles off the coast of Thailand. Elwartowski and his girlfriend, Nadia Summergirl, lived there for two months in early 2018, until the Thai government discovered the seastead’s existence

Two months in that thing?

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

These aren’t homes for the techlords, these are for the demi-rich suckers to be fleeced of big money to live like an anchorite in a shack on a stick, dressed up with CGI.


Yeah! Just like that… is the alternative.