The problem is not refugees is mass migration, that is, overpopulaton combined with globlalization, a phenomenon we are all part of and a process we're all undergoing.
Exceptions that prove the rule are always enlightening to analyze.
When one looks at Japan (or more markedly, if a Japanese looked at our situation) the contrast is unbelievable, and mutually unthinkable. It is inevitable but it is not pretty when a 21 century situation overlaps (for lack of a harsher verb) 18th century cities, institutions, and traditions. The solution is neither to react to it, or to pretend that is all ok, or a give and take, out of misplaced guilt. The solution is to find 21c solutions to 21 c problems.
It's been repeated by the person who proposes the cost of seaworthy shelters would be far less than in land, that Seasteading comes in various different coexisting colors; I suspect that's very much in agreement with the Seasteading Institute "let a thousand nations bloom" motto.
Using the most common and most used material in the world with a particular technique that allows it to be lighter than water (see concrete canoe competition), and further, using human workers to build it, would tackle not only the consequences of post-industrialization, but also its root.
I've seen banners saying "we are all refugees". I agree, but not in the same sense the people holding thse banners: humans need not apply to jobs that are increasingly and exponentially being mastered by inexpensive computers. Technological advances, and Globalization, affects us all. So we are all refugees from the immemorial and probably ficticious "Arcadia" our grandparents might have tried to persuade us to believe in.
There is a lot of talk of large-scale 3D printing. Theoretically this would liberate humans from a lot of physical-bound labors to pursue creative cybernetic (ephemeral) goals and dreams. But what about the generation(s) that are in between both worlds? They represent the jobless masses that feed Anti-Industrial Movements and their Reaction. Above all and at its core, Seasteading, is a humanitarian pursue. That the (** subjectively percepted**) luxury of today is the necessity of tomorrow is only one of the small paradoxes needed to overcome civilization's much needed upgrade.
I think floating cities can offer the physical platform for a Transhumanist civilization or age in a manner that is inclusive to those "stuck in the middle".
Construction by humans, with little machinery, of sea-shelters, can be inexpensive, provide labor, and can be upgraded infinetly.
Much like new Nomadism, a tent can have the bear minimum, or be Genghis Khan's Court Yurt. A combination of them would look like The Golden Horde's moving cities, with luxuriously decorated yurts, basic yurts, tides instead of oxen, and trade instead of war.
The oceans looks to me like the vast expanses of steppe must have looked yesteryear
example of inexpensive land-based shelter cluster
tasteful interior option
Just imagine the possibilities unleashed if we began a seaworthy analog of an earthbag village that can move faster than a caravan!
(illustration by Matias Volco of what floating city would look like using Wilfried Ellmer 's Concrete Submarine technology)
Going back to Japan as an example of an alternative approach to post industrialization:
Ephemerization, robotics, lower fertility rates (barely replacement level), abolition of physical aggression (that, as in a virtuous cycle, allows robotic vending machines to be ubiquitous), a tendence towards quality and detail rather than quantity and roughness, and a morality that strongly, almost stubbornly, associates physical cleanliness with spiritual virtue, are all excellent qualities for life in self-contained habitats.
I propose a floating Japan for the Gaijin if you will!
The idea did not originate out of any political or cultural bias, I was simply trying to figure out how the self-contained interiors of floating, ocean spheres, and of vegetation in general in all floating set-ups , and the concepts of the Japanese Garden and the Bonsai, even of the Kokedama, all became extremely useful, almost unavoidable.