Community at Sea - Drowning Man and Ephemerisle 2016

(Jonas Smith) #41

Nothing really, except to highlight the fact that seasteading…real honest-to-goodness sea-city autonomous seasteading as envisioned by Patri and others…will not be done in a river or in a bay or be a few sailboats lashed together or a “Burning Man on the water”. It will need to be “out there” on the high seas and it will need to be much more than a few people looking to hook up for a fun weekend of drugs and dancing.

I agree 100%.


That is what i thought you meant when you gave those coordinates. “Weeding out the uncommitted”, i said.

Your statement did cause another, almost identical, thread thru my mind tho: some 85% of the EEZ claimed in the GOM is outside everyone’s territorial limits. Technically, anyone can anchor on the edge of the usa continental shelf, if not partaking economically of the natural bounty out there, and yet a “Drowning Man” event there would still not be the same event if held at 10N/30W. Given the wrong publicity, anyone with money for some hours of fuel will drop in with beer and drugs, causing problems. It will be said that it’s not a “lifestyle” (wth is that anyhow?), because in a few hours at full throttle, or a short 20min helicopter ride, everyone can be back on land. But yet, 100 miles offshore, especially if drifting, should be enough to keep out most riffraff, and still allow overnight parcel delivery and market access.

It would be impossible to argue for political autonomy while anchored in your native country’s EEZ, but once you have that status, it would be likely you could anchor there after some legal wrangling.


So, now we’re back to making preposterous suggestions that nobody here can afford, rather than trying to help each other find ways to build something worthwhile… This time it’s a location so far out nobody here can really afford to get to.


Which suggestion was that?

Ah. Well, allowing $free drift and sailing time, it would take a commitment, but we (or i) did say that. A time, and trust in your boat, ability to be self-sustaining on the high seas, sorta commitment. It’s an alternative site, like i gave reasons why a location 30 or 100 miles offshore would not really give the true impression of real seasteading. Personally, at the moment, short term, i am going for much shorter distances, because my goals are different. But i respect Jonas’s goals too.

You are neglecting that pic i posted of the bay in France, of the jacked up liveaboards. Simply widen the base to 50ft or more (call it “water-level deck space”), and use a base of many individual 50gal poly barrels (or 5gal buckets) as your multiply redundant floatation system. Jack the living space up on adjustable legs (as shown in that picture), as needed for the water conditions at the moment. I am not sure what you’d do in a hurricane, but if you keep the wind out from under the floaties, you should not casually flip over. In a hurricane, heave plates would help, but you’d still need seatbelts, even if no water comes aboard.


The grid coordinates so far out in the middle of nowhere, so as to ‘weed-out’ folks that aren’t committed, to the point of weeding-out those that are serious, but still can’t afford it.



You’re meaning the things raised above their floats/pontoons, so the waves wash under…?


Burning Man has sanctioned smaller events at different times of year in different locations. Octavian will prolly show up at 10N/30W in a concrete sailboat, i won’t. If you can survive a hurricane 20 miles offshore, and be self-sufficient there, i expect you can at 10N/30W too.

I’ll be back in a moment with a headache, because i am going to be banging my head against the doorframe. Or maybe after the headache goes away. Or maybe i’ll go buy some $5 microwave ovens at the recycler, for a “waste processing system”. Sheesh.


Yes, the post you “liked”: Think of existing seasteads? Just a couple basic mods and it would dance over taller waves, deal with more wind, be more stable, etc.


Revisit the bioponics idea? Run everything through a digester, use the biogas to cook with, then dilute and use the effluent as hydroponic fertilizer. for a system large enough to handle your ordinary level of waste and your vegetable intake?


Like you, i must balance costs. I have several generators, i will be carrying fuel, and i am an electronics geek, i will have electricity 24-7. I dislike the idea of buying a tank to slosh sewage around in, despite the benefits, because altho you are vastly correct in your statements on the biosystem, for the short term i’d rather get the “waste” to the plants more immeadately, like after a 24 hour heat sterilization. I can combine genny heat, electric heat, solar heat, fuel burning heat, in order of cost and availability. Takes up less space, there’s less unprocessed waste on hand (cough), and i don’t need to buy and place tankage and plumbing, and then still sterilize it. Why sterilize as a separate step?, because you don’t know what diseases your guests may have,… remember the epidemic caused by UN workers after the earthquake on Haiti? Remember the Legionaires Disease being dispersed in the air by dripping water systems for air conditioning (cooling towers) in New York right now? You are correct in various aspects of what you say, including the biodigester killing the human pathogens, i am not arguing the use of the biodigester, i am only balancing tradeoffs for my own situation.


Well. it’s not necessarily vast amounts. It’s all sized proportional to your input, and hydraulic retention time, which depends on the efficiency of the system in use. I have a design of my own, combining ideas of several types, that would only need a 7-10 day capacity, and, you still get the biogas. Adding the microwave sterilization chamber would help with overcoming any flack from inspecting authorities, and prevent the tougher pathogens from surviving. The microwave could be set up to only come on when a specific valve is ready to be opened, then as more waste is fed to the system. Hell, for me, using a composting toilet when I lived in the woods, was less than 5 gallons a week. Bathwater, since you know what goes down your drains, can be treated separately, to reach significant reductions…

For 2-4 persons, would something equivalent to a 55 gallon drum (plus gas storage), be so bad? That is a top-of-the-head estimate, including the large microwave oven sterilization chamber…

(Jonas Smith) #53

Sorry, that’s seasteading as Patri and TSI have envisioned. I picked a spot that was outside any EEZ, off any continental shelf, not in any shipping lanes so as not to be considered a hazard to navigation. Basically the middle of nowhere.

I still say you cannot get functional sovereignty or autonomy on a floating structure…and I still doubt whether a massive floating seastead is even feasible…but those coordinates I gave are your best chance for some level of freedom or to at least be left alone.

(Larry G) #54

There is no reason all versions of seasteads have to be floating. I largely agree with you that insisting on only floating seasteads is a losing proposition, which is why I try to be encouraging with information I find related to island building as well.

Edited to clarify: Large, monolithic floating seastead cities. I still believe that living aboard a vessel as a lifestyle is seasteading.

This really means “Nothing else matters to Jonas.” Which would be fine if he could not only acknowledge that, but put it into practice in his ability to be constructive or useful to others rather than purely negative towards their ideas. Or at least ignore that which doesn’t meet his standards rather than burying the meat of the conversation under a bunch of extraneous comments and chasing off well-meaning people who want to join the conversation.

Autonomy has levels. Even sovereign nations are constrained by what other sovereign nations will allow.

(Larry G) #55

Please ignore the contrarians. Unfortunately, there’s a certain lack of people skills involved in any effort that involves a lot of libertarians, technical types, and outliers who are very interested in not being part of someone else’s system.


It bothers me that with a single tank, inflow can mix with outflow, so natural sterilisation cannot occur practically. I’d want to do a stepped packetised system, where the process is carried out totally without adding more (possibly) contaminated product, which means 7 or more individual tiny methane digesters? And then it still must be heat treated?

I am not 100% set on using only microwaves. I figure adding coils around each sterizer for genny exhaust heat, coils for hot water from a/c and solar shades/panels, and a good old fashioned resistance element and a basic gas burner of some sort for worst case backup. I am hoping there is enough waste heat once the place is set up, that i won’t need to make more heat.

City Sewage and Food Supplies, as a combined topic
(Jonas Smith) #57

Exactly. As far as I know, however, I am the only one so far who is championing permanent structures. Every single other project…and everything TSI puts forward…is floating. If I am mistaken then I apologize.

Well of course I care about what’s important to me. But that’s not the point. It matters to everyone who wants to pursue seasteading as Patri and TSI and others envision it…as a way to experiment with new forms of government and society.

I’ve said before that if you just want to build a marine business…supplying pizzas to oil rigs or offering fresh seafood to passing yachts or starting a kelp farm…you can do that right now. That doesn’t require sovereignty or autonomy. But I stand by my claim that if you want to truly experiment with new forms of government or societal makeup you will need fully sovereignty…and nobody has shown me any evidence to the contrary besides vague statements

(Jonas Smith) #58

That is soooo contrarian.

(Jonas Smith) #59

Wow, that hurts. :cry:

I think I have offered plenty of constructive information that is useful to others, and I have been very supportive of plenty of ideas, and I agree with people when I agree.

I am negative when I disagree with a person’s stance or idea. I’m not going to pat somebody on the head and say “good job” when their idea doesn’t make sense to me or has critical flaws that I see. I will point those flaws out. It is up to them to choose whether to take my advice or not…I don’t care either way. It’s also quite possible that my advice has errors. I would hope, in that case, they would point out what they believe are errors in my thinking so I could go back to the drawing board and re-asses.

But I am certainly not negative just to be negative. To be honest, I really don’t care enough about this group to put in that kind of effort and time.

If my comments on a simple web forum are horrible enough to break their spirit and chase them off, they aren’t ready for seasteading!



Sorry, I wasn’t clear enough, I was being specific to my design, which is based off the MIT/Nicaragua triple digester, but as a single unit. Mine (designed, not yet built) meets all the same criteria as the much larger design, with my own ‘twist’. You’d have roughly 30% of the HRT in a primary coil, going down and around the central stomach, then an upflow main digester of roughly 40% HRT. then a tertiary coil of the final 30% HRT. Consider it a stomach with a large intestine on each end, moving from your macerator pump, through a long acidification section, then through a stomach for primary digestion and a final, tertiary phase of secondary digestion. CO2 off the acidification phase feeds the tertiary phase to provide the ions for more methanogenesis, reducing the CO2 content of the biogas, and increasing the methane content to something closer to 15% CO2 : 85% Methane. Normal is 35% CO2 : 65% Methane

There is no short-cut from input to outflow, problem solved.

Mine will require additional heat, to achieve the lower HRT, and produce the gas quicker, but it can be solar heat. Basically, it’s like the difference in how a mammalian stomach reacts to raised body temperature. It speeds up all of the chemical reactions.

(Jonas Smith) #61

Sure. But right now we have ZERO with no prospects of getting any more. It is improbable to expect a level of autonomy comparable to the United States or China, but something comparable to Palestine or Tuvalu or Tonga would be nice.