Community at Sea - Drowning Man and Ephemerisle 2016

(Larry G) #62

If people believe that they will only get criticism and no benefit, they won’t stick around. When the first thing they see is snark and criticism with no welcome, that is a reasonable thing to believe. It has nothing to do with their spirit or fortitude, it’s a cost/benefit analysis.

That’s what we’re doing. There are errors in your thinking and your approach. Specifically:

  1. Seasteading is different things to different people

  2. Floating platforms have their place in the range of things that could be called seasteading. If you live, work, conduct business on and from a floating platform of any kind, if you consider it your home and especially if you’re not maintaining a home elsewhere, then you’re engaging in some form of seasteading according to some people’s definition.

  3. It’s a matter of degrees between being more or less off the radar and being completely autonomous. Degrees of autonomy make a huge difference. If you don’t believe this you need to travel and observe some truly oppressive societies in order to inform yourself.

  4. Being a jerk to people won’t make them change their mind. They will simply learn to exclude you.


Alright, nothing like some forum flaming to create a lively discussion, eh? Where to begin?

So is that an acknowledgement that you’re a condescending, know-it-all semi-troll all the time?

So what, specifically was I wrong about? About your ideas you say:

So I guess you were never taught the “treat others as you’d like to be treated rule”? Or did I miss the part where you pointed out a specific error in my thought process.

Re-reading my OP, I don’t even see a specific assertion I made besides the general “bottom-up works better than top-down” and “seasteading could gain a lot from burning man principles”.

Of course, your only direct question was

Which is completely irrelevant considering I was talking about their stated principles, not their actual practices. I even said

All three of your initial comments were designed to make me seem foolish and bait me into irrelevant arguments.

Again, you mention onto the “contrarian” label, which is interesting considering I led with “condescending” another example of cherry-picking your quotes and ignoring the meat of the subject… and yes, you’re quite a bit much of that for my taste.

There is the big witty comeback I was hoping for. A strawman and ad-hominem all in one paragraph! Is it possible that since you believe that all your ideas are the best thing since sliced bread, that you assume that everyone else putting forth an idea must come from the same attitude? It’s the typical way a narcissist interprets other people’s ideas.

I didn’t expect even a pat on the back, I expected some modicum of respect and while I’ve already shown that you expect that respect when you make errors, you don’t feel you need to give it. I suppose to you I haven’t earned that respect, is there a hazing process you want me to go through maybe? Must I champion your desire for sovereignty and autonomy for a few weeks and then maybe I’ll have earned your respect?

Spare me.

This exactly. Let me break it down:

This community has maybe 10-15 active members and Jonas, making up roughy 10% of the entire activity, greets people with disdain and contempt and also flat out says:

If the cost of sticking around is being demeaned by some arrogant know-it-all who will derail any conversation that doesn’t match his personal agenda and outright admits he doesn’t even care about the community he’s spending so much energy putting down, the what exactly is the benefit?

Maybe I can convince 9 people to show up to a seasteading event that is already taking place annually, that this community (hosted by the same institute that started the event) doesn’t even get invited to?

Sure Ephermerisle may be a waste of time party, but someone on this forum said something to the effect that “Any given boat/dock is better than all the CGI pictures/animations that TSI releases, because it actually exists”.

So by that same logic, any given group of people willing to look get together on the water, look each other in the eyes and have an actual conversation about the various and numerous challenges of seasteading would be better than a forum of 1000 people if 10% of them will do nothing but snipe at each other from behind screennames.

(Jonas Smith) #64

Criticism is benefit. How do you know your ideas are sound if you never get any criticism?

Well they are wrong. Seasteading is homesteading on the sea. That is how it was originally defined, that is how the term is constructed (sea + steading just like home + steading). That is why I have said multiple times that we need a new term for a sovereign sea nation other than “seastead”, and I’ve been moving towards “sea-city”. Either way, a floating pizza shop is not a seastead.

I agree. But what I continue to argue is the practicality and economic viabilty of floating around willy-nilly from place to place, or the possibility of dynamic geography. If you aren’t going to float from place-to-place, and you cannot perform dynamic geography, what is the point of floating at all? Why incur the additional expense and complication when you could just build a permanent structure on the sea floor?

Those are two completely different scales. You can have levels of autonomy, and you can have levels of anonymity. Autonomy…even the tiniest sliver of autonomy…means freedom. That has nothing to do with flying under the radar, which is hoping you can remain unnoticed while you do your thing. You can feel autonomous if you are sufficiently anonymous, but that is a facade and not true freedom.

We need autonomy. not anonymity, if we are truly going to experiment with new forms of government or societal makeup.

Please show me one time that I was a jerk to anyone…when it wasn’t warranted that is. And note that poking holes in someones dreams doesn’t make me a jerk, it makes me a realist.


I think, given the current situation with Ephemerisle, I’d rather start something closer to the long-term idea, even if it’s not permanent. Maybe a floating greenhouse that gets used as a regular greenhouse the rest of the year, along with living quarters that might be a guest cabin, the rest of the year. Something that could be loaded onto a trailer and floated from the local ramp, bring in the rest and hook it up and take off for a week, or however long.

I seriously doubt Ephemerisle is very family friendly, given the noise complaints I’ve read, the total lack of facilities for folks that day-trip out, the constant warnings against public nudity, public alcohol consumption and public drug consumption…

It started out to be one thing and became a floating party. Not very habitat forming, just habit-forming.

Being a jerk is rarely warranted, in an open discussion. Being condescending and obnoxious is just exactly that. Poking holes to sink others’ ideas is wrong, unless there is factual evidence to support your position. ‘Because I said so’ may be good enough for your kids and employees, but we’re not your kids or employees. In here, like it or not, we are a peer group, not subjects. Maybe some folks need to think a tad harder on details, but not too many folks on here are big into documentation, either.

(Jonas Smith) #66

If by condescending you mean I think I’m right all the time, then sure. Of course I think I’m right all the time. That doesn’t mean I can’t accept contrary evidence when it’s proven to me. Who goes around thinking they are always wrong?

I most certainly don’t think I know it all. I have been learning tons of new stuff from people posting on the waste processing and food production threads.

And what the hell is a semi-troll? You either troll or you troll not. There is no semi…

And one of those principles you pointed out was, specifically, “Radical Self Reliance”. So when I asked a simple question…which you still haven’t answered BTW:

You flipped the hell out, called me a “condescending, contrarian, know-it-all semi-troll”, and threatened to leave.

You made another very specific suggestion:

And when I again responded with an answer, rather than responding “So Jonas, why did you pick those specific coordinates and date?”, you accused me of finding “ammunition to eviscerate egos”.

How is anything I said arrogant? How is anything I suggested troll-like? If anyone here is being an over-reacting jerk, or should review the “golden rule”, it’s you.


I would suggest that arbitrarily picking a spot far enough away from anyone to get to, at any reasonably affordable cost is an attempt to establish a hierarchy established on monetary availablity, which we are all admittedly short on.

(Jonas Smith) #68

I always…always…have factual evidence to support my position. Or at least sound logical reasoning when actual evidence is unavailable (how do you factually prove libertarian principles, for instance).

I have never…never…said “Because I said so” either on this forum or in the real world. I don’t believe in it as a philosophy and would never rely on it as a method for debate. I have actually several times called out people on these forums who backed up their argument with “trust me I know”…so I would never rely on it myself.

(Jonas Smith) #69

As I said before, I did not pick that spot arbitrarily. It was a purposeful choice to show that seasteads will need to be survivable at remote locations such as that, not restricted to riverbanks or lakes or sheltered coves.


For a week or so long get together, it is arbitrarily inaccessible. For a week or so long get together it is at an unaffordable distance. For a week or so get together, if the goal IS to get together and make any attempt at living neighborly, then figuring stuff out, picking a spot $100K away from where anyone is financially located is ridiculous. Sure, a sailboat that MIGHT make the trip can be had cheap, and outfitted for the journey, but then there’s all the resupply along the way and the return trip. No, I submit, your coordinates may eventually be relevant to long-term seasteading, but from the standpoint of a rwgtg, for a couple of weeks, it’s ludicrous.

(Jonas Smith) #71

I agree. But if the point is, as the OP suggested, to show off “awesome new technology” and to see if “those who make big claims can put up or shut up” and to have “demonstrations of technology” with the ultimate purpose to be showing the feasibility of seasteading then why shouldn’t you do all that in the same environment where you will eventually be inhabiting? Why would you have technology demonstrations in some sheltered cove somewhere? How can you “put up or shut up” on a riverbank?

I agree 100%, but I was working under the assumption that the purpose was not to do another version of Ephemerisle but to actually go where seasteading would be done and try out new technology and attempt to actually have a meeting in the place where we would eventually be.

As you said, a floating party is not the answer.


I’ll be back. Have to head to town, but I can work with some of this, if I can get a few nickels to rub together, around here. Right now I’m borrowing funds to go get a 2nd vehicle. Vehicle is paid for, but the insurance, registration, fuel and travel expenses are not.


I have repeatedly mentioned towers (like Diamond Shoals, etc) and keeping various disappearing islands above water. I mentioned a Chesapeake Bay island here last week. I also have mentioned seamounts, i mentioned a shoals area last week south of Japan.

(Jonas Smith) #74

Ah yes, I stand corrected. I do remember you mentioning towers and stilts, etc. Thanks! :smile:


I qualify as a homesteader here, there’s tax benefits. But i remain a citizen of the usa, and i am (sadly) firmly in the jurisdiction of this state. I believe that floating pizza place is a seastead if the owner/operator lives there too, away from a land-tethered marina.

Because some idiot sub driver could plow your legs right off. Otherwise, you could be where the water is too deep. There’s a lot more seamounts good only for anchoring than there are seamounts for building on.

First, i need to get out onto the water. So do you. Then we can be outside the territory and EEZ of everyone, and act like we are respectable and deserving of recognition. Rather like just being somewhere that controlling us is too much bother. Chances are, that means being in a place where floating is required. Or some truely isolated reef in the south Pacific.


More selective responses to points that ignore my overall take-down of your attitude.

You didn’t even respond to a third of my other points against your response to me, most likely because they’d take more energy than you feel you need to adequately put me below you.

You’re the worst sort of intellect, one which only uses their rational abilities to rationalize their own superiority.

Anyone think that little paragraph there pretty much sums up Jonas’ general behavior? I mean, I just got here, but I’ve met enough of them in real life to recognize the signs. I could probably spend the better part of the rest of my day quoting from his posts and that wikipedia article to build a case, but I’ve got better things to do.

I mean he can’t even recognize his own arrogance and openly admits to having a general assumption of correctness. Naturally he defends that position by juxtaposing is with “who goes around always thinking they’re wrong?”. I assume humility is a concept which is entirely foreign to him or one that he assumes to be a weak or worthless virtue.

In any case, I say this to bring up cost/benefit analysis for the rest of you who may actually care about this community.

Is the cost of his narcissistic need to feed his ego worth any beneficial information he offers? How much energy is spent responding to his condescending assumption of everyone else’s stupidity compared to how much is gained from any constructive ideas or feedback he offers?

I know a lot of people here have big dreams and small wallets. So if time is money and time is also it’s own non-renewable resource, and you take your dream seriously… then I think it would behoove you to either find another community to spend that time in, or collectively ask @kensims to ban him.

As for myself, I’ve already explained my own cost/benefit analysis as it concerns this discussion group. I’ll be deleting this account (don’t flatter yourself Jonas, I was already considering this before you started in on me) and will be looking into Ephemerisle 2016 elsewhere.

Good luck to the rest of you, and maybe I’ll see you in CA next July.

(Jonas Smith) #77

You know what is arrogant and narcissistic? Assuming you can psychoanalyze a person based on a few forum posts in an online community that you just joined 48 hours ago.



Well, ouch. Did everyone in that pissing contest forget the reason to be here isn’t well-constructed erudite and verbose ad hominem quid pro quo exchanges, but instead making seasteading practical and safe? At what point would dropping it be acceptable to everyone?

(Jonas Smith) #79

It’s already forgotten. Unless Ken wants to ban me… :innocent:


OK, then, back to the potential for a rwgtg sometime in the relatively near future…

I’m essentially tapped-out for the next couple of years, with a kid in her Senior year of HS. Once she and her older siblings are out of the house, we’ll be free to move about the country. I also hoe to have our motorhome remodeled by then, so we can do so comfortably.

At that point, we also have the funds to do so, since we can free-up some 2/3rds of my income, to do with as we please. I’ve tried to find good land and get into a homestead, and that hasn’t worked, so Going Gypsy is the other option…


@gooseus : I fully agree with those ideals and I’d be all in favour of risking failure in an attempt to make something work. At the very worst we’d learn lots of valuable lessons about what works and what doesn’t. I also welcome new voices in the forum trying to get everyone going again, we have a horrible habit of getting bogged down.

Is this reminding anyone of the free state movement’s commitment to resettle in New Hampshire. It’s much more motivating to get moving if other people are willing to aswell.

For a temporary meetup I could potentially turn up late next year. Others seem to be saying two years, so that might make a more reasonable deadline? An east coast meetup would be easier for me than Ephemerisle so the caribbean would work. Ultimately though my preference is for the pacific for trading purposes.

As for turning up in my own boat ready to get building, the earliest I can see that happening is five years time. It’ll take that kind of time to build up enough savings for raw materials and get a tender properly kitted out. That said, if anyone else manages to get anything else going sooner I’d be more than happy to volunteer to help get it up and running.