NATURE | NEWS FEATURE: Why fake islands might be a real boon for science


(Larry G) #1

The view is unbeatable. To the right, steep volcanic mountains, draped in green, rise up from a beachside coconut grove. To the left, the Pacific Ocean glitters turquoise under the midday sun. It is here in this Tahitian lagoon that a group of entrepreneurs plans to build an artificial island — three-quarters of a hectare of floating housing and research space, made up of linked platforms. If the team is successful, the vision could become reality by 2020. But it would be just the first step, says self-described “seavangelist” Joe Quirk. The ultimate goal is to build whole sovereign nations on the open seas, composed of modular floating units.

“French Polynesia has all the stepping stones: lagoons, atolls, shallow waters right next to deeper waters,” Quirk says.

Quirk, one of five managing directors for the company behind the project, and his colleagues propose that artificial islands could serve as laboratories for testing out new technologies and exploring different social structures, or act as life rafts for coastal peoples displaced by sea-level rise.


(.) #2

It is a nice article. I would prefer the word “artificial” in place of “fake”.
Just like in reference about me as a “mad scientist” I would prefer the
term “eccentric genius”. (a line from the cartoon movie Lilo and Stich)

The Polynesian apprehension from the article:
“We have a history of being taken for fools,”…
“Nuclear testing, big hotels, nice, smiling, white, intelligent people
telling us it’ll be good for us.”

So there is that book: Sailing the Farm: A Survival Guide to Homesteading on the Ocean; by Kenneth Neumeyer . This book was published in 1981.
That was long before TSI was formed. I would like to note, with all due
respect to TSI and to French Polynesia, that Seasteading will probably go
on with or without TSI, and with or without French Polynesia.

The libertarian concept of doing business is with mutual consent. (I guess)
So far, there is a consent between FP and TSI. I am happy to acknowledge
that consent and that cooperation.
There are some not so positive experiences from the past on both sides.
I hope, this will be a successful, and a positive experience with mutual benefits.

Respectfully yours;