Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and one of Facebook's earliest financial backers, is investing in a project a little farther west than Silicon Valley: The 43-year-old libertarian has pledged $1.25 million to the Seasteading Institute, which is looking to establish sovereign nations on movable platforms in international waters.
The investment was outlined in an in-depth profile of Thiel, published in the September issue of Details magazine.
The islands, writes Jonathan Miles in Details, would experiment with new â€” ie. libertarian â€” ideas of government, â€œfree from the regulation, laws, and moral suasion of any landlocked country. They'd be small city-states at first, although the aim is to have tens of millions of seasteading residents by 2050.â€
The islands themselves would be â€œmovable, diesel-powered, 12,000-ton structure[s] with room for 270 residents, with the idea that dozens â€” perhaps even hundreds â€” of these could be linked together.â€
Project lead Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer and the grandson of the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, hopes to launch â€œa flotilla of officesâ€ off the coast of San Francisco as early as next year.
As odd as they sound, such micronations are nothing new. Among the better-known entities that have failed to be formally recognized by any other country is the Principality of Sealand, founded in 1967 off the coast of Suffolk, England. Sealand issues its own currency, postage stamps, passports and certificates of nobility. Its current population: 3.
Will Thiel's venture be more successful? Check out the full story in Details.
Author: / Posted: 18-08-2011