The Seasteading Institute February 2009 Newsletter

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Patri Friedman

Mar 2, 2009, 8:18:38 PM3/2/09
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Welcome to TSI's February 2009 Newsletter! While January was mainly about releases like our ClubStead design, new front page, and the Wired Magazine article, this month we focused on longer-term planning, from scheduling Ephemerisle and the Seasteading09 conference to a 100-year timeline for seasteading.  Comment on this issue on the TSI blog here.


  • Membership Program is almost complete, will be kicked off in the next few weeks.
  • $1000 Design Contest is running, and with two months to go, we are excited to already have 4 entries!
  • TSI GTGs
    • February Social at Red Rock Cafe was excellent, about 25 people and many new faces again. Moving the socials around the Bay Area seems to work well at bringing a variety of different people.
    • March Social - tentatively Saturday March 28th in the East Bay.
    • Seasteading Conference / Ephemerisle:
      • After some discussion and polling y'all, we decided against the proposed July 4th date. Instead, the conference will be Sep. 28-30 (Mo evening, full day Tuesday, Wed through dinner, location TBD), and Ephemerisle will be Fri Oct. 2 - Sun Oct 4 (in the Sacremento River Delta).
      • This date allows everyone (including us) a bit more prep time, doesn't interfere with holiday plans, is a year from seasteading08, is a good time in relation to Burning Man (long enough for people to have recovered, short enough for them to still have some post-festival glow), and is during the full moon.
      • The river delta location has a number of advantages, including that it is already used frequently for (smaller) boating parties, so our use will be uncontroversial. It is not a challenging environment (beyond being on water) as there are few waves, but we think that's fine for the first Ephemerisle. We will likely feature a prototype contest during the festival for models able to deal with higher-wave conditions than at the event. The hope is for these contest entrants of 2009 to become the standard platforms/vessels of 2010, which would then be in a tougher environment, and would again feature a contest for models to push the boundaries again, so we can incrementally make our way to an Ephemerisle in international waters over the course of 3-5 years.
      • A full press release with more details will follow when we have a conference site, festival location, and more details nailed down.
  • Community stats for February - January stats in (). We're very excited at the continued rapid growth of the mailing list and registered website users.
  • Website migrated to a new host which is faster and should be more reliable. Statistics:
    • Again, our 2nd best traffic month ever, beating January and only exceeded by last May's slashdot/gizmodo/etc.
    • Feb daily averages: 2400 visits (1900), 11k pages (10K), 102K hits (64K).
  • Interesting Blog Posts:
Volunteer Coordinator Report (from James)
  • Key Accomplishments

    • Justine Lam and Jessica Richman joined us at the BIL conference. They are planning an organizational outreach program for us, researching lists of think-tanks, schools, conferences, etc. we might be able to collaborate with and devising effective ways of reaching out to them.
    • Cheryl Cline came to one of our Bay Area meetups, and is now helping write material for the upcoming seasteading book and a seasteading article for expatriation website
    • Basia Montauk will be joining us shortly, helping with community relations and publicity among other things -- welcome, Basia!
    • Our ever-present sysadmin, Ben Lavender, got us moved over to a new hosting provider, which should make the site run much more smoothly.
    • Some much-needed help on our website development team -- thanks and welcome to Mike Norman and Sean Lynch, new website sysadmins, and Steve Kane and Andrea Fassina, new developers.
    • We're talking to a number of other cool, smart volunteer candidates as well. Our sincere thanks to everyone who has been offering their time.
  • Key Needs (complete list)


Wayne's Engineering Report
  • Web cast MI&T engineering meeting on 5Feb2009 (The webcast quality was awful; we will have to do much better.)
  • Solicited and answered questions concerning ClubStead
  • Dropped the Hawaii to SF loop from consideration.
  • Moved Seastead to be located off of Southern Calif. coast; Off San Francisco location has been dropped.
  • Increased payload from 6000 tons to 7000 tons to better match the estimated payload mass.
  • Wave information table for off San Diego is:
    How Often     Wind Speed       Wave Height      Period
    (year) m/sec ft/sec m ft sec
    1 16.04 52.62 7.00 22.97 12.5
    10 17.5 57.41 7.70 25.26 12.5
    100 18.9 62.01 8.30 27.23 12.5
  • Wave information for off Santa Monica is similar.
  • The updated design has somewhat thicker columns and slightly higher air gap.
  • Fly-by video for ClubStead is nearing completion
Patri's Engineering Updates:


Administrative / Misc

  • Our timeline for seasteading, while still under development, is ready for review by the community. Please discuss it on the forums. We are hard at work on our 2009/2010 strategy as well.
  • We have started work on our 2008 Annual Report & Form 990 (tax return).
  • Still muddling through HR details like an employee handbook.

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