Interesting reads

From Reason, on seasteading

Indeed, this aspirationally lawless bunch muses throughout the conference in Burlingame over the extent to which the world would view all seasteaders as a part of the same team, and thus whether seasteads would have to, gulp, police each other to prevent one bad apple from spoiling the bunch. They do not reach a conclusion.

Seasteaders do have a legal adviser: Jorge Schmidt, an attorney who has experience with the Law of the Sea Treaty. Schmidt is careful to tell me there are plenty of unknowns awaiting future floaters, although he approves of Friedman’s basic framework: get your seastead out of the 12-mile range that countries claim full sovereignty over, don’t mess with resources in the 200-mile exclusive economic zone that most nations also assert, and emulate existing ships in international waters by arranging with some nation to obtain a “flag of convenience” marking seasteads as under its protection. In open waters, only nations have rights. Individuals without a stable flag are considered pirates and outlaws.


Friedman says something during our first interview in Palo Alto, something that sounds puckish at first but on second and third thought seems more and more true. Libertarians, he says, expend precious time and energy on truly and self-evidently impossible paths toward political change. “Like the Ron Paul movement,” he says. “Lots of libertarians’ effort and millions and millions directed in a way that’s hopeless! For real change [electoral politics is] totally hopeless. Think how much more likely to succeed [libertarians would be] if that amount of resources were put into something that could actually work.” By which he means seasteading. And you have to admit: When you compare it to the likelihood of creating a libertarian world through American politics, seasteading starts to look more and more sensible.


“We can’t build libertopia,” he says. “Whatever we build will have to have security forces who will bust in your door if they think you’re designing nuclear weapons or funding terrorism.”

This concession is based not on principle but on the pragmatic concern that nukes and terrorism would make seasteads sitting ducks for nation-states. “It will be a bummer,” Friedman adds, “and not what I want ultimately, but with that constraint we can get a lot of freedom, a lot more than we have now.”

From ET, Karunanidhi’s daughter speaks

DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s daughter and Rajya Sabha MP, Kanimozhi, speaking on the motion of thanks to the President’s address on Monday, signalled the government could not count on her party’s support for its disinvestment plans, and should avoid the temptation of selling stakes in state-run firms for generating revenue.

“The government should not look at selloff as an option for generating revenue. The country has been following the socialist model and the government should stay with it.”

Build-Takeover-Operate. India builds. Taleban operates

[J]ust because India (as part of its $750 million reconstruction commitment) has improved Afghanistan’s public health system and other areas, that is no guarantee for the future. Take the case of the Zaranj-Delaram highway, built by India as an alternate route for Afghan goods to reach the Iranian port of Chabahar, bypassing Pakistan. After its completion and handing over this year despite many Indian lives lost, the highway has now sprouted Taliban checkposts.

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