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Subject: Floating Startup Country rss

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Are you sick of your own country? Do you think you could do a better job of running things especially if you could start from scratch? Do you have lots and lots of money in your bank account? If you answer 'yes' to these questions then why not consider a new trend--the floating startup country--and become your own founding father.

Essentially you build an island in international waters to become a micro nation and thus enjoy the same sovereign status as a cruise ship. This micro nation idea isn’t really new; consider Sealand off the coast of England. Nor are artificial islands new; China is currently building one to strengthen its claim to the Spratly Islands. With new technology, however, you can now play the ultimate game of Sim City (er... Country) and build your new nation to order in the form of floating modules.

Residential modules: for your citizens to live and sleep in.
Commercial modules: for your people to shop in and sell their own goods.
Industrial modules: to harvest sea resources, house maintenance shops, warehouse storage etc.

There would also be special modules such as a hotel for visiting guests and dignitarys; power modules for wind, solar, even nuclear power (it’s your country); school modules, gymnasium modules, miniature golf course module. You name it. It’s not all hardware. You also have to write your own constitution to establish your form of government. Do you issue your own currency? Passports? Postage stamps? The list goes on and on.

Currently there is one group of people in the beginning stages of building such a place. They are a group of (surprise) Silicon Valley millionaires looking to build a high tech world without government regulators telling them what they can and can’t do. They are also (surprise) libertarians so I presume that setting their own tax rate is playing a big role in that dream as well. Other groups that are interested include environmentalists looking to build a self-sustaining green ‘worlds’. In fact, in a few generations, I can see many of these ‘countries’ dotting the oceans like monoculture planets in Star Trek…

Luxeryland: An island of only very rich people—the ultimate gated community.
Theocracy Island: An island where only one religion is allowed. (Bring your own kool-aid.)
Pleasure Island: Casinos and brothels (it’s completely legal to bet on a dogfight and fuck the winner afterwords) and bars and drug dens.

There are some startup issues. You need a host country to assemble your new nation at—one that will also allow you to shelter your country in calmer coastal waters during rough weather (at least in the beginning). Money talks, however, and it’s not too hard to find one. The tech millionaires mentioned are using El Salvador. After launch, what happens is entirely up to you.


Conception art of a floating country. Probably not realistic in that modules (being designed by Dutch architects) would be attached to each other in a circular pattern to form an inner lagoon. But this early who knows? It does, however, give you a ballpark idea of things both wanted and needed.

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Josh
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Seen it before:

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