Aside

pirates & seasteads (islands of good institutions?)

well, this is all new to me.

“off the coast of East Africa is environmentally a very favorable location [for sea-steadng] but the issue of piracy makes it forlorn,” says the institute for ethics and emerging technologies.

sea-steading was a new concept to me but, apparently, it involves ” creating permanent dwellings at sea, called seasteads, outside the territory claimed by the government of any standing nation.” thanks, wikipedia.

here’s the gist

The Seasteading Institute’s mission is to inspire political competition. In proximity to nations such as Somalia, Sudan and Saudi Arabia an atoll of innovative political thinking is very much needed. Why are there pirates in the first place? Foreign companies enabled by poor governance have polluted the shores and rivers and have left those nations without jobs or resources. Piracy is dangerous for all, yet it will continue as long as the causes are present.

What if seasteading could not only solve political instability, but the famine and piracy as well?

With little initial investment a small sea farming operation begins off the coast of Somalia.  The operator comes into a Somali port to hire workers; they are trained on the principles of sea farming, desalinization and hydroponics. As production grows, experienced workers are trained on constructing expanded farming quadrants, crop management and even given the support to begin their own operations.

As primarily a concept farm incorporated for social benefit and not for profit, almost all food production can be offloaded at little or no cost to support the local communities – greatly diminishing the food drought in that region.

The same farmers who helped grow the food sail back to shore and distribute it in the markets, creating local wealth and good will. By using almost exclusively Somali fishermen to operate these farms you are thereby providing an alternative to piracy in their communities. By supplying food into their communities you attack an urgent humanitarian crisis and add an additional incentive to avoid piracy.

So… what about the seastead? The food is given freely so there is not much purpose in raiding it, the staff is entirely made of the desperate fishers and farmers that no longer have a reason to be pirates, so their ransoms would not be profitable.

The status quo will still exist and will be the largest obstacle to success.  However, with the tide turning against the pirates on many fronts, and the specter of a stronger central government on the rise, even pirate masterminds will see the profitability in abandoning the trade for the increasing economic vitality of progress.

meh?

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