The Island of Doctor Thiel

October 10th, 2016 § 0 comments

Peter Thiel and friends are supposedly planning a seasteading project off French polynesia.

This idea, I suspect, will never die among a certain libertarian geek contingent, especially those with a national ideology of the frontier and the new world. Besides, you can trace it back to both Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon, which is the cyberpunk equivalent of finding it scribbled down by Da Vinci. So what if prior experiments (Sealand) have down in entertaining flames, all the more reason to keep trying.

But the techno-utopians seem to miss another model for settlement: the company town. This despite its starring role in Snow Crash (‘burbclaves’), and the trend for the stacks’ “campuses” to become deliberately enclosed ecoonmies.

You want to create a tech-friendly community far from goverment interference? A place where the wild fiber flows, and the streets are paved with Pokemon? Why not take over an old mining town? The company shop and the semi-benevolent paternalism would be entirely familiar to googlers and the like. The churches could be repurposed for TED talks and yoga classes, and there must be a few sysadmins ready to embrace a troglodyte existence in the mine shafts.

Mainly, you get to keep your workers isolated and inward-looking, dependent on their work psychologically as well as financially.

What do you think? Can we propose this to some south Welsh community? Or maybe even to Centralia — just cosider living on a fume-billowing hellmouth to be a feature, not a bug

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