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The Disastrous Voyage of the MS Satoshi, The World’s First Cryptocurrency Cruise Ship - A Tale of "Libertarian Utopia" Gone Overboard


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The long read: Last year, three cryptocurrency enthusiasts bought a cruise ship. They named it the Satoshi, and dreamed of starting a floating libertarian utopia. It didn’t work out

 

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On the evening of 7 December 2010, in a hushed San Francisco auditorium, former Google engineer Patri Friedman sketched out the future of humanity. The event was hosted by the Thiel Foundation, established four years earlier by the arch-libertarian PayPal founder Peter Thiel to “defend and promote freedom in all its dimensions”. From behind a large lectern, Friedman – grandson of Milton Friedman, one of the most influential free-market economists of the last century – laid out his plan. He wanted to transform how and where we live, to abandon life on land and all our decrepit assumptions about the nature of society. He wanted, quite simply, to start a new city in the middle of the ocean.

 

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  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to The Disastrous Voyage of the MS Satoshi, The World’s First Cryptocurrency Cruise Ship - A Tale of "Libertarian Utopia" Gone Overboard
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As with many stories about techno-libertarian fantasies, the tale of the Satoshi begins in an all-male, quasi-frat house in San Francisco in the late 90s. Romundt – a softly spoken Canadian with the optimistic, healthy glow of someone who combines entrepreneurial success with water sports – was living with a bunch of software engineers, all of whom shared an intense dedication to personal improvement. “I was a huge Tony Robbins fan,” Romundt told me in one of several Zoom calls from his office in Panama.

 

Yup - this ticks all the checkboxes so far.

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Elwartowski and his girlfriend, Nadia Summergirl, lived there for two months in early 2018, until the Thai government discovered the seastead’s existence and declared it a threat to the country’s independence, possibly punishable by life imprisonment or death. Elwartowski and Summergirl had to flee the country before the Thai navy dispatched three ships to dismantle the floating box.

 

 

This is the greatest thing I've read in ages.  I hereby demand that someone option the film rights!

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I love this paragraph so much...

 

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Fuel alone was costing the Ocean Builders trio about $12,000 a day. According to Harris, Koch wanted to try to make the ship more fuel-efficient by installing a smaller engine, which he thought he could do while the ship was at anchor. “We were like, how are you going to cut a hole in the ship’s side big enough to get the engine out, which is below water level, and not sink the ship?” Harris shook his head, his memories of Koch clearly fond, if perplexed. “I was forever saying, ‘No, Rudi you can’t do this; no, Rudi you can’t do that.’”

 

These guys are so stupid.

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We should spread the word that seasteading is a bad idea. Not for the sake of stating the obvious, but so that more people will get into it. It'll be even better when private space launches advance to the point that we start seeing spacesteading. Bugs Bunny will appreciated being able to put his saw away. :p

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But as the Reddit Q&A continued, Elwartowski’s meticulous responses revealed some of the more knotty practicalities of life on board. It turned out that the only cooking facilities would be in the restaurant. For safety reasons, no one was allowed to have a microwave in their rooms – though some cabins had mini-fridges, noted Elwartowski, determinedly sidestepping the point. He offered residents a 20% discount at the restaurant and mentioned that some interested cruisers had already talked about renting part of the restaurant kitchen so they could make their own food. “We want entrepreneurs to come up with solutions and try them out,” he wrote, in a valiant attempt to convert a fairly fundamental stumbling block into wild startup energy. “This is your place to try new things.” Not all the Redditors were convinced. “No microwave but mining rig. Incoherent scam.”

 

 

Not having a microwave in your room is a deal breaker bro, lol.

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This whole little episode really does encapsulate libertarianism quite nicely. A fantasy dreamt by people who are so dumb they can't see the very basic problems with their "vision".


I'm not a huge fan of Sam Seder but seeing him handle libertarians is hilarious. He really shows that they are FAR dumber than even right wing evangelicals. 
 

 

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15 hours ago, Air_Delivery said:

This whole little episode really does encapsulate libertarianism quite nicely. A fantasy dreamt by people who are so dumb they can't see the very basic problems with their "vision".


I'm not a huge fan of Sam Seder but seeing him handle libertarians is hilarious. He really shows that they are FAR dumber than even right wing evangelicals. 
 

 

 

Yea outside of his core audience I'm not sure he's anyone's favorite political commentator in the online left political sphere. But based on how most of the internet seems to handle discourse with the other side, a lot of people who identify as left need to watch him and take notes

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