October and beyond

Friday (tomorrow) I’m attending the first Seasteading conference in Burlingame. I blogged about seasteading four years ago. Although the originators of the seastead idea are politically motivated, I’d assign a very low probability to them becoming significantly more politically impactful than some of their inspirations (e.g., micronations and offshore pirate radio, i.e., very marginal). To begin with, the seasteading concept has huge engineering and business hurdles to clear before it could make any impact whatsoever. If the efforts of would be seasteaders lead to the creation of lots more wealth (or even just a new weird culture), any marginal political impact is just gravy. In other words, seasteading is another example of political desires sublimated into useful creation. That’s a very good thing, and I expect the conference to be interesting and fun.

Saturday I’ll be at the Students for Free Culture Conference in Berkeley. You don’t have to be a student to attend. Free culture is a somewhat amorphous concept, but I think an important one. I suspect debates about what free culture means and how to develop and exploit it will be evident at the conference. Some of those are in part about the extent to which political desires should be sublimated into useful creation (I should expand on that in a future post).

October 20-26 I’ll participate in three free culture related conferences back to back.

First in Amsterdam for 3rd COMMUNIA Workshop (Marking the public domain: relinquishment & certification), where I’ll be helping talk about some of Creative Commons’ (I work for, do not represent here, etc.) public domain and related initiatives.

Second in Stockholm for the Nordic Cultural Commons Conference, where I’ll give a talk free culture and the future of cultural production.

Finally in Gothenburg for FSCONS, where I’ll give an updated version of a talk on where free culture stands relative to free software.

In December at MIT, Creative Commons will hold its second technology summit. Nathan Yergler and colleagues have been making the semantic rubber hit the web road pretty hard lately, and will have lots to show. If you’re doing interesting [S|s]emantic Web or open content related development (even better, both), take a look at the CFP.

More than likely I’ll identicate rather than blog all of these.

2 Responses

  1. What makes you think the engineering hurdles for seasteading are large? I have some concerns that Ephemerisle will have problems because people get careless about small engineering issues, but the more professionally built seasteads look like they will rely enough on known techniques to have few problems.
    I was a bit disappointed that the conference didn’t analyze the business hurdles very carefully.

  2. Relying on known techniques is one thing, applying them to a new class of structure (I believe at the conference Vince Cate said something like “this is unexplored design territory”) is another.

    I know nothing about marine engineering, but hearing that I’d expect large engineering hurdles, for some definition of large (expensive if not theoretically challenging).

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