Wednesday, 28 January 2009

So much for driftwood dreams

Days have passed since I posted about my dreams and aspirations, the one about wanting to build my own floating island, somewhere bobbing about in the lost continent of discarded plastic in the North Pacific Gyre.

I'm not alone.

It seems this meme has spread far and wide, well, The Spectator warmly embracing the article in Wired
Friedman and his followers are not the first band of wide-eyed dreamers to want to build floating utopias. For decades, an assortment of romantics and whack jobs have fantasized about fleeing the oppressive strictures of modern government and creating a laissez-faire society on the high seas. Over the decades, they've tried everything from fortified sandbars to mammoth cruise ships. Nearly all have been disasters. But the would-be nation builders assembled here are not intimidated by that record of failure. After all, their plans are inspired by the ethos of the modern tech industry, where grand quixotic visions are as common as BlackBerrys, and they see their task not as a holy mission but as something like a startup. A couple of software engineers came up with an innovative concept, then outsourced it to a community and let the wisdom of the crowd improve on it. They scored financing from a top-tier venture capitalist and assembled a board of directors. They will be transparent, blogging their progress. If they fail—which, let's face it, is the most likely outcome—they will do so quickly, in time-honored Valley fashion. But if they succeed, they have one hell of an exit strategy.

From the looks of things, their plans are a bit more developed than my own, with heli-pads and floating support columns.

I think I'll stick with my plan of building my stead from marine debris and sargassum, I can use ghost nets to bind it all together. Might have to relocate to the North Atlantic Gyre rather than the Pacific, its closer to home.

Hmph, on reading the article and the youtube videos attached. I reckon for the pro's who don't want to make their island out of garbage, they'd be best off buying a handful of really big ships, like the ones clogging up Hong Kong, and lashing them together. Maybe welding them together, but aye, something that's alread built and seaworthy. It'll be good for a few years, but then when one of the middle ships springs a leak and sinks, you'll lose half of your island.

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