Tech barons like Jeff Bezos want to colonize space and our oceans. Their visions of the future aren’t public-spirited or democratic
Last year a group of cryptocurrency investors purchased a decommissioned cruise liner, the Pacific Dawn, and renamed it the MS Satoshi, after the alleged creator of Bitcoin. The investors were members of the “seasteading” community, an experimental movement that wants to create autonomous, floating city-states in international waters. The Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, a self-described anarcho-capitalist, is a major supporter of the movement – which, like space colonization, seems to attract the enthusiasm of a certain kind of fantastically rich and rightwing tech baron.
The MS Satoshi project was a failure. In a major blow to the seasteading movement, the ship was sold for parts in December, after the ship’s owners were unable to get insurance for their voyage into international waters. (They hold out hope, however, of creating a luxury development of science-fiction-esque pod apartments off the coast of New Jersey.)