What is it like to Live on a Seastead: Jobs

So let’s say that a floating community has been created. 50 miles off the coast of a small island in the Indian Ocean, sits a community of floating seasteads, with a grocery store, small classroom, bike repair shop, and 100 other individuals seasteads all filled with people who have just moved into their new home.

What now? You might think, what will I do with my time? Well to start, a floating city will first begin as a floating tourist attraction. In a recent Arktide Survey, these are four of the most common activities respondents said they might want to do in a seastead city:

  1. Eating at a Seafood Restaurant
  2. Scuba Diving
  3. Jet Ski riding
  4. Snorkeling

As this small settlement grows, more amenities will become available, but initially, it is likely that a good supply of income will likely be from tourism, and later on the establishment of businesses (we will cover this more next week). Of course, none of these things are free, will living in a tourist destination makes my cost of living go up? What will be the price of groceries at the grocery store? Or the price of water and electricity?

To start, each seastead will be designed to be a microcosm of a self-sustaining environment. Each hull will have a roof of solar panels. This means that during daylight hours every home can produce enough electricity to meet all of its own needs, and only needs to pay for power at night unless also equipped with enough battery power to last through that period as well. For the independence-minded, or the financially frugal, electricity isn’t a concern at all. Next, an electric water desalinator can be easily installed into each unit for roughly the same cost as a bedrock well in many rural American homes, and if that were not cost-effective enough, solar water desalinators can be bought or built for only a few hundred dollars (although if you want to live comfortably opting for an electric model is better). Finally, every seastead will be designed to have its own ecosystem. Aquaculture racks will be built in, and very cheap ones can be additionally mounted to the underside of each seastead which will allow a person to grow their food if they so choose, and of course, having a fishing pole on hand always allows you to subsidize wild-caught fish with homegrown seaweed and clams.

Everything from the amount of electricity produced, and thus how much water a family can desalinate, to how much food can be grown or caught at sea, is heavily determined by what kind of marine environment you find yourself in. Although as a general rule being closer to the equator helps with all of these things.

For those that prefer self-employment to self-sustainability, a simple division of labor can be used to increase the resources a community has available. With the purchase or construction of a few fish spheres the amount of food that can be farmed increases dramatically. As we discussed in our last blog post, aquaculture can produce more food than traditional land-based agriculture, and for years has been one of the fastest-growing food production sectors of the global economy. Large fish spheres have enough internal volume to farm even tuna, while more moderately sized ones could be used to safely farm smaller fish like salmon. While a large company would require more workers within the city to help with operations, a small more self-sufficiency-oriented community could easily use this technology to feed itself for years to come and reduce outside trade to a desired minimum.

So taking out a single seastead or small group on its own seems doable, but maybe living the life of the ocean nomad just isn’t for you. I want to live in a developed and civilized society as much as the next guy, but how can I afford to do it? What other kinds of jobs can I get in a seasteading city that will help pay the bills?

Well to start, some help will certainly be needed from those with experience in the tourism industry. But waiting tables or giving scuba tours might not be your thing. Next, we can look at the location, if this community exists along a major trade route, then helping ships to pack and unpack valuable cargo, whether in the port of a nearby city or even in our city itself, can be quite a lucrative career. In the United States, the average Longshoreman makes $147,000 a year.

But if you don’t have any experience unloading shipping containers, then worry not. There are plenty of other careers that can be done fully remotely with just a strong internet connection. A floating city is likely to implement Starlink as its go-to internet service, although other competing services such as the Bezos owned Project Kuiper could be good competitors. Ever since the lockdowns of 2020, more and more jobs have moved fully remote. Here are just a few of those jobs and the average pay they can give you:

Many more options on this list aren’t included, but sufficed to say, with the advent of the internet the number of ways to make money remotely has ballooned, especially in recent years, meanwhile, the technology that will be used to implement seasteading has precipitously dropped in price during the same period. All of this has led to the perfect storm of opportunity for the first wave of seasteading pioneers.

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