↑ comment by FactorialCode ·
2020-01-30T07:24:16.378Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I think for it work you'd definitely need to do it on a larger scale. When you go on a cruise, you pay money to abstract away all of the upkeep associated with operating a boat.
I read the post and did some more research. The closest analog to what I'm thinking looks to be google's barge project, which encountered some regulatory barriers during the construction phase. However, the next closest thing is this startup and they seem to be the real deal. With regards to what you brought up>
It's pretty hard to get permits for large-berth ships (and not that easy for small berth ships either)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but AFAICT most regulation is for parking a boat at a berth. I don't think the permits are nearly as strict if you are out in the bay. I don't think coastal housing can scale. That's why I mentioned the amphibious vehicles. Or more realistically, a ferry to move people to and from the housing ship.
Ships have all kinds of hidden costs you don't notice at first
There are huge upfront costs to figuring out how to go about this
Yeah, there's no getting around that. It's the kind of thing that you contract out to a maritime engineering firm. 10 million for the ship, maybe 5 million for the housing units, maybe another 5 million to pay an engineering firm to design the thing to comply with relevant regulations. Throw in another 5 million to assemble the thing. Then who knows how much to cut through all the red tape. However, rents keep going up significantly faster than inflation. Condos in SF seem to be on the order of ~1 million per bedroom. I think you could easily recoup your costs after deploying a single 60-120 bedroom ship.
It seems likely that if you attempt to do this at scale, you'll just trigger some kind of government response that renders your operation not-much-cheaper, so you pay the upfront costs but not reap the scale benefits
I think this is the big one, rent seekers are going to do everything they can to stop you if you're a credible threat. I really don't know how politics works at that level. I'd imagine you'd need to appease the right people and make PR moves that make your opponents look like monsters. Then again, if you go with the cargoship model, it's not like you've lost your capital investment. You can just pack up and move to a different city anywhere in the world. You can also spread a fleet around to multiple cities across the world so as to avoid triggering said response while building up credibility/power.
Replies from: Raemon
↑ comment by Raemon ·
2020-01-30T21:11:38.303Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Nod. See also the entire seasteading movement. (I'm not sure how that turned out, but I haven't heard of anything impressive coming out of it)