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每日英語跟讀 Ep.K060: Floating Cities, No Longer Science Fiction, Begin to Take Shape獨立且自給自足的新創國家 海上城市走出科幻小說

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日英語跟讀 Ep.K060: Floating Cities, No Longer Science Fiction, Begin to Take Shape

It is an idea at once audacious and simplistic, a seeming impossibility that is now technologically within reach: cities floating in international waters — independent, self-sustaining nation-states at sea.

這是個大膽創新又將複雜事物過分簡單化,看似不可能,現在科技卻有望實現的概念:漂浮在公海上的城市—獨立且自給自足的海上民族國家。

Long the stuff of science fiction, “seasteading” has in recent years matured from pure fantasy into something approaching reality, and there are now companies, academics, architects and even a government working together on a prototype by 2020.

「海上家園」向來是科幻小說的題材,近年已從純粹的空想發展為即將成真的事物,目前有企業、學者、建築師和甚至一個政府通力合作,要在2020年前建立原型。

At the center of the effort is the Seasteading Institute, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco. Founded in 2008, the group has spent about a decade trying to convince the public that seasteading is not an entirely crazy idea.

在這場努力中位居關鍵的是海洋家園研究所,這是總部設在美國舊金山的非營利組織,創立於2008年,已經花了十年左右說服大眾,住在海上不是全然瘋狂的主意。

That has not always been easy. At times, the story of the seasteading movement seems to lapse into self parody. Burning Man gatherings in the Nevada desert are an inspiration, while references to the Kevin Costner film “Waterworld” are inevitable. The project is being partially funded by an initial coin offering, a new concept sweeping Silicon Valley and Wall Street in which money can be raised by creating and selling virtual currency.

這一路可並不平順。有時,提倡海上家園的故事似乎陷入自我搞笑。美國內華達州沙漠的「火人祭」聚會是個啟發,而與凱文科斯納主演的電影「水世界」的聯結也無以避免。計畫的資金部分來自「首次代幣發行」,這是橫掃矽谷和華爾街的新概念:錢能藉由創造和販售虛擬貨幣而募得。

And yet in 2017, with sea levels rising because of climate change and established political orders around the world teetering under the strains of populism, seasteading can seem not just practical, but downright appealing.

不過在2017年,當海平面因氣候變遷而上升,世界各地老牌的政治體系都在民粹壓力下搖搖欲墜時,住在海上看來就不僅可行,且真能吸引人。

Earlier this year, the government of French Polynesia agreed to let the Seasteading Institute begin testing in its waters. Construction could begin soon, and the first floating buildings — the nucleus of a city — might be inhabitable in just a few years.

今年稍早,法屬玻里尼西亞政府同意讓海洋家園研究所開始在轄下水域試驗。建築工程可能很快就會展開,第一批海上建物,也就是城市核心,也許在幾年內就能入住。

“If you could have a floating city, it would essentially be a startup country,” said Joe Quirk, president of the Seasteading Institute. “We can create a huge diversity of governments for a huge diversity of people.”

海上家園研究所所長奎爾克說:「如果你有一座海上城市,它將形同一個新創國家,我們可為各式各樣的人創造各式各樣的政府。」

The term seasteading has been around since at least 1981, when avid sailor Ken Neumeyer wrote a book, “Sailing the Farm,” that discussed living sustainably aboard a sailboat. Two decades later, the idea attracted the attention of Patri Friedman, grandson of economist Milton Friedman, who seized on the notion.

海上家園一詞至少早自1981年即已出現,當時酷愛航海的水手諾伊邁爾寫了一本書「駕著海上農場出航」,討論持久住在帆船上的生活。20年後,經濟學家米爾頓.傅利曼的孫子派特瑞.傅利曼受到這個點子吸引,並予以發揚光大。

Friedman, a freethinker who had founded “intentional communities” while in college, was living in Silicon Valley at the time and was inspired to think big. So in 2008 he quit his job at Google and co-founded the Seasteading Institute with seed funding from Peter Thiel, the libertarian billionaire. In a 2009 essay, Thiel described seasteading as a long shot, but one worth taking. “Between cyberspace and outer space lies the possibility of settling the oceans,” he wrote.

傅利曼是自由思想家,讀大學時創辦「理念型社區」,而得知這個點子時他住在矽谷,受到鼓勵要勇於逐夢。所以他在2008年辭去Google的工作,在自由派億萬富豪泰爾的種子基金挹注下,與人合創海洋家園研究所。泰爾在2009年撰文說,海上家園成功希望不大,但值得一試,「在網路和外太空之間,存在著住在海上的可能性」。

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/321267/web/

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