Data at Sea

I know I’m not the only one who will make this connection, but doesn’t this story about Google’s plan to create data-barges, free from government interference and taxes, sound just like the plot of many Neal Stephenson novels? Next steps: refugee crises, substitution of private for public government, and the return to the gold standard. None of which is remotely imaginable at the moment, of course, which is why our political debate is about book banning.

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2 Responses

  1. Love those catchy, whimsical blog posts which grab our attention, but are no more firmly anchored to the original facts as a piece of driftwood on the sea…

    Google’s notion for capturing the motion of the ocean — it’s not a plan, it’s just a patent. It’s mainly solving a technical problem (keeping servers powered and cool), not a political one. There was no suggestion that this would be “free from government interference,” though the article surmised that it would pay no “property estate” taxes.

    Pulling up my standby copy of the Law of the Sea, I see that nations can claim sovereign rights up to 200 nautical miles out. The article suggests that the GoogleShips will be 7 miles out.

    In all likelihood it would be taxed, and regulated, (and potentially litigated) to the same effect that other offshore ventures are, be they oil rigs or turbines.