Thiel has been a big backer of the Seasteading Institute, which seeks to build sovereign nations on oil rig-like platforms to occupy waters beyond the reach of law-of-the-sea treaties. The idea is for these countries to start from scratch--free from the laws, regulations, and moral codes of any existing place. Details says the experiment would be "a kind of floating petri dish for implementing policies that libertarians, stymied by indifference at the voting booths, have been unable to advance: no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons."
"There are quite a lot of people who think it's not possible," Thiel said at a Seasteading Institute Conference in 2009, according to Details. (His first donation was in 2008, for $500,000.) "That's a good thing. We don't need to really worry about those people very much, because since they don't think it's possible they won't take us very seriously. And they will not actually try to stop us until it's too late." [more...]
More funny than the article are the comments following, including my personal favorite, "I think this is a great idea! And when the first tropical storm wipes out your 'looser building codes' don't cry to the U.S. for aid." Also, I like the comment, "I think they made a game like this called Bioshock. Everyone dies. . . ." I happen to own a copy of that game, having asked for it for Christmas after I read a glowing Catholic review that neglected to emphasize just how gruesome it is. I have so far managed to play approximately one minute and thirty seconds before getting too grossed out and/or frightened to continue. Also, I can't seem to find the wrench I'm supposed to pick up to beat that mutant to death before she eviscerates me.