Monday, December 05, 2011

Floating cities

People often dream of the perfect tomorrow, and some find satisfaction in floating cities, far from the crowds and free to drift with the wind of the open sea. Sounds nice, getting away from welfare, minimum wage, and stifling laws restricting private weapons.

Wait a minute, whose dream is this?

The latest version comes from the billionaire founder of PayPal, who apparently sees himself as a real-world Atlas, as in Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's ponderous novel of heroic capitalism. I didn't like the book, and this version seems even less appealing.

This week, the Economist considers the realities of governance, engineering, and other mundane difficulties. The dream may still have to wait a while.

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