Important Definitions and Considerations

There are numerous terms that we use to define concepts rather unique to the Arca Oceanus project. They may have specific connotations that are important for a member or potential member to clearly understand. Many of these may be found on this page.
 

The Arca Oceanus Project, versus Arca Oceanus (the Hub Colony)

Arca Oceanus is the name that was selected to represent the Hub Colony in our grand seasteading vision; the Hub Colony is the focal point around which individual colony-units will congregate, though each colony unit will ultimately be its own sovereign nation with laws and customs unique to it. The Hub Colony will act as a sort of central planning and gathering place, hosting an “umbrella” government that provides community, maintenance/repair/supply facilities, and common defense. Sovereign colony units will have the opportunity to come and go at will, participating in or “seceding” from the central government as they see fit. In the grand scheme of things, you could think of it as being the “town” around which multiple homesteads are built, or the federal government that ties individual nation-states together and provides in common for their needs.

The Hub Colony “Arca Oceanus” will be the first colony-unit constructed and occupied. Other units will be fabricated, deployed, and occupied from this initial colony, utilizing the technologies we develop in the construction and occupation phases of the Arca Oceanus Hub.

The Arca Oceanus Project, then, emerged from this name and is the research/finance/recruitment/fabrication/management operation that will bring the initial Colony Hub from vision to reality. Arca Oceanus is the occupied “place”; the Arca Oceanus Project is the construction and marketing organization that will build it and fill it with people. The term “Arca Oceanus” is often used interchangeably to represent either (or both) of these organizational units, and in most cases they can be thought of as one and the same, but there are distinct differences that can lead to confusion. The following paragraphs should help clarify how each unit functions, and why.

Participants in the Project (who will ultimately be the colonists who occupy the Hub, except in rare circumstances) are referred to as “members” because they can’t rightly be called “colonists” when there is not yet a colony in which to reside. Members form the backbone of the Arca Oceanus Project in the same way the colonists will form the backbone of the Arca Oceanus colony/society, and just as the colonists will work hard to ensure their colony survives and thrives, the members will work hard to bring the colony to fruition to begin with.

It is important to realize, though, that the functions of the PROJECT are very different from those of the COLONY, and demand an entirely different approach. While it is our intention to minimize “government” once the colony is formed (some central planning and regulation is unavoidable and ultimately beneficial), getting from concept to colony absolutely requires firm decision-making and efficient top-down leadership to meet the timetable we’ve set and to enable our financial model to be utilized effectively. The Arca Oceanus Project is therefore run more like a company–less democratic and more dictatorial.

The Arca Oceanus Project employs a top-down management structure that allows central planning and rapid decision-making, while also permitting compartmentalized approaches to problem-solving. The upper echelons of this structure serve to guide the project and keep it moving forward, while the base membership provides the actual locomotion (so to speak). Leadership comes from the top of the organization and is vested in the Senior Leadership Council, which makes decisions regarding all elements of the project. SLC decisions are filtered through to base members by way of department leaders (or leadership teams) who represent the decision-making “top” of individual departments (or projects) within the overall Project. Team leaders are appointed by the SLC from within the ranks of the base membership based on aptitude, experience, seniority, or other qualifying factors as may be determined at the time a project/department is created. This top-down structure functions in the same way supervisors/”bosses” function in the everyday work world, with the same assignment, scheduling, and disciplinary duties as their real-world counterparts (though all membership approval/denial/dismissal is handled exclusively by the SLC).

Once the Arca Oceanus Project has successfully constructed and deployed a Hub Colony structure that is ready for occupation, all members who have paid off their Accommodation Advance will immediately become “colonists” of Arca Oceanus in addition to being members of the Arca Oceanus Project. Their duties as members will continue briefly while as colonists they form their new colony government. A transition team will be created by the Project SLC, which will be charged with facilitating the formation of the new government (based on our governing principles) and smoothly passing control of the Colony Hub and all it’s functions to the new government. At the point this transition is completed, the Project will end and the colony government will be in complete control of the colony. All leadership functions, departments, etc. will be determined by the new colony government according to their mandates and all assets will pass to the ownership and management of the sovereign colony “Arca Oceanus”.
 

Accommodation, and the Accommodation Advance

We call the living space reserved for Arca Oceanus colonists “accommodations”. An accommodation, which may house more than one colonist, consists of a single 15 foot by 15 foot (225 sq. ft.) non-communal living space which incorporates bathroom/shower and kitchen facilities. An accommodation is typically reserved (and later owned) by a single colonist/member, but with prearrangement and approval may be co-owned (though not “subdivided”). Each accommodation carries with it a cost, similar to the cost of a house or condominium, measured in Cronus (the currency of the Arca Oceanus Project).

These residences are designed to comfortably house two people, but could hold more. For safety sake, however, we limit accommodations to no more than four permanent residents to a single unit. An applicant can request additional accommodation units at the time they apply (units can be constructed without adjoining walls), but will incur an adjustment to the Accommodation Advance (detailed below) equal to the number of additional units requested. Please note that requests for additional accommodation units/Accommodation Advance must be approved on an individual basis by the Senior Leadership Council, and additional conditions may apply. A member will receive actual accommodation(s) matching the number of accommodations his efforts have paid off, and no more. In other words, if a member is advanced the total for three accommodations, but pays off a total that would only cover the cost of two of them, he will receive only two accommodations and no more. There are no exceptions.

Our financial model is predicated on the proposition that members will automatically be awarded a position within the colony (via “accommodation”), but will earn that position over a period of time by completing work assignments for which they are “paid” according to the value of the assignment. The work produced is owned by Arca Oceanus, and may be used to further the project itself, to raise “real” cash, or both (at the discretion of Arca Oceanus, or the Senior Leadership Council of the Arca Oceanus Project).

In real-dollar terms, an accommodation is exceedingly expensive, reflecting the real costs involved with bringing this colony forth. In fact, the opening cost per square foot of accommodation in the Arca Oceanus colony is comparable to the cost of construction for a high-end condominium in New York City less than a decade ago. If we were to permit accommodation strictly to those who can pay cash for it, we would only be able to accommodate the very wealthy. This would completely shut out the “common man”, an idea which runs utterly counter to our mission. This project is not exclusive to or for anyone, but rather open and available to almost anyone who is willing to work for it.

To allow work, rather than cash, as a “payment medium”, we must advance the total due for accommodation, and then have that advance repaid by extracting work of equal value (as determined solely by Arca Oceanus Senior Leadership) from the member receiving the advance. In simple terms, it’s as if Arca Oceanus is “loaning” the amount necessary to secure accommodation, and the member is then paying that loan back with work. We call this “loan” the Accommodation Advance.

Of course, we will accept cash (see Pass-through Assignments, below), but we expect the vast majority of accommodations to be paid for with hard work done on behalf of the Project.

The cost of accommodation is determined by the anticipated cost of the project in its entirety, divided by the number of accommodations the finished project will support. Sadly, this total cannot be accurately fixed since the true cost of the project cannot be predetermined. Even if the entire cost was being paid in cash, the total would be an estimate at best until the final product was delivered and occupied. Further, given that many or most of our actual costs will be offset by work performed by our membership, it is virtually impossible to accurately predict what the final total will be in terms of cash or work, making the actual cost of accommodation a mere speculation at best.

We have estimated (with a fair degree of accuracy) the cost of our project, in American Dollars at today’s value, based upon the scale we initially anticipate. We’ve divided that by the estimated number of accommodation units (residences) the colony will support, and then set the Accommodation Advance on a Cronus-for-Dollar basis PER ACCOMMODATION UNIT.

The cost of an accommodation will almost certainly increase as the project progresses. This means that “early adopters” will likely be rewarded with a lower price-per-accommodation, because once their Accommodation Advance is set, so too is their cost for accommodation. It is entirely possible that someone who comes into the project early will pay considerably less for an accommodation than someone who comes on board later. There is no circumstance in which the accommodation cost will be less than the initial estimate; in the event that we’ve calculated higher than actual cost, the excess will be retained and applied toward future operating costs of the colony. Should the final cost come in at much less than we’ve anticipated, the excess may be awarded or otherwise distributed to members as some form of “bonus”, at the sole discretion of the Senior Leadership Council.

The cost for a single 225 square foot accommodation is presently CR 150,000.

The price of a single accommodation started (in June of 2018) at CR 150,000 for 225 square feet.
 

Assignments, and How They Are “Assigned”

Bringing this dream to reality requires boatloads of money…and in terms of cash, we just don’t have it. What we do have, though, is a solid understanding of what money really is:

Money is nothing more than the effort or ingenuity a person brings to a problem.

Viewed in those terms, our “money problem” is easy to solve; we simply have to tap the innate potential within each of our members and focus it toward our goal. With enough “effort and ingenuity” pointed in the same direction, we are bound to solve our problems with little need for cash. Moreover, we can “sell” our excess effort and ingenuity to raise cash when we do need it.

This is why we require all of our members to work, and work hard. Sometimes that work will involve physical labor, and other times it will be intellectual in nature. We ask our project managers to assess their immediate needs, break these down in terms of smaller “tasks” that may be accomplished by our members (or occasionally teams of members), and then rate them according to importance to the project, difficulty, and expected time needed for completion. From these ratings a task receives a monetary value (measured in Cronus and American Dollars) and tracking number, and is then placed into a list of “available assignments”. This list is sorted to match the aptitudes of members as identified by our testing and by previous assignment successes, and is then presented to qualified members who select individual assignments based on criteria of their choosing.

The product of any work assignment that is completed and accounted in the member’s account (whether or not actual payment/transfer of funds has yet occurred) becomes the sole property of the Arca Oceanus Project. Member receives no further compensation for the work, and retains no ownership of it or claim to any rights to its use. This includes copyright, patent, etc. ALL OWNERSHIP RIGHTS, INCLUDING FULL RIGHTS FOR USE, OF ANY MATERIAL, DEVICE, RESEARCH, OR OTHER PRODUCT, IN ANY FORM, ARE ASSIGNED IN PERPETUITY TO THE ARCA OCEANUS PROJECT UPON SUBMISSION TO/APPROVAL OF PROJECT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTING FOR PAYMENT WITHIN A MEMBER’S ACCOUNT; AND MAY BE USED, SOLD, REASSIGNED, ETC. AT ANY POINT IN THE FUTURE BY THE ARCA OCEANUS PROJECT, AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF PROJECT LEADERSHIP.

Credit for completion and “payment” for the assignment will be accounted once the work has been approved by the team leader who created the assignment, or member(s) of the Senior Leadership Council. Cronus earned will be credited to a member’s account immediately; American Dollars earned will also be credited immediately, but will not be paid until the payment threshold of $20 is reached (or until membership is terminated, at which point final payment of all outstanding cash sums will be made and the member’s Arca Oceanus account closed).

Members are required to maintain a steady workflow, accepting and completing assignments on a regular basis and “earning” according to a schedule (or “quota”) that will appropriately and timely pay off their Accommodation Advance. Progress is tracked via a member’s account page, and monitored closely by team leaders and/or representatives of the Senior Leadership Council.

Failure to meet assignment obligations is the primary grounds for removal from the project. We are an organization founded around the work of our members rather than the cash they can give to us, which is how we open this extraordinary opportunity to everyone and not just the wealthy. Members must keep up their end of the bargain! Leeway is given as much as possible, but when it becomes clear that a member is not “pulling his weight”, disciplinary action is taken up to and including loss of Arca Oceanus membership status (and all Cronus banked to that point).
 

Pass-through Assignments

A not-so-secret secret known to economically disadvantaged people, particularly those who are under-employed or unemployed, is that there are many ways to make money outside of the typical wage-earning scenario. Flea-markets, online auction sales, handyman and “shade-tree mechanic” services, etc. often provide a boost to one’s income. This boost can be significant, and can be relied upon when conditions particularly warrant it (or are especially ripe for it). They offer many side benefits, such as allowing a person to set his/her own hours, and they can also permit someone to utilize a skill or profit from an interest that they don’t ordinarily get to exercise in the regular work world. These non-traditional means are some of the best ways that the non-wealthy have to truly put their “effort and ingenuity” to work and produce real cash from it, and it frequently happens that these are the first steps one takes toward true entrepreneurship. This is something we admire and want to encourage as much as possible.

What better way to earn a position within the Arca Oceanus colony than with a “side hustle” like this?

The problem is that the skills one might utilize in these efforts may not translate well to our project. As much as we’d like cookies from a weekend baker, we can’t really distribute them and we don’t have the avenues to sell them that the baker himself might.

That’s why we created the Pass-through Assignment. It is an open-ended option that appears in every assignment portfolio, and can be selected at any time in an amount of the member’s choosing. Basically, it’s an exchange; A member earns “real” money by whatever means they desire, and then exchanges it (at a rate of one USD for one CR) for Cronus.

It works very simply; the member selects the PTA, fills in the amounts (in USD and Cronus), and submits the assignment. Our accounting department will receive the PTA, prepare an invoice (through PayPal), and submit it to the member via email. Once the member pays the invoice and the funds have cleared as necessary, the Cronus will be credited to the member’s account and the assignment is marked as complete.

In all other regards the Pass-through Assignment works like any other work assignment, with the Cronus credits being applied toward whatever quota program may be in place for the member.

As with any completed assignment, the final product–in this case, the “real” cash that is exchanged for Cronus–becomes the non-refundable property of the Arca Oceanus Project, to be used in whatever way deemed necessary, at the sole discretion of the Senior Leadership Council.

It is important to note that a member could choose to pay off his/her entire Accommodation Advance in this way, over time or immediately (however they prefer). We are not opposed to this, especially if it encourages a member to find creative ways to flex their “effort and ingenuity” muscles in such an entrepreneurial way. However, we must note that this is not a donation, cannot be considered a business expense, and does not in any way confer any tax-saving (or tax-avoidance) benefits. There is currently no provision for this sort of expenditure in the typical tax code (that we are aware of) to qualify it as anything more than an ordinary “purchase”, such as for a houseboat or time-share vacation condominium. While we would vehemently disagree with that assessment, it is nevertheless how the tax authorities will surely categorize it. This applies whether the PTA is used on an occasional, “small” basis, or to pay off the entire Accommodation Advance. It is incumbent upon you to know the tax and other legal implications, if any, that may apply should you choose to utilize the Pass-through Assignment. Please consult a tax professional in your jurisdiction, and stay legal. We do not wish to run afoul of any taxing entity…it would be bad for the project, and potentially bad for you.
 

The Cronus

As with any venture that trades in goods and services but does not maintain a constant inventory of those trade goods, the Arca Oceanus project requires a substitute “currency” to facilitate easy trade and maintenance of accounts. The currency of Arca Oceanus is the Cronus.

At present, the following rules apply. The Cronus:

  • has no value outside of the Arca Oceanus project
  • is strictly digital, having no “bearer” form
  • is rigidly accounted within our in-house “banking” system
  • can only be earned by completing assignments (including Pass-through Assignments), or awarded by the Senior Leadership Council at their discretion.
  • may not at present be traded or reassigned to another account/member, or “spent” in any way other than to pay down/pay off a member’s Accommodation Advance. Cronus that remain or are otherwise deposited in a member’s account after the Accommodation Advance is paid will remain and accumulate in that account until such time as these rules are changed, at which point they may be exchanged in whatever manner is then prescribed (with the member receiving full ownership of any ‘new’ currency product that may be created)
  • confers no status or rights other than those associated with the Accommodation Advance and its repayment
  • reverts back to the ownership/control of the Arca Oceanus project upon termination of membership for any reason
  • in conjunction with any other reward posted as “value” for an assignment, constitutes the only payment a member will receive for work completed

Eventually the Cronus will be the “official” currency of the Arca Oceanus colony, and these rules will be rewritten to accommodate that change.
 

The Senior Leadership Council

The Arca Oceanus Project is the top-down management organization charged with facilitating the financing, construction and occupation of the Hub Colony “Arca Oceanus”. This Hub Colony will be the prototype for future colony-units, and will serve as the first occupied colony unit in what is expected to be a burgeoning collective of independent, sovereign colony-nations.

The organization is headed by a five person body called the Senior Leadership Council, which operates under the overall direction of a Chief Executive who is one of the five SLC members. The Chief Executive serves in this capacity for the life of the project, or until he/she resigns or is removed through the process outlined below. The first (and current) Chief Executive is Joss Conlon, founder of the Arca Oceanus colony and project.

The Senior Leadership Council creates departments and sub-projects, and appoints leaders (or leadership teams) from within the ranks of the general membership. These leaders/teams report their progress to the Council on a regular basis. The SLC is also responsible for general personnel/membership matters, including recruitment and dismissal (when necessary) of members as outlined below.

All accounting, record keeping, legal affairs, and other major organizational functions of the project fall within the purview of the Senior Leadership Council.

First and foremost, the SLC is a decision-making body. As matters of importance come before the Council, they are voted on and decided in the following ways:

  • For general decisions that are not related to the removal of Council members or the removal/reinstatement of general members, the Council votes according to a majority-rule system, with the Chief Executive having THREE votes, and the other members of Council having ONE vote each, for a total of SEVEN votes. Any four vote majority is sufficient to pass a measure.
  • For matters relating to the removal of a Council Member from his SLC position, each SLC member (including the Chief Executive) has ONE vote, for a total of FIVE votes.
      • Removal of any member of Council, excluding the Chief Executive, must be initiated by one of the four remaining Council members and seconded. Once seconded, a vote is taken. To be successful, the removal vote must carry a three-fourths (3/4) majority among the four remaining Council members. Except under special circumstances as decided by a unanimous (4/4) remaining Council vote, a subsequent removal vote cannot be called against the same Council member for a period of ninety (90) days.
      • Removal of the Chief Executive from the position (and thereby from the Council itself) requires the same procedure as noted above for the removal of any other Council member, excepting that:
          • to be successful the removal vote at Council must be unanimous (4/4 votes from the remaining Council members); and
          • at the point of a successful Council removal vote, a vote of the general membership shall be called and scheduled for a period of not less than seven days nor more than thirty days from the date of the Council removal vote. To be successful, the removal vote put to the general membership requires a quorum of ninety percent of the full membership casting a vote; and three-forths (3/4) of the votes cast must be in favor of the removal.

        Any membership vote called to remove the Chief Executive which results in less than a ninety percent quorum must be rescheduled (within thirty days) and recast, repeating until the necessary quorum is reached; any membership vote which represents the minimum quorum of ninety percent, but which does not produce the necessary three-fourths vote for removal fails. Upon a successful removal attempt, a new Chief is elected from among the four remaining Council members by majority (3/4) vote of those members. Except under special circumstances as decided by a unanimous (4/4) vote of the remaining Council members, a subsequent removal vote (following a failed removal attempt) cannot be called against the Chief Executive for a period of one hundred eighty (180) days.

      • Removed members of Council, including the Chief Executive, retain their standard membership status unless further removed from the Project by the process outlined below.
  • Department leaders may be removed from those positions, and subsequently replaced, by general majority (4/7) vote of the Council.
  • Individual (“standard”) members of the Project can be removed (and the balance of any Cronus accumulated in their account forfeited) by majority regular Council vote. A terminated member may appeal this decision. In the event of an appeal, each Council member receives only one vote. A 3/5 majority is required for reinstatement.

Council Members are appointed to the post by a selection committee comprised of three members of Council, or by the Chief Executive when multiple vacancies exist and a selection committee cannot be formed.

Most Council business is conducted in an informal manner, often via videoconference or email. In the event that a full and proper meeting of the Council is called, whether via videoconference or in person, Roberts Rules of Order shall prevail over the proceedings.
 

Assignment Quotas

Each member is responsible for repaying his/her Accommodation Advance by completing assignments (or utilizing the Pass-through Assignment option) on a regular basis. Project/Team Leaders monitor the workflow of all members to whom they are assigned, reporting the progress of each to the Senior Leadership Council once per week. Members who fall too far behind in earning (via assignment completion) are first counseled, then warned, and finally cut from the program for failure to meet workflow standards.

So how are these standards set?

We start with the cost of accommodation (or more specifically, the amount of initial Accommodation Advance), divided by our launch timetable (currently ten years), and divided again by 50 (to represent the weeks of the year in which work is required–with two weeks of non-work permitted to allow for “vacations” and such). This gives us an average, in Cronus, that a member should be earning on a weekly basis.

This total is then multiplied by the number of weeks a member has been with the Project. This figure is compared to the amount of Cronus the member has “banked”. If the two figures are within five percent of each another, the member is meeting workflow standards.

Here are two real-world examples of this calculation in action:

    Member #54321 joined the project ten weeks ago. At that time he was advanced CR 150,000 for his accommodation. He joined when the anticipated launch date was approximately seven years from his join date. This means that #54321 is expected to earn roughly CR 21,500 per year, or about CR 430 per week.

    Over the course of the ten weeks that he’s been with the program, #54321 has banked, via regular work assignments and the occasional Passthrough Assignment, CR 4450. His expected total is CR 4300. This means he is actually CR 150 ahead of his required quota. He is meeting (and in fact exceeding) workflow standards.

    Member #98765 joined at the same time as #54321, and has the same per-week earning expectation of CR 430. Over the ten weeks that she’s been with the program, she’s earned CR 2400 via regular work assignments, and has not elected to utilize any Passthrough Assignments. Her expected total is also CR 4300. Her totals are not within 5% of one another. In fact she is well behind her required workflow. Sadly, she has already been counseled and warned about this in previous weeks, and now is at risk of being terminated from the project.

Early adopters again benefit, because they are likely to have a longer time between joining and launch, meaning they will not need to earn as much on a weekly basis. They will ultimately earn the same amount, but they have more time to do it. To put that into some perspective, our present launch date is approximately ten years from now. Using the calculation from above, a new member signing on today can expect these numbers:

    CR 150,000 Accommodation Advance divided by 10 years equals CR 15,000 per year. Divided again by 50 weeks per year, the total workflow quota per week is CR 300. At CR 15/hour (our minimum Assignment value), that means 20 hours per week, and probably less, on average.

Late-comers to the project may have to really scramble to keep up. Unfortunately there isn’t much that can be done to alleviate this for those who wait to join, or otherwise arrive to the project well after it has begun.