04 March 2010

After Armageddon: X Meals from Total Anarchy

Things can fall apart for many reasons, and at astoundingly rapid speeds. Whether you are 3 meals from anarchy or 9, the distance between you and deadly threat is alarmingly small. Natural disaster, epidemic disease, power failure, terror attack, or outright warfare -- potential triggers are more numerous than you can imagine.

You won't be able to leave the city by freeway -- they will all be jammed by wrecked, abandoned, and burning vehicles. Better have several alternate routes and fallback plans. Is your bugout kit packed and ready? Does your bugout vehicle have a full tank of fuel and is it well maintained? Do you have a bugout destination?

I recommend the links and the postings at PreparednessPro.com. A good site for daily browsing is SurvivalBlog. Unfortunately, membership in the Society for Creative Apocalyptology is currently closed, but several online forums of a similar nature are available.

You have a much better chance of surviving a short, medium, and long-term catastrophe if you are a member of a cooperating group of survival-oriented individuals and families with complementary skills.

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Blogger kurt9 said...

Why the f*ck would I go to a hospital? Also, why would I leave home?

I have 6-12 months of food and water stored and all of my life extension supplements. I also have the Echinacea, Astragulous, and Inosital. I would have lots and lots of Vit C as well. These enhance my immune system such that even if I'm exposed to the H5N1/H1N1 hybrid virus, I'm not going to get sick.

I just hole up at home for 6 months. The economy would collapse, then come back once the virus burns itself. The most silly thing about these videos is that a virus of this virulence would burn itself out very quickly, once its passed around everywhere.

My job skills will be in high demand in a post-pandemic economy. I'm an industrial automation guy. I automate factories. There will be lots of factories that will need to be automated once these people are gone. This is my job and where I get handsomely compensated.

BTW, real estate, even in nice places, will be cheap in a post plague economy. Malibu here I come.

Thursday, 04 March, 2010  
Blogger kurt9 said...

I stand by my previous points.

The set of videos suggests that the industrial infrastructure would collapse permanently. I see no reason to believe that such a plague would do this. The plague would burn itself out in 2-3 months. It should be possible to get the power grid and fuel distribution up and running again within a year. Food production would take 2 years because one year's harvest would be lost.

The main effect of post-plague economy would be serious wage inflation, because human labor of any kind would be far more valuable relative to all of the manufactured goods, houses, and what not.

Thursday, 04 March, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

It sounds as if you may have given all of this some thought, Kurt.

The viral pandemic in the video is just meant as an example trigger for a prolonged large scale loss of order in society. Other triggers such as multiple large EMPs, wide scale terror attacks, prolonged riots turning into insurrection, etc. could serve as well.

Unless you have a hidden, secure underground bunker stocked with a years worth of supplies, at least a year's worth of electric power, reliable sanitation, etc. hanging out at home may prove a problem when all hell is breaking loose. For many gangs, burning houses and other buildings would become part of the daily entertainment and recreation. If people are inside, so much the better for their purposes.

You are not the problem, Kurt. The people who would like to gut you for sport are the problem. There are more of them than you probably think, not so very far away.

I suspect that rather than running to Idaho -- if you live in LA --getting to Utah may be quicker and safer as long as you can bypass Reno and Las Vegas.

I am not religious and certainly not a Mormon, but if you want to survive a long term disruption of modern civilisation, you could do worse than Utah.

Friday, 05 March, 2010  
Blogger gtg723y said...

Videos like that one make me thankful that I live on 5 acres in a sparsely populated area of a Second Amendment loving state deep in the heart of dixi. The only question I have is why is the South always involved in civil war in these post armageddon situations? But then again these movies are made by bed wetting liberals that believe in global warming, an over populated earth and eating organic like a holy trinity. So it is not so surprising that they should be afraid of the South with its gun toting Bible quoting population. In such a situation life round here wouldn't change that much.

Friday, 05 March, 2010  
Blogger Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

Have to agree with Alfin on the gang issue. I live in an urban area and we have a plethora of near sub-human types living around here. Normally, these people who have been weeded out by simple Darwinism. Section 8 housing and other forms of welfare have allowed them, and their pathologies to multiply.

I keep a number of weapons ready should we ever have a shit-hit-the-fan moment around here (which a simple, prolonged blackout would create).

Friday, 05 March, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

A lot of people do not like you simply because of the colour of your skin, your religion or political ideology. Some of them would be happy to either kill you or to stand by and laugh while others did the job.

Here is the last sentence of a comment addressed to Al Fin, published this morning: "Human beings don't need you white western terrorists for anything, except target practice."
Posting link

The third world is festering in tribal and religious violence every day. Western nations are importing the guarantee of such violence on their own soil every day, via a suicidal neo-tribalist immigration policy.

The left runs almost all western governments these days, and the left is all about neo-tribalism and the great human dieoff to save the planet.

So as you watch the human and technological infrastructure around you being degraded by neglect and intentional sabotage, understand that the prelude takes a lot longer than the climax.

Saturday, 06 March, 2010  
Blogger kurt9 said...

My point is that there are only two events that could be global in nature. One is an all out nuclear war, which is quite unlikely these days. The second is a pandemic, which is much more likely. Neither of these will permanently crash industrial civilization. In fact, history teaches us that pandemics are good for society. It cleans out all of the bureaucracy, social rigidity, and dead weight that then allows creativity and human accomplishment to flourish. The black death of Europe is a perfect example. European society did not collapse during the black death, but the guild system certainly did. Upward mobility was the result of the black death. The same will occur this time.

5,000 nuclear power plant technicians in the U.S. and 2/3's of them die in the plague? Gee, this means that there will be job openings for nuclear power plant technicians for the first time in a generation. Same for the petroleum industry, which has not hired substantially in nearly 30 years. Also, the medical bureaucracy goes away and the licesnure is no longer necessary to practice medicine. It will be easier to make and sell supplements (some of which really do work better than meds) and new meds can be sold over the counter.

Real estate, even in desirable places becomes cheap again. Malibu here I come. Or Pacific Heights of San Francisco and Marin county.

You see, only about 10% of the population works in manufacturig and another 10% works in anything that is real but not manufacturing. This should tell you something about the redundancy of much of the human population.

Other bureaucracies like NASA and the Tokamak fusion program go away as well. The 95% of government funded R&D (including essentially all medical research) that is bullshit goes away as well.

Al Fin, you have commented over the years about the fraud, corruption, and sophistry that passes for modern civilization. Only two things make this kind of crap go away. One is the opening of a new frontier (if Heim theory turns out to be real and we get the FTL). The other is a pandemic.

Right now, I bet on the pandemic.

We have some gang activity in Portland. But its not bad enough that we have to worry about it during the 3 month period of the pandemic. When the plague comes, I stay right where I am. I see no reason to go anywhere else.

BTW, I have gotten to know some of my neighbors. How about you?

Saturday, 06 March, 2010  
Blogger kurt9 said...

Man, I've been thinking about pandemics for over 15 years. The most likely candidate vector is H5N1/H1N1 hybrid virus. This would actually be fairly easy to make up in a lab.

There are two fiction novels about plagues and the aftermath that are really, really good.

The first are the first two novels in the "War against the Chtorr" series by David Gerrold, A Matter for Men and A Day for Damnation. The chorran plagues (there are 6 of them) are in the first novel.

The second is Ralph Peter's techno-thriller "War in 2020", which also starts out with a plague (Runciman's Disease or RD) early in the novel.

In both cases, industrial society reestablishes itself within one year of the plague outbreak (which I believe is credible).

The "War against the Chtorr" novels are very "Heinleinesque" in character. You will like them.

Saturday, 06 March, 2010  
Blogger kurt9 said...

The question is this.

Do you think a global pandemic that offs 75% of the human race in a year is going to make us into the religious/back to nature society as depicted in the last two videos?

Or do you think it will lead us to a "Heinleinesque" advanced technology society as depicted in David Gerrold's "War against the Chtorr" novels?

I think and am working towards the latter.

Saturday, 06 March, 2010  
Blogger SwampWoman said...

Heh. Kurt9, if 75% of the human population went *poof*, then I don't think that automated factories will be in great demand in your lifetime.

Sunday, 07 March, 2010  
Blogger kurt9 said...

Sure they would.

All economics is based on scarcity theory, which means that demand is essentially infinite compared to supply. If 50% of the human race goes away, demand for goods is not going to decline by 50%. It will decline more like 30%. Especially real estate. Suddenly, multiple home ownership becomes affordable to the middle-class, those that survive.

Sunday, 07 March, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

If a catastrophic loss of life and basic services occurs over most of the Earth's land mass, it may be a long, long time before a modern civilisation can re-start.

It all depends upon who lives and who dies. If all the scientists, physicians, engineers, and technician / mechanics die, while the lawyers, bureaucrats, women's studies professors, welfare recipients, etc. all survive, modern civilisation is unlikely to ever revive.

Science fiction treatments of apocalyptic settings can be good for getting ideas and inspiration, but are not so good for realistic prediction.

I appreciate your suggestion of David Gerrold's Chtorr series, Kurt.

In William Forstchen's "One Second After, a novel about the aftermath of a massive EMP attack on the US, it became painfully clear how many people are likely to die as a result of the simple loss of electrical power. No need for a deadly pandemic or actual nuclear blast damage. Just loss of the electrical grid, plus the occupation of the US military elsewhere.

Most people would prefer not to know how perilous their position could be in just a split second.

As for extra real estate, most people cannot maintain the house or apartment they have now, much less multiple properties. Things fall down.

Sunday, 07 March, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It all depends upon who lives and who dies. If all the scientists, physicians, engineers, and technician / mechanics die, while the lawyers, bureaucrats, women's studies professors, welfare recipients, etc. all survive, modern civilisation is unlikely to ever revive.

I have a problem to see the Armageddon where all hard scientists die on a global scale and humanities type survive. And I don't see how they could survive long without changing their world view. Famine, cold and disease are very effective to remind people what reality is and what it is not and clean up the gene pool of fools.

The plague in the Middle Age that killed 30% of Europe population in few years caused an increase of wages as workers where in scarce supply. And the greater wages and capital pro capita allowed a greater wealth and economic growth.

Relying on fictions to have a description of the world after a cataclysm is dangerous and misleading. Writer need to put something exiting in their books so they are worth reading. But, usually, solutions to real problems are not glamorous and exiting. It is like the Zombie-comics / movies tales where people is struggling with slow mindless zombies after an year or more. After a week, in any realistic world, there would not be nothing to worry about.

The gang wars after a EMP attack or a nuclear war are something that can last a few days, weeks at most. After this, without any external power to support the gangs, their power is short lived.
What happen when they end their supply of ammos and weapons? And when they need a physician to care for their wounds?

The great majority of the criminals in the gang are low IQ, short time horizon types. If the neighborhoods decide to get rid of them and there is no police around that prevent them from doing what is needed to be done, there is no way the thugs survive a retaliation. It is not you closed in with the gangs, the gangs are closed in with you.

The only advice I would give to kurt9 is to also stockpile something that can be traded with the neighbors. It is good to be able to sell surpluses of stuff other need, so you can buy from them something you need or like.

Monday, 08 March, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

EP: Having plenty of trade goods is a wise precaution. Ammunition, tools, distilled spirits, medicines, and manually powered utensils will be in great demand.

Your analysis of gang risk is not realistic, unfortunately. There will be many neighborhoods and resource-rich regions (and nations) that will be taken over by unscrupulous warlords. A lot of smart people will see joining (or forming) a gang as a good way to survive. As for the IQ of gang members, a pipe to the head of a genius will tend to equalise IQs very quickly.

Take Europe, where the indigenous Europeans are getting older and older, and where children named "Mohamed" are taking up more space in schools and birthing wards. Plenty of cannon fodder for the gangs, and very few replacements for the losses among indigenous Euros.

Poland will make it. Sweden will not.

There is a reason why the failure of high IQ women to give birth is dysgenic, and why the consequences of such a demographic shift can be severe.

Monday, 08 March, 2010  
Blogger ee_ga said...

Al I hope this makes you feel better about the demographics dilemma. I graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology as did my husband, our degrees are in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering respectively. We currently have one two month old daughter and intend on having two more children. I know what you are thinking my husband and I are just isolated incidences, but I don't think we are. I co-oped at Tech to pay my way through so every semester I had three new roommates, over half are already married and of that half about half has children and are staying home to raise them like myself. I can also tell you that engineers tend to be very conservative and so the women typically graduate married and begin having children in their 20s like me. So at least the really smart women are breeding.

Tuesday, 09 March, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

ee_ga: Thanks for the comment. All I ask is that you teach your children to be active tinkerers and explorers rather than passive absorbers of pre-packaged regurgitant.

That takes informed time and work, something that many modern mothers are unwilling or unable to provide.

There is a time period when children want to mimic their parents. Take advantage of that time to give your children genuine competence. The confidence and self-esteem should follow naturally if the competence comes first.

Tuesday, 09 March, 2010  
Blogger gtg723y said...

On that note I would like to thank you for posting the translated writings of Maria Montessori, I used to work in a Montessori school and intend on instructing my children through early childhood in that manner. Her original works have been as informative as your site is entertaining.

"Since every individual is accountable ultimately to the self, formation of that self demands the utmost care and attention" Bene Gesserit Axiom
the wife of ee_ga (didn't log him when posting previous comment)

Tuesday, 09 March, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

Montessori was certainly ahead of her time. Which makes her light years ahead of our time.

We can't make every child competent, but if we can create islands of competency in the sea of incompetence, we will have a basis for recovery after the storms have exhausted themselves.

Wednesday, 10 March, 2010  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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