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Sunday, February 11, 2018

indifference pays 3 of 3


INDIFFERENCE PAYS 3
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note: thanks, Green Mountain Dude click here for pointing out that the BBC series Survivors ( the original, do not touch the remake with your worst enemies junk ) is available at YouTube.  Of course, the way the gods laugh at me and punish me for being a dumbass and not thinking to check this myself, I find this out one week after I receive the DVD's in the mail ( you can order your copy to support me if so desired, although I understand the allure of free.  How often would you re-watch them, anyway? DVD from Amazon http://amzn.to/2H6yxrk ).
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note: and speaking of YouTube, they have different ways to turn stainless steel pans into non-stick.  I didn't even know that was a thing.  As much as I love cast iron, they do seem to take extra oil, and that might be rare at times, so this is an option.
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As financial services have taken over the manufacturing economy, more and more goods and services are taken from the realm of the housewife or handyman and moved to the private economy.  I’ve always railed against the Starbucks of the world, as one CUP of their coffee compares to a dozen POTS being brewed at home for the same price.  That is a special kind of insanity that I cannot comprehend.  When a dozen Soviet T-34 tanks met ONE Panzer on the battlefield, it didn’t matter how much better the German tank was constructed. 

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I’ll take slightly less flavorful coffee for a week and a half verses one cup one time.  I was also never able to comprehend choosing to feed the family one MEAL instead of feeding them three meals a day for half the week or even a full one ( which is about what eating out costs.  Even a Big Mac is the same cost as four pounds of raw meat ).  Now, I can comprehend WHY.  Work blows and work has sucked more and more as once rational thinking couples were pushed out of business by unthinking morons in suits from the corporate world.

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( and no, my dear Kunstler, that was not a greedy move to consume more plastic baubles-it came about for the same reason all the other poor choices were made the last two generations.  When your wages fall you do what you must.  No one LIKES moving out to the suburbs and commuting two hours a day.  They do it to avoid the urban ghetto dwellers killing their families and they do it to afford a house.  One suburb house plus commuting is cheaper than one house with no commuting close to work.  If the work is even close to anything.  Businesses move to the edges to also save money.  Doubling down on distance was about the need to save money NOW, not about saving a resource that will disappear later )

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As businesses must reduce their costs ( just as in society in general, the top skims off the profit and the organization itself is cannibalized ), work environments become more and more stressful.  So the average worker who doesn’t choose to live like a bare assed savage is seeing their purchasing power contract yearly ( now it seems like it is becoming quarterly, and that is at a time where at least mercifully the grocery costs are steadier.  Just wait until that doesn’t hold anymore [ now the cost is reduced by lower customer counts, most drawn to eating out-soon oil/weather increased costs jack up food regardless of where you buy it ] ), costs on almost everything going up, and going to work not only itself more expensive ( it doesn’t matter if gas costs the same when the vehicle and insurance double in cost ) but WAY more stressful due to the idiots in suits expecting you to repeal the laws of physics.

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I can see how easy it is to give into the Siren call of saving time and effort in life outside of work.  You are already screwed by commuting cost, so what’s another few bucks to upgrade to an SUV from a compact?  Why not swing by Starbucks and get a great tasty cup ( instead of a nasty tasting cup at home ) which will be your only simple guilty pleasure in an otherwise cherry on a crap sundae day?  By the end of an eight hour day that turned into a nine hour ( shaving off fifteen minutes from lunch, starting early and finishing fifteen minutes late.  All off the clock, obviously ) day plus the commute of upwards to two hours ( up from one hour when traffic wasn’t as bad-which also increases your stress because you know one out of five of the drivers is an illegal without insurance ), why not pick up a prepared dinner at the deli?  You simply don’t have the energy to do anything else.

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Now, it doesn’t really matter that this is all a personal choice and doesn’t really have to be thus, does it?  Most folks step into the trap one little choice at a time.  Upgrade the college education, upgrade the safety of the neighborhood, earn just a little bit more, refuse to compromise another time.  Give in to one temptation.  Accept an easier form of something.  People aren’t so much weak as they are exhausted and creatures of habit once a choice was already accepted.  And everybody is like this.  Your kids won’t shop at Wal-Mart ( forget the abysmal quality, they just won’t shop there because they won’t downgrade social class ), they have to get the better looking pair of tennis shoes or eyeglasses ( when I was a kid there wasn’t designer frames.  I just refused to wear the ugly things until I had no choice ).

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No one is immune to this.  When the culture upgrades minimalist expectations you go along to stay in your economic class.  That is simple mating rituals, and nobody goes broke betting on mating.  And so, finally, to the point.  Every time there is an upgrade of minimalism, folks become just a little bit poorer and the ability of family or friends to help is diminished yet again.  If I asked you for a thousand bucks, I could live off that for up to six months.  The average person asked you, that would be eating out a couple of times, one months credit card bills and a car payment.  They would still be hungry and need to fill up the gas tank in one or two weeks. 

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And so, over time, as our buying power diminishes ( and keep in mind, the last forty years of falling real wages doesn’t account for the last few years of medical hyperinflation ), the natural response to not being able to assist others financially is to adapt a mental attitude to justify NOT helping.  My kids were always great, never asking for help except in emergencies.  I never minded.  But right now the NOL has a renter who is getting his mother to pay the rent, every month, even though he is working.  Yes, single dad, but…really?  That is the kind of expectations that are so damn difficult to meet, even for a short time ( I imagine she willingly pays to keep him out of their house.  His two year old cries all the damn time when she visits here.  That doesn’t negate the financial aspect ).

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How can almost anyone afford to help out family in need?  Forget friends, right?  As wages dip alarmingly, as unemployment in the real world exceeds the Great Depression, you can’t help yourself, let alone others.  And when the others see little to no help, the favor is going to be returned.  They look at their own need, see you have no where near the bills like they do, don’t stop and think only by pinching every penny can you survive, and the downward cycle of indifference and lack of mutual assistance continues.  People have no choice, this is just another symptom of the collapse.  But it is also another reason people cannot form protective tribes during the collapse.

END ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2FZIEgd )
 

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28 comments:

  1. Wow!

    I didn't know the Soviets had time travel tech.

    T-64s against Panzers! That was a upgrade from the T34s they had in the original timeline. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now corrected-the above comment will stay published so that when you bare assed savages accuse me being as a god I can point out one time I wasn't perfect.

      Delete
    2. ( I was channeling "The Man Who Would Be King", by the way )

      Delete
    3. And yes, they have time travel tech : https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/634392/vladimir-putin-time-traveller-immortal-new-baby-faced-images

      Delete
    4. I think we need to consult Nancy Reagan and her astrologer on this one.

      Delete
    5. The USS Nimitz also has time travel capabilities.

      The first deployment of said capabilities was in 1980/1941
      ;)

      Delete
  2. Jim, you are right on target about indifference and lack of cohesion being endemic in our modern society. You correctly identified root causes to society-cultural declines due to economic evolution and macro business and government "tampering" with established systems. I, like many of your highly intelligent minions have been forced to or adapted into having a strong attitude and posture of indifference. Only a "reliable / functional" family member or tight friend will get concern or caring help. Our society has become akin to a voyeur looking at a car crash on the side of the road, (looking for bodies under yellow tarps, angered at traffic delay to their commute) not too concerned or put-off by any victim's plight. Minions will benefit immensely by your insights as they apply that thinking during a real-deal collapse / SHTF when indifference is multiplied and becomes deadly in nature. Thanxs again Jim!

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  3. The videos of BBC "Survivors" are not named correctly, I had to rename them all properly. The good man there could have checked it while he linked to them.

    I have downloaded 24 episodes bu I have to find the 14 others now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's merely be grateful he had the good idea to check, unlike myself. Green Mt Dude is more a hands on guy, observing on a walkabout, than a desk bound warrior such as myself.

      Delete
    2. Yes of course it's good he found it. He certainly had confidence in the guy uploading the stuff.
      People uploading these series and copyrighted content often write confusing titles , I guess for protection (or superstition ?)

      I was just pissed to have seen two episodes not linked one to another, that's all.

      Delete
  4. I just want to nerd out here on the T-34 thing.

    The T-34 was meant to roll for sixty kilometers on average. Hence, they were cheap on such things as the clutch and the gears, for instance. They often carried a spare set of gears with them, for replacement shoudl they survive the battle. It's actually not that the Russians were making shoddy gears on purpose, but they couldn't improve on everything at once, so the gears were kind of second priority, because it fit the projected use.

    Had the gears lasted for only twenty kilometers, it would have been a much higher priority in production, design etc.

    The T-34 was, in a way, disposable, but because it was standard, it made sense to cannibalize the wrecks systematically.

    The Germans on the other side had bottlenecks in production capacity (initally they didn't intend to mass produce medium & heavy battle tanks...) and more importanly they had a dearth in manpower (check out the Tigefibel, the instruction manual for the Tiger tank, which has lots of naked women in it because the crews by 1943 were coming straight out of junior high : http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Waffen/Merkblatt/Die_Tigerfiebel_Handbuch_des_deutschen_Tiger_Panzers_.pdf ) and also certain alloys, of course P.O.L. etc.

    So it made sense for the Germans to be qualitative, although the Panther was just a little less disposable than the T-34.

    Also, the Germans had another way to use tracks and guns, with the Stug III series of vehicles. So we should really compare the T-34 against the Stug III, and this is a much more complicated thing to do.

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    Replies
    1. Nothing wrong with nerding out-I'd wager few here aren't nerds. I think the biggest issue was cultural. Russians were rednecks winning the lottery and buying up a car dealership full of second hand cars, all to be used at the demolition derby. Germans were the rich kids sticking with a single sports car ( the availability of resources going back hundreds of years influenced both their thinking ).

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    2. Actually the Germans were also the Mad Max types : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Becker

      Alfred becker combined chassis and guns to create all sorts of exotic tank destroyer that made up about 10% of what the Germans had on hand. The Germans were the great recyclers in terms of value.

      I really should write my article about value salvage/recycling. It goes something like this : first you try to repurpose with the original intent (a starter motor is being adapted to still work as a starter motor on another engine)
      Then if that's not possible you rebuild for a different function (the starter motor becomes a wind turbine generator)
      Next step down the value totem, you split the thing in useable parts (salvage some gears and screws, take the wires, use the rest as weight or something, everyhting needs very little research, time or work)
      Next step is actually more ressource-intensive, you smelt the thing to reclaim the metal.

      There must be dozens of books out there who go in great detail over this. Well the Germans were very lucky to have Alfred Becker with them, because I don't see too many other people doing that.

      It also has to do with the leadership, who wants either supertoys or leaves the troops with unserviceable shit, not something in between like the Becker stuff, you know, the BETTER THAN NOTHING stuff that is so unsexy and so helpful and nobody gets rich from it.

      Delete
    3. Interesting info about the range of the T-34's. I'm not a Tank nerd but I am interested in them.

      Anyway, if you like tanks check out the German Michael Wittmann. Talk about a hard charger!

      Delete
    4. “Then if that's not possible you rebuild for a different function (the starter motor becomes a wind turbine generator”


      It’s my understanding that this was the philosophy behind the Vespa scooter (Dago, not kraut in this example). Originally the factory produced aircraft during WW2 I believe. Following the war, they had a good many parts left over, and this was the way that they decided to re-purpose them. It must have been a success, because the company is still in business some 7 decades later. But they want $7k for a friggin whop scooter, when a comparable Chink scooter is $1k to $2K, so they can suck the tip of Mussolini's wilted schlong!

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    5. If you have that kind of money, go with a rice burner ( NOT Chinese rice! ). Scooters are a great way to offset the dependence on auto's, but designer anything ( like rifles, from HK ) is best avoided.

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    6. Brilliant concept Ave - I was looking for something like this. Maybe you or Finely Follicaled Jim can expand on the steps of repair/reuse/recycling and how they will be applied during the rest of our economic crash into the PODA... "article about value salvage/recycling. It goes something like this : first you try to repurpose with the original intent (a starter motor is being adapted to still work as a starter motor on another engine)
      Then if that's not possible you rebuild for a different function (the starter motor becomes a wind turbine generator)
      Next step down the value totem, you split the thing in useable parts (salvage some gears and screws, take the wires, use the rest as weight or something, everyhting needs very little research, time or work)
      Next step is actually more resource-intensive, you smelt the thing to reclaim the metal."
      That last step seems like a doozie and one that might never get made for many things...

      Delete
    7. Don't look at me, really outside my area of expertise.

      Delete
    8. Actually at every step the "value" I speak of is actually a marketable value. So you may not be the one who smelts it, but you can sell/exchange to someone who will.

      Read this beautiful article about "parting" a car : https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/g1110/parting-out-a-car-part-one/

      Notice how at the end there are a lot of parts who are not going to sell and he disposes them. In a post-collapse world people will spend may more time on these parts because their value will be completely different.

      If there is a competent technician or engineer somewhere, he could make a post-collapse guide on how to make everything out of car parts.
      I remember an ad from 1920's "Popular Mechanics" where a book was advertized, on how to build machinery out of car parts. This is what we need now, one century later.

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    9. The popular mechanics article lacks the link to part three : https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/g1794/parting-out-a-car-part-three/

      It's been years since I read it. This article is at the core of my thinking on the topic.

      Delete
    10. If you read the prepper articles, they only say the obvious. Batteries, tire garden, a few other Captain Obvious points.

      Delete
  5. PROBLEM: You have a shortage of cooking oil due to a relatively short shelf life and specific storage conditions to achieve it.
    PROBLEM: You'd rather take that cooking oil internally as a source of necessary calories and fat.
    PROBLEM: Your forever cookware, cast iron, requires frequent applications of cooking oil to keep food from burning.
    SOLUTION: EVERYTHING GETS BOILED.

    PROBLEM: After a long work shift and long commute, you're too tired to cook from scratch, and subsequently resort to expensive, pre-made foods, that are of poor quality and gradually degrade your health.
    SOLUTION: On one of your days off, cook an entire weeks (or months) worth of meals, from scratch, and place them in the freezer.
    Peace out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boiled-blah! What is worse, prepared foods or a long term oil in the form of shortening? If you need to really cut back on oil, I'd go with stainless steel rather than cast iron. Pre-cooked is a great solution, although I find fresh cooked satisfies better. Possible solution, work less.

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  6. Don't forget most women want u too help the (their)kids but don't want to sacrifice their status to do it.
    Very stressful on the male.
    No wonder women have a longer lifespan than men.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Male longevity problem, even when not in combat or heavy labor, related to nagging. Solved. Okay, I know it is body chemistry degrading the male body, but nagging sounds more feasible. :)

      Delete

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