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Sunday, May 13, 2018

WFB 2 of 4


WORK FOR BAUBLES 2
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We just talked about how equipment is inferior to training.  Even if the training you are doing isn’t all that applicable, it is still better than mere possession of a “superior” firearm ( although, obviously, I’m not a huge fan of tactical training that mimics the “official” ninja’s.  Military training is training to die.  It is soldier training.  It is not warrior or insurgent training ).  But since most preppers are busy earning money to buy superior firearms, most don’t train much.  Which, to me, isn’t this major sin most proclaim it to be.  You just need to try to avoid as much fighting as possible, if you aren’t trained for it.

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I love the experts who insist on the near impossible.  You know the shtick, don’t watch TV, instead train in karate.  Range time, every weekend.  PT all day long.  Again, mental exhaustion is the reality standing between you and fantasy training.  The majority of fighters throughout recorded history had one job to do, which was training.  They did that all day long.  That was their only job.  Yet, it is realistic to expect most folks to work 45 hours a week, commute 12, train and spend quality time with spouse and children, probably help little old ladies across the street while asking Baby Jesus which craphole country they should be visiting as a missionary, AND training for the apocalypse? 

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We have all spent inordinate amounts of our lives dedicated to our hobbies or passion projects, training ourselves far better than a college ever could.  I built my mighty publishing empire devoting almost every spare minute of my life to research and writing for twenty years.  I KNOW I’m better than almost everyone else in this aspect.  And I’d wager whatever you are passionate about, you excel in.  But examine this skill.  How specialized is it?  I would wager that all that time you took to learn and practice was for a pretty niche skill.

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Even old timey skills were relatively specialized.  The guy making your wagon wheel didn’t also make the canvas for the wagon, or the harnesses for the animals pulling it.  A lot of the time, anyone generalizing today does so with the help of oil and industrial product supplements ( ie, he cheats labor and skill wise ).  My point here is that from experience you know how much effort goes into just one skill.  Any one trade or task is relatively easy to learn ( unless it is brain surgery ) in fundamentals.  It is practice and improvement that takes so long. 

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If you generalize too much you are giving up expertise and highly developed skill.  You trade width for depth.  Yet this is what survival experts expect of you.  Learning ONE skill properly is a full time job.  Yes, you COULD spend all that free time learning to be a fast moving stealthy woods ninja wielding your carbine with great proficiency.   Good on you.  Like any other professional at anything, I stand in awe of your dedication and discipline.  But I also know that to specialize in fighting, you’ve barely skimmed most other skills.  If you are good with that, fine.  Just don’t deride others choice to specialize in other skills.  Just because you are a much better fighter, don’t apply that expectation to others unrealistically.

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“I did it, so can they”.  Right.  You decided to be a kick ass at A.  They decided to be great at B.  What, you think it is easy, now that you’ve mastered skill A?  How can you forget the long hard path that got you there?  You can’t really do B all that well, though, can you?  Look, someone can stop cooking and start learning how to paint.  They will always be a good cook.  I can go years or a decade without driving a car, then be quite competent doing so once again.  But I’m no expert, am I?  I’m merely competent.  The guy driving every day will still have mad skills over mine. 

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I am NOT preaching in favor of specialization over generalization.  I’m saying that most folks specialize, and at most those with wicked dedication and perseverance will be master of ONE paid skill and ONE unpaid hobby.  At most, most people.  I said master, not competent practitioner.  We can all do a dozen things better than most, being competent.  But it isn’t a trade level, able to be paid level of skill.  I can repair a bike almost as well as a professional, but I’ll never be good enough to open my own business ( baring other considerations such as high rent or such.  Just focusing on skill.  Anyone can hang out a shingle as a handyman.  Most soon go looking for a hourly wage gig as the word gets around about the Not Quite Good Enough ones ).

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Most preppers love their guns ( where else are they going to put their FLIR scopes? ).  Most preppers love their guns so much they cannot store enough food.  How many preppers then put the time in to really get good with their guns?  Very few.  So, should they dedicate themselves to that training?  Or are they already involved in other skills that take all their time?  Okay, IF you are only engaged in Competent skills, you have the time to become competent in using your guns well.  But if you are involved in both a paid profession and a unpaid profession, you won’t have the time for that.  Your time well is now dry.

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The best thing to do is to realize that being a studly warrior isn’t going to be your wheelhouse.  Deemphasize guns.  You NEED guns, but you won’t have the skills, so minimize your guns.  It might be the best thing for you to do is to carry a shotgun.  I’m not saying you will magically hit everything without aiming, just that you might do much better at shorter distances and might be good enough with a scattergun there.  You might just be best sticking with a rimfire rifle.  The skill level is minimized.  The world just might be better off with an armed herbalist or potter or cobbler than another trigger puller. 

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Everyone needs to be armed.  Those that are comfortable without a weapon are walking Cheerio’s ( head up ass, forming an O ).  Not everyone needs to be a fighter.  Or, more to the point, will be any good as a fighter.  You can completely uproot everything in your life to completely dedicate yourself to fighting, or engage in equal disruption mostly getting away from crowds to minimize the amount of fighting you need to do.  No guarantees either way.  A super ninja could just get unlucky and take a random bullet.  A homesteader way out in the boonies could get attacked by a mountain lion even as he avoids marauders.  These aren’t guarantees but probability increasers.  Continued tomorrow.

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20 comments:

  1. I can see the point in training for a brief but intense die-off phase. That said, most survivalists I met were intellectuals, mainly because they figured out the situation by themselves : the "Molon Labe" crowd are just being programmed into whatever suits the political game of our collapsing society (the Tea Party comes to mind, in hindsight it was quite pathetic)

    Many survivalists are good at diagnosis, not so much at healing people. Which is okay, because some diseases can't be cured anyway, just ship the guy with the plague to a remote island or isolate yourself from him.

    You can't cure a collapse, but you have to study it well so you can minimize your exposure to it.

    It is not because every corporate dick quotes Sun Tzu (often without understanding him, or even without even having read him) that he was wrong : avoid the unwinnable fight. If possible, avoid fighting altogether.

    Now there is no place on Earth that will not suck due to the collapse. Most of the planet is already ruled by local richmen like in the Middle Ages. the cities, where the intellectuals traditionnaly belonged to, are a sorry joke intellectually and a dangerous Mouse Utopia environment ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z760XNy4VM ) which will have a 90% population loss in the first week.

    So there is no escape. You got to think like Jews in occupied Europe in WW2. Was fighting going to be an option ? Of course not !

    Hiding (physically hiding like Anne Frank, in secret rooms) or forging papers (or having the connections or the means to) was much more vital.

    This is not about training as much as about a intellectual mindset. And you can't train for that.

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    1. If most survivalists are intellectuals, why the hell are they so irrational? Or are the two not incompatable? I don't disagree with you as much as am just voicing my frustration.

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    2. My view here is that intellectuals get off on possibilities. The collapse / SHTF event itself is fodder for many scenarios, and the post-collapse world even more. I blame the 80's for that ;) (but also a lot of 70's fiction)

      Many preppers are just daydreaming consumerists as Your Hairness regularly reminds us, this is why they focus on product fetishism like Black Rifles and not on buying food or sewing thread. Which is counterintuitive because I eat everyday and often had to repair clothes to give them years more of usefulness, but have yet to shoot another human being.

      Intellectuals on the other side are too far gone in their hobbies. Vault-co is one such example. The Apocalypse is just a playground for their toys to have a meaning.

      So like human sexuality, it is all in the head.

      Until you get hungry, but what develops then is trauma and psy issues. I have seen anough people who lived through WW2 to be quite sure of the importance of psychological issues.

      Also being a victim of burnout myself, through a chronic disease linked to stress, I can only say that the only way to avoid these kind of issues is to stay away of stressful situations.

      Which is frustrating, because you're then preparing yourself to "not do", whereas training has immediately visible results, you become better at some benchmark task and thus think you "can do".

      It is ironic that the workoholic asians originally came up with the notions of "not doing", but that's how bad their culture was raped by the industrial age.

      I suggest looking at the notion of "otium" : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otium

      Excerpt of the article :
      It is better to lie on the naked ground and be at ease, than to have a golden coach and a rich table and be worried.

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    3. Hmm, yes, just the thinking is enough I suppose. An intellectual exercise for its own sake. Why ruin that by putting theory into practice? :). Otium seems to be sort of like the Genteel Poverty mindset, although obviously there is more to it ( I looked at the link-too much philosophy to slog through-one of the few social studies that have always itched my teeth ).

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    4. Well the practise part is paying the price for your strategic analysis. it involves moving out to the boonies, like you did ;)

      No, really, strategic action is not really focused on the "how" but on the "what" and "when".

      That said, to go back to the training article, the goal is perhaps more to become a jack-of-all-trades, because you never know what the problem will be. Whatever the problem, it will most certainly involve repairing stuff.

      Manufacturing stuff for sale or barter is a best-case scenario, when there is still enough confidence or items to trade. Chances are, there will be a glut of certain stuff (millions of useless cars, cannibalized for batteries, lights and other useable features) and a dearth of other stuff like soap or thread. Nobody can manufacture thread.
      (That said, in the "Threads" movie they use brain-damaged children to reclaim threads from textiles).

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    5. "Threads", was that the English animated nuclear war film? I watched it on broadcast TV in the 80's-it was a special without commercials. Can't remember if I watched it since. Depressing, much?

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    6. I Miss Vault-co

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    7. Threads is a documentary-style fiction taking place in Sheffield, and is one of the most astounding piece of film ever made on our survivalist perspective. It's a movie-lenght feature, and near impossible to find for free.

      Here's an excerpt :
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrHoMSRZOS4

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    8. Now I can't remember if that was the one I saw on regular TV or the animated one. I was 20 or 21.

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    9. Ave -> http://sockshares.stream/watch/VdPQkKvL-threads.html

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  2. Jim, A kindle book you might find of interest.
    "Locusts On The Horizon"

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    1. Read it years ago. Didn't care for it-the strategy was to continue embracing Happy Motoring. That said, recent books/news kind of validate its premise ( the poor RV drivers going to where the jobs are ).

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  3. I can offer this bit of help. I was in the US Infantry a long, long, time. I got hurt and mustered out. An Infantryman has a thousand things he must know, besides how to conduct himself (whups, forgot the latest politically correct bs, "or herself", giggle!) in combat conditions. If he/she does not know them and implement these other skills, they will probably never see combat. If you are of a survivalist bent, and want to survive and thrive with your family, etc., you will use all the skills that an Infantryman learns and about 100 more. 90% of combat is over with very quickly, despite what you have seen at the movies, and most of the time in between is preparing for it, or tending to your other concerns. An example is if you don't frequently wash your hands, you will soon be too sick to do your job. Also, keep your hands out of your mouth and nose. High tension and action-packed adventure, what? As Napoleon said, " A soldier's life is a life of glory, but a dog would not lead it". Avoid shoot outs and dust ups wherever and whenever possible. Blood and ammo are expensive. Did I mention that I am half deaf and disabled?

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    1. Not to nit pick, but I HATE that crap about washing hands constantly and the dangers of ones nostrils. Kids pick their ass and nose and get sick constantly, and then build up an immunity. Not that you should keep picking your ass-the point is your body cannot build up an immunity with all the damn hand washing and terror stricken citizens getting a case of the friggin vapors whenever a stray germ is sighted.

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  4. what is an N-bomb?
    I think that a man should be able to do anything /specialization is for insects . Not sure what sci fi writer said that . I'm old lol

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    1. "N" Bomb is dropping the word "Negro", but the rude version of that word also starting in N. Robert Heinlin ( spelling? ) was the one that came up with that dumbass turd saying. He also wrote a lot on incest. Other than that, a great Libertarian spokesman.

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  5. I learned something today, a “walking Cheerio”. I am still laughing, writing that down!

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    1. I doubt that is original to me-sounds too cleaver. But it sure is damn good, you are right.

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  6. Regarding your comment about avoiding fighting as much as possible even those who are trained to fight try to avoid fighting. For example the SEALs... they want to get in and get out with minimal effort. The fewer bullets flying around makes them happy.

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    1. Even the most fearsome animals will avoid a fight in most instances. Survivalists will, mostly, face the same wounds being unable to be treated as the animals, yet don't seem as inclined to avoid the confrontation as those same animals worried about the complications. "I have a military manual on field surgery and antibiotics. I'm invincible!"

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I must moderate-trust me. You don't want to see what happens otherwise. Sometimes it takes awhile to respond as I only check two or three times a day. No N-Bombs, nothing to get me libeled. Otherwise, have at it. If you criticize me, make sure to praise my hair first.