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Thursday, November 8, 2018

zero sum game 2


ZERO SUM GAME 2
Yesterday we talked about how it is past time to stop treating survivalism as a hobby or insurance and to start treating it as a Zero Sum Game.  Others must lose so that you gain, and you must always be so greedy that you can never have enough.  I’m not discussing having lots of money to buy lots of FLIR scopes.  Pursuing money helps in immediate equipment procurement, but it also handicaps you.  It diverts attention and establishes bad habits.  The greed I’m talking about is tactical and strategic, a guideline to use in your planning.
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You need to look at that planning as control of resources.  Not so much NOW, as for during and after the collapse.  Winning at life is winning at resource control.  Winning resources isn’t about money.  Not at this point.  Money is nothing more than trading chits, and trade only occurs with imperial monopoly force assuring trade routes remain open.  That paradigm is ending.  It will be completely absent for the entirety of the coming Dark Ages.  Which are nothing more than periods of lack of trade, hence lack of money, and thus a complete decentralized way of life.
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There is nothing wrong with shopping at Apocalypse Mart.  We all need resources.  Having resources begets getting more resources.  You need to prime the pump, as it were, or you are just Resource Conflict road kill.  But HOW you go about shopping is rather important.  Just buying luxury is a Gott Damn Fools Game.  Seriously, who do you think you are, a Roman Senator?  Talk about delusions of grandeur.  Forget luxury.  You can’t take it with you at death and you can’t transport luxury into a resource scarce environment.  Entropy will be working against you.  You need to shop strategically rather than luxuriously.
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You should also shop with the future in mind.  Stockpiling one hundred MRE’s is the same cost as stocking five years of wheat, WITH container.  Three months food verses 60 months.  And you can take some of that wheat and grow more wheat.  The MRE’s on the other hand have shown a stubborn lack of being seeded.  Which food is future orientated and which one is looking longingly at the past?  Sorry, Spanky, the Oil Age started ending fifty years ago, but nothing highlighted its imminent demise like the Year Of Peak Oil in 2005.  If you lost the memo, you won’t find it in the fracking fields.
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Petroleum is luxury.  You can be taking advantage of it, by stocking the last of its products, but don’t count on living on its luxury.  It is time to say goodbye.  Sure, that ammunition is going to help you to be greedy after the collapse, but don’t waste it in Oil Age tactics of semi-auto.  And don’t plan on stockpiling Oil Age diet food to feed your marauders.  You need to get the best return on your limited funds.  Everything needs to return to basics and frugality, because that is your future.
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Now, focusing on winning the war on expansion ( because greed is good and surplus is victory ), think about what YOU need to do.  You need to defeat others using the remnants of the Oil Age.  They retain the notion that they can win the resource wars by fighting with surplus.  That is also what you are doing, granted.  But they are fighting with strategic limiting views that the factories will remain open.  You merely need to fight being LESS wasteful of resources, and you win.  Let’s look to World War Two.
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The Japanese and Germans lost due to lack of resources.  They DIDN’T lose for so long due to superior training and superior cultural organization.  Think about the racial homogeny of both, compared to the mongrel nations of the US and USSR ( to some small extent the Brits who had diversity by colony ).  The Axis powers were MORE tribal.  That was of course a small component, not a decisive factor, but it certainly helped in the beginning.  THE decisive factor was overwhelming resources at the command of the allies.  And THAT was only because of the US.  The Soviets almost lost.
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If Lend-Lease hadn’t helped the Soviets with material, odds would have tilted to the Nazi’s.  Who from the very start KNEW all about resources and how to stretch them out and conserve them.  The Soviets, not as much.  The Americans, not at all.  The US has always fought one way, from the 1860’s on.  Crank up the factories, stoke up the machines with more coal, and bury the enemy under an avalanche of material and men.  We might have far less resources to throw than we used to, but our thinking never caught up with that fact.  Still solidly 2nd gen.
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Here is my point.  The Germans couldn’t win because the enemy resources were nearly inexhaustible.  They could have in theory defeated the Soviets because they ran out of factories.  Without American supply, Germans were a resource sipping army who would have defeated a resource gulping military.  As soon as the factories close, the side able to husband resources more intelligently wins.  You have to be the last to run out.  The Soviets pushed their cannon fodder into the maw of Mars much faster.  How does having three times the men help when one out of three has a rifle?
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The side having more ammo and more field rations still loses if they are fighting like the Soviets.  Never knowing resource contraction, until the factories were ablaze, they couldn’t plan strategically for that resource scarcity.  The Germans used planning and training in the absence of resources.  In war, there is no time to retool.  You use what you have.  The Soviets doubled down on throwing resources at the problem.  It worked out for them, but except in that one window of time at the beginning of the Oil Age, it usually cannot.  Americans still think Spindletop is gushing.
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When the US lost Vietnam, and lose it we very well did, that was the end of our economy and our growth of oil.  It has been downhill ever since.  Yet we fight on, having learned absolutely nothing.  We substitute our own oil with that of the Saudi’s and others, and substitute masses of troops with masses of computer chips.  We told ourselves sweet little lies to ignore reality and to ramp up the velocity of our hubris.  And now, a country that knows nothing but resource scarcity is kicking our ass.  At least in Nam we could blame Chinese resupply.
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Continued tomorrow.
( .Y. )
( today's related link here )
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23 comments:

  1. Jim, you do a very good job focusing on priority topics instead of what the yuppie preppers, and beard boy operator's proclivities are towards empire excess. The minion does not need concrete bunkers with pallet racks of supplies. Mindset, thoughtful tactics, and proper husbandry of resources will win out in true collapse. Dark ages, zero resupply, farming, manufacturing and production, all grinding to a halt (for long time, G.I.) will result in carrion feeding on the last of the carcass that was society and systems.

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    1. "will result in carrion feeding on the last of the carcass that was society and systems." Thanks for the visual LOL


      I'll dig it up & perhaps make it a post in it's own right. Anyway a video that really resonated with me was one where some Tacticool trainer was demonstrating how difficult it is going to be the Lone Wolf come TEOTWAWKI. The demonstration was how you'd "break contact". TL;DW version is pouring on the ammo as you keep retreating. I was thinking "Damn that more ammo than I've got stored" (not quite but sheesh, a few encounters like that & I'd be down to bayonet charges)

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    2. I have it on good authority that along with room temperature fusion, the Benevolent Martian Overlords will be gifting us with Hollywood Guns that never run out of ammo. Because your life might depend on it.

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  2. Had to take a warranty battery back to walmart this morning and guess what? I grabbed up, get this, 92 lying assed politician signs from one road. 92. Mostly of 2 sizes. And the plastic stands. All were the plastic corrugated material.

    All together, edge to edge, roughly 215 square feet of waterproof material. Figuring 1/4 to 1/3 lap, these would sheath about 150 square feet of wall or roof. An 8' high x 18' long wall for exapmle. Just use a standard Swingline or Stanley stapler with 1/2" staples. A squirt of cheap glue along the top backside wouldn't hurt neither. I don't have a use for them now so they sit in a pair of large amazon boxes in the shed.

    After trading out the dead vehicle battery I went to rural king and they had 5.56 on sale so I got 500 of em. Not a bad day.

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    1. I'm having less hateful thoughts on Wally lately, as they seem to be substantially lowering commodity type food prices. $5.28 for a 25 lb sack of flour. They even had quart canning jars in stock. Kroger sugar is $1.59, Wally is $1.39. Oh, and I saw we actually stock that Keystone beef here locally.

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    2. I picked up 2 more of the smaller cans of the Keystone beef today. The 14 oz size. I got the 28 oz size before but that is just too much and we start to get sick of it. The pork is pretty good too, for like, pulled pork sandwiches but keep in mind it is cut pretty fine. I prefer my pork a little less refined. Haven't tried the Keystone chicken yet as the GV chicken is a lot less expensive.

      Check this out. The young buck at the automotive counter tried dressing me down by telling me the warranty on the new battery I got today starts from the time I purchased the old battery, not from today. I chuckled under my breath. The battery I took back today is not the original one. It was the 2nd one. Right. The new battery I got today is the 3rd battery on the same warranty, that I bought last year. I don't know how they make money like this. Plus, I'm getting tired of having to take batteries back all the time. I guess a good vehicle battery can't be bought for $80 any more.

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    3. Right, if everyone else is charging $160, the $80 Wally battery should probably be suspect. I still got an average of two years out of mine, and called it about an even wash. But I also abused mine with benign neglect.

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  3. re:
    Wheat, nuts, and other seeds

    I was a Physical Therapist specializing in nutrition. This means I know just enough to get in trouble. Here is the current wisdom on seeds:

    Seeds == walnuts, soybeans, almonds, rye, oats, etc == come coated with the naturally-occurring pesticide 'phytic acid'.

    According to some research, phytates bind with dietary minerals. This binding means those minerals cannot be digested, so they are eliminated during your next visit to the boombox as mineral-rich poop.

    Most folks nowadays use supplements to compensate for depleted soils and poor diet choices, aka 'SAD' or Standard American Diet. Unfortunately, eating seeds nullifies most of the benefits of vitamin-type supplements. Maybe you know somebody with osteoporosis... maybe they would benefit from eliminating seeds from their diet. Is it worth a try?

    Phytic acid can be partially neutralized by overnight soaking in a weak acid such as RO or distilled water with a squeeze of lime or lemon juice, or a dash of vinegar.

    For example:
    oatmeal == soaking your breakfast overnight reduces cooking time. And your bones benefit from the vitamin C. Three benefits for the price of one.

    This weak acid soak == four hours minimum, overnight is fine == works for other seeds such as legumes. Some bean-eaters swear by this method to eliminate gastric distress ( cramping and flatulence ).

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    1. Soybeans have a lot worse with them then what soaking eliminates. Avoid as you would nasty crap like fungus. They can call it mushrooms, but...

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  4. Just picked up the Sawyer Mini water filter. It seemed like a no brainer, with its 100,000 gallon capacity. I almost got the lifestraw (which was limited to, I believe, 1200 gallons?) Of course you must properly flush the Sawyer, or it can fail. But I wanted something small for my pack.

    Also got some of the SOS emergency bars for my bag, as per the gray bearded green beret. In hindsight though, the SOS bars are a cookie texture, and the grizzly bars, are well, bars, that would seem more palatable to me, so next time I’ll be getting those (Yes, all ordered through your links).

    Still need to get some fish penicillin. And I don’t even remember ordering it, but apparently I previously ordered some potassium iodate, and it expired last year. I’m guessing it’s still good, but if I were truly worried about a nuclear event, I’d refresh it.

    I’d like to fit all of my emergency supplies into a fanny pack, but I don’t think it will all fit, so this probably won’t work. The reason for this is that it seems that many are of the opinion that cops tend to be suspicious of backpacks, but the fanny pack tends to be more discreet.

    I also wish-listed the survival medicine book. They’re not giving it away, but so far it has the best reviews of any such publication on this topic that I have seen so far.

    https://www.amazon.com/Survival-Medicine-Handbook-essential-medical/dp/0988872552/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541697057&sr=8-1&keywords=the+survival+medicine+handbook

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    1. Good minion! Thanks for the Commission Love. Thought about the Nuke Med but figure now with Fuki or later with the OTHER 400 nuke plants, it is going to be a LOOOooong low dosage, forever.

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    2. Some random thoughts and un-asked-for advice...
      The Sawyer Mini has intermittent problems with the endcaps popping off, exposing the filter element. That means it would have lost its factory seal and won't be capable of being pressurized. You can prevent this with several drops of superglue or equivalent, securing the outside rim of the endcaps to the filter shroud. I would back flush the Sawyer after EVERY use.

      I've tried some of those lifeboat rations, and they do taste okay, but we can do better. If you look at the ingredient list, you'll see that they are basically a chemical slurry. The stress of whatever event you need them for will be enough problems for your body without sucker punching your immune system with those ingredients. Yes they have a five-year shelf life, which makes them good for LIFEBOATS. Don't feel bad though, I used to have the same thing in my get home bag for several years. I now recommend getting nutritious, single-ingredient whole foods and super foods. Things like grass-fed beef jerky or beef sticks, almonds, cashews, hemp seeds, chia seeds, sprouted pumpkin and sunflower seeds etc. They have a shelf life around six months, so when they get close to the expiration date, eat them (good tasting and good for you) and swap them out for new.

      You can carry your stuff in a backpack as long as you and the backpack look completely plain and harmless. You can probably identify people in your travels who are carrying a backpack, and you think to yourself "that beta male has nothing of value/SHTF utility in there." Your first estimate is probably right, OR, he could be the ultimate grey man, ready for imminent apocalyptic action. My get home bag used to be a North Face waist pack that is no longer in production. It holds a 40-ounce Klean Kanteen on both sides and had a decent cargo capacity. I strapped a light, summer-weight, long-sleeve shirt to it that was 3 or 4 sizes too big for me. The idea was, bad event happens, install the waist pack, completely cover everything with the over-sized shirt, and walk home with the APPEARANCE of just being a fat man carrying NOTHING. I'm actually a healthy body weight. It was a quality bag, but I eventually went with a backpack.
      Peace out

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    3. Thank you, excellent info on the Sawyer I wasn't aware of. I stock super glue for bike tube patches, so that is covered. Something like $1.29 in the Wally craft section ( the stuff in the stationary section tends to be name brand extra bucks ). I figure the glue might hold more utility than duck tape. As you can see, un-asked-for advice is helpful for me and I assume the minions. Please carry on.

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    4. Figure out a realistic method with that Sawyer. IOW, think about how to use it in a realistic scenario, say, pond water. Remember, even 1 drop of bad water can ruin your day. I got a Sawyer mini a couple years ago and figured out a system. I purchased 2 collapsable buckets from amazon, that are like a vinyl/canvas material, for tranferring water from the source to where I have the Sawyer roped to a tree. At the local hardware store I got a couple hose adpaters, cut a small X In the bottom of one bucket and installed a hose adapter with gel superglue. What I do is, if the bank of the pond is heavy with vegetation I have a paracord attached to the handle of bucket 1, which is balled up in my hand, and I throw it out into the pond and quickly pull it back. It is never completely full. I pour bucket 1 into bucket 2 which the the one with the hose adapter and it is tied to a tree. The hose exits out of the bottom of bucket 2 and has a loop to prevent dirty water from running down the side to the Sawyer. The water flows out the bottom of the sawyer into another hose with a loop in case the 1st loop fails, into my 32 oz bottle. My bottles, also from amazon, are stainless steel and have hose adpaters on the top that screw on to the wide mouth cap.

      During that period I bought a 5 gal bucket filter system on amazon and 2 buckets w/ lids from Menards and now have that system tested and stored.

      I also got another bucket, a luvable loo seat, 10 lbs of kitty litter, a box of walmart kitchen size (13 gal I think) trashbags, a 4 pack of good toilet paper, and a box of sanitary wipes. All of the accessories are inside and the loo snaps on top. All of the bucket stuff is in a labled box in the garage ready to go to work.

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    5. Buy a big bag of pine shavings from the pet section of Wally. It will last a lot longer than the cat litter. I know, it isn't compact. For longer term. Of course, I guess you could just save the leaves from Fall. Or have your own sawdust.

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    6. I just watched the Sawyer Mini product video. It comes with a small kit, including the syringe to flush it, and a small water pouch.

      The chick in the video though looks like she could flex her crotch muscles, and rip your penis clear off. That, or suck the chrome off of Ellen’s trailer hitch; take your pick (Note to Sawyer; you’re supposed to pick physically appealing females to showcase your product, like everyone else does :D )

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUsdx0UC2uU

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    7. I believe the intention was to use a gal that would believably go out into the rugged and use the filter. Bubblicious babes would not be as believable of User Models. And yes, I noticed the :D so I'm not trying to downplay the R Funny factor. Insert my own :)

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    8. Jim, let me clarify. We have 5 cats so litter requires some effort. Early on we found out that a product named "Equine Pine" was better all the way around. It is a wood bi-product made into 1/4" pellets that is used to line the floors of horse stalls. If it can absorb 1000lb horse piss you can imagine how it will do with 10lb cats. We get it in 40lb bags at Rural King for between 5 and 6 bux a bag.

      Equine Pine (1/4 of a full bag) is what I put in the loo bucket. I misspoke earlier. The loo bucket is the 7 gallon model, not the 5, as it is a little taller and easier on the knees to sit down. Yes, I tried it, as I was concerned if the plastic loo seat would flex and snap, pinching my ass to death. It held but well. Since I'm a woodworker there is usually ample saw dust/shavings around here. Currently there are 2 60 gal trashcans in the shop slammed. My wife stopped using the clay litter as the dust from it caused the cats to sneeze and get sick. No such problems with the pellets.

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    9. Yeah, that’s kind of what I figured Jim. They were going for the realistic approach, vs the sex sells approach, at the risk of sales. You do on occasion, come across the cute outdoorsy chick. Hell, every now and then you even come across the rare cute sow (female cop) or military chick. But generally speaking, most of them look like Rosie O’Dumbbell groupies :D

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    10. It helps that I'm generally focused BELOW the neck, of course :)

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    11. GS-ah, new information. Thank you. I could use that in my future plans on stockpiling for the composting toilet if I go back out to the B-POD. I had no idea they had horse litter :)

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  5. I guess squirrels soak their nuts before eating too.

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