Tuesday, June 14, 2016

killing time 2 of 5


One of these days, you will be forced to downgrade in your living arrangements so as to use far less heat.  Just as Californians actually believe that you can keep drilling ever deeper for water with nary any physical constraints, so Peak Oil Deny-ists also believe the Earth is hollow and full of liquid ( in their case, petroleum ).  If that keeps you paying ten times more for a ticky-tack house than it is worth, needing way more energy inputs than we shall have available to us in the near future, well, whatever.  You can only lead a horse to the water.  If you don’t believe that, I suppose you also don’t believe that nuclear war could never happen because Obammy is so respected and loved ( evidently the whole world loves African homo’s married to football players receiving sex-changes, whose only achievements in two presidential terms is to double taxes under guise of health reform, while losing all his wars ).  But how about this?  I assume we are all respectable survivalists here.  No Pussy Preppers owning just one case of MRE’s and six semi-automatic weapons, living in the shadow of a mega-urban sprawl.  Yes?  Can you acknowledge the possibility of a quick collapse and die-off?


Yes, I know that all signs point to a continuation of a long slow collapse.  I don’t believe it for a second, but I’m old and cynical and I can’t wait to start shooting the deserving ( and don’t worry, I’m not going to go postal.  I want to shoot people AFTER a government collapse, so I can go home and sit and read a book in peace.  Not worry about the Polizai at 3AM kicking in my door ) so I readily admit to the possibility of wishful thinking here.  But can’t we also think there is a possibility of a Black Swan and we get a fast collapse?  Where you have to lay low while the die-off commences.  And if that happens ( just as I plan for a slow collapse even if I don’t truly expect one, so too should you plan worse case even if you are an optimist ) then you will be hiding in a single location ( or, alternately, you were forced to Bug Out to a much smaller location than you had planned on-by its very nature, a secondary fall back is done cheaply and small, for lack of funds ) and you suddenly have a Cabin Fever situation.  I don’t think a die-off will take all that long, but it will feel long enough.


I think the same people who really don’t believe a fast collapse is possible also are the ones who put out guesstimates on how long one will take.  It isn’t that I think any of us know, just that I think if you are going to guess about a worst case scenario, you should be, you know, a bit pessimistic.  Months and months?  How?  By studying current examples of collapse?  Those aren’t resource collapses, but government ones.  The distinction is vital.  Governments get replaced all the time, and it usually just means business as usual but with a larger body count.  No big deal-at the most, you have a higher disease rate as the corpses rot in the sun as the morgues are full.  You think a government has to be the same as ours?  Centralized continental control, vast taxes and the like?  Even a drug kingpin and his enforces can make up a government, as long as the basic protection racket is successful ( we protect you from other gangs and if you don’t like it we will make you an offer you can’t refuse-no Free Riders here ).  If peace is enforced and trade is protected, however much it is taxed, you have a government.


In a resource collapse, there is no peace you can enforce as the hungry do battle, nor is there anything to trade.  You will eventually restore government, of whatever kind fit’s the situation, but first comes the collapse ( the system cleanses itself by removing surplus population so as a resource surplus can then be generated so as to permit a government-rule, even tribal consensual rule, happens in all stable societies.  Like it or not, Libertarians and Anarchists ).  Humans don’t cherish being ruled, taxed and endangered, but nobody voluntarily self-enforces contracts and the monopoly of violence must be kept to do so.  Yes, ostracizing does work, but sanctioned violence works much better ( Libertarians would have you wait for the “shunned” to resort to theft before you can initiate force.  All well and good, in a resource rich economy where such loses are manageable, not so much in a non-surplus group when there are less margins of error ).  My point is that government always returns, but the rulers changing places on the throne is not the same as there being a lack of surplus to keep governance functional. 


Most of what you’ve read about, those collapses with records ( which are the only kind you can reasonably use-recalling Rome and the Mayan collapse is educated guesswork ONLY and not proof of anything good.  The Slow Collapsers think the length of a civilization is the same as the length of the  slow collapse.  I say a long slow collapse does not disprove an end sudden dip and crash and die-off ), are simply governments changing hands with no interruption of continuity.   A die-off is the temporary eradication of continuity.  In a die-off, it is all against all and dog eat dog.  Only hiding and cowering is a good bet for survival.  Are you ready to prep to hide?  If so, we need to talk about what you are going to be doing during that time.  In effect, how to kill time during the Killing Time.

More next article, obviously.


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  1. Yes, it can happen and has happened pretty darn fast to other civilizations. Of course, that was them and then. Somehow we are different and special little snowflakes.

    My house can be shut down in sections. There's insulation between the first and second floor. First the upstairs gets sealed off. Then my office can be sealed off. In the end we could all be huddled next to the wood cookstove. Good thing I live in the woods with a well that overflows 75 feet from the house. It would be grim, but we could stay warm enough.

    1. I thought I was a special snowflake at one time-and thank each and every person who brutally debased me of said notion. It sucked but I'm better for it.

  2. A lot of reading on goat humping oops I mean herding. seriously I have thousand of hours of movies, music, and reading on a external hard drive that was last years fathers day present. Yes it is in a faraday box with my old laptop.

  3. You commented about "Going Postal" Ever wonder why Going Postal was actually happening to all the postal workers in the 1990's? Why did it not happen before the 1990’s and why did it suddenly stop?

    It makes one wonder why a group of well paid government employees with a relatively easy, stress-free job, a job with a wonderful retirement package went crazy and "went postal." But only did it for a few years, might there been a government experiment to see if something like this could be done? For the most part I’m not a conspiracy person but it just seems very strange to me that this started up for no apparent reason, and then suddenly quit for no apparent reason.

    Never heard anyone ever put forward a reason for it happening. What do you think???

    PS: Jim if it makes you feel better, I never thought of you as a special snowflake. Special in another way maybe, did you ride the short bus to school??????? :)

    Chuck Findlay

    1. I wish we had the short bus-I'd have gotten to school 60 minutes later ( rural route, left so early we had to kill an hour before class started ). Going Postal, I'm pretty sure, was another Black Op, CIA drug test. Sirhan Sirhan and too many others have reported "not being there" afterwards-enough to question everything, anyway.

  4. Heat, Cool, Water, Food, Security.
    Getting a little piece of property that you can go to that can provide you these things for a while (personally I think the biblical 7 years is good goal, but resources/ambitions/goals may vary by person) is a very doable thing on a very limited budget.
    $2 - 10K Property
    $2 - 10K Basic shelter
    $1 - 4k for Heat and power (Cooling and light)
    $1 - 20K for Water (from tarps and buckets to wells and purifiers)
    $1 - 10k for food and other supplies.
    And best of all you can start on the low end of all these and work your way up to the high end as you can afford and want the change.
    So $7k to start. At $7 an hour after taxes/deductions that is a thousand working hours at 40 hours a week times 50 weeks a year
    that is six months wages. Seems like a lot if you keep trying to live a "normal" lifestyle at that low wage but if you have a bigger wage and/or a lower than normal lifestyle you can save it easily enough.
    Then of course you have to figure out how to live in the (probably cramped) basic conditions.
    Advice away Jim - someone who has LIVED it.

    1. I've been saying 3-5 years is a minimum, but I like your seven. When you live frugal, one half of your pay to preps, these things are easy.

  5. No snowflakes here, but I will say that in my old age I loves me some AC. It don't get that cold here and only for short period of times then but it will get hot and very humid for months. Heat will kill an old fart, you can always wear more clothes but they will lock you up for wandering around naked.
    Because your hair is so shiny I bought amazon stuff through your page. You're welcome

    1. Evaporative cooling is the best long term way to go (along with good design) Fans can easily be solar powered and since the sun is out when they are most needed you don't even have to set them up with batteries, simple canvas or straw mats to blow the air through kept damp with circulated water and you will drop the temperature a lot.
      Plenty of pure water, aka filters and storage, and you will have as good a chance as most to keep from dying from the heat. And lots of lime to pack the bodies in when that doesn't work.