Sunday, May 27, 2018

post prepping 1 of 4


POST PREPPING
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What happens after prepping?  I don’t assume “the apocalypse”, because for a lot of us, the economy will give out before the ass of civilization does.  We can look at South America for an example, but just keep in mind that they are only a loose example.  They are so different culturally that you can’t draw too close a correlation.  I don’t use Africa because they are different in terms of resources.  Do you ever wonder why there is such a different colonial dynamic between the two?

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Central and western South America were of course colonized by the Spanish, who, in a really good example of how not to run an empire, took all their loot and wasted them on wars ( remind you of anyone else you know? ) and left the western hemisphere with little more than peasant worked agricultural areas.  They have remained this way until the present day, for all intents and purposes.  Africa has never been a great source of food surplus, sufficient to pay its own way.  The cost of colony is much higher and usually the most profitable trade is in mineral wealth ( which includes petroleum for our discussion, even though that is really only presently viable as the EROI of the worlds oil declines.  The food and minerals are both higher cost due to disease, distance and local opposition ).

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Agriculture isn’t even all that great of a deal in Central and South America.  The several empires there were in effect  mining fertility to achieve sufficient growth, infamously the Mayans using the historically aberration heavy rainfall and for the Inca’s the anchovy harvest used as fertilizer and protein source.  Much less is known about the Amazon rain forest area, thought to be biochar agriculture, but then as now logging that area is problematic.  Really, it is with good reason that the old Spanish areas weren’t good for much more than silver mining. 

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Africa is a much better producer of food and minerals ( and so much larger than represented on most maps, so there is more there than meets the one dimensional eye ).  It can get overpopulated and stay that way.  In many ways they are at an advantage long term low energy.  The eastern US which is the only sustainable area ( albeit at a much lower population density ) of the country without carbon fuel or colonial inputs could fit in any number of insignificant African countries ( the same with the non-desert Chinese land area ).  As far as the constant warfare characterizing the continent for the last seventy or so years, they differ not at all from many European eras. 

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So, while Africa suffers from a lack of a centralized power monopolizing force and enforcing a peace there, and from them being the poster child of Malthusianism, in many ways of sustainability post petroleum the continent as a whole has advantages.  They are less constrained in resources than South America.  If it wasn’t for cocaine and soy beans, the South American continent would be in far worse shape as it is, WITH carbon fuel inputs.  Coffee is currently a boon but once affluent Yuppies are forced to kick the luxury consumption perhaps not. 

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The reason I’m assuming we emulate South America rather than Africa is because we have essentially mined our fertile areas, just as the Mayans did.  Just as in say, Syria or Greece, once the area is farmed out they never recover.  We COULD recover, as the eastern US did one time previously after the 90% die-off of the agricultural Indian empires, but the population density now will see that the soil does not recover.  We also had the technology and extra energy to far outstrip the soil than the Indians ever did. 

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In that pre-civilization collapse, post-economic collapse time frame, we won’t see quick enough die-off to save the resources, but we will see enough demand on them that we strip the place of the wire in the walls.  Look, the oil is running out.  Fracking oil is licking the bottom of the bowl.  As the oil runs out we will start seeing a lack of oil based services.  Which includes long distance crops ( overseas oil and fertilizer to the Midwest, irrigation for water, train and semi to haul after oil dependent harvest, to processing facilities to turn corn into food like products, to distribution centers to energy dependent freezers and stovetops ). 

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We aren’t eating corn derivatives one day and nothing the next.  More than likely supply disruptions and exploding inflation triage the supply.  Less gets through, not just nothing arriving.  Everyone starts gardening, hunting and raising livestock.  And it isn’t organic and sustainable.  It is more than likely fast and desperate and wasteful, as it is hard to husband and plan ahead when the brats you popped for increased welfare suddenly need to be fed off your own land.  It is easy enough salvaging homes for material, clearing land for more fields, plus planting less bountiful areas with corpses to refurbish the soil. 

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But that is a luxury for after the civilization collapse.  It cannot happen while the authorities still control the area.  There is going to be a time of high population and high resource extraction.  Like South America.  Africa, being a different dynamic, being more naturally abundant in fertile land despite a much longer use ( in theory, if the first western hemisphere settlement dates are in fact correct-which looks less and less likely as time goes on ), has been able to weather the cash crops and mining and civilization collapses far better than South America.  So we look to the peasants of our own hemisphere for a better example of pre apocalypse collapse. 

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Not just from an economic viewpoint but of that of resources.  Another mistake preppers make, not distinguishing the two.  Resources create the economy, not the other way around ( “but, ‘Murica!  Ingenuity!  Hydrogen and batteries are their own fuel source!” ).  Continued tomorrow.

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26 comments:

  1. I believe the catalyst for major readjustment for the american citizen, reset if you will, will come about through gov't malfeasance and incompetence surrounding the financial body globally.

    I think the US has become less capable of fending for itself and is more dependent upon other countries while at the same time other countries are becoming less dependent on the US and are cutting it loose. (you will never hear me refer to the US as "us" of "we" because the rotten politicians and gov't employees do their evil deeds in spite of what the citizens want - I am not part of this criminal enterprise in any way)

    The financial sector will continue to erode and as a result other systems will fail. Because of over spending across the board funds are increasingly not available to do the things the citizenry has come to expect. That pothole in your street is now 4 years old and even though your good neighbor George has filled it 5 times it is still something that you have to steer around every dam day.

    Yeah, slow slide downward with increasingly frequent stair steps. People will naturally adjust themselves accordingly, and complain to deaf uncaring ears.

    Last time I was laid off from a job was in 1981 and it was from Wickes Component Manufacturing in Fort Myers, Florida. A very large nationwide company at the time. No reason was given for my layoff and as a single dood with no family resources my life went into an emergency tailspin downward and that nightmare lasted for 7 months with long term consequences. When I got my new job in 1982 I vowed I would never be put in that position again. In 1983 while working my full time job I started doing sidework at nights and weekends and in 1986 I cut my full time job loose and headed for the stratosphere. Since then I have never even been threatened with lack of work and seem to always have more on my plate than can be comfortably handled. I enjoy my work and don't think of it as work but rather something I enjoy that people happen to enjoy paying large sums of money for. At age 63 I work 80 hour weeks and I work all hours of the days and nights, haven't worn a watch since the 80's (I don't care what time it is) and rarely know what day of the month it is cause it just doesn't matter. I don't get "paid" on friday and money comes in when it does by check, cash, and EFT's. I have not "worried" about money for 30 years and mostly don't think much about it. There is no magic here. If you aren't living they way you would like it is most likely unreachable to you because of the brainwashing in school. You can fix this if you want but the longer you don't fix it the harder it is. Peace, out.

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    1. I weathered the financial downward direction by going into retail. I completely ignored manufacturing, a dying sector. Now retail is screwed. You survived the downward spiral of company compensation by being self employed. And you know that too will end. I'm afraid that the constricting disposable income is here to stay and it will effect most self employed. It too will be a dying industry. I would NOT prompt folks to enter that field with high financial expectations.

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    2. It's hot, about 91 right now. Just came back from a walk with the mutt, we were on a country road about a mile from here that I hadn't been on in a couple years. Walking along we came up on a driveway that disappeared back in the trees, I heard what sounded like a compound miter saw back there. We walked back there and saw a guy doing laminate flooring in a large living room, maybe 600 sf worth. We chatted. There are 5 other rooms that have doorways into this living room and everyone of them has different types of flooring and he needs at least 5 transition strips because of the different flooring thicknesses between the rooms. The flooring he is installing is hickory flavored and I happen to have a bunch of hickory from a tree that fell in our yard a few years ago. I also used the hickory to make 2 transition strips when I did the flooring in our master bedroom last year. He asked if I would consider making his transition strips and I said I would, for about $15-20 each. In a store they cost about $30-40 each. So later this week we'll get together and work out the details, lengths, widths, thickness, etc.

      This little deal won't make me rich in coin but it will better me in so many other ways. And, in the future this is the sort of thing that may be the only way to get the things I want or need. Capiche?

      When work slacks off in my building design business I will already have a local network of people that may need me to get things done and I will then be able to earn some coin or barter points. This guy might be part of my tribe in the future, or, if he ends up being my enemy I already know what the inside of his compound looks like. "The Art of the Deal" "How to Make Friends, and Influence People" "Think, and Grow Rich" "See You At The Top!"

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    3. I still think our difference of opinion stems from our collapse expectations. I look at it as no money and conflict with everyone, essentially a freeze on trade and commerce. You look at networking positively and I look at it the opposite. Not saying you'll be wrong, but what my perception is.

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    4. Thing is, people always have and always will need stuff or need stuff done. As long as other people exist, even if money no longer exists (legal tenders) means of barter can be discovered.

      In a way all of my "employment" history over the the past 30+ years has been based the same way. I do stuff for other people in exchange for something, usually legal tenders, but not always. I magine your has been similar but focused on one person or entity (employer) rather than the whole people.

      Designing buildings has been the source of most of my income but not all of it. I'm in agreement that the building design business will stop but trade among people will not. Everybody needs stuff and service. Nobody is an expert at everything and other people can fill voids that need filled.

      Since living here in the woods I have learned some thing in order to become more self sufficient and even have several things I am specialized in. Now, and in the future, I expect other people to need these things and services I can provide and if they have something to trade, all the better.

      It will be a tough time for sure, and we prepare the best we can, but I am trying to see into the future and adapt myself accordingly. My method may not be for everybody, but one thing for certain, the bigger your circle potential tribe the better your chance of living. I prefer to be by myself, but I am not an island.

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    5. Yours is a sound attitude, and I even imagine your future will be easier than mime as my circle is far more constricted. If even the barter system fails ( a gift economy ) you have the reputation and skills. More than likely, things aren't as bad as I think, a little worse than you think. More a middle ground. Just have to make it through the first month or two.

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  2. >> Resources create the economy, not the other way around ( “but, ‘Murica! Ingenuity! Hydrogen and batteries are their own fuel source!” )

    In a way yes, but ingenuity in itself requires much less materials than time and exchanges with fellow engineers and searchers. It is these highly trained people that turn ressources into profit.

    There is a theory in which dominant civilisations can be either empires or thalassocracies (greek for "sea powers").

    Japan is the textbook example for a thalassocracy : its mainland has virtually no ressources, it has to import everything from abroad. But it converts a lot of these imports into high-value items which it then exports, the difference allowing the island to prosper. It doesn't matter if your island is devoid of ressources because you can get preferential access to them through trade.

    Thalassocracies typically establish colonies, divide nations in ever tynier atangonist factions and corrupt local governments. They have weak armies and formidable navies. Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, England were thalassocracies.

    Empires conquer and subjugate other (generally, neighbouring) nations and assimilate them into their power structure. Russia (over the centuries) is the typical empire, it crushes small neighbours with its massive armies or threaten them into assymetric cooperation. It covers vast tracts of land, which make it difficult to conquer or to hold onto. An empire typically has a strong state religion and focuses on resilience, hence is risk-adverse and more often than not lacking in terms of technology. They also typically are land-based and have weak navies, allowing the thalassocracies to survive (and thrive !)

    Persia, Russia, China, the Abbasid Caliphate are examples of an Empire.

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    1. I thought the Roman army was dominant. I could well be wrong-I focus almost exclusively on their collapse rather than start or growth.

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    2. They devised tactics of boarding ships and let the infantry do the work. But when you control every port in the mediterranean sea you don't really need a strong navy.

      Until the end of the Empire most goods travelled by sea, including the grain from Egypt that fed Rome for one month.

      The troubles of the Roman Empire began when it switched from a thalassocratic power (the italian pensinsula ruling over vassal states) to a land empire (212 : everybody becomes Roman - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutio_Antoniniana ) without a state religion that was up to the task, setting the way for a partial collapse ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crisis_of_the_Third_Century ) from which the late Roman empire emerged with a weaponized christian religion, first and foremost in the Greek half of the Empire. Hence the partition of the Empire in 395, three years after Christianism was made the only authorized religion excluding of all others.

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    3. Actually quite fascinating. Thanks. I know I'd like to pursue further, perhaps another time. Too much hurting my brain right now.

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    4. An overly simplistic view would be :
      Thalassocratic : emphasis on the qualitative
      Land empire : emphasis on the quantitative

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    5. Am I using this correctly?
      Sea Power is subjective or process orientated.
      Land Power is objective or outcome orientated.
      That's an overly simplistic view? Hell, I'm just confused :)

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    6. Oh, I'll have to research on that, I'm not too familiar with the terminology (I mean sure, I kind of understand it, but not in detail)

      Ha you've beaten me here :)

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    7. Jim you got it! Sea power is all fine and dandy if you have a resource base to extend yourself outward. With modern air power/missiles/subs/mines/sabotage,etc. If you can't back it up then you are cordoned off. Fleeing to new zealand will cause you to be an outlier or prole to chicom slave commisars for agri-projects or playground toys for the officer corps. Stay continental and have real territory as your sand table planning and eventual playgound areas.

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    8. Ave, I had to look up the definition, and still didn't get it. You've still beaten me!
      12:33-I thought the Army made a mistake sending me to Hawaii my first duty station. Not really. I was extra paranoid the whole time, the prospect of Cold War leaving me stranded on that craphole. After that, not a fan of islands.

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    9. @Ave - sheesh, like I don't have enough to research & think about. At the moment I'm going through this guys (excellent) work https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGreatWar I'm learning so much

      @Anon 12:33 LOL at you mentioning New Zealand. On Saturday the NZ Herald reported that in the US they're talking about kicking NZ out of 5 eyes because the current NZ government was / is taking bribes from China (aside here - I read Canada is as well. The Canadian military intelligence & their spy agency warned about China but were ignored because bribes)

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    10. Speaking of the Great War channel, I just watched The Evolution Of The French Army During The War today. Interesting that the French defeated the Germans in the end with what would be WWII strategy ( then ignored their own victory ).

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    11. Hey Dingo how strange, I've been watching this on Sunday as well, including the same episode Jim mentions. I guess Youtube is getting pretty sharp in its suggestions.

      Jim, if you're mentioning tank warfare, mobility and air coordination, actually the French never changed it. They just modernized it (Renault 35 tank replaces the FT17, Chatellerault LMG replaced the Chauchat, and they had half-tracks that the US copied, hence the late 20's wibe of the M3) but the doctrine didn't change that much.

      I don't have the numbers right now (and won't retreieve them because insomnia) but in WW2 about 40% of the armament expenditure or a country was dedicated to the air force and 15%-20% to tanks, with Infantry below 10%.

      All industrial countries were reasonably up-to-date, but like friction, the accumulation of little details made a difference. Just focusing on tanks, the most common french tanks were two-men small things used in an infantry support role , much like BMP-3 today (with the weapons of that era) and thus didn't really need a radio for instance.

      This is not the same set of issues than when poor countries like Greece or Bulgaria had nothing to really oppose the Germans.


      To me the main difference was that the German staff focused on decisive mobility factors during the Reichswehr era, almost to the detriment of other fields. 90% of the Wehrmacht was very WW1 in its equipment (to the exception of its machineguns), there is too much emphasis nowadays on the very few motorized and armoured divisions.

      This was a considerable intellectual effort to rethink warfare, away from false certainties, something survivalists can also apply to themselves.

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    12. I was thinking more of the focus on the static defense at the beginning of WWII. I understand lack of grouping tanks was also an issue. Of course, the Germans did have field tests in Spain prior, which certainly helped.

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  3. Early in Lord Bison's series, but minions should take head and extrapolate what will be a local/ regional/ national/ global scenario of "aint't got it, can't get it". If a Minion is a contrivance kind of fellow or gal, than this predicament that is coming is no more than an inconveinence to the current shop and snort/smoke your dope regularity. I am a adversity junkie, (my dope) and look forward to a "feel my pain, cry in the blankie" scenario so I can be all crass-assed and walk away from snivelers, who looked down their nose at W.M.A.s driving pick ups and living on that side of towners. It is going to be fun games.

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    1. Exactly, you should declare this site as an Acronym free zone :)

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    2. I'm just as guilty. PA. SJW. USA.

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    3. https://www.acronymfinder.com/American-Association-Against-Acronym-and-Abbreviation-Abuse-(AAAAAAA).html

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    4. Now that's pretty damn funny!

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  4. Incredible points. Sound arguments. Keep up the good spirit.

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