MONASTERY ECONOMICS 2*
note: free books. Oh how very exciting, another zombie book written as a diary https://amzn.to/2N8fnUQ . PA https://amzn.to/2tFvgdb . Looks like he is trying too hard, a bit flowery, PA https://amzn.to/2tGrq3w . At least this one is different, zombies told from the dogs point of view https://amzn.to/2tCAXIO . Plague https://amzn.to/2MzK8AZ .
I understand that most folks living on the trees of a carbon fuel age cannot see the forest of finite resources. This is obvious, even as you screech in shock and anger how unfair such a statement is. What? You’re living in a city, aren’t you? Surrounded by hostile Other Colors only placated by Oil Age foods. The Roman barbarians were bribed too, until they weren’t. And make no mistake, anyone telling you that xenophobia and unease about Latino’s, Blacks and Muzzies is wrong, they themselves are the enemy. In times of implosion, everyone different is your enemy ( and so are your friends, but at least not all of them ).
Anyone with a chainsaw is ignoring the future of energy contraction. Anyone who is in trouble if the power goes out. And I don’t mean the Pretty Pony Princess Prepper Plan of running a generator. That isn’t a plan for a Less Oil future. Yet, even if most of the above doesn’t pertain to you, you most likely still, just from a lifetime of relying on extra energy, confuse life without surplus as being not too different than life with. You have a hard time visualizing any period of time too far removed from our salvaged and stockpiled excess and surplus embedded Oil Age energy.
No judgment. It is hard to visualize any alternate reality you haven’t experienced. That is why fiction is so important. Not that many stories achieve any other reality, either, instead just repeating the Happy Motoring fantasy. It is hard to conjure up any post-apocalypse fiction that did a very good job treating reality PAST oil age surplus. We don’t just have a failure to communicate, but of imagination. Let’s get a bit less esoteric and I’ll share a better example. All my life food has never been an issue. I was always able to graze all day long or consume vast quantities of fat and protein to see me through periods between meals. Until this last year.
Finally being sedentary after four decades, I keep wanting to eat less. I keep pushing to consume less calories, yet my body wants more. I’m constantly getting into trouble getting to the point of weakness. Yes, there is old age and blood sugar issues and the like, but the primary problem is that I’m attempting to eat as cheap as I ever did, yet cannot fill up on fat as I used to due to the effects of aging. This is a new reality for me. Before, when I needed more energy for more work, I just ate more fat. My body doesn’t like this sudden carbohydrate fixation. Even knowing intellectually what the problem is, I’m having problems with its implementation.
Welcome to your post-apocalypse reality. Food reality will change-a LOT. Far less fat and protein and you will notice a marked decrease in energy. Not all food is created equal, and storage food, even the not so cheap stuff, lacking fats so as to actually BE storage food for the most part ( unless containing hydrogenated oil ), is going to suck compared to what you are used to. Don’t believe me? Try going vegan for a time. Eat extra calories, and it still won’t make a difference. It will blow. I’m not discounting the historic grain heavy diet of peasant farmers. I’m saying, YOU aren’t used to it and can’t compete on performance.
The die-off will not be a time of dusk to dawn farm labor. It will mostly be sedentary. You are hiding out and waiting for the torch and pitchfork brigades to die off, the cannibals to run out of food, and for the bodies to decompose to a safe level. You’ll have plenty of time to read. But you have three thousand books. No one is going to read all those in a year, much less the much shorter time the die-off will take ( surplus food isn’t the issue, just like in countries in Africa just next to a famine. It is distribution with a transportation network and the fuel for it ).
Nor is it just a matter of printing out the books. Your ink, paper and printer most likely won’t stand up to the abuse. No, you’ll need to read through and find relevant parts ( remember, the parts that are NOT Oil Age or prepping but post-prepping and post-petroleum ). Take notes AND index the information for future reference. Too much gets lost in translation and there will be a need to reference the original source. Then, you must retype to minimize space ( most printing today is heavily padded and doesn’t need to be as long as it is. Compare a eighty thousand word book from the 70’s to today. They are three times as thick today, and that is just wasting paper to increase profits. Now, add to that the padded word count to increase sales ).
THEN you can print it out. Done right, this is no part time hobby. This is a full time endeavor. Because after THAT, you have to index the new digest version of everything. Once the Oil Age items break, you need to know how an old timey method is employed. Even then, you aren’t done. Because a one or two time reading might not be enough and you must go back and reread and add to your notes, adding to the index. And that doesn’t even account for cross referencing specialties. The odds are, this kind of research, JUST on your own library and not factoring in new sources later, is a profession rather than a hobby.
And in the post-apocalypse world, rebuilding soil fertility and learning more sustainable farming techniques, very few folks will be able to survive on a NON-food occupation ( farmer or soldier, both are directly involved in food ). You will find that in a Dark Age, you cannot be supported. You’ll probably be producing your own food, monastery style, and that entails a diet matching your physical output-less food for less food related work, to allow yourself time in the library. And, yes, I’m sure the monastery will monetize the knowledge industry it has to partially finance itself, as no village is an island. For instance, a goat herder who trades meat or milk at a loss to them would get medical advice in the form of a Monk veterinarian, or something similar.
Or, it might be a less direct system, as once information is shared it cannot be profited off of. Perhaps the monastery tries out new techniques and when successful shares them with those that help support them. OR, there is no direct support but instead an indirect military support in times of need. The people help protect the monks as the monks take all the risks of unknown knowledge and freely share in that knowledge and so they are glad to protect the monks. Therefore, the monastery doesn’t have to provide for children, wives, kings or soldiers. Yet even with all that, it will STILL be an austere and mean existence being a monk, as they MUST live on less calories than the peasant farmers to afford the “leisure” of tending to those books.
That is another luxury we take for granted, cheap books and the leisure to study them. Post-petroleum will be NOTHING like that, you can be assured.
END ( today's related link https://amzn.to/2Ii88pO )
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there
Hiding and waiting until the cannibal hordes with pitchforks and torches go by is kinda my plan.ReplyDelete
It doesn't hurt to have the information,but in order to be useful, you have to know it. Practical skills such as charcoal making, blacksmithing, or even pit sawing timber can keep you from the front lines.
Everything is going to be more calorie intensive after a major event, if you don't eat what you store now, there will be problems. Going from steak and eggs to rice and beans takes time. It was a little hard to tell from your article if you were talking about yourself or Joe Blow in general, but I hazard a guess you meant the general population
I'd eat my ass if any minion actually eats rice and beans now, other than rarely to occasionally. Daily? I eat wheat daily, but I used to eat a lot more since I could add fat to it. Now, not so much.Delete
The majority of my diet is just that. I add potatoes and onions for variety. Sure, I go out for a hamburger every now and then.Delete
You really don't need to eat your ass on my account though
Damn, well-thanks for being a gracious winner! :)Delete
I posted on yesterday's post, but I think the "Publish" button ate my comment. Anyhow, yesterday you said..."that the bible was, in my view, a total man made tool NOT divinely inspired ( God wouldn't have ignored the entire existence of modern man prior to agriculture )..."ReplyDelete
Pre-agriculture was recorded in the Bible, as well as the first agriculturalists. Just because there were, and still are, groups of hunter/gatherers doesn't mean the first people weren't agriculturalists.
During creation...Genesis 2:5
"Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground."
Man goes from strictly a gatherer of what was already provided, to a farmer, as a punishment for the first sin.
"Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”
The first animal was killed, by God, and only for the clothing that the skin provided.
"The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them."
The first children are born and are the first agriculturalists from birth.
"Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground."
At this time, keeping of the flocks was only to provide clothing from their skins, and to offer as sacrifice for sins.
Man was not given meat to eat until after Noah and his family survived the flood.
"The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant."
Change of subject, I was traveling through NV this week and noticed the sagebrush was seeding out. I didn't have much time to mess with it due to traveling time constraints. I'm not sure what stage of maturity the seeds are in, but they're definitely there. I'm still hoping you'll do a harvesting/edibility report similar to the guest article I wrote up.
" Just because there were, and still are, groups of hunter/gatherers doesn't mean the first people weren't agriculturalists." Okay, I'll admit you really struck a cord there. It IS possible the current wisdom on the birth of agriculture is completely erroneous. Thank for the brain shrapnel, damn you! :) I just got down chopping down immature sage brush for fire control at my place, and didn't even stop to think to check out the other brush. See what I can do this weekend, if I remember.Delete
Over the past 8 years I have edited 40+ collegiate level "bible" books and though I don't believe in imaginary super hero's I have always wondered why ALL of the books of the bible are not included in the King James version. Maccabee for instance.Delete
Like the whole global warming thing, everything bible has been so twisted, convoluted, and downright frauded over the years It's not really a credible venture any more.
You professionally edit, and you can keep coming back to read my writing? That doesn't itch your teeth to no end?Delete
ghostsniper...some good comments there. The "missing" books (14) that you're referring to are called the Apocrypha, which means "that which is hidden." The Catholics still accept the Apocrypha as valid. I disagree with that claim, while acknowledging that books like the Maccabees do have historical truths in them. There have been various councils over time that struggled with which books should be included in the accepted books of the Bible, called the canon.Delete
There were various tests applied to a book to determine if it should be included in the Bible. Some of the reasons the Apocrypha was not included:
1.The Apocrypha was never included in the Old Testament canon by recognized authorities such as the Pharisees or Ezra the prophet (who was said to have compiled all the Old Testament books written by the 5th century B.C.).
2. It was never quoted by the Jews, Jesus, or any other New Testament writer.
3. The great Jewish historian Josephus excluded it.
4. The well-known Jewish philosopher Philo did not recognize it.
5. The early church fathers excluded it.
6. The Bible translator Jerome did not accept the books as inspired (although he was forced by the Pope to include them in the Latin Vulgate Bible).
7. None of the 14 books claim divine inspiration (some actually deny divine inspiration).
8. Some books contain historical and geographical errors.
9. Some books teach false doctrine (like praying for the dead-it's too late!).
10. No Apocryphal book was found in any list of books during the first four centuries A.D. By comparison, the last book of the Bible was written prior to 70 A.D. It wasn't until the Council of Trent in 1596 that the Catholics recognized the Apocrypha, in an attempt to strengthen their position, which had been seriously weakened by the great reformer Martin Luther.
I would disagree that the Bible has been twisted from the original. The original texts were written on clay, stone, papyrus, vellum (skin), and metal. The scribes would faithfully copy the originals, and we have 1000's of the copies, orders of magnitude more than ANY other book from ancient history. The scribes took their work so seriously that when they reached God's name for instance, they would get a new pen, bathe, and change their clothes so they wouldn't be guilty of taking God's name in vain. Various checks were included, for example, compare the letter across manuscripts in page 100, line 10, character 30 (I made those numbers up) to ensure a mistake wasn't made. All three languages of the Bible, Hebrew, Greek, and a little Aramaic, are all still spoken today. You can get reference books, which I have, which have word for word Hebrew/English and Greek/English, along with a dictionary explaining the meaning of every Hebrew and Greek word. That way you can compare how the translation team translated the English word from the original text. Some Bible translations are kind of disappointing though. This is mainly due to the declining education and literacy levels where they try to make the text entertaining, or for a 6th-grade reading level. The message of the Bible is still strong enough though, that even a version written for a child's literacy level can still convey the message. I prefer the New American Standard. It's generally recognized as the most accurate word-for-word translation.
Darn, now THAT'S some minutiae! I'm impressed.Delete
Jim, some editing, some indexing. Book production today is big business and has provided a decent living for my wife for more than 30 years now starting with global trade magazines in the 1980's. I read everything and nothing is beneath me nor above me in what I expose myself to except for poor uninteresting content. Like all art, I like some, dislike most and I am a multi-discipline artist myself.Delete
Anon, Darrell Bock is one the regular writers whose books I have worked on, maybe 8-10 of them. Just about all of these books travel all over the bible citing references to specific words and terms in an effort to provide true verification. Generally there is a theme involved with this sort of "pick and choose" effort by these writers. It's not unusual for an author to cite 200 or more verses for reference material. Part of my job as the indexer is to gather all these references (more than 8,000 per book) into a separate Verse Index. Generally, these are not books a layperson would sit down and read unless extreme boredom is their thing, but rather they are used as reference material in an effort to assist entry level theology students grasp the magnitude of the whole thing. Now, back in the old daze trying to do the sort of thing regarding indexes we do now would have been impossible due to the volume of the thing. But we use SKY Indexing software (industry standard) that makes it all doable.
You just came up with your next book idea. Condense everything you have down to meet this criteria and publish in a dead tree version (which is a lot cheaper to buy than to print at home). I'll buy the first copy.ReplyDelete
That sounds a lot like the original project idea for Encyclopedia Britannica. Meh, not a problem! Barely an inconvenience!Delete
"Not a problem. Barely an inconvenience!" This guy is hilarious, satirical take on movie plot holes and such. This one is for the Walking Dead:Delete
James, this article series reminds me of the sci-fi novel "A Canticle for Leibowitz" by Walter M. Miller Jr.ReplyDelete
The books spans hundreds of years, but starts off in the desert where a monestary is preserving remnants of
technology after a long ago nuclear war. Their existence definitely qualifies as austere.
I think you mentioned that you had started the book, or read before.
It's good speculative fiction, and there is a sequel (have not read): "Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman".
I'm curious if regular readers here consider building a wide ranging library one of their top goals.
Your readership must consist primarily of non-lemmings who sense the dangerous unsustainability currently passing for normal.
Over time, buying new and used, I have put together a collection that may serve me and others in a less convenient future.
Some examples: shoe making, blacksmithing, many agricultural titles geared toward small holdings (small scale grain production, nematode control, the Humanure Handbook), fermenting. You get the idea. Gotta split, bit interested in other reader's
Ideas, intent, and titles of their libraries. Thanks.
I think minions can add quite a bit here. For me, I'll just say I either read Canticle 20 or 30 years back, or never finished-I can't remember. I did recently buy another copy but it is buried under a lot more I want to read first. It sounds like your paper non-fiction collection is about like mine. I have so much blog material reference books I don't have a huge paper library of more future practical titles. Just a smattering of hopefully most important.Delete
Reading material around here tends to take over the place after awhile and serious weeding occurs. Back in the 80's I built a floor to ceiling book shelf system on a 16' long wall in out dining room and after pulling the books from all the smaller bookshelfs, boxes in closets, stacked on tables and in corners, the shelf was slammed immediately. Around 800 books if memory serves. We started donating books to libraries, and various other places. Around here, now, they have a variety of these things called "Tiny Libraries" which is a small house, about 3'x3' on a wooden post with a glass door on the front. We routinely drop a few books in these things everytime we're near one. I think books procreate at night when we're sleeping. We always have way more than we probably should.Delete
My wife has a Kindle that is fully stocked and a tablet that is stocked too. I have over 18,000 ebooks in about 8 different file formats and decoders for all of them. All ebooks are backed up on at least 4 different sources. I've lost stuff in the past and have went to extremes for that to not happen any more but it requires discipline and a plan.
90% of my digital media collection was acquired about 15 years ago when we lived in SW Fla and we had true broadband, not the silly satellite we put up with now. I built my own computers and 2 that were top of the line with multiple hard drives and all the right programs to download entire media newsgroups (UseNet). I didn't discriminate on content. All content was burned to DVD discs at nighttime on 100 disc sppols purchased on ebay. When we moved here in the great white north in 2006 I had 40 100disc spools of DVD's that I have burned all my media files to, text, audio, and video. I have over 80,000 mp3's of everything you can think of (music albums, audio books, old radio shows), text ebooks in pdf, txt, etc., 12 different types of video files of movies, tv shows, instructional, etc. If I have access to solar panels and my army of computers hold up I will have useable material til I die.
My book shelves are ugly as original sin but were $22 per 250 reference books ( I'm sure it would hold more paperbacks ). Now I'm sure it is closer to $30-it takes seven two by fours and some mails and is free standing. They might be ugly but they actual last, unlike the Family Dollar or Wally snap together plastic ones that are dead in a year from the weight and cost the same amount.Delete
could you list the must have books that you have sifted from the mass?
i have noticed that books written by women are unnecessarily wordy.
i like a precis, short and to the point without omitting anything necessary.
i have wasted hard to come by money on highly touted books which have not delivered and some heavy to slog through because of too many words.
thanks if you can do it.
you mention humanure handbook which i have not bought because i want recommendations now before i spend money.
i will buy it now. thanks.
Search for the Humanure e-book. It is free. I found it wanting, personally. It was a pioneer but surpassed in my personal opinion. Your mileage may vary. Also, something I find myself not doing when I should is hitting the "look inside" at Amazon. It will give you a good sample and should be all you need to decide to buy or not.Delete
I've got a whole pile of e-books. Far more than I'll ever read.
Also had a laugh at your intro "note: free books. Oh how very exciting, another zombie book written as a diary". I almost wish we could go back to the olden days where there was a barrier to entry to keep out the rubbish
Right, we went from "nobody important gets published" to "everyone with a crayon gets published". Now, granted, the authors of yore could be a version of Boy Bands, manufacturing a star, but I'd say the majority were above adequate. Now, the majority is far below adequate. Despite its faults, the old gatekeeper system was grossly unfair to authors but more than fair to readers. Now the opposite, and I think we are poorer for it. Even the 'zine system forced you to have skin in the game. Well, money isn't necessarily a good barrier, say in movies, but it worked for dead trees. I could go on and on, bring up Netflix and the newspaper replacements, but I'll stop there.Delete
My definition of organized religion...Mankind, painting his butt blue and howling at the Moon. Usually for profit.ReplyDelete
They monetized everything, even eight thousand years ago :)Delete
Books, quality books, as how to type manuals or fictional get things done type are to be cared for like treasures. They are susceptible to weather and environmental aging-degradation. Minions that are motivated like a monk to their duty as a "caretaker of knowledge" should take steps (now) to preserve and safeguard the quality books. Storage methods for longevity, as well as evacuation planning in event of emergency situations should be considered. In ages past the uber wealthy had extensive libraries to 'self taught' their own families-staff. There was not local public libraries or google. There will again not be any in the next dark age, coming like, really soon. Plan accordingly.ReplyDelete
Remember, folks, the rise of books to the masses was in a time of continuous wealth and resource growth. We'll never see the likes of that again ( at least not at scale ). The books you get now will be it. Books are like ammo, a one off from the Oil Age. Don't abuse them or expose them to danger.Delete
Interesting to me that you chose this topic. I am currently 82 and have a 102 Mother. From genealogy I find that I come from a long living line. so, may "trade goods" will be information. I have notebook after notebook of how-to on a broad range of subjects. If my eyes and hands hold out, I think I will have a valuable bartering tool. Thoughts? JuliaDelete
You're 82 and your eyes and hands are STILL holding out? I'm kidding. Just remember it doesn't matter how great of information you have, if there isn't enough extra calories to feed you. Don't rely on others for that, or protection. You know how I dislike the AR, but at least those of long or short years can use it well. Look at info as your hobby and your Greater Utility, not as a trade good. Then you won't be vulnerable. Old age is only not vulnerable in a tribe, and one not starving at that.Delete
Oh, I have the other stuff and I carry. Its just that everything eventually wears out or runs out. JuliaDelete