LOW TECH FORCE MULTIPLIER 3
We left off yesterday talking about the already observable trend away from higher tech Just In Time Inventory. Of course, by “higher” tech I really mean Higher Complexity or Higher Energy Cost. There is nothing inherently technological about JIT inventory. You could do it with a clipboard and a telephone, even an old rotary phone ( that huge tax you pay on your phone bill was passed in the late 1890's to fund the Spanish-American War, a “tax on the rich”. You'll notice the rich got most of the benefits of colonization, although to give the devil his due, we did get cheap gasoline and coffee out of the deal. Just make sure to add the phone bill to what your Joe and bananas cost ).
If I want cheaper guns, I don't go to Wal-Mart ( spit, spit ). Not that the Walton's would carry the exact merchandise its profitable customers would prefer. No, I go to Palmetto State and buy a much cheaper gun than Wally could offer. To get that cheap inventory, Palmetto makes a lot of its own parts. As in, lots of inventory. They don't wait for an order and then call up outside suppliers. If I want cheap ammunition, I don't go to Wal-Mart ( may they be cursed eternally with the fleas of a thousand camels infesting their silk boxer shorts ).
I go to S.G. Ammo. Granted, I must buy somewhat in bulk, 500 rounds instead of twenty. Five thousand rimfire rather than 500. And to that I say, yes? And? What pray tell is your point? If getting yesteryear's prices requires buying in bulk, then we can go Low Tech and act like it is a time prior to credit cards when people actually saved up money before shopping. Do you even pay attention to how much bulk saves you? Fifty percent ( !!! ). Go to Home Despot, and look into that homemade Red's gun cleaner we just discussed in the comments section.
Want to buy a quart of mineral spirits? Buy a bottle at a time for $7, or a gallon for $15. I'm not sure how to get automatic transmission fluid as cheap, although if I really wanted several gallons instead of quarts we do have a bulk fluid depot in town ( one imagines for the mines ). Kerosene is $6 or so a gallon ( it has been some time since I priced it ) at the gas station that offers it in town. Its substitute lighter fluid is $3 a quart. If I want to buy a twenty count box of Russian ammo, the gun store offers it for $6. If I buy in bulk through the mail it is almost half that. Recently, BezosAzon jacked up blank CD's ( 4 inch ) fifty percent in price. I can go to e media depot dotcom and buy them after shipping for half the cost.
Wwwaaaaaaa????? Yes, people, lower tech media, instead of online. CD's are almost forty years old, available retail. The first released music CD was Abba, in 1983. I prefer USB drives, myself, as far as publishing. And on the retail side, few folks bother with CD drives. But they are also one eighth the cost and anyone can buy a external CD drive for under $20. A far cry from back when microfiche was the only paper substitution. For the longest time, online was nearly free, but the communists thought they could control the printing press, so “nearly free” may not be an option much longer.
Yes, I keep dropping hints that one day I might have to revert to a lower tech publisher rather than an online one. Neither of us want this, but neither of us might have a choice. Do you think I WANT to stockpile 400 CD's at a time, hoping your cheap asses will place an order? Inventory blows. But only if you are trying to sell an unwanted item. Like Wal-Mart ( spit, spit ) trying to move threadbare Guatemalan sweatshop clothing or Cruel Shoes ( Steve Martin reference ).
How does Family Dollar stay in business? Not always by cheap prices ( their food is priced to sit and rot ), but by having lots of inventory in small towns Wal-Mart ( hump you, Walton Scum! ) isn't interested in. The competition carries far too much, to my mind desperately trying to be the new Target and carrying too much Yuppie Scum brands instead of the old generics they used to, and is always running out of stock ( since the went from daily to weekly resupply ). Family carries enough of everything but not gross multiples of types, so they eliminate the higher cost of transportation/rent issue.
This reversion to lower tech is what I'm trying to sell here. We cannot go TOO low tech, but just by scaling back to a more reasonable level we eliminate unnecessary complexity. In general, I try to avoid power tools. This isn't always possible, but if you adhere to it as much as possible you eliminate a lot of unnecessary infrastructure. Is an electric knife sharpener ( you know, for folks like myself you cannot use a stone to save their life ) much better than a pull-through sharpener? Of course. But you need electricity, and then you need back-ups.
That is both a complexity addition and a increased investment issue. By accepting a lesser result, I eliminate some infrastructure and I can have multiples for less cost than one better unit. It is trading perfection for quantity. You can buy three AR's that get 2 MOA for the price of one AR that gets 1 MOA. Or, you can buy twice the ammunition that gets 2 MOA as you can buy 1 MOA ammo. When all you focus on is quality, you discount quantity ( two is one, one is none ).
An electronic bicycle is a step down in complexity from a car, which is good, but a step UP if all you do is bicycle already. The first one reduces complexity and need for certain infrastructure, but the second increases both. When you reduce the need for infrastructure ( such as when you grow all your own produce and protein needs ), you suddenly go from food insecurity, worried about geopolitical and weather events, to ( with a modest amount of bulk calorie/fat storage foods ) removing a once needed infrastructure. THAT is how you increase your survival odds, by eliminating needs.
Folks always point to higher tech as a Force Multiplier. They never equate higher tech to increased frailty. But in an environment where energy supply is contracting, increasing complexity is a recipe for disaster. It might appear to work, because you are still using 100 year old infrastructure that prevailed militarily and economically, but that is all dependent on oil supply. Just look at Mexico, as it went from oil exporter to oil importer. Suddenly, that drug cartel problem got a lot harder to solve. Just like all of the US economic issues got a lot worse, as our net oil supply dropped off a cliff. In the future, LESS infrastructure will be the winning military formula.
( .Y. )
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Pencil, paper, sliderule, protractors, calibers, and other analog mechanical tool aid is all that is generally necessary for a basic civilation build up and functioning. The novel "One second after" is a good example of lights out non functioning.ReplyDelete
I like the typical= looking for the smarter than thou phone to tell the lester dude what time of day it is. Whew!
Somebody in authority please anounce: "Pull It!", and collapse this mess already. Please....
Sorry, until all the hookers and blow is gone, they will keep this party limping along. At least, given a choice :)Delete
Agreed - look at all of the fantastic architectural and engineering feat done with no benefits of electricity at all.Delete
Oh - and I think what Anon 9:34 above meant was 'calipers', not 'calibers'.
I must say, that as I was reading Mr. Forstchen novel that Anon 9:34 mentions, I found that I really enjoy the mental role play that was going on in my mind.🤪Delete
I did have to scream "BULLSHIT!!!" so many times, that I was tempted to throw it down. An example is, they have the older cars running, but no heavy equipment to bury the dead. Must employ people digging graves by hand.
OK, now here is the point. I live in this/that area, and I can attest to the fact of all the older heavy equipment that would still function just fine after an EMP. 🚜
His second book, really SUCKED the monkey scrotum. He listened to many damn FLIR slinging, Unicorn riding, fantasy zombie slaying preppers that he destroyed the whole thing with their make believe world after.🧞♂️
Sorry 'bout that outburst my Lord. 🤬
Here's your soapbox back.👙
Don't worry, I carry my own soapbox for just such occasions. I thought the end of One Second After sucked. The second book REALLY sucked and the third was simple unreadable. BUT! The first three quarters of the first book were great for capturing the mood of despair and grief, the mental state of survivors dealing with reality. For that alone I rate it very high ( I have a book on PA novel reviews-but just the top ones ). Also, same author, the series where the Civil War boys get transported to another planet. Good for visualizing how a industrial society is built from scratch, and somewhat that eras warfare. I thought that was a much better series, even if by book three or four there are less of the world building aspects.Delete
Yes, the first book really was a good read. Last part was a kind of drag along.I have not read either of the last two editions, thanks for the heads up. I will say this, his writing style and ability to paint pictures in my minds eye with the internal struggle and the death of his daughter brought me to some serious boohooing. VERY rare for a writing to lead me there.Delete
And that rare skill was why the book deserves to be so popular. No one else has come close in PA genre.Delete
The unicorn cavalry and 3 percentilers should read up here, often. Instead of buying flirs and baefongs to outfit group standards theology of what is absolutely necessary for thriving in the collapse.ReplyDelete
There should be instead organized sewing circles for flag penant making for distant signalling methods of appropriate information. Like: (cannibal horde approaches= north road)
Since a few years into a much longer collapse those gadgets no workie no more, mr. g.i. (black friday shopping suckers)
The reason fame and fortune will forever elude me is exactly because no one is interested in reality. Meh. It's okay. here won't be much room left for many of us anyway. Let the idiots be cleansed.Delete
“I go to S.G. Ammo”ReplyDelete
Must be nice. Here in Commiefornia, we now have to go through a background check to get ammo, and there are no online sales. Like a fool, I didn’t jump on the bulk rimfire purchases, prior to the deadline, so that option has closed. Now it will be purchasing small centerfire pistol cartridges, and the loophole of purchasing the brass, and loading my own. To elaborate a little more on this, I might get a cartridge conversion cylinder that converts one of my cap and ball revolvers to a .32 S&W.
There is also rimfire reloading, if that works for you. Listen up minions. Folks are trapped behind enemy lines, and screwed, but don't be complacent. Cali Disease might be coming to your state next. False Flag concert shooting here and suddenly Nevada isn't very free with guns, overnight.Delete
Cali 2a adherents can just road trip it as an excursion to free states for everything but retail or ffl firearms sales. (Out back transactions is otherwise) take your money elsehere to shop, for those still dwelling there. Go deeper into fusa states i.e. az. Ut. Nv. Id. Wy. Etc. Everything else is smuggled bigly around right now anyhow, so join the mule train.Delete
I love the story how Canadian Indians were selling New York state residents cheaper cigarettes ( the rez was on both sides of the border, so it wasn't smuggling as much as illegal sales after that point ). Land of the free, better than socialist countries.Delete
I'm trying to use my fair share of hookers and blow, to speed up this collapse for everyone. Demented GuyReplyDelete
Thank you! See, we don't ask muchDelete
Way to take one for the team Demented Guy.ReplyDelete
Liked your Racoon tale a few posts back, as I too battle them (Commander Zero calls them Trash Pandas).
"Folks always point to higher tech as a Force Multiplyer. They never equate higher tech to incrased frailty."
Good point James.
That's what makes me sweat contemplating buying any electronics.
Even as simple as a LED lantern, I know 10 or fewer years down the road the diode may be good but the switch or some connection no longer works. Or like HAM gear, you aways need one more gadget to ensure performance.
Not having some tech is missing out on civilizational magic, but for simple multigenerational tools, I love simple like cast iron pans, an axe, a scythe.
Good article series, thanks. S
I share your caution on electronics ( especially having them out in Cold & Dusty-definite shelf life ). I also dread the time we return to candles. They blow giant monkey dingus. I think GhostSniper has the right idea-buy them by the gross and some ought to still work in your lifetime.Delete