Preparing for the apocalypse.

Preparing for the apocalypse.

Postby Billy » Wed Sep 02, 2015 4:09 pm

Member tahanson has been ramrodding the initiative to get this site back online, and I applaud his - and Maurice's - efforts. I wouldn't be here if they had not reached out to me.

He made an interesting remark, re: doom and gloom posts. And I agree. If everyone posts doom and gloom, it's self-defeating. However, spit-balling ideas to jump start civilization, to preserve knowledge, etc, is all fine and dandy. But just going over the posts, it seems an important concept has been overlooked: That being, you have to actually survive Ragnarök in order to do anything about jump-starting civilization. That in and of itself is a rather gloomy subject - but it is no less important a subject as stockpiling tech or books or seeds, etc...

So, it is not my intent to post doom and gloom, and this post should not be viewed as such. The subject itself - living through Ragnarök - is gloomy, but I will try to maintain as upbeat a tone as I can. It won't be a primer on surviving everything - there's no way that's even close to possible. Hopefully, this post will plant an idea and people who read it will take it upon themselves to seek out the teachers and acquire the skill sets needed to make it.

Have I ever been through a Failure of Civility and the collapse of the Rule of Law? Well, I've seen war, collapsed states and lived in the 3rd world where the Rule of Law does not exist, so I suppose that counts for something.

When a full-on collapse hits, it will happen fast. Based on every other real-world situation I've either seen or read about, the buildup might take months, years.. even decades. But when it finally decides it wants to happen, it happens fast. One guy I know who lived in Sarajevo, he said one Monday morning, everything was fine - shops open, people going to work, etc. Literally by the next Monday, power and water were a memory, their city was sealed off and it was Run What You Brung time... One week.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Rule of Law evaporated in 3 days, with about half the police force defecting to the ranks of the looters, the other half just abandoning their posts.

Which brings us to "How do I survive this so I'm around to help later?"...

Well, I can start by telling you what doesn't work.

The Lone Strong Man Against the World meme is false. It makes for a good book or a fair movie, but the hard cold reality of the World says that unlimited numbers of mundanes will eventually take down the lone exceptional individual, no matter how smart, resourceful or how well armed they are. Occassionally, there will be an outlier who makes it, yes, but that's more likely due to dumb luck than being some sort of Superman - someone has to make it, after all.

Second thing is avoid the Fortress Mentality. Every single fortress that has ever been, has fallen eventually. Even the walls of Constantinople were breached. It took literally a thousand years to do it, but they fell. All your opponent has is time. Time to think up how to get past your defenses. And chances are, there's going to be more of them than there are of you.

Third, avoid the "Well, I'll just head into the mountains and live off the land" way of thinking. Have any of you ever hunted? Trapped? Fished? Know anything about field dressing game and smoking meat for long-term viability? Plus - and I think this is somehow hard-coded into our DNA - when Bad Things happen, people instinctively head for mountains as a natural refuge. Problem is, if you think like that, then there will be literally multiples of thousands of others thinking the same thing. Additionally, there will already be people living there. And they won't be too happy about you and your thousands of friends wanting to horn in on their digs...

What that leaves is getting as far away from anything close to a "city" as possible, and tribing up with kith and kin. Family is best. Lifelong friends and their families almost as good.

Your mindset should be that, unless already vetted by you and your group, every single person you encounter should be considered Red Team until proven otherwise. That means "Hostiles". Bad Guys. The inference is that you and yours are Blue Team - the Good Guys.

Blue Team should, as a rule, be on a war footing from Day 1. That doesn't mean hose the countryside with millions of rounds of ammo or deck every person you encounter. It does mean, in the words of a certain Marine Corps General: "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet." Your behavior should literally be that of The Hunted. Automatically assume that every moment you are not in your own Safe Zone, that someone, somewhere is observing you, and planning. Even then, someone could be observing your Safe Zone, watching your patterns of behavior, calculating your strength, and planning...

By the way, any fool can calculate strength. What you have to do is make them try to calculate what they cannot see, cannot possibly know. It sows confusion and hesitation. Doubt.

You all have to understand that during a Failure of Civility, people will be hungry, scared - terrified, even. They will be motivated to do things they would have never even considered in the past. A guy with a sick child - faced with watching his child die - will be more than willing to shoot you and take your medication, if it meant saving his daughter. Or take your food and water at gunpoint - condemning you and yours to a slow death - if it meant his family got to live a few more days...

People will be motivated to do the strangest things. With the power grid down, they will loot electronics stores for plasma screen TV's, laptops and video games. During Katrina, a mob of people literally laid siege to a city hospital in search of narcotics. Doctors, nurses and their patients barricaded themselves on the roof of the hospital while the mob rampaged floor by floor below them. They were eventually rescued by helicopter. Another group went around hijacking ambulances, thinking there were drugs on board. There was even a group of rogue cops who banded together and - using their "authority" as cops - drove away the looters, then looted the best swag for themselves. They stashed their swag in an abandoned apartment, guarded heavily by other rogue cops...

The point of this isn't to try and scare the pants off you. But, if you are not concerned by this point, then why bother to stockpile The Knowledge? Seeds? Anything at all? If you don't acquire the correct mindset, you're roadkill. Which makes all of this spitballing nothing but a grand mind experiment...

I used to find pleasure - even joy - in the smallest, most unlikely things when things got their worst. You have to keep your spirits up any way you can. Taking care of your spiritual and emotional needs is equally as important as the physical. Some guys adopted a small mangy dog to take care of. Some retreated into their religious beliefs. Some played games of various kinds.

The point is, THERE IS HOPE. There is always hope. The opposite of hope is despair. I have seen that as well - and when I came out the other side, I realized my despair was self-inflicted, that there was no reason for it. And so, I abandoned it wholesale and began studying Stoicism (which I highly recommend to everyone reading this). The greatest fear everyone seems to have is fear of Death. The Stoic doesn't abandon death, he embraces it.

“You want to live—but do you know how to live? You are scared of dying—and, tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different from being dead?” - Seneca

Dare greatly. And if your have to go down, have your enemies write of you with grudging respect.
“Life is slavery if the courage to die is absent.” - Seneca
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Re: Preparing for the apocalypse.

Postby Dave Z » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:23 am

Amen, Brothah! 'Social distance' is certainly a prime strategy.

I have a notion that, after a certain amount of intervening hardships, those who make it across will be competent enough to fare for themselves, yet appreciate alliances. The bad asses will have burnt out.

A friend of a friend relates from Bosnia that the Rambo types were the first to go. Culled by natural selection in the first few encounters. Unfortunately, in the urban areas he survived, gangs thrived, and survivors remained so by evading their notice.

All the more reason to establish out and away from valuables, whether your own or stockpiled by others.

Thanks for a great post!

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Re: Preparing for the apocalypse.

Postby Maurice Goldsmith » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:20 pm

So, today in the UK the newspapers are carrying stories of supermarkets rationing vegetables, after crop failures in the Mediterranean.

Maybe the survival plans will be necessary sooner rather than later.
I am the author of a post-apocalyptic novel - The Lucifer Bug
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