Author Topic: priorities, getting started, and fundamental questions  (Read 3390 times)

SocratesR

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priorities, getting started, and fundamental questions
« on: July 20, 2014, 12:23:34 AM »
Preparedness is great but WHAT are you preparing for?
Many so-called preppers are talking about and acting on potential limited cataclysms like a Carrington Event or financial collapse. Well, it's great to insure your car, but that's something different than fire insurance, isn't it? It's at a different level of seriousness; if you're car is totaled, you buy a new one, but if your house burns down, your entire life could be turned upside down.
There is no such thing as buying insurance for destruction of 'civilization' so either you do it yourself or you're sh*t outta luck when TSHTF. Did you think losing your house was bad? What about losing the entire matrix of society? You're not only talking about losing supermarkets, you're potentially talking about losing nature itself! If the planet gets physically jolted, the atmosphere circling the planet at 1000kph all the time suddenly becomes a few magnitudes more destructive than category 5 tornadoes with wind speeds of 250kph; it's likely there won't be a single tree left standing on the planet!
Most folks, including preppers, figure it's pointless to prepare for that, since no one could survive that, right?
Wrong.
Why do you think our ancestors wound up in the stone age? Mankind did not pop into existence a few thousand years ago and 3300 pyramids and constructs like Puma Punku around the globe did not build themselves, nor were they built by stone age man. A handful of our ancestors survived. So can you.
So what are you preparing for? Can you handle a world in which there is no one smelting iron? No one making glass? No one making cement? You'd be worse off than stone age man! People actually living in the Stone Age had centuries to millennia of experience dealing with primitive life. It may have been a primitive world but it was their primitive world.
Do you believe it's romantic to live in a tent the rest of your life, so you might as well just go with the flow? And even if you are willing to sentence yourself to a life of simplicity, are you willing to do the same to your children and to generations of mankind that follow [which would be your descendents if you did manage to survive TEOTWAWKI]?

These are fundamental preparedness questions. They determine priorities and actions.

If you would be a part of the tiny community of folks [it could be i'm the only one in the whole world working on this...] interested in establishing an insurance for 'civilization' itself, you're talking about what it'll take to establish society after this entire 'dispensation' has been wiped off the face of the Earth (like has happened before, and not too long ago). So then what are the priorities?

Civilization is about a trinity of information, communication, and organization.
First off, information is about books, yes, but it's also about genetic information. Then you're talking seeds, animals, and bacterial cultures (used for things like cheese or miso). Your information should be scientific, i.e. about data, logic, and common sense. About research, scholarly. If you taint it with personal or cultural preference, presuppositions, or prejudice then your information has no integrity.
Communication is about much more than talking. Horse back riding once changed the world! It offered the ability to communicate far and easily. Kublai Khan ruled over China by horse, able to dispatch messages to the far corners of his empire in days. The ultimate communication, one might say, the one that fundamentally changed the world, has to do with being able to (reliably) sail the world. This also made resources from around the world available, expanding knowledge and technological development.
A global empire, or even a society that trades with people elsewhere, requires organizational structures. There may be nothing nice about establishing empires, but global trade lies at the foundation of sophisticated technological achievements. Are we going to let mankind waste another 12,000 years before we can build satellites that can teach us about the cosmos?

So explosives, for instance, have a higher priority than one might assume, for without explosives how are you going to create passage ways that connect regions, making communication and the expansion of knowledge possible? Mountain ranges used to be real boundaries, limiting people from even knowing about other lands, let alone taking advantage of what they had to offer.

Anyway, if you give it some thought, your priorities may shift considerably. Getting ready for the next stone age is about more than just saving a few seeds or animals. I have researched how to smelt iron, how to make glass, and how to make cement. What do you think is essential in order to be prepared?
« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 07:36:30 AM by SocratesR »

SocratesR

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steam engines
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2014, 12:40:27 AM »
Contrary to common assumptions, steam engines are a basic technology of the modern world. Often (hydro) electrical generation is based on steam engines to convert energy into electricity [thermal power plants] and industrial boilers are part of everyday life for hundreds of millions of people.

Being able to smelt iron and make steel is the first thing of course, but steam engines are more basic than you might think. It might be nice to save one of those models for children.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 07:31:50 AM by SocratesR »

Yowbarb

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Re: steam engines
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2014, 04:47:46 PM »
Contrary to common assumptions, steam engines are a basic technology of the modern world. Often (hydro) electrical generation is based on steam engines to convert energy into electricity [thermal power plants] and industrial boilers are part of everyday life for hundreds of millions of people.

Being able to smelt iron and make steel is the first thing of course, but steam engines are more basic than you might think. It might be nice to save one of those models for children.


What a beautiful image...and I like to think these technologies will not be lost...

ilinda

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Re: priorities, getting started, and fundamental questions
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2014, 04:49:48 PM »
Preparedness is great but WHAT are you preparing for?

Anyway, if you give it some thought, your priorities may shift considerably. Getting ready for the next stone age is about more than just saving a few seeds or animals. I have researched how to smelt iron, how to make glass, and how to make cement. What do you think is essential in order to be prepared?
A few things come to mind:  being able to think outside the box, being aware of your surroundings, being able to assess a critical situation on the fly, if necessary, and having as many skills as possible, as well as years of accumulated knowledge about nutrition, food, and the like.

No doubt I missed a few.

SocratesR

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thing you can't learn
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2014, 09:18:58 PM »
What do you think is essential in order to be prepared?
A few things come to mind:  being able to think outside the box, being aware of your surroundings, being able to assess a critical situation on the fly
things you can do vs things you should be.
This post was directed toward the first.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 12:03:51 AM by SocratesR »

steedy

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Re: priorities, getting started, and fundamental questions
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2014, 07:55:10 AM »

A few things come to mind:  being able to think outside the box, being aware of your surroundings, being able to assess a critical situation on the fly, if necessary, and having as many skills as possible, as well as years of accumulated knowledge about nutrition, food, and the like.

No doubt I missed a few.



You're right about thinking outside the box, etc, ilinda.  Nothing always goes as planned, so it's good to be flexible in your thinking.

Socrates

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Re: stressful situations
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2016, 01:48:17 AM »
If you've taxed yourself a few times in your life you'll have experienced situations in which your brain works less than optimally...
20-20 hindsight is so comfortable but when the faeces hits the propeller you're often running on instinct. In those (often decisive!) moments it's more about conditioning, habits and training than anything else.

I have mentioned before that it's important to have one's priorities straight BEFORE one gets into any situation. The new situation may have you doubting yourself, may have you dumbfounded, may have you stressfully dealing with survival to the extent that you've no imagination or deep logic left in you. Then it's all about what preparations you made in previous times.

Lack of carbohydrates means lack of fuel for the brain, for the brain runs on carbs.
Lack of food/fuel/energy in general also means less fuel for the brain and less deep, logical or consistent thought.
Fight, flight, terror, grief or distractions of many kinds could stop you from considering options carefully; then, too, you'll find yourself settling for solutions you came up with BEFORE. So they'd better be good ones...

There are also physical preparations one can make for the above; make sure your iodine and lithium levels are sufficient. Lithium deficiency comes about when the adrenals become exhausted due to prolonged stress [the adrenals use lithium for making hormones to deal with stress]. Avoid stress but certainly avoid a lithium deficiency as well.

I've also gone into the matter of priorities in a post under mountain farming, concerning the importance (especially) of company, water, calories and timely seeding.

YouTube channel RewildUniversity has this awesome video on this guy who jumps into a river covered in ice to try to survive it...
The point to this whole exercise for me was that even this survival teacher learned a number of important lessons here.
For one, even he saw that he made a big mistake in trying to set up camp out in the open; he LATER realizes that he should have found a place out of the wind or at least a place that he could shield against the wind a bit.
Why didn't he...?
BECAUSE HE'D JUST COME OUT OF A FROZEN RIVER! Ii.e.his brain wasn't working 100%
You'd think you'd be needing your brain MOST in just such situations but it doesn't work like that. Even this survival guru made a potentially lethal mistake.

What can anyone take away from this? That when the chips are down, you should not count on your brain to be working optimally. Optimal brain activity is for times like now... THIS is when we lay down the conditioning and training and priorities that must help us through those times when we must do without optimal brain function.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 10:13:46 AM by Socrates »
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MadMax

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Re: priorities, getting started, and fundamental questions
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2016, 12:02:40 PM »
It’s a  good idea (as we start the New Year) to take a “fresh look” at what is going on in Venezuela, won’t be long before it all starts happening here..

Venezuelan Collapse – What Can We Learn?

http://modernsurvivalonline.com/venezuelan-collapse-what-can-we-learn/


You probably have heard about the civil unrest and economic collapse in Venezuela. The footage and stories have been jaw-dropping to say the least. There are 10,000 citizens crossing the border every day just to get food, water, toilet paper, and medical supplies. They line up before the sun rises and store shelves are bare before noon in some cases. Often when supplies are not available the Venezuelans will riot and destroy property. So what caused all of this?

In this article I want to cover lessons we can learn from this foreign disaster. Venezuela may seem like it is worlds away, but there are more similarities to the US than you think. It is not enough for us to stare aghast from a distance and not take action. We must learn from their hardship. Here are lessons we can learn:

Hunger Equals Desperation

We have all seen the homeless dig through dumpsters outside of restaurants to pick out the fresh food that was scraped off of plates. This is not the type of desperation to which I am referring. Imagine that there were no restaurants. Imagine that there were not wealthy people that could afford to throw out half of the food they fix for their families. Those that had money for food find the shelves empty both within the borders and outside the borders. This is desperation, and this is the reality in Venezuela.

You Cannot Count On Medical Care

While most of us have always had the option of calling 911 or driving to the emergency room, this is not a valid option for Venezuelans. The ambulances are either overwhelmed or shut down completely. The electricity and life support machines are out in most hospitals, so doctors are forced to improvise. The Luis Razetti hospital in Barcelona currently looks like a war zone. Most people who attempt to get care are forced to lie in hallways bleeding for days. No food or water is provided at the hospital, and those lucky enough to get a broken down bed must balance to keep it from tipping over.

What do we learn from this? When a collapse occurs, those that are prepared will know how to handle their own medical care.

Shortages Will Happen Quickly

Many people assume that because an economic collapse takes some time to develop that shortages will also take some time to develop. This was not the case with Venezuela. Within a few weeks of the collapse, products that were most needed had been picked clean. Bread, milk, sugar, and eggs were impossible to find within days. Some stores were able to restock their shelves, but many did not bother because of the looting that took place. Currently only 15% of the food, water, and medical supplies needed can be obtained within the borders of Venezuela.

If this is not a strong argument for prepping, I do not know what is.

Domestic Currency Is Worthless


I know it may seem obvious, but not to everybody. When your economy collapses, conventional money is not worth much. Right now bartering is one of the best ways to get supplies or services. Another option is stocking up on gold or silver. These precious metals will always retain their value, but become even more valuable when the dollar crashes. In fact the Venezuelan government has greatly depleted their foreign reserves and has been forced to ship gold to Switzerland to help pay for their debt.

This means that preppers should have either precious metals or bartering items on hand before the collapse.


Your Diet Will Change

As food has become harder to find, Venezuelans have had to make a drastic shift in their diets. Even those that wait in line overnight and are lucky enough to find food have opted for less expensive ways to fill their bellies. The shift has been away from any types of meat, milk, or eggs and more towards grains that provide energy and curb hunger. This has been common in any recession or collapse in history. Bread, rice, beans, and other grains become the bulk of the food supply. One family was quoted as having said that they have eaten no meat of any kind since December.

Think about this when you are prepping.


Crime Is Out Of Control

Any time that conditions are rough and people are desperate, crime will increase. Some of this crime is general outrage that materializes in the form of riots. The people feel that their country has abandoned them, and they are not happy. These riots have gotten worse as this disaster has continued. Some crime is related to acquiring supplies. This may mean looting or may result in robberies and break-ins. Just in the first quarter of 2016 there were 107 separate cases of major looting in Venezuela, and it continues to get worse.

Max.
"Ignorance is Bliss" - (Agent Smith the first Matrix Movie)

ilinda

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Re: priorities, getting started, and fundamental questions
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2016, 02:42:38 PM »
It’s a  good idea (as we start the New Year) to take a “fresh look” at what is going on in Venezuela, won’t be long before it all starts happening here..

You Cannot Count On Medical Care

While most of us have always had the option of calling 911 or driving to the emergency room, this is not a valid option for Venezuelans. The ambulances are either overwhelmed or shut down completely. The electricity and life support machines are out in most hospitals, so doctors are forced to improvise. The Luis Razetti hospital in Barcelona currently looks like a war zone.

What do we learn from this? When a collapse occurs, those that are prepared will know how to handle their own medical care.
Here's a quick tip for someone who thinks s/he might be having a heart attack due to occluded coronary artery, or to contraction of the coronary artery.  Sometimes the constriction or contraction is due to a pharmaceutical as was my case, when I was taking medroxyprogesterone, a synthetic progesterone. 

The first time "it" happened I experienced a strange "wave" (not pain and not squeezing) that seemed to be emanating from the chest/solar plexus area and it caused extreme panic and inability to move, wondering what was happening. 

Later I learned that this synthetic progesterone does indeed cause constriction of the coronary artery, as do stress hormones, all of which can eventually lead to a heart attack.

I did stop taking the pharma culprit, and did learn from my doctor that in a pinch, one way to dilate the coronary artery is to stop everything, sit down and do deep belly breathing, where inhaling and forcing the belly out simultaneously, and then exhaling while forcing the belly/abdomen inward.  Why this?  She said that there's a nerve connection between the diaphragm and the hypothalamus, and this form of breathing causes the coronary artery to relax and dilate.  It does not mean this is a cure-all, but does mean in a pinch, with no doctor around and no prospect of one, and no one to administer any other helpful aid, one can try this.

Socrates

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Some basic choices
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2016, 10:01:04 AM »
one way to dilate the coronary artery is to stop everything, sit down and do deep belly breathing, where inhaling and forcing the belly out simultaneously, and then exhaling while forcing the belly/abdomen inward.  Why this?  She said that there's a nerve connection between the diaphragm and the hypothalamus, and this form of breathing causes the coronary artery to relax and dilate.
Ironically, i have heard of a way to deal with acute heart stress that involves screaming at the top of your lungs to create the exact effect described above. Apparently stress can also be relieved by just letting it all out. And i'm guessing that in moments of panic, this is easier than forcing oneself to sit down to meditate...


I have, however, returned to this topic for quite another reason. I have recently been thinking about extreme survival, i.e. situations akin to those described by Velikovsky in his When Worlds Collide and LaViolette's Earth Under Fire; in these books these scholarly authors cover ancient tales from all over the Earth concerning survivors of previous cataclysms and what they were forced to go through in order to survive. We're talking cannibalism and the slaying of family members here, even of one's own children... The stuff of horror..

So, let's say you have to hightail it out of town in a jiffy and all you have is your bug-out-bag, your wits and whatever emergency preps you have at hand... What choices do you make TODAY concerning the latter? I mean, your bug-out-bag and wits, there's not much more that needs to be said about those, but what else could you add to the shirt on your back, so to speak?

I have learned this year the hard lesson of calories. And it was partially hard because i am a vegan at heart; i ate vegetarian for 15 years, 2 of which were vegan, and that was in the 80's and 90's, long before such things become quaint and popular (though still fringe). So i have always shyed away from animal foods, especially as a main source. However... Survival is survival and extreme circumstance are just that. And anything's better than coming to the point where you smash in your brother's skull or wind up eating your own children (as ancient stories talk about).
The best sources of calories are unfortunately from other lifeforms. Proteins have as many calories per gram as carbs and meats are half protein, half fats, which have more than twice the caloric value of proteins/carbs! And since bunnies and goats will eat all kinds of greens we humans cannot deal with, they are calorie machines in a way.


Now, having said that, there is a balance of carbs and meat to be found, for one would go crazy only eating meat all the time. There comes a point where you would [possibly quite literally...] kill for a cookie or a bowl of rice. The brain needs it; your body needs it.
Now the Bible gives us a few famous expressions that deal with this matter, for was Israel not The Land of Milk and Honey and did John the Baptist not survive in the wilderness on "honey and locusts"?
So if you had a stash of tons of rice or corn but no tins of sardines, your diet might drive you crazy, just like you might go mad if all you had to eat were mountains of canned fish.


Now, you have your bug-out-bag and... What else? What might one consider essential if one had the choice?
Well, how about...
- 2 goats, a dog and some bees, or
- 2 muscovy ducks, a dog and some bees, or
- a chicken, a rooster, a dog and some bees...
- a few baby rabbits, some bees and your dog [that bitch better be pregnant...  ;)]

Your animals will give you meat, the bees will give you carbs even in a barren landscape and your dog(s) will protect both you and your livestock from predators as well as other human survivors.
Now, the great thing about the goats, for example, is that they will walk on their own (i.e. you won't have to carry them) and they will basically eat anything. They will (hopefully) give milk and in time give meat. (They are also great permaculture tools in clearing away brush.) One might also have 2 sheep. [The tiny Ouessant are as hardy as they get and require almost no food to survive.]
Duck are great and superior to chickens but there are tiny breeds of chicken that one can carry easily; and then there's quail...

North America did without bees until Europeans brought them over. There are tame breeds to be had that make life easy on the beekeeper; what if that genetic information were lost...? A pound of honey and a few bees and you might be able to save this resource for yourself and future generations.
Silk worms are another thought; one can feed them to one's chickens or ducks or even to one's dogs; all you need is to save some dried mullberry leaves to keep them alive until your mullberry seeds have grown into saplings; a wonderful source of proteins.


I used to not consider calories at all, focusing rather on minerals; this year i realized the importance of calories. Then i realized that animals and insects offer the most sustainable sources of these, for calories need to be renewed constantly. And then there's genetic information that could easily be lost in a survival situation.
A bug-out-bad wth some bees or quail in it; why not? Dog willing you have your god walking along side you, as well...
« Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 10:31:13 AM by Socrates »
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ilinda

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Re: Some basic choices
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2016, 03:18:06 PM »
one way to dilate the coronary artery is to stop everything, sit down and do deep belly breathing, where inhaling and forcing the belly out simultaneously, and then exhaling while forcing the belly/abdomen inward.  Why this?  She said that there's a nerve connection between the diaphragm and the hypothalamus, and this form of breathing causes the coronary artery to relax and dilate.
Ironically, i have heard of a way to deal with acute heart stress that involves screaming at the top of your lungs to create the exact effect described above. Apparently stress can also be relieved by just letting it all out. And i'm guessing that in moments of panic, this is easier than forcing oneself to sit down to meditate...

Socrates, if others are within hearing distance, at least your method will draw immediate crowds, so in case the method does not work, they can immediately transport you to help! 

With my method, nobody would know, and poof, there goes ilinda...

Socrates

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5 priorities
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2017, 10:23:53 PM »
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Socrates

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Re: 5 priorities
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 10:37:46 PM »
As a layman researcher and fan of permaculture, i love this quote by (Marcus Tullius) Cicero. However, i would like to expand on it, for i don't think Cicero said this as a prepper...

- library
- garden
- animals
- hives
- glass

LIBRARY: a good collection of books that not only cover as many bases as possible but also include classics and other literature meant as entertainment (i.e. to pass away the time in a world without internet or TV).
GARDEN: soil of good quality and lots of it, good [preferably mature] trees and all kinds of worthy species growing that not only supply food but also offer seeds to harvest. My garden would include species like cotton and bamboo...
ANIMALS: a good dog [Ridgeback, of course], some fowl and some herbivores. Maybe a donkey or pig if you can manage it.
HIVES: honey is the ultimate stockable survival food, containing more calories per gram than anything else you can think of, and carbohydrates as the source (which is the best for both body and mind). Honey is medicinal, healthy, nutritional, produces things like mead and adds a sweetness to what might otherwise be a sour life.
GLASS: all long-lived cultures have fermented food and drink. Our guts require the probiotics they provide [like the Tarahumara who can run a marathon daily on properly cooked maize and maize brew]. From mead to miso, a life without fermented foodstuffs is boring, lobsided and basically untenable.
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Yowbarb

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Re: priorities, getting started, and fundamental questions
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2017, 11:42:36 AM »
I agree with your list. I would add a good stash of dictionaries of various degrees of complexity.
Children's dictionaries, lots of pics, simple
Children to early teen
Jr hi-high school type of dictionary
College level
Good Oxford and a magnifying glass to go with it. Some usages can only be found there.
Some English - other language dictionaries.
Encyclopedias, even though everything will change they would be a point of reference.
Some world history texts, art history, music, etc.
Hard to haul books.
I'd say if a person knows their bug out destination they could do a proper job of packing and burying books for later use.

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Re: priorities, getting started, and fundamental questions
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2017, 11:46:26 AM »
Socrates, interesting tip of yelling to help stop a heart attack.
I have found that getting mad and slamming my hand down on the table helped me not choke to death (was by myself.)
The thought of dying by myself in such a dumb way did make me mad and I slammed my hand down on the table!
Something about that movement opened up airways just enough so that doing the heimlich on myself and tiny sips of water did the trick.
One method to help the heart I saw, was the person submerges his face in lukewarm water.