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  1. #1
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    Default Prepping - Tin Foil Hat time or something to it?

    I've been watching The Years Of Living Dangerously and am finding it overall to be a fairly insightful bunch of documentaries. Just asking the questions we'd all like to not think about and showing what happens when people are in crisis. Given that the result of any kind of basic resource shortage appears to be all-out war amoung the people concerned, it's got me asking, are the preppers nutters, or actually just preparing for the inevitable? I used to write such people off as crazy-as, and dismiss the notion that life will be markedly different to how it is now.

    If these documentaries are to be believed we've passed the point of no return. We've pushed the planet beyond it's ability to repair and stabilise itself and even if we all intervened tomorrow and replanted forests, stopped emissions etc, we are still looking at living the effects of excess carbon in the atmosphere. The fix is generations in the making, not something we will discover next week. Given that none of these things are likely to happen in the next decade let alone any sooner I'm beginning to think that we seriously could be looking at living through extreme stress beyond our governments ability to hold their shit together. That could happen in my lifetime.

    Some parts of the planet are already under this kind of stress and its very ugly indeed. The first thing to fall apart is rational thinking and co-operation towards a solution. Humans tend to marginalise those affected and ignore problems which incites those who are affected to violent action. Before you know it, you have a destabilised society that cant stop fighting each other long enough to find a solution or put together a survival plan.

    In my country this is already happening over something as comparatively trivial as the cost of a house. We haven't even reached crisis point and people are already smelling blood with in-fighting and blame. It makes me feel rather hopeless about a future where more than that is on the line, if we immediately turn to hatred and anger.

    Thoughts on the subject?

  2. #2

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    I think that preppers are sacrificing today for the small probability that the world will go to shit and they can live a threadbare tomorrow. I think a great many of them entertain fantasies of being the 1% of a greatly diminished future society.

    Frankly, I think they're setting themselves up to be big, fat, juicy targets for someone bigger and badder who covets what they have. Of course, the mindset of 99% of these guys is that nobody is bigger and badder than they are. If such a scenario were to pass, I'd prefer to be in a smaller group that didn't make a target of itself.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    I think that preppers are sacrificing today for the small probability that the world will go to shit and they can live a threadbare tomorrow. I think a great many of them entertain fantasies of being the 1% of a greatly diminished future society.

    Frankly, I think they're setting themselves up to be big, fat, juicy targets for someone bigger and badder who covets what they have. Of course, the mindset of 99% of these guys is that nobody is bigger and badder than they are. If such a scenario were to pass, I'd prefer to be in a smaller group that didn't make a target of itself.
    Interesting. I never really considered survivalists to be targets so much. Maybe I haven't read enough blogs yet but I don't see a lot of them with ideas of being powerful or kings of resources etc.

  4. #4
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    I don't think it's impossible, either. It may end up happening, for all I know. I had a thought-provoking discussion about this with a former forum member a while back. Eventually, I came to prefer a "middle road", which is to at least have some essentials, but not change your lifestyle. Some people might already have this (a set of emergency equipment) and not even think of it as anything other than home supplies, really.

    I didn't spend a ton of money or time on it, although little by little I did spend some money to gather what I'd need. I didn't try to prepare for long-term scenarios, because I think that is basically futile (this was originally my position on the whole idea generally). Moreover, these preparations can be useful, not only in case some conspiracy comes crashing down upon us, but even in more likely situations, such as natural disasters, or blackouts.

    Getting to the more extreme parts of your question--or rather, taking things to the logical conclusion--as I said, I think preparing to outlast society by shutting yourself in is futile. Human nature is such that that kind of chaos and violence is probably unavoidable as long as you are even tenuously connected to other human beings. And living as a complete, total hermit, with zero human contact is more difficult than people think--but if a person does go for total hermit life, that is in a sense not even human life. Then it becomes a quality of life question.

    If the suggestion is that the "catastrophe" phase is only temporary, and that you might live to see the end of it if you're lucky, then I would recommend the "medium-term" preparations above. Long-term, I've concluded that one can't do much alone (as I said, futile), and so the most valuable resource you can cultivate when prepping, the most important tool to gather....is connections with people you can trust. Numbers give humans strength they don't have alone. For that, you don't need to spend much money or even change your lifestyle much.

    If you're worried that anyone could turn on you, even people you previously trusted, then the complete, total hermit path is the only other option I see.
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  5. #5
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    I also don't see the loner surviving long. If it boils down to a state of lawlessness then being on your own is very vulnerable. If only because any available resources are going to fall into the hands of cartels, so anything locked out from that is going to become open fodder to whatever nutters are out there. I think a lot of survivalists are basing their plans on the idea of being able to live off the land. But the situation put forward by those documentaries is basically stating that living off the land won't be possible and this is what will create the crisis in the first place. Short of creating some kind of subterreanean society with a viable biosphere you won't be able to escape things like lack of water, dangerous temperatures, freak storms and displacement of people. Even if you managed to make it to your self-made eden, others will find you eventually out of desperation.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cm81's Avatar
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    Ridiculous delivery, but wisdom needs few words:

    "The true genius shudders at incompleteness, preferring silence to everything that it should be." Edgar Allen Poe

    "There's a magic inside,
    Just waiting to burst out.
    There world is a goldmine-
    That will melt tomorrow."M83

  7. #7
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chthonic View Post
    I've been watching The Years Of Living Dangerously and am finding it overall to be a fairly insightful bunch of documentaries. Just asking the questions we'd all like to not think about and showing what happens when people are in crisis. Given that the result of any kind of basic resource shortage appears to be all-out war amoung the people concerned, it's got me asking, are the preppers nutters, or actually just preparing for the inevitable? I used to write such people off as crazy-as, and dismiss the notion that life will be markedly different to how it is now.

    If these documentaries are to be believed we've passed the point of no return. We've pushed the planet beyond it's ability to repair and stabilise itself and even if we all intervened tomorrow and replanted forests, stopped emissions etc, we are still looking at living the effects of excess carbon in the atmosphere. The fix is generations in the making, not something we will discover next week. Given that none of these things are likely to happen in the next decade let alone any sooner I'm beginning to think that we seriously could be looking at living through extreme stress beyond our governments ability to hold their shit together. That could happen in my lifetime.

    Some parts of the planet are already under this kind of stress and its very ugly indeed. The first thing to fall apart is rational thinking and co-operation towards a solution. Humans tend to marginalise those affected and ignore problems which incites those who are affected to violent action. Before you know it, you have a destabilised society that cant stop fighting each other long enough to find a solution or put together a survival plan.

    In my country this is already happening over something as comparatively trivial as the cost of a house. We haven't even reached crisis point and people are already smelling blood with in-fighting and blame. It makes me feel rather hopeless about a future where more than that is on the line, if we immediately turn to hatred and anger.

    Thoughts on the subject?
    Hmm, yeah, dont drink the koolaid.

    The preppers have been on the ball since the seventies, I've read some books about "survivalists" they were called then, they are featured big style in the sci fi novel The Postman, very different from the film was The Postman, and its featured disaster scenarios were very different to the big problems forecast by preppers back then.

    They were all prepping for the Helter Skelter race war back then and a lot of the underlying concern is still about that, or some "other" threat of a similar kind, the zombi apocalypse movies, books, games, media are all about that, the zombis are all stand ins for someones bogeyman.

    Prepping only makes sense in so far as its about self-reliance and making what should be normal precautious preparations for shortages and crisis, the rich are increasingly stripping down government of its resources, through wage cuts and unemployment they are stripping down poor people of any shared resources they may have in community assets, churches, you name it, and no individual is going to be able to prepare enough by themselves to protect themselves and anyone they may care about.

    The Batman No Mans Land series dealt with most of the preppers crisis dreams/nightmares scenarios and in one of them the one guy who has prepared for a crisis and managed to keep it quite eventually can not keep it quiet any longer because he is the only one not suffering from starvation on his block and the Joker rolls in and takes it all. Neil Strauss who wrote about his adventures with the pick up artist community also took a trip into the preppers world and discovered that there are gangs of thugs whose only preparation is to identify all the resource hoarders in their networks and plan ways and means to rob them when the time comes.

    The sort of crisis you describe though, some kind of eco-catastrophe for which the government will not be equipped and can not be equipped is by logical extention something which you can not possibly be prepared for as an individual.

    The deep greens have been fans of war, famine and pestilence for a long time because of their population crisis and humans are pests and pest control needs to deal with them, maybe other elements have adopted that narrative, equally misanthropic ones but examine why.

    Before the deep greens and their eco-tastropy there was class struggle and the trots were telling us capitalism was collapsing, any day now, it didnt happen, and when the collapse happened then would be the advent of the revolution, it never happened either. So I'm not so hot on collapse and catastrophe narratives.

    Prepping is a good idea for other reasons, being organised, being independent, being self-reliant, not needing someone else to come to the rescue is just a really good thing. Being someone that others may be able to count on, brilliant, but you need to be able to take care of yourself before you take care of anyone else. That's legit self interest, I think its compatible with socialism but that's another topic. During the spanish civil war and every single crisis since then, whether it was predicted or not by socialists, they've been singularly unprepared and unable to deal with it, they are the last people you'd count on, liberals too, all the fine words about equality wont count for much either, ask anyone from the balkans about their egalitarian credentials prior to the break of the former yugoslavia and they are sure to tell you they loved their ethnically diverse Bosnian neighbours.

    Sorry, that's kind of turning into a rant there.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    the rich are increasingly stripping down government of its resources, through wage cuts and unemployment they are stripping down poor people of any shared resources they may have in community assets, churches, you name it, and no individual is going to be able to prepare enough by themselves to protect themselves and anyone they may care about.
    And no-ones worried about this? Wouldn't this alone eventually lead to a catastrophe that you say will never come? Just curious on that point. And why would they do this unless they themselves believed that some kind of crisis was coming and they need to hoard resources? One thing I've realised about rich and poor alike is that they are both human, and act in similar ways given a set of circumstances. So this stripping of assets is perhaps a telltale sign that all is not well and something is expected soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    took a trip into the preppers world and discovered that there are gangs of thugs whose only preparation is to identify all the resource hoarders in their networks and plan ways and means to rob them when the time comes.
    I don't doubt it. The only thing we can be sure of is that humanity will turn on itself first. That has been proven at all points in history.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    The deep greens have been fans of war, famine and pestilence for a long time because of their population crisis and humans are pests and pest control needs to deal with them, maybe other elements have adopted that narrative, equally misanthropic ones but examine why.
    Every political party is a fan of war. We haven't had a big one on the planet for a long time, I'm sure there are many factions just itching for an excuse. War is profitable for certain individuals, when business fails to provide ever increasing profits (such as now) then instability becomes the next money spinner. It's not just the greens. If such a war does break out we can look forward to the rapid and wholesale destruction of the resources left on the planet, all in the name of freedom. An accelerated ticket into the exact crisis we all believe will not happen. The factors are building....

    Widespread financial malaise. Printing more money is failing to provide increased profits.
    Reducing real wages in the developed world is failing to provide more profit because it cannabalises the market it sells into.
    The cost of labour in the third world cannot get any lower.

    The standard economic model has failed under current conditions, therefore the conditions must change to allow profit again. Widespread instability allows large power interests to take opportunity. It's a well known maxim that more money is made in a crisis than in good times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Prepping is a good idea for other reasons, being organised, being independent, being self-reliant, not needing someone else to come to the rescue is just a really good thing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    My family likes to think I'm sliding down the prepper slide but I don't see it that way. Let's see - I can food, I have emergency supplies, I keep things like water and the regular just in case stuff in my vehicles, lighting, heat and shelf stable foods. That's it. I'm nothing like the survivalists I see on TV or the websites I read.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  10. #10
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    Strangely enough all my recent hobbies have been about living off-grid. Things like learning how to set up a composting sanitation system. Permaculture, biodigesters, earth building and repurposing scrap etc. It hasn't been intentional but I guess these are more popular subjects in the current climate as people seek to escape the modern debt ridden lifestyle offered in cities. But weirdly, I almost have a complete set of living off the land and low tech tools in my head. Should anyone be planning on creating an intentional community in the zombie apocalypse, I'm you're goto girl....

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