Skip to comments.What You Know
Posted on 01/22/2012 9:00:37 AM PST by EnglishCon
I play with various TSHTF scenarios all the time. Anything from a worldwide plague to a zombie apocalypse to WW3. It is both my delight as a writer, and my duty as a father.
Most are, objectively, ridiculous. Zombies don't exist, the chances of a war are still small, thanks to MAD being the default defense, and it is highly unlikely that a team of miners will release Fenrir any time soon(1). Yet I am concerned enough by the probables - an economic melt down with the associated unrest and possible dictatorship - to take precautions. A stockpile of food, water, and information to see the family through any lean times. Cash on hand and the car constantly topped off with fuel, in case, as during the London riots, we have to leave home for a while.
Alarmist? Possibly. Prudent? For a family man, definitely.
Was talking with my daughter the other day and she raised a point I have never thought of before.
"Dad," she said bitterly "Why do you bother. You will always be fine, even if the world goes to hell. You have skills."
That startled me. My daughter is skilled in her own right. She speaks several languages fluently and is very much in demand as a translator, so is not one that anyone would call dumb. Yet she has a point, the divide between the people who will survive a calamity and the ones who won't.
There is an old saying, "It is not what you know but who you know." That saying holds true as long as society functions. But when society breaks down, the saying reverses. It is what you know that becomes vital.
There are preppers light, then there are hard core preppers with their shelter off the beaten track, stores and drive to become as self sufficient as possible. Ask any of the hard core prepper community and they will tell you - they would make room and tithe a portion to a Registered Nurse in a TSHTF scenario. A GP can write his own meal ticket. A combination mechanic / machinist would literally be worth his weight in gold in the aftermath of society's collapse.
While there are things, people or animals to be repaired, the people who can do the repairs will have everyone else over a barrel. Without lube.
Sure, you can build up a library and read books. Book learning is not enough. There is a huge gap in practical things between knowing the theory and knowing the practice. To go back to our GP example for a second - most preppers have Black's Medical Dictionary or equivalent as part of their survival kit. Just open it and read it for a bit. How many diseases do you suddenly have? You have the knowledge - it is right there in the book - but you do not have the skill and experience to apply that knowledge. It is a well known phenomenon. First year medical students are frequently convinced they have between two and five fatal illnesses. Of course, they do not, but their lack of skill prevents them from seeing that.
I am minded of a quote from Robert Heinlien:
"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects"
How many of those can you do?
“Anything from a worldwide plague to a zombie apocalypse to WW3. “
Zombie ping list?
Anyone can pitch manure. The big question is the why and what you’re pitching it.
You are joking. We have one? Put me on that puppy!
“How many of those can you do?”
Shade-tree mechanic, crude carpenter, modest plumber, some of the electrician’s skills. I am also a good shot with a rifle, mediocre with a pistol, and my swordsmanship is only fair. I know enough to get by, and am well supplied with arms and tools.
‘Tis the reason we’ve been brushing up on our various skills and paying special attention to teaching them to the kids. From carpentry to electricity/electronics to firearms to sewing to cooking with what’s available, we’re doing pretty well. Mechanical repair is still in the works; thankfully one son is very visual and can figure out how most things work with little effort. His troubleshooting skills are good, but he needs to work on disassembly w/o breaking and preparing for reassembly.
Do you mean “Heinlein”?
Be careful about him.
You are absolutely correct.
Here’s one of my favorites in the YouTube video below. Get someone who knows arc welding to teach you the fine points, then practice, and you’ll be much in demand. Car batteries will be plentiful when it all goes down, most likely, as will scrap metal and metal objects that need to be repaired or constructed. All you’ll need to be in business is a good arc welding unit and a solid stockpile of various types of rods, as well as a few solar tickler rechargers that will keep the batteries running for years after the gasoline runs out. Replenishing such batteries properly is also worth knowing, and having a solid collection and understanding of 12V appliances will make you a highly valued person. You could even run a side business with the welder around town before the zombies take over and the grid goes down. :)
Wrong. Zombies do exist. They are known as the parasitic underclass -the walking dead who will be coming after you and yours when the SHTF.
Two things on Heinlein’s list I have yet to accomplish. dying will have to wait - no need practicing for that. Writing a sonnet is something I may have to work on. All the rest I have either done or been trained to do at one time or another in my life.
I don't know a GD thing about cell phones.
How to do a pig:
Invite some friends over...
Kill the pig. Dead BLOODY Pig pic. Don't look if you don't like blood. (If you can't do this stop now and starve to death.)
Scald the pig
Scrape the pig.
Gut the pig.
Cook the pig.Throw in a couple of buffalo prime rib roasts...
EAT the pig.
I am envious - that looks like one prime roast!
Those be fast zombies. Yes, they count, I guess.
“Anyone can pitch manure. The big question is the why and what youre pitching it.”
Possibly.., you work for the DNC, OWS, SEIU, NYT, NPR, NEA?
All sorts of possibilities!
Just realized - the (1) I did not explain.
That is the new novel. A team or Norwegian and Kenyan miners releasing Fenrir and triggering Ragnarok.
My imagination needs a leash ....
I have always had problems with ie/ei words!
One of the joys of my life was meeting him, back when I was young, dumb and arrogant. Spent a full day with him, talking, drinking beer and shifting what felt like 50 tons of rock.