Loss of Technology. Going back to move forward.
Loss of Technology. Going back in time for the future.
Podcast Episode 110420
By: Alaskan Outlaw - 4th-Nov-2020
As many of you know, I'm pretty involved in surviving and getting my family and me to the other side of whatever Mother Earth may throw at us. With a constant knowledge that any minute of any day, some lost soul in some far-away place could depress the button to send us all back to the ice ages, I work tirelessly sometimes to think of all the "what ifs?" What are we going to do after the apocalypse? How do we, your average citizen, colonize Mars? What I mean by that is how do we function without all the conveniences we have today? This week I'd like to talk about going back in time, before the modernization, and pick up some ideas to move into an uncertain future with confidence.
We all hear a lot of stories about “the end of the world as we know it” and some people among us have even demanded it with their anarchy rhetoric, I really wonder if people really know what they’re saying? Do they really understand the implications of a societal collapse? The world has become complacent with the arrival, and now dependent on, the first responders who show up and save us from whatever threat we might be facing. The concept behind an apocalypse, however, would be that many conveniences we have come to rely on would be gone forever. Sure we might lose our cell phones and vehicles, but ultimately anything man-made would fail, and then what happens when the resources for making it are no longer available? Can the individual process crude oil into gasoline, or create metal from ore? Depending on how you look at this “end”, or if we find ourselves in a position where this “end” really was the end of our society, the necessary skills become a lot longer. What about writing, and speaking?
The good news is, that our ancestors were able to do this for millennia before much of what we use today was thought of. The bad news is, most of the people alive today wouldn’t last long enough to figure out how they did it. From the movies, we get visions of “Mad Max” or “The Book of Eli” that depict abandoned vehicles and material objects scattering the ground as the Earth reclaims everything. We’ve witnessed, time and time again, the striping of store shelves during disasters, or larger scale emergencies, quickly depleting local distribution points and all local food resources.
Several podcasts ago I talked about securing the skill sets necessary before they were needed, well this show will hopefully alert us to what conceivably could happen, and give us some serious thought about “life after the holocaust”. What about considering the skills that have been given to the children?
I was thinking about what would happen if COVID was just the precursor to something far more lethal. At the rate of international infection, COVID disseminated the economy and severely crippled manufacturing around the world. But, what if is was only an appetizer before the main course? What if this was just a delivery vessel testing? Now I'm not trying to start any new conspiracy theories here, but my mama always said "prepare for the worst, and hope for the best". So, let's look at a couple of scenarios and then, ponder what life on earth would look like.
When thinking about possibilities that could impact life as we know it, we need to take a minute and throw ideas up at the wall to see what sticks. Not saying any of these items will happen, as a matter-of-fact I’d be more likely to believe that the end of civilization will happen due to a rapid succession of several different catastrophes. So, I’m going to call out a few here:
- Societal Zombie programming completed. I talked last week about the large social media companies laying the foundation for real society-level people programming, and their level of success. The team that up with the reduction of education (“dumbing down” of many school curricula) particularly here in the United States and the stage is set to initiate any programming these corporation management want. I mean have you seen people throughout our communities nowadays? The government literally had to make laws about not using cell phones while one is driving. Duh. So, in conjunction with the cyber-bullying and other cyberterrorist activities, the society-level programming is getting pretty close to a completed product. Ready to sell to the next bidder. The fact that a group of people followed a sarcastic solution for the virus remedy should prove that this societal-level programming is very powerful.
- Civil War. In many locations throughout the country, this has every indicator to be just around the corner. Whether it be a racial conflict that starts it, or anti-government anarchists, or just hateful people in general. The writing is on the wall for this tinderbox to explode at any minute. Much like the original civil war, this may pit family members against other family members, in a war that will be a lot of things, except civil. The other unfortunate side to this is that it might lead to another country seizing the opportunity to invade.
- Natural Disaster. This concept has been floating around for as long as I can remember. From the supervolcano in Yellowstone to the big one in California that makes Arizona beachfront. We have already witnessed unprecedented forest fires ravaging the southwest, and a new record level hurricane season on the eastern seaboard, all the while increased seismic activity can be felt around the ring of fire. While I don't discount this category, I'm really thinking that the United Staes could survive most of these, albeit it might take some time. This might include a weather phenomenon that causes enormous amounts of damage, potentially driven by the natural disaster.
- Foreign invasion. This one is the wildcard. While I think that this one is very unlikely, the outcome of this would be a global catastrophe. In an all-out head-to-head conflict, I really doubt that this one would have very much success, however, if you were to start adding in the others in this list, with a softening provided by a more lethal version of COVID, and now you may have something worth betting on. The other side to this coin would be some type of nuclear conflict, which everyone agrees would cause M.A.D. or mutually assured destruction, which many theorize would usher in the next ice age. The good news with that is, no more global warming.
Honestly, there are governments being overthrown throughout the world right now, so is it any big surprise that this would appear on our list? While the idea here was not to instill fears of any of these theories coming to fruition, the question arises, would you be ready? While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, the idea here is to think beyond an initial event, being sure we ration our stores to survive the initial impact, then continue to thrive during the rebuilding phase. Then, continuing to reserve some stores until they are no longer available locally. We need to think about the longer-term preps necessary after we consume our current preps. Are we prepared for the end of society?
To this point, let's look at some principles we will utilize to function in society today, and its importance in an uncertain future.
- Food preparation and Cooking. We know based on anthropological findings that it was a fire that turned an evolutionary page for the humans of that time period. By cooking the food, there were different nutrients released that caused the human brain to multiply exponentially in complex thought, and evolve to what some of us have today. Although honestly, sometimes I'm not sure some of us actually completed that migration. Hence, I digress. The idea that some foods could be stored longer gave humankind an evolutionary boost up the wall of fulfillment. However, this is fairly easy as the creation of a fire is a well-understood skill by most humans. However, ensuring proper preparation of meats (cooked all the way) is a requirement that many might have issues with. Taking our queue from our ancient ancestors, food prep and storage would instantly be an important factor to survival, in addition, growing our own food would become the best method to ensure our growth.
- Hygiene and medical treatment. This is a huge one. While most of us don't even think about it, I am reminded that, up until the nationwide distribution of Penicillin, many individuals would die from a simple infection (some still do with penicillin), potentially caused by a minuscule laceration from a tree branch. Death during childbirth was common-place a mere century ago, while today it rarely happens because of the advances in medical science, without that science, we'd step back in time. If we judge the medical community's ability to research and develop vaccines for influenza, SARS/MARS, and now COVID, hopefully, we caught notice of the benefit of cleanliness, however the need for some germs is what allowed us to build a resistance. In a scenario where professional medical care was eliminated, or out of reach, diseases once eradicated would roam the earth again. Potentially minimizing the proliferation of the human race.
- Hunting. Obviously, some feel content to hunt and fish at the local grocery store, however, the necessity of proteins (red meat and fish) in the human diet is incredibly beneficial and provides the underlying building blocks for complex brain growth. However, without the modern-day weapons, much like today in Alaska, humans wouldn’t be at the top of the food chain anymore. While the usage of modern-day firearms would support us for quite some time (depending on the stores of ammo), eventually we are going to utilize all our ammo, and then those individuals who are capable of reloading ammo will run out of resources to make more. At which point we (the human race) might be up a creek without a paddle. The potential to replenish the weapon store will make all the difference in our position within the food chain.
- Transportation. This is another area that humankind has taken for granted for sure, especially us here in Alaska. While we know that there are miles to go between locations, we may not realize that if we had to walk or even engage in horseback riding, the time spent in travel would multiply exponentially. Instead of air travel, trips to the lower-48, for us, would take weeks (if not months) to complete. Without cars, trucks, motorcycles, airplanes, or large sea-going vessels, trips to areas away from our immediate surroundings would be a much bigger endeavor. In our conversations about transportation, a huge part of that becomes the infrastructure leftover from civilization as we know it today. Bridges and roads would eventually give way to the reclamation by Mother Earth, leaving the survivors needing to find new routes.
- Shelter, and temperature control. While in most areas this could involve a matter of seeking shade, here in the north, this will include the use of a heat source during the winter months. In addition, staying warm and dry would mean having to be sure our shelter didn’t leak and protected the occupants from the elements. There would also need to be a method of security, as desperate people do desperate things to try to survive.
While we see many people stocking up on the supplies we use every day in these modern times, however many of these items require the use of electricity for full usage, or they are made from materials that are not from nature. What value will these products have when you haven’t had power for a while, and the backup generator is out of gas finally? This would be my concern, or what happens when there is no more brass to make bullets with, or no more gunpowder to make the cartridge, or no more plastic to make tools, or other used itemize?
As we can see, the majority of today's humans will become scavengers during the time following a holocaust. Within months, hundreds of thousands will die of starvation or be medically expired. More will perish in the fight for remaining food scraps, or other resources. One of the other points here is that (particularly in the United States) we really live in the land of plenty and have “super-sized” just about everything when it comes to meals. There will be a huge transition back to a diet of rationing, or hunt to eat. Many in today’s society won’t make it through that transition. Some, like many Alaskan native villages, won’t have any transition at all.
Just some tips I came up with;
- Learn to, and start a garden. To ensure that we will have enough nutrition to carry us through whatever the future holds we will need to have plenty of food on-hand. To do this we have several options: A) Hunt for red meat, B) Shepherd our red meat, and C) grow our vegetables. While the hunting/shepherd activities will provide us with protein and other nutrients we need, it will need to be balanced with vegetables to create a balance.
- Reduce dependency on things that don't come from nature. Ultimately all things that cannot be replaced (or remanufactured) from nature will expire. It will break, or eventually just quit. So think about what are your needs and then determine how to accomplish that need from a minimalist point of view. The less complex, the less dependent on modern electricity you are, the easier it becomes to transition to a survival scenario.
- Learn to hunt, and fish. Just knowing how to "field-dress" a kill will add to your value. This is a big one. If things really go south, you’re going to have to bring home the red meat, and most of it needs to be dressed beforehand. Things even as small as hares, small bears, or other animals need to be prepared before they will do you, or your family, any good. In addition, we will need to understand how to fish and prepare the fish for dinner. These are skills that you should get now before they are needed.
- Figure out how stuff works so you can keep it as long as possible. This is another big one. Even if we go back in time and locate those simplistic tools of the early 1900s, we need to ensure they remain functional for as long as possible. Proper maintenance will go a long way in keeping tools functional as long as possible.
- Go back in time and identify tools and other practical stuff that you can use without electrical power, and can possibly make yourself. This is a big thing for me. I like looking at tools of the late 1800s and early 1900s to incorporate into my prep. Manual can openers, and cast iron cook pots are critical to keeping things functional as long as possible.
- Figure out, and learn your weapons now, so that you can always be ready. This is a prep I’m currently working on. While having modern firearms with appropriate ammo will support us for the foreseeable future, when the bullets are all gone, the firearms become great paperweights. Something to think about. I am currently researching the creation of gunpowder for black powder weapons of the 1700/1800s from natural resources, here in Alaska, in addition to the bow and arrow, slings, and traps. These are weapons that don’t require a completed bullet cartridge, that can be used far down the road if it truly is the end of the world as we know it.
Being prepared means that we have the knowledge of going without modern-day conveniences that we have come to depend on. It means that we are willing to apply manual labor to tasks that we would normally automate. The best time to figure all of these older technologies out is before things go from bad to worse. Now is the time to gain the skills and tools that will be necessary should the worst-case scenario come to fruition.