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Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:17 pm
by Richard Hull
Let us go back a few hundred years when the infrastructures of today didn't exist. "Der Bauer" (german, meaning farmer or peasant farmer) was more of less self sufficient in a number of ways, especially if he was fortunate enough to own his own little chunk of land. So, there were the rich and the dirt poor and in between stood Der Bauer.

As the industrial revoltution began, the dirt poor that might luck into opportunity or the Bauer who left the farm might make his way into a proto-middle class/working class of people as supporting infrastructures like banks merchants, shippers and haulers needed ever more personnel as their businesses expanded. The church was no longer the number one employer.

Certainly by 1800 there was a burgeoning middle and upper middle class in the world as education became recognized as a stepping stone out of abject poverty. By the late 1800's there were vast stratifications created within the middle classes from the lowest common laborer to the skilled laborer, to the clerks, secretaries and lower level managerial positions on up to the upper middle class living and working as upper level managers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, teachers or owning their own small businesses creating even more infrastructure.

The twentieth century heralded an explosion in infrastructure as technology went totally nuts. The middle class from its lowest rungs to its highest levels far out numbered the poor and the rich within any industrialized nation. This meant ever higher standards of living for all, as all in such countires became totally inmeshed in infrastructure and ever more dependent upon it.

The worlds resources were tapped to support the richest nation's infrastructures which it could easily do as most of the world still remained ignorant and lived in crushing poverty not far removed from how their forebearers lived 300 years ago.

Probably right after world war II as all the world became aware of how everyone else lived thanks to instant and global communications, Many of the "lesser", "supplier nations" wanted their piece of the pie. After a lot of independance fights to free themselves from the last of empire colonial rule and the subsequnce despot and nutball rulers, they come into th 21st century as rich and eager nations with their own growing middle classes consuming and spending just as their distant idols in the "free world" do.

More infrastructure is heaped on and the older industrialized nations now find themselves have to pay big money for the earth borne treasures of these distant lands that used to be cheap as one stagnant despot could be happy with far less than a modern entire nation will require to grow and expand.

So everyone finds that the rich nations have used and are continuing to use the bulk of the world's resources just to maintain a way of life and the valuable infrastructures so necessary to keep the bulk of their people in the status quo.

The meanest intelligence can see that this can't continue and that the infrastructure will collapse back to a certain lower level of performance and capability leaving many out of work and starving or worse in the streets creating a total breakdown of the social order all because they feel nearly instantly disposessed and lost for reasons their little minds can't fathom. They need and will find many suitable scapegoats that may or maynot be among the guilty for they themselves will bear a huge responsibility for most of the problems which will be debt related.

In the end, Der Bauer might once again be the man in the catbird's seat. He needs little or no infrastructure and little or no cash to survive. What he needs, he can sell his goods to acquire, as all about him scream the sky is falling. I hope the fall doesn't throw us that far back, but one never knows how bleak and black it will become. It will all depend on how irretrievably damaged parts of the infrastucture are and the period required to regain a fiscally sound society based on living and having much less than we enjoy today.

In a world where total isolation and self-sufficiency is looked at with suspicion and bemusement, such a lifestyle might be the one to have in future as many have already put their comments down here in favor of.

Richard Hull

Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:32 pm
by Adam Szendrey
It's just that i'm a bit affraid, that it's too late for me. How much time do i have left before the collapse? A year? Five years? Ten years? Maybe more? Or maybe just a month? Who can really tell?
Becoming self sufficient after living in a city all my life, is quite challenging. I hope i can manage.


Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:22 pm
by Richard Hull
I don't think I would go paranoid with fear, but prepare in a number of simple ways based on what I can secure easily, now, that will represent true wealth and value in hard times.

A set of good hand tools would be a must, power tools might not be of any value. Assemble a number of photovoltaics that can be cobbled to at least charge storage batteries if not power things outright. A lot of things that are good for storm power outages are a bare minimum, but imagine the outage is for weeks or months and prepare accordingly. I prefer a deep cycle lead acid battery for emergency power with daytime photovoltaic recharge. 12 volt incandescent spot lighting, Cold Cathode lighting coupled with LED lighting. A small 4-5" B&W 12v TV and a transistor all band radio. Lay in a stock of canned goods that you rotate through as you buy groceries each week with the older material slowly sliding forward to be consumed as the new stuff is retocked from the rear.

DO NOT RELY ON A GAS GENERATOR! It chews up gas and the gas supply might drop to zero. Rely on the sun and use power modestly.

For Americans, guns and lots of ammo is considered a must have for serious bad times. While they could actually be taken from you and used on you, those hard bitten enough to use them when in dire straits to protect themselves and their loved ones will prevail. I pray it never comes close to that. Remember, ammo and guns ARE money and ARE real wealth in any severe crisis as are useful heavy tools, i.e., axes, shovels, hoes and picks, sledges, handsaws, etc.

Obtain a small propane stove and gas lantern. Lay in a large stock of small propane cylinders. I keep a 5 gallon can of kerosene on hand as well as a 5 gallon can of gas. Candles and matches are a "must have" as well as simple first aid supplies. I figure that if you can survive the first two months of a major crisis, it might mellow a bit as the government and or barter situations come into play.

In the absense of law and order, local protection groups will form. Again this is a draconian scenario that, hopefully, will never occur.

Again, it is those little, simple, easy things that will mean so much in emergencies of all types. Small outlays of your current wealth into these areas slowly over time will build up a wall of confidence in your chances for weathering a quarter year of uncertainty and loss of power.

This is not paranoia but common, simple wisdom.

Richard Hull

Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 3:46 pm
by Mike Veldman
I'd like to augment Richards list by suggesting you stockpile a textual library of "how to do it" materials. I suggest textual because the internet is not on the top of the list for restoration. It might depend upon your geographical area or living situation or percieved needs some just exactly what you choose, but I'd suggest information on every basic topic available, but especially basic survival skills, personel hygene and emergency medicine, food growing and storage, basic construction, water purification and the like. Even more advanced material on heat and air systems (HVAC), commercial water and power distributon systems, telephone systems, radio and tv, engines, generators and motors, formulaes for domestic cleaning chemicals, metals and fabrication, power and heat generation methods. These may never see use because your area may not degenerate that far, but in case of a natural disaster during the man made disaster, maybe.
Having knowledge not only makes your life a little more livable, it makes you valuable to others who do not, but may have something you need to trade. Or it might give the local warlord a reason to let you live, or worse conscription into government service.


Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 4:17 pm
I've always been a fan of post-apocalyptic movies and novels. I recently watched a new french film "Time of the Wolf". I noted it won some film festival awards. It begins just after a collapse that is never explained. The film focuses on a woman trying to survive with her daughter and young son. For anyone interested in survivalism I recommend it.

I'm not nearly as well equipped as I would like to be but I believe it just plain common sense to follow the boy scout motto and "be prepared". The supermarkets are crazy enough around DC when snow is in the forecast, let alone a nuclear winter, plauge or food shortage.

Over anything else for survival situations I recommend securing a source of drinking water. I like to backpack alot and I have peace in mind of knowing that my gear for this hobby would help me in any catastrophe. I love my portable water filters. I've noticed there are some new models available which use UV light and can be powered by rechargable batteries.


Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:50 am
by karen123
Mike Veldman wrote:I'm curious what the draw is to your little town. LIke I'm curious what the draw is to the one I live in. The living and growing, and the infrastructure conditions you describe are similar. Our major industry is the university, with a few minor others, but the people are moving in like crazy. Land prices in town can run to 12k an acre, close outside, 4k an acre, ten miles out, west, south or north 2.5k an acre, east is a little less at 2k. We bought ten acres east of town in 96 and paid 1k an acre for it. Some close friends bought 35 acres two miles further east of us and paied 1.5k, but they have frontage on a state highway, we're a mile from the highway. Within six months of our purchase the guy we bought from offered us 1.5k to buy it back. But very few sale signs stay up even in the rural areas for long. When I moved into this house twenty years back it was pretty rural, I was on the eastern outskirts of town. I built a raised deck 12' above the patio on the east side of my house to sit and look through my telescopes. I did this to clear the tree line south of me. I could look to the east, north and south and not see a light. Now the entire panorama is dotted with yard lights. So I drive ten miles east to the new place to look at the stars, but in the last ten years the dots on the horizon have been growing. I guess a lot of people like me are moving to the country.

You built a raised deck 12' above the patio on the east side of the house to sit and look through your telescopes, so how many days it took in making of the deck?

Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:28 pm
by Paul_Schatzkin
karen123 wrote: I guess a lot of people like me are moving to the country.
...and bringing the city with them. <*sigh*>


Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:07 am
by Frank Sanns
When things go south, books, knowledge, property, belongings all become meaningless. When the masses run out of food and water, everything that you have will be theirs. You can stockpile food and ammunition but will be no match for what follows. Enjoy life now while you can. Odds are really good that you will die before you starve. This is true of both paths.

Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:38 am
by Richard Hull
Well, before the last two posts, it was 2005 in this thread. Along came 2008 and what is now known as the "great recession".

A number of trillions of yen, euro's and dollars vanished. Holders of GM stock, once the gold standard, got nothing as GM was bailed out by the government and re-organized as GM LLC. They got to issue new stock as a new company, making there old stock become "GM liquidation" which went from $20 per share to zero in a few months. Thousands and thousands of "Po' Fokes" took out NINJA, (No Income No Job or Assests), loans in the bloated housing market under federally backed Fanny May and Freddie Mack created tens of thousands of homeless folks in foreclosures. ("A home for all in America including the poor"). The banks took back homes they could not sell! Po's fokes back out in de cold.

The term "too big to fail" was coined and the government only allowed a few big companies and firms to fail, but floated all the rest on a pile of federal debt. Credit card debt was out of control as the consuming public amassed tremendous personal debt.....They figured if big companies can thrive and run on debt, so can we.

The federal dollar bailout "lifeboat", in 8 years, has seen the national debt double!

Now, eight years later, we are told we are in recovery. Phooey! We are in recovery only because we are back doing the same thing all over again. The nice, new, thriving house of cards hums along as people load up their credit cards again buying things they can't afford and the stock market heats to a red heat of over priced bloated stock issues. Massive debt, (account receivables) are now a great asset again, because everyone owes everyone else and all know they dare not call all of the debt owed them in as due and payable or the house will fall.

BOHICA!! (Bend over, hear it comes agian.)

Richard Hull