Making connections, round two

My last post was my latest attempt to connect like-minded people. But, as if often the case, the discussion wandered. I think this is important, so I’m trying again.

Again, the useful fora: the Classified Ads sections of Silent Country, Sustainable Country, Hubbert’s Arms, and The Oil Age. As mentioned previously, Michael Ruppert’s Collapse Network has a directory of lifeboats.

To reiterate: Sub-topics are limited only by our imaginations. Bartering for goods and services knows no bounds. From sharing land to sharing intimate futures, somebody should develop the one-stop shop before it’s too late.

In the spirit of taking a tentative step in the direction I’m proposing, I’ve added a classified ads page (see tab at the top of this page). Send me your ad, and I’ll post it there. You’ll notice two ads already. At any time, let me know if you’d like to revise or remove it. Use me for contact information, if you’d like, so I can serve as a human spam filter.

Comments 80

  • Sounds like the two folks who placed these ads should contact each other!…looks like a great fit ;-)

    I wish I had the skills needed. I think the opportunity offered by the first ad sounds quite interesting.

    This looks to me to be a really good idea, folks. A real opportunity to connect.

    Time is running short……..

  • I know others take out the same books I read from our local library. Has anyone found a way that people with common interests can find a way to connect with each other?

  • Thank you Victor for your comments about our ad. We’ve been in contact with Gregg regarding his ad, however we live in a rural area 10+ miles from the nearest town (population 5200), a bit further than he would like to be. It is difficult to find people with skills that are necessary in a rural setting, unfortunately we lost many of these skills under empire. Teaching individuality, lone ranger and ownership has destroyed helping, caring, sharing and working together towards common goals.

    In his post, Dmitry Orlov says, “There is certainly a great deal that all of us can do to help, but “organizing” is not one of them.” I think there are some examples of organizing that we can learn from. One of these is the Sports Industrial Complex which has many similarities of tribal living. For over 40 years I was involved in sports (addicted), playing, coaching, watching and studying,

    Teams are built to make money and win. In our case it’s to survive. Each player has his own assignment, knows that the team’s success depends on each player staying focused and completing their task. Learning new techniques as they adjust to the opposition. Players, coaches sacrifice their own personal goals for the good of the team (which is only as good as the weakest link). Players and coaches start out in training camp living, working and eating together for six to eight weeks, 24 hours a day (egos are checked in at the door).

    Some of the many benefits from sharing living arrangements:

    Working part time (which allows everyone free time to enjoy themselves)

    Cost Cutting:

    Property tax
    Vehicle maintenance and insurance
    Home/property maintenance and insurance
    Furniture and appliances
    Tools and Equipment
    Childcare, Elder Care

    Purchasing in bulk and cooking collectively (kitchens are extremely energy intensive and expensive).
    Growing, processing and storing of food.
    Sharing and learning of skills
    Utilization of property

    Our team goal is to navigate through collapse and live well as long as we can together.

    One of the most important things I’ve learned about collapse is that no one has all the answers and that we all have something to contribute, we can sink or swim together.

    We welcome any feedback on our ad or essays,

  • Guy,

    You made a good point in your posting,by saying “the discussion wandered”.The postings or essays are usually hijacked by those who can’t stay on point.


    Stick to the subject !!!

    I’d like to offer an essay,but I’m not going to do it,until we learn
    to limit all postings to the subject involved.Too often you people veer
    off the topic at hand to talk about tending turnips.Don’t get me wrong,
    I have nothing against turnips—-but don’t talk about turnips unless
    the subject is turnips–got it?

    Double D

  • Frank, can we instead talk about Rutabagas?

    They’re delicious!

  • Gardengate

    Sounds like you have the ideal location. And you are correct, IMO, that the key to survival into the future will be discipline, perseverance and solid teamwork in all aspects of the community you are trying to build. Location, sustainable living skills, and community – all key ingredients.

    I wish you well.

    My wife, who is a nurse, and I will likely be keeping our eyes open in the future for an opportunity in England should it arise. She has medical skills and a very practical way of living (only a Russian who has lived through state collapse will understand what I say here), and I cook, fix, clean and garden… :-) We are not ready as yet, but the time is coming quickly, I think.

  • Frank,

    Sometimes it is difficult to stick to the subject for more than one or two postings. And there are those with a real need to share their lives here. But I take your point.

  • Frank

    “the discussion wandered” That is part of why I think this page so nice, so different. So many things to be learnt.
    Maybe there is a “Technical” solution in using different threads, I don’t know, but maybe.

    At the brink off “going home” I do not enjoy: DO as your told, has been too often in my opposing mainstream, life.

    Love and Peace.

    P.S.: Agree with Victors point about sharing.


  • Frank, rofl

    By the way, we are off topic.

  • By the way, we are off topic.

    Damn! Did it again!

  • Maybe I’m a dinosaur, but this growing movement that we are seeing now is what I lived several decades ago. And going back to in a few months. I know other like-minded people are out there, most of them hiding in the woods and deserts.

    These people are a living archive, a treasure trove of information, skills, and experience that can serve as a resource. Unfortunately a large proportion of these people do not participate in the global network of Internet. Most have no desire to (been there). Yet, most are willing to teach and mentor, exchange and share ideas. And they will be the ones that have a higher probability of surviving through the upcoming Imperfect Storm.

    In addition to networking land and ideals, another useful addition might be to add ‘Skills’. And I don’t mean the workshops that charge hundreds or thousands of dollars, but community-minded mentoring. (ironically, this was the foundation concept for the USDA Extension Service) I see a resurgence in ‘survival schools,’ etc. But they are widely scattered and many prohibitively expensive. We need more affordable and accessible learning centers and gatherings. And a central ‘warehouse’ website to list them.

    The Transition movement appears to be moving towards this, but slowly and they are loosely organized.

    Just a comment and idea put forward.

  • OK, on topic
    We evolved as tribal beings and thus somewhere deep in us is a desire for a close knit community. However tribes were bound by kinship and acculturation. Attempts at intentional communities have not done well in recent times as they seldom start with kinship and have to build up their own culture from scratch. The ones that have lasted longest by and large seem to be religious and with strong hierarchical tendencies. The Bruderhof is one – born out of the persecutions of Hitler and now probably 90% kin related, they have a strong religious binding and rigid rules. Those I have met are warm loving and seemingly happy people but it is not a lifestyle most can adapt to.

    From my experiences in and around intentional communities the following are hazards for any community
    Death of a charismatic leader
    Land ownership not being equal
    Marital infidelity
    People who join but just don’t fit
    People who join because they are running from problems
    Control issues

    A friend lives in co-housing – a rather loose knit form of community. Yet they have had to hire a professional counselor to help them figure out how to live together peaceably.

    Necessity is going to force people into groups that seek to survive together because humans do best when sharing skills – the group becomes more than the whole. We are perhaps close enough to necessity that any community to forms now will weather or overcome the pitfalls I mention.

    However the classifieds here still stand at two. I would imagine that is the final number plus Guy of people actively trying to set up communities. For a larger base of people to appeal to or communities to join The Communities Magazine might work better

    I recommend that part of any discussion when forming a community is
    1. What to do when your kin folk all see the light and show up at the door. If you can only support say one more family, whose kin will get preference etc.
    2. What to do when non-kin show up who are unfit to work, or just not your type – do you keep them out (how) and maybe let them starve at your gates?
    3. What to do when people show up who intend to take all you have worked for for themselves? Will you raise arms, or yield.

  • Frank, do you have some comment on communities or do you think the subject matter here is “sticking to the topic”? All you have commented on is “sticking to the topic”. I believe the subject is communities. Please stay on subject.

  • Kathy,

    From our years of trying this and the response, we can see there is little need to no need for this. We have advertised on as well as spoke to those who are trying to do the same thing and have advertised in the Oregon Tilth and Communities Magazine. Responses are mostly those with no resources, no skills and just want to pitch their tents somewhere.

    We also tried the kinship route but soon found out we were doing most of the work which put us further behind in the Fall. I think if anything is to develop it will be by chance and we’re okay with that. I also believe what we’re living through is unlike anything we’ve been through before and the communities of the past (60’s) came together for different reasons.

    We are not trying to form a community of many but want to partner up with another couple of people (at the most 6) who are adult enough to know that besides loving each other the work still needs to be done. One would think this wouldn’t be so hard considering our population.

    Most of whom we’ve met say we’re on the cutting edge and folks just aren’t ready yet. Seems to us, they’re right.

    In regards to the last things you mentioned:

    1) First come, first serve—though there is room to build, can’t see closing the door there.

    2) Will work for food. Have already had these responses, “we know where to come when it all goes down”.

    3) They can go ahead and take but how long will they survive if they don’t know how to survive. We’re okay with death, like Ghandi said, we should contemplate death daily.

    Like George Carlin says, we’re S.o.O.L and J.W.F.

  • Gardengate, if an ill mother with an infant child lands on your doorstep will you say, “sorry work for food or mosey on”? Myself I would rather take folks in until we all starve together than turn someone away.

    As for kin, if one forms a community with non-kin each will likely favor their own kin even though right now they can’t stand them (genetic programs kick in). This can become a problem. If ownership of land is held by only one of the community members they will feel if only a few can be taken in their kin get priority even though right now they may say all is shared equal.

    I have seen nepotism of the land owners at work more than once. It destroys community. In the one case it was to be a Christian community based on the principles of the early Christian community, but that didn’t last long. And that was before the hard times that are coming.

    Just offering up things for people to think about and be aware of.

    You would be surprised how un-adult adult seeming people can be.

    Communities will spring up when necessity demands it. I think Orlov is 100% correct, you cannot force community, it has to happen because it needs to happen. But as I said before we are close enough now to necessity that any community formed now might run smack dab into and be saved from the pitfalls.

    And yes, the folks that I have seen answering ads are as you described, but I would add that despite lack of skills they often think they have better ideas than someone who has been successfully growing food for several decades. And they often have deep emotional problems, or in one case financial problems and problems with the law that they have hidden. But they write good letters of introduction.

    As for me, I am no longer interested in living in community other than the natural one that is our town. I am not well suited to community living, although I might be considered a valuable community member when my gardening knowledge trumps my personality :). Our town will come together with adversity or be torn apart (quite possibly on racial lines). Time will tell. It is a good time to be old and not feel like one has to hang on for decades…..

  • Macrobe,

    You mentioned learning centers, which we have thought about and tried advertising to get others involved. There definitely is a need for this especially since so many of them are unaffordable.


    in regards to your comment, “if an ill mother with an infant child lands on your doorstep will you say, “sorry work for food or mosey on”?

    Hypotheticals are great, but think we need to stay on track…

    Obviously we wouldn’t be trying to share what we have if we were so ill-hearted, and if a ill mother with child shows up all the way out here, she must have the will to live and survive, I would welcome such a strong person.

  • Turboguy!

    Welcome back old buddy—how ya been? The rutabaga is a kind of turnip,
    so as usual we are on the same track.You don’t know how much trouble I
    acquired sticking up for you !!

    There are some who have difficulty accepting the fact that I am the
    Sergeat-at-Arms on this blog site—someone has to keep order around
    here,and I’m proud that Guy has chosen me for that position !!!

    Double D

  • There are some who have difficulty accepting the fact that I am the
    Sergeat-at-Arms on this blog site—someone has to keep order around
    here,and I’m proud that Guy has chosen me for that position !!!

    O has he now?…..

  • About staying on topic–the idea just pisses me off.

    I guess I’m a poor candidate for community. We’ve worked hard developing a place that has a chance of supporting a few people (family) into the future. That small group will have to interact with the larger local population in various ways in order to access essential skills/technologies not possessed by members of that core group. We have been working hard to expand our skill base during this lull before the storm. We are doing what we can to put systems in place that will allow us to survive (barely) without having access to on-time delivery, centralized power sources, or oil slaves. With anything less than a complete collapse (Orlov’s stages 4 and 5) we will be okay, and in fact have personal experience (years) of living simply (poor) and without power.

    The conventional wisdom is that only communities governed by a set of carefully chosen and codified rules will have any chance at survival. Choosing to live independently, as an individual or family, is seen as a death wish. Many people who are suggesting that there is no way forward without a community of likeminded souls, willing to all pitch in and work a piece of land, are still living in cities as full time members of the BAU community of 21st Century techno-industrial civilization. Those same people who are so quick to dictate specific rules of behavior for living together post-collapse have no hands-on experience when it comes to producing their own food or energy. I’m thinking many, not all of course, are in for a rude awakening. I’d like to refer them to Guy’s post “Whack!” on August 29, 2009 for a little taste.

    Michael Irving

  • Frank, I still don’t see any comment from you on communities….. The Sargent at Arms should not be exempt from the rules he is trying to enforce. And why didn’t you chastise Turboguy for a comment not on topic. Mutiny is fomenting….

    Michael, I think that currently communities with same religion and rigid rules have had the best success. I think communities formed by necessity will have to be as you describe, flexible and respecting individuality. Sounds like you have the nub around which a larger community might form once necessity becomes apparent to those nearby.

  • Communities, commune, kibbutz… A wide range of community structures can be grouped under these titles. Close-knit communities were the core of our country’ history, in other countries, our civilization. And many indigenous groups still subsist and thrive in such close-knit communities.

    But that ideal and way of life has deteriorated here in this country. It has been replaced by once pastoral, now nationstate and urban lifestyles and attitudes that are less ‘community’ and more compartmental. We are too individualistic to readily convert to a community that resembles a kibbutz. Having visited one in Israel, I’m not even sure I could, though reason informs me I should.

    But we can find a fulcrum where we can mesh with those same or similar ideals. It will entail less of ‘I’ and ‘them’ and involve more of ‘we’. I am not sure we as a nation can embrace that. There’s too much ‘I’ and ‘them’. But maybe if we try……..

  • Victor

    The answer to your question is yes—just ask him.

    Double D

  • Victor,

    Excellent retort. It had just the right level of understatement; so European. All I could come up with had no class at all. Well stated, well done.

    Michael Irving

  • The answer to your question is yes—just ask him.

    Sergeant-at-arms….I really don’t like the sound of that. Sounds almost…well…authoritarian. Perhaps you misunderstood?

  • Wow! If Gregg is not interested in being 10 miles out of town, I don’t think he’d answer our ad when we get to putting it in – we’ve 40 km out (sorry – too lazy to do the conversion) – and on the other side of the Globe. We are also looking to create community and agree with all of your comments. Intentional communities just don’t seem to work. A lot of them appear to be little more than eco housing developments.

    We’ve actually decided to pursue the Joel Salatin model. He doesn’t really talk about community at all. Instead he offers internships and apprenticeships. He encourages the rare few to come up with a business proposition to run a synergistic business on his farm whereby for a few hours a week work on his farm, they get to use his infrastructure and land, and link in to his marketing machine. He encourages the same of his own children. He doesn’t want serfs. He wants people who are independent yet share a similar purpose. This system provides a very solid screening program. No one commits themselves until they know whether they can live in close proximity with each other. He told us that ultimately he’s hoping to end the internship and apprenticeship programs and just have several families running businesses from his farm.

    When I heard about his model, I realised why the intentional communities I’ve come across didn’t seem to work in the long term. A community needs to be a socio economic unit, like an extended marriage. I think this would hold true whether the system runs on money or on barter. Joel isn’t being altruistic by offering others a chance to farm on his land, running their own business. He ensures that the business is synergistic with his own, which by very definition means it adds something to his businesses. He also gets one of the hardest things to come by on a farm – quality labour. He talked about once there were 6 families on the farm, there would be enough work and income to support a mechanic (or in post-industrial world, maybe a blacksmith). I could see a village starting to develop – not from good intentions or religious togetherness, but because everyone benefited financially from being together.

    I actually thoroughly enjoy the wandering around and from the topic. If anyone feels strongly enough, they pull us back to the topic in question, or we often have several conversations going on at the same time. It seems to work beautifully.

  • Nicole

    Good points. Kathy, Orlov and others are right – a community arises from need and common interests. And this is what will happen when things go bye-bye. One point I have always tried to make is that those who can develop the skills and experience now can be the seeds of communities in the future. Don’t wait for a community before you begin learning new skills. And don’t wait for community before you start reaching out to those living around you – networking is vital for the future. The community will come about when it is the right time…..or not.

  • I actually thoroughly enjoy the wandering around and from the topic. If anyone feels strongly enough, they pull us back to the topic in question, or we often have several conversations going on at the same time. It seems to work beautifully.


    Again, I totally agree. Indeed, I have never heard Guy seriously disagree with that – though I might be wrong on that point if Frank, the Pit Bull, is correct….. ;-)

  • Frank.

    I’ve written several comments and deleted all of them.

    Victor, Bernhard, Michael and Kathy have already said what needed to be said.

    Sorry that comment is off topic.

  • Kevin…..LOL….*oops – off topic*

  • I have also written several comments this morning and deleted them and glad I did as Nicole said things much better. The attempts to control nature do not go well. The Mississippi is about to break out of its levees which seek to contain its flow. I believe “wandering” is the natural way humans converse and attempting to hem it in will never work.

    A quote from the book The Control of Nature by John McPhee
    “In making war with nature, there was a risk of loss in the winning.”

  • Kevin, lol.

    And please have a look on comments at the article before, message for ya.


    Thank you for community and carbon offset info, great.


    Working on it. Seems (for our case) without a lot of funds it’s not possible to “invent” something that will sustain heavy blows.

    But working further on developing community. Problem, as always, when approaching people, what does it take, to make them understand?
    Without scaring them too much and/or without loosing all credibility for oneself?

    Impression is, over the last decade, the ignorance
    of most people has increased once more and accelerating.

    The opposite to a minority is also true, so the spread seems to grow.

  • Bernhard

    If you are trying to convince people that Collapse is coming, you probably won’t be successful, as we all understand that. But if you are trying to build community, then share your garden with your neighbours. Invite them to help develop the garden if that seems right. Share your skills with them. Collapse never even has to be mentioned. It’s the development of relationships that matters in building community – even if the effort is a bit orthogonal to what you are REALLY trying to accomplish. Then when TSHTF, hopefully it will be your neighbours who will be the first to stand guard with you and protect that suddenly vital garden and the surrounding properties. At that point, “community” begins.

    My 2 pennies worth anyway.

  • Bernard,

    You might have touched on part of the answer regarding why communities are hard to develop. Throwing money at something that should arise organically is bound to fail. My observation is that many attempts at building community have involved the requirement that all the participants throw all their money into the hat. That’s bound to create unease from the outset as everyone immediately begins judging who has made the greater monetary commitment and therefore who’s voice should carry the most weight in the decision making process. An immediate hierarchy develops based on the original contribution. In cases where everyone throws in the same amount, a person contributing his entire net worth would feel he had made the greater commitment than some partner tendering a matching monetary contribution but, being richer to begin with, only contributed half their net worth.

    I’m familiar with people pulling together during emergencies and when cooperative efforts benefit the group, but who cling to a fierce individualism most of the time. It seems to work.

    Michael Irving

  • Totally off topic – video of interview at the link.
    Former Bailout Inspector General Neil Barofsky: “You Should Be Scared. I’m
    Scared. You Can’t Not Be Scared. You Can’t Look At What Happened In The Run-Up
    To 2008 and See How It’s Not Going to Repeat Itself, Given What We’ve Done”

    The former Special Inspector General for TARP also noted that S&P says the next
    round of bailouts will cost $5 trillion just in up-front costs, and that
    enormous pressure is being put on Wall Street executives to take giant,
    company-bankrupting risks.

  • The discussion of community dumbfounds me. Few of us have any useful experience with true community, considering what a rare entity it has become, and most of the attempts to recapture a sense of it are reported as dismal failures because we lack the self-restraint to submit to its needs when no outer compelling force exists, namely, survival pressure. Conjecture about what lies beyond the bottleneck always bothers me, too, principally because I don’t think the voyage will be quick. Rather, we’ll be lodged there for some time as the wheels on the bus come flying off but the vehicle continues to slow, only coming to rest after a protracted, gut-wrenching slide. But that’s merely more conjecture.

    If you really want to read about community, allow me to recommend John Reader’s book Man on Earth, which is a survey of different types of social organization and which I reviewed at Amazon. As I suggested in the review, his book recites some rather amazing cultural distortions that arise when resources are limited and restraint must be forced on others. His discussion of the Hutterites was particularly interested to me as they discovered that the optimal size of a colony is only 200 people. They split off and form a new colony when their numbers require it. Religion is very strict, which clearly works for community at the expense of individualism. But we’re all individualists these days, so we don’t fit within any community. Hell, we can’t even agree to stay on topic. But look at me! I’m on topic!!

  • But look at me! I’m on topic!!

    That’s because you are individualistic!….. :-)

    But you are correct. Few of us have any real inkling of “community” today. I do remember, however, my childhood before modern technology took over completely. I remember a code that essentially said that it mattered not what you do or think as an individual if your community is threatened. I remember that it was important that you defend those that you belong to, right or wrong. Family was everything. Your community was next. In a small, agricultural community, it meant helping neighbours out when they needed it – harvesting, building, fixing, whatever. It meant nights spent talking and laughing and playing simple games with each other. It meant sharing joy and sorrow with those you belong to. I remember these things, and how very different it is now. And that’s only in my lifetime. My mother and father’s world was even more different.

    Yes, we have lost much. But we are essentially social creatures, and as such we will fall back into such behaviour when circumstances require it. But not all of us. Many will not be able to accept the change. Many will prowl the streets looking for trouble. Even more will go mad, neither wanting to go to bed at night for fear of the night and the nightmares it brings, or rise in the morning to the harsh glare of reality. To these community will be a divide they will never be able to cross, a dream they will never be able to embrace.

  • There was a story on NPR recently talking about the founder of Gore-Tex requiring that his factories have only 150 employees after he discovered that larger numbers began to be problematic. When he needed more workers, he opened a new factory. The Amish limit their communities to 150 apparently. Many military units are comprised of 150 units. I’ve learned this is called “Dunbar’s number”. According to wikipedia:

    Dunbar’s number is a theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is, and how each person relates to every other person. Proponents assert that numbers larger than this generally require more restrictive rules, laws, and enforced norms to maintain a stable, cohesive group.

    I thought that was interesting. Maybe you’ll find it so as well. :-)

    As to the structure of community, the animal kingdom is replete with examples of strict hierarchy in species which form communities. Human are no different. I simply can’t imagine a way that groups of humans will form communities without structure: one or more people will be given (or take) charge of things. Very few people have true leadership ability (as is evidenced everyday in our political systems). Most people really do want to be sheople. So post-collapse, the sheople will likely be drawn instinctively to those with strong leadership ability. Thus a community will be born.

    We seem the same thing at work today in all corners of our society – even on this site. Guy is the benevolent leader. He directs conversation by introducing topics. Sometimes he even reasserts his authority less subtly by introducing a topic for a second time :-)

  • Bernhard

    Got that message re: Hansen.

    The tour was successful, but what he said went largely unreported by the corporate media -what a surprise!

    Not much discussion about 30.6 billion tonnes of industrial emissions in 2010 or current 394ppm either, other than amongst the informed 0.1%.

    Regarding community, the last semi-rural alternative community of much note in NZ disintegrated many years ago in a melee of sexual abuse accusations.

    A pseudo village has been constructed in West Auckland; I regard it as a tiny pocket of partial (10%?) sustainability in an ocean of unsustainability. It has no productive hinterland, nor much of a common within the village itself.

    An attempt at creating a sustainable community is underway near Motueka on what was a large hill farm, but most people do not have the resources necessary to buy into the project. And I suspect there will be dificulty obtaining and pumping sufficient water long term.

    It seems to me that we have to think of Europe the 16th century to find any properly functioning village communities, i.e. before the enclosure (incloser) process took its toll. The real village model was hadly ever emulated in colonial nations.

    As has been said before, no one living in industrial society has much idea what life in a normal human community is like. Many of us on NBL have a fairly good idea of what is missing but cannot find a path that will generate what is missing, especially when surrounded by those who cannot comprehend what we talk about or see any need for change.

  • Communities of necessity tend to be communities based on an apparent voluntarism: a voluntarism coerced out of the members by the force of circumstances. If the circumstances later improve, and the need for community diminishes, traditions and customs built up over time may keep the community together. But the dissent that that may arise with the waning of coercive circumstances has to be addressed. Spinning off (voluntarily) or splintering off individuals or sections is one outcome. The other is to invoke the option to initiate the use of force: the transformation to statism.
    Once a thing is seen, it cannot be un-seen. Once the gun in the room – retention of the option to initiate the use of force – is seen, it cannot be un-seen.

  • “You Should Be Scared. I’m
    Scared. You Can’t Not Be Scared.” -quote from kathy’s link above

    i think we need a new word, at least i think it would be a new word, one that means ‘fear of (sur)reality’. such fear is prevalent in all who understand the game is all but over and now it’s time to pay the piper for our species’ historical ecocidal mania, inattention to/ ignorance of scientific surreality, and general idiocy which is obviously also peaking about now throughout civilization. our heedless profligate reproduction and centuries long exponential population growth which all here are hopefully acutely aware of by now. the apparent propensity of the masses for dogmatism and ‘authority’ to keep themselves in a delusional cocoon of security and relatively blissful ignorance (along with a very annoying and sometimes intolerable self-righteousness resulting in their ‘morality’ being imposed on all, much to the chagrin and detriment of at least a few. i digress.

    what i find most devastating is the surrealization that ‘the masses’ of our fellow sheople, our relatives and neighbors are apparently hopelessly stupid, dogmatic, and deluded. as i’ve become increasingly aware of our predicament, the terrible knowledge of it solidified this awful surrealization. nightmarish, and bizarre, this surreal life that seems to mimic the works of our greatest dystopian writers like orwell and kafka.

    truth is hard to face when it’s in the form of a surreal nightmare, and i don’t mean just regarding our eco-predicament and the threat of self induced extinction. i mean in the utterly devastating surrealization that this predicament is merely the most prominent/pressing manifestation of the root/radical problem, that being the surrealization stated in the above paragraph. it’s enough to make the most radical surrealist flinch. it’s made me lose heart/hope.

    returning to kathy’s ‘off topic’ quote: i should be and am afraid. how can one not be, particulary considering the gory facts of civilized history, and the unimaginable trials and tribulations to come?

    i would love to be a member of a community which shares my awareness and fear, but given our miniscule relative numbers, it’s highly unlikely. the whole enterprise would be complicated by the enmity/intolerance of civilized ‘authorities’ and many sheople to those few of us who wish to live sanely and intelligently, and disengage/distance ourselves from them. as the american civil war showed, secession can lead to violent bloody conflict.

    the idea of people connecting via this blog in any way other than ‘online’ is almost assuredly foiled by our small numbers and dispersement around the world. some participants here would have to travel thousands of kilometers to another country to meet the nearest fellow nbl-er. most others would have to travel hundreds of kilometers to meet the nearest one. most folks here are getting too old and comfortable with where they’re at to make such a big move. we’re stuck with having to settle for this ‘virtual’ online community.

    like kathy, i think about death and the ideal of trying to gain some control over it’s circumstances, to limit pain and suffering. how sad and perhaps fitting that even this small consolation will be denied most of us. not fitting in the sense of being deserved, but rather because it’s consistent with a dystopian surreality where ‘authorities’ deny sheople open access to the power to determine the time and circumstances of our own deaths. perhaps the greatest comfort one can provide another is aid and companionship at such a time. too bad this can only be done online in our case.

    one of the things i most fear is institutionalization at the hands of ‘authority’, or otherwise losing control over health or well being. i should stress here that dwelling on death and suicide doesn’t make one an imminent candidate. i’m in no hurry to leave surreality behind at this point, in spite of it’s nightmarish psychological quality. it’s simply rational to foresee it as at some point a desirable option to have, and like anything, it requires forethought and preparation.

    i can’t help but marvel often that seemingly sane, intelligent sheople can’t/don’t perceive/acknowledge the severity/emergency of our predicament. perhaps this is related, as kathy and others have suggested, to the perverse determination of many to deny death and any rational response to it’s inevitability and the fact that it can serve as a merciful escape from a life gone sour.

    brutus, good book review. i think the length of the bottleneck may be greatly shortened by conflict/chaos/war. either way, great trials and tribulations are in store, and i’m less optimistic about the outcome than your speculation that many may adapt well (from the review).

    victor, u’re almost always a joy to read, even as u deliver crushingly surreal observations/opinions.

  • Brutus, for the record I have lived in two intentional communities. I know people who have lived in two others and have a friend who lives in co-housing. My experiences may not be universal but I am speaking from experience. Every problem I reported in my list of problems is one that plagued or broke up one of those communities. As Kevin notes these are not normal human communities which are called tribes. It is from my experience that attempting intentional community is not easy, although those who start one now may find that the coming necessity binds against all that pulls apart. But tribes have kin and culture in common and grow up in the tribe. Starting a tribe with unrelated adults who may have very different beliefs and cultural practices is a hard thing to do. A charismatic leader helps if his or her charisma is valued by all. But if no one can fill those shoes the death of such a leader starts the disintegration of the community.

    The Bruderhof which I mentioned was affiliated with the Hutterites but there has been a rift between the groups. I read extensively about them before visiting the community.

    “However, in 1990 the more conservative Dariusleut and Lehrerleut Hutterites excommunicated the Bruderhof, refusing to recognize them as Hutterites because of practices that did not conform to standard Hutterite order including sending children to public schools, the use of musical instruments, and participation in a protest march.”

    So it goes…

  • I forgot to mention (though it is probablly obvious) that anyone attempting to establish any kind of sustainable community within reach of a district coucil gets held back/sabotaged. That is a major factor in the lack of progress in establishing even semi-sustainable arrangements. In other words, governments and their local agents do what they are required to do, which is keep as many people as possible trapped in the dysfunctional system.


    Thanks for reminding us about the 150. There are also sub-set numbers relating to teams, usually 5 to 15, and groups, usually 20 to 40. I believe h-gs tended to form groups of 20-40, and hunted in teams of 5-15.

    It was triumph of brainwashing and coersion for the financial- industrial empire to be able to muster millions of men from all over the world to fight in the battlefields of Europe during WWI.

    Kathy, TVT

    I’m scared. You Can’t Not Be Scared.”

    It is hard to see how any major city, or even a town, can divide into units 150s and grow food locally. But neither can people in large ciites flee to the countryside, build shelters, and grow food. Isn’t that ultimately why denial will dominate till the end?

  • Although the request to stay on topic has made for a different conversation than the ones that usually unfold here, I think it has been fruitful. Noting the difficulty of forming community, the difficulty of participating in community and acknowledging that for the majority of the population, we are almost a generation past living in community helps us define the parameters of the issue. The conversation here has pointed to the idea that communities arise out of mutual needs and mutual satisfaction of needs.

    I have visited two intentional communities in my area;
    Earthhaven in North Carolina and The Farm in Tennessee.
    I came away realizing that the issue of livelihood was what stumped me. Nicole’s description and explanation of Joel Salatin’s model helps me visualize the livelihood issue. As for the concern about the dominant leader, the possibility of a new/rediscovered way of dealing with this issue could be similar to the way indigenous peoples interact with the dominant personality … they ridicule it, shame it – domination is not a part of an egalitarian community and it will be the responsibility of the members to understand this and to ensure no room is available for this type of trait.

    I feel that events will pull communities into existence.
    Disconnecting from the dominant culture requires that we
    look to each other for sustenance. The exercise of discussing, visualizing and bringing into reality community is timely and important.

    Wendell Berry’s words and the pictures in the blog post link below seem to be a poetic confirmation of the effort to understand what a community is and what we need to unlearn in order to be members of a functioning community.

  • the way indigenous peoples interact with the dominant personality … they ridicule it, shame it – domination is not a part of an egalitarian community and it will be the responsibility of the members to understand this and to ensure no room is available for this type of trait.

    The most ancient and successful communities seem to share this trait, a trait many modern humans can not seem to grasp as we live in a world of individualists and appear incapable of seeing a community in any other terms than a group of individuals being led by an individual, or small group of individuals. In the West it is very difficult to conceive of such a culture. In the East it is more likely that such a community can come about as the individual, culturally, is looked down upon, though modernity has forced a change in culture to the consumer/producer individual even there.

    It seems to me that the roots of empire lie with the adoption of agriculture with its concept of land ownership, forced hierarchy and needs for continuing technological specialities to support cities as centres of power.

    The World Is Consuming More Oil Than It Produces, And Survived 2010 By Drawing Down Reserves

    If correct, this indicates we have just a year or two before system failure starts to test our collapse preparedness.

  • Kevin

    I expect things to really begin getting hot by the end of next year (too conservative?) and through to 2015. This article tells us basically two things – supply is not keeping up with demand, and the world is dipping into its reserves stores to keep things going. The reserves will run out eventually. And the world economic situation will prevent the necessary investment to keep production levels optimised.

    Add to that the domestic situations of each of the major producers. Their populations are booming and they expect more in the way of living standards. As a result more and more of the oil produced will go to the local population. Saudi Arabia is a prime example:

    If SA expects to be out of oil by 2030, when do you think they will begin pulling back on their exports? Even sooner, thus magnifying the probability that net energy importers will have much less oil on the markets in the coming years.

    We are in deep, deep do-do. We need more preparations. We need more communities. We need more connections. (OK, a frightfully poor attempt at staying on topic!…. :-) )

  • Kevin

    This was another interesting take from the same site, an acknowledgement by France’s Total of peak oil and their technical reasons why:

  • Sarah, thanks for pointing out pride and dominant personalities as some of the destructive forces in community that indigenous peoples have learned to deal with. And thanks for the pictures and words of Wendell Berry.

    Because we have not been acculturated to living in tribes we do not know where the dangers lie. One cannot take the cultural values of most Americans and turn them into rules for tribal living with ease.

  • Kevin, to tie your post into the topic at hand :) it looks like those wanting to start communities will have necessity pushing people their way quite soon. If you can’t find community members now, you can stock up on tools so their are enough hoes and shovels to go around for the size community that can live on your property.

    I see the problem here, it is not a problem of sticking on topic, but merely a problem of forgetting to find some way to make your post relate, however tangentially, to the topic. Then we don’t have to fight… :)

  • Kathy,

    I’ve been thinking about your three questions, and mostly about #3 “What to do when people show up who intend to take all you have worked for themselves? Will you raise arms, or yield.”

    Responding to your own question you answer with something like, ‘We invite them in to share and we all starve together.’

    If we all adopt that principal the only survivors of the bottleneck will be the most ruthless takers. None of them will have prepared, other than to stockpile arms and ammo so that they can take what prudent people have set aside. Their attitude has always been that it is a natural law that the strong should take from the weak and that anyone unwilling to put up some defense is weak. There was been much talk lately on NBL about the “sheeple”. The term is often used here to refer to those who still buy the line tendered by mainstream media and the government, i.e., everything is fine, we are in a recovery, shop until you drop. I think the word “sheeple” is actually a term originating in the guns and bullets survivalist community (staying on task) that refers to anyone who depends on the government for protection (police, army, homeland security…). Using that definition, anyone adhering to principals of non-violence and sharing (and community, for that matter) are thought of as sub-human.

    It’s a conundrum. If we share we become sheeple and as sub-humans taking from us can be rationalized in the same way eating hamburgers is rationalized in terms of cows. If we don’t share and instead forcefully defend our resources, how are we different from the takers?

    Your thoughts?

    Michael Irving

  • michael, i use the term ‘sheople'(i prefer this hybrid spelling of it) to refer to domesticated humans; basically all who have been raised under the rules/confines of hierarchical, complex, agriculturally based societies. basically all of us, in other words. we’ve been trained not to be ‘wild’, and to look down upon the condition.

    being a ‘sherson’ (singular form of sheople?) has little to do with violent behavior (in war it’s arguable sheople are far more violent than any feral beings could dream of being) and everything to do with being disconnected from one’s own most basic, authentic nature, imo. hope that helps. personally, i’d rather be wild than domesticated.

  • the virgin terry,

    Thanks for confirming your definition. It is our nature to read what others write using our own internal thesaurus. I don’t think that negates what I was saying. Others have different definitions. I think I was correct in both the ways I used the definition, giving us a total of three forms.

    Your form suggests a community (staying on task) of people in the US of about 320,000,000 and implies a dispersed population of “others” numbering about 6 nation wide. Not much of a core to work with.

    Michael Irving

  • The Final Straw

    A recent poll found that nearly half of the people in the US,think we are heading into a great Depression.I agree.The Mass is correct,because
    the existtential reality is that now everything is heading down. Employment is terrible,the residential housing market is seeing price
    declines of unprecedented proportions.If you have any money invested for interest,you’re getting a negative real return(losing your investment when inflation is factored in).But Art Cashin says that the stock market has no fear of inflation because “money Has no velocity” i.e. were not spending.

    The stock market was the only thing holding up.I say was because stocks have been going down for the last six weeks reflecting the sliding economy.And the stock market is in for a disastrous decline,as you would expect in a Depression.

    Look at the stock market decline then as the final straw.

    Double D

  • Victor

    How can I be both a “Pit Bull” and Double D ?

    Double D

  • Michael, you pose a very good question. Do we in standing and defending so that the takers don’t make it through the bottleneck, become like them is basically what I hear you asking. I suppose it depends on what is fixed genetically and what is cultural. Once I would have said it was all cultural but now I am not so sure. But when we look at families genes are tricky things and it seems a mating pair of humans can produce very temperamentally different offspring. Yet the elite seem to have a larger share of sociopaths so…

    I would say that my answer is not related to trying to fix the future for future humans by making the call as to who should pass through the bottleneck. My answer which is for me only, is that I don’t want to die ashamed of myself. So I for sure don’t want to become like the takers, I don’t want to kill another human but if it was the only way I could defend someone dear to me I might, and to defend a child I probably would if I could. However my inhibitions about killing do not make me a very good killing machine. Jean for instance if he decides that is what needs to be done will have the skills to do so. I have not trained myself for killing emotionally or physically. So to protect those dear to me different strategies are necessary. One might be welcoming and hoping to change the takers worldview. For me that might have a greater likelihood of success than my succeeding in killing a well armed mafia thug or ex marine.

    But that is for the scenario of dealing with a taker. Dealing with a pleader is different, ie the mother injured with young child, or the child alone scenario. I would take them in until we all starved or made it together, or that is what I think I would do.

    Those choices are choices for me and my husband as we are a community of 2 at present. What you and yours choose may be different. What matters however IMO is people to discuss it with the people they are sharing the future with. In the case of takers, if your decision is to stand and defend then you need to know that is your decision or you won’t prepare for it (train, buy arms, build fortifications). In the case of pleaders, perhaps you can wait to decide if and when the situation occurs. However a quick acceptance, if acceptance is going the be the route you take, will make the pleader more ready to become a working part of the community than a long debate while they sit on your doorstep.

    My point is that dealing with what we call “moral” hypotheticals is IMO a wise course of action for communities or with potential community members. If you think abortion is OK if the community doesn’t have enough food for another mouth and your partners in community think that is the highest evil, well you are going to have a problem on your hands. Jesus taught using hypothetical examples we call parables – if you see someone lying on the road injured what should you do, if someone slaps you on the face what do you do etc. Pondering them will at least add some cogitation to the gut instincts we mostly act on.

    One note, survival of the fittest is a shortened version of what I believe happens in evolution. What happens is survival of the ones best able to survive and reproduce in the current environment, the environment being the physical world and other living creatures. As we know dinosaurs survived until the world changed and then they didn’t. What humans make it trough the bottleneck, if any, may not be the best armed but the best hiders. Or if malaria mosquitos move worldwide it might be those with the sickle cell anemia gene etc. I never look at what I will do as trying to project into the future what humans will carry the next round, nor would I feel up to making that decision. The future is far to uncertain for that and I have far to little knowledge or wisdom to pick who should make it (from a values or personality perspective), or who could make it (from a physical perspective).

    Read Gore Vidal’s Kalki for a fun quick read on someone trying to make the future be all his own genes….or read the wiki review with spoilers

  • Frank

    As I have no idea what a “Double D” is, I’m afraid I am incapable of answering your question…

  • “survival of the fittest”, or or more accurately, “natural selection”, is a logical tautology – it is a construct that can not be falsified, and therefore, unscientific…. ;-)

  • Victor, “Moreover, to misunderstand or misapply the phrase to simply mean “survival of those who are better equipped for surviving” is rhetorical tautology. What Darwin meant was “better adapted for immediate, local environment” by differential preservation of organisms that are better adapted to live in changing environments. The concept is not tautological as it contains an independent criterion of fitness.”

  • Kathy

    It is tautological because it can not be proven false. It is a logical tautology, not a rhetorical one.

  • Victor.

    I’ve been wondering for quite a while why Frank ended practically everything with Double D, never having encountered it anywhere else.

    fit = most suitable for the situation, circumstances or occasion.

    In a bottleneck situation, those who are most suited are the ones that stand the best chance of survival = survival of the fittest.

    In non-bottleneck and predator-free situations unfit speciems survive and reproduce = survival of all but the most unfit.

    Where is the tautology?

    Removing most of the natural selection factors seems to be the nub of the present human predicament.

    We are all products of a period which has been characterised by little or no ‘survival of the fittest’. As we all know, few people in industrialised societies have any real survival skills.

    It increasingly looks to me that it will be after the event that we will know which strategies we should have adopted.

    The other irony seems to be that the more people who awake up, the lower the chance of surival of those already awake. If the various scenarios we have discussed do eventuate, the earlier the die-off of the sheople commences, the better off the already awake and aware will be. We are surely in a moral and physical predicament from which there seems to be no escape at this late stage in the game.

    Robert Atak constantly advocates zero birthrate as a strategy for minimising future suffering.

  • ‘If we all adopt that principal the only survivors of the bottleneck will be the most ruthless takers… It’s a conundrum. If we share we become sheeple and as sub-humans taking from us can be rationalized in the same way eating hamburgers is rationalized in terms of cows. If we don’t share and instead forcefully defend our resources, how are we different from the takers?’ -mike

    the desire to live has always worked to evolutionary advantage. to some extent those (if any) emerging from the bottleneck will have ruthless determination to thank for it. as kathy’s brought up previously, an issue for those preparing and hoping to be among the survivors is to ask the question of oneself: how far am i willing to go, what am i willing to do to stay alive? for many perhaps, the answer will fall short of nature’s requirements.

    like i said recently, surreality has a definite dystopian hue which no one likes to acknowledge. no one wants to ask the question ‘is life worth living amidst cut-throat competition’, which is what life often boils down to. if nature requires u to kill other sheople repeatedly in either self defense or defense of access to critical resources as may be the case during collapse, do u do so? if so, what effect on your psyche, what cost? at some point doesn’t life become too cheap to fight over anymore?

    i still disagree with equating sheople with subhuman. to me, it’s just about domestication, which is arguably highly dehumanizing. domestication is always about taming, gaining control over others for the purpose of exploitation, and it’s become very established universal civilized practice to raise children coercively, often subtly and unconsciously so, in order that they may fit in well as adult sheople ruled with orwellian ruthlessness, or in the case of the ‘elites’ fit in among the rulers? all have their parts to fulfill in our dystopian tragicomedy.

    we’re all sheople. we all know there are absurd ‘laws’ imposed upon us to keep us properly tamed/cowed/humiliated/dehumanized by tptb. it’s all part of the insanity, the myopic greed, dogmatic stupidity and cowardice that rules us. what’s surreally mindblowing is how many sheople among non-elites are ‘educated’ effectively to fall for corporate sponsored propaganda and be active dupes for the ruthless elites. this situation is out of control. assuming humans are capable of sane culture, whatever that may be, i think we need collapse to utterly destroy the establishment and pave the way for a return to sanity, or something akin.

    ‘Dealing with a pleader is different, ie the mother injured with young child, or the child alone scenario. I would take them in until we all starved or made it together, or that is what I think I would do.’ -kathy

    as usual i think kathy’s perceptively clairvoyant, assuming warfare doesn’t become the major driver of collapse. for every taker there will be many many more beggers. they can be just as lethal to ‘bleeding hearts’ (highly empathic sheople) as the takers, as, in kathy’s words (paraphrasing), ‘u can end up all starving together’.

    kevin, i totally agree with rob about not having kids. even if we weren’t facing an imminent bottleneck, our culture has grown too dystopian, stupid, crazy/corrupt to provide a decent environment for lovingly raising children. there’s 2 overpowering reasons to not procreate.

  • Terry, life is lethal to all of us, PTB, sheople, takers, beggars, bleeding hearts. It will be just as lethal to those who make it through the bottleneck as those who don’t. We are mortals. What choices others make is up to them – I just hope they make some attempt to think through those choices or make sure they are forming community with folks who feel the same way about those choices. Personally I would rather die early as a bleeding heart than later as a hoarder but that is what I feel now with a full stomach.

  • Victor, if you read “survival of the fittest” as “survival of the survivors” of course you have a tautology. You do know that Herbert Spencer coined the phrase NOT Charles Darwin? Darwin first used Spencer’s new phrase “survival of the fittest” as a synonym for “natural selection” in his 5th edition of On the Origin of Species. Darwin meant it as a metaphor for “better adapted for immediate, local environment”, not the common inference of “in the best physical shape”

    I hope you are just playing with words and don’t really think that all there is to natural selection is a tautology. No species is ultimately fit, so the survivors in one environment become the non-survivors in another. Since 2 copies of the sickle cell gene kill a person, it is hard to see how this gene could persist in certain populations. But upon closer look they persisted among people who lived in Africa because one copy gives protection from malaria. Natural selection doesn’t label one a winner, but finds the reason why a trait or a species evolved in a particular environment. If it was nothing more than a tautology, scientists could label every species now alive and every individual trait now expressed as the winners, the survivors. But tomorrow the winners might be losers and natural selection is a theory that has strong explanatory powers for why one species or trait is a survivor at one point and a loser at another.

    Again the dinosaurs were the survivors until the asteroid hit. Then they no longer were the survivors. Darwin’s theory is not about announcing what we have now is the survivors, but explaining how they came to be the current round of survivors.

    And if I chose to play with words I can say that “survival of the survivors” is not a tautology but can be falsified every time a current survivor (individual, species) dies or goes extinct or in the case of a genetic trait fails to be passed on. It is falsified by the geological record that shows multiple extinctions, some massive. The survivors in the end all fail to survive.

    Well, when I responded to Michael it was pretty much on topic, but as usual one piece of what I wrote has been extracted for discussion and it now becomes difficult to tie it back to communities even though that is where it started. I enjoy how discussions do that, but we are risking rebuke. :)

  • On-topic for community:

    Ask me about my agony and despair! by Mark Morford.

  • I’m beginning to miss Frank’s digressions about margaritas.

  • Robin

    Excellent article. It is only in the “doing” of relationships that we find our greatest contributions to life and to those around us. Very on-topic.

  • Kevin/Kathy

    Whilst what you say is true that a tautology exists when the use of two terms that mean the same thing are used, as in the case you proposed, “survivors of the survivors”, there is yet another definition of tautology that has to be considered. I will quote from a Wiki article as well… ;-) :

    A rhetorical tautology can also be defined as a series of statements that comprise an argument, whereby the statements are constructed in such a way that the truth of the proposition is guaranteed or that the truth of the proposition cannot be disputed by defining a term in terms of another self-referentially. Consequently, the statement conveys no useful information regardless of its length or complexity making it unfalsifiable. It is a way of formulating a description such that it masquerades as an explanation when the real reason for the phenomena cannot be independently derived.

    I have a problem with the expression, “survival of the fittest” because it “masquerades as an explanation when the real reason for the phenomena cannot be independently derived”. It is not really an explanation. It is akin to saying “survivors are the most fit” because “only the fittest survive”. You can’t argue the point. It is unfalsifiable because it really is not an explanation.

    We should have this conversation sometime. But you are correct. I went off-topic. Apologies for that…. :-)

  • Personally I would rather die early as a bleeding heart than later as a hoarder but that is what I feel now with a full stomach.

    So true. We don’t really know ourselves until we are faced with the situation at hand. But one thing I can surmise, however, is that there will be a mix of types coming through. They won’t all be “takers” and they won’t all be “bleeding hearts” (I prefer the expression, “sharers”). They will be as they are today. To assume that only “takers” can/will survive is a false and unjustifiable conclusion, and an incorrect view of reality as we know it. There have always been takers and there always will be. And the same is true for sharers.


    the idea of people connecting via this blog in any way other than ‘online’ is almost assuredly foiled by our small numbers and dispersement around the world. some participants here would have to travel thousands of kilometers to another country to meet the nearest fellow nbl-er. most others would have to travel hundreds of kilometers to meet the nearest one. most folks here are getting too old and comfortable with where they’re at to make such a big move. we’re stuck with having to settle for this ‘virtual’ online community.

    You provide deep insight into an even wider issue. Those with the necessary mix of survival skills will be isolated as individuals and scattered over the whole of the earth after the bottleneck. A “sustainable” community requires a mix of skills and tools to succeed. Often the people with these various specialised skills exist, but more often they do not exist in proximity to others of different, but necessary, skills. To quickly build a sustainable community will be a challenge in those times because of the distance between and the lack of communication facilities.

    I also don’t care for the term “sheople” (or “sheeple”, as you may). Rebel as you will against it, the fact is that,as a whole, we are social and hierarchical creatures. Some of us are “lone wolves”, but not many. Most people enjoy the comfort and security of being part of a community of like-minded others. Most people prefer to place their governance into the hands of those more properly suited to the task of leadership, whether that leadership is composed of an individual or a small group. They will go along with what their leadership tells them, because they have given their trust into those hands. And more often than not, they do so without questioning that authority. Is that right that they should do so? I can’t answer that – it is a complex question. But it is certainly true that it happens.

    People are people. They sometimes have the characteristics of sheep. But they are people nonetheless.

  • Your form suggests a community (staying on task) of people in the US of about 320,000,000 and implies a dispersed population of “others” numbering about 6 nation wide. Not much of a core to work with.


    Good one… :-) And perhaps more true than you might at first think.

    If we don’t share and instead forcefully defend our resources, how are we different from the takers?

    The difference is that a taker takes what is not his to take. That is altogether different than defending what is already yours. As I think Robin would say, a taker initiates force.

    On the other hand, it is still yet different for a person to defend what is his and also not share.

  • You must watch this off-topic film. It gives you an incredible view into the corrupt nature of our health system and perhaps even answers some questions as to why less and less progress is being made in medicine. Watch it. You won’t regret it.

  • TVT: if nature requires u to kill other sheople repeatedly in either self defense or defense of access to critical resources as may be the case during collapse, do u do so? if so, what effect on your psyche, what cost? at some point doesn’t life become too cheap to fight over anymore?

    I was reminded as I read this that, in reality, such killing is going on right now and has been for all of history. The Hebrew/Christian Bible/Old Testament is full of stories of God telling the Hebrews to go to such and such place and wipe out ALL the people and take what they have. Even as the son of a truly loving and compassionate Southern Baptist preacher, I grew up with the subliminal message that it was okay to wipe out entire groups of people as long as God told you it was okay. You need feel no guilt over such divinely-inspired genocide.

    Today, there are more examples than can be counted of the developed world going into the undeveloped world and taking whatever it wants – the indigenous people be damned!

    How many soldiers have killed innocent men, women, and children in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade because we want their oil? I’m not pulling the trigger, but my tax dollars pay for the guns, the bullets, and the salary of that soldier who is. So, in my own small way, I’m already killing for resources. True, I’m quite removed and insulated from it, but I have shared responsibility whether I agree with it or not. Our government helps to anesthetize us from the agony of these actions by painting all of those people as “terrorists”. They’re the “others”, not like us. Bush himself implied that it was a divinely-inspired plan. The powers that be wrap themselves in their respective flags claiming that our abhorrent actions are in the interest of national security. I don’t know about others but I was indoctrinated from early childhood with the idea that my country was blessed by God and that our nation’s interests were God’s interests. Anyone remember pledging allegiance to the U.S. flag and then the Christian flag during Vacation Bible School opening ceremonies?

    Will it be that big of a leap for me to protect my own property from those “others” who while in the past were my neighbors but now are magically transformed into menacing “terrorists” simply because they weren’t aware enough of what was happening in the world to make preparations? Will it be that difficult to think of my home and property as my own little nation, whose national security requires that I protect it from foreign invaders?

    Perhaps I wax a little too poetic and philosophical for such a fine Sunday morning, but I do wonder about such things.

    Have a great day everybody!

  • Dr House, no not at all too poetic and philosophical and a better Sunday Morning talk than 99% of all sermons :) Well said.

    I took my kids to one Baptist VBS where the flag, the christian flag AND the bible were all pledged to, in that order.

    What the bottleneck means is that a huge number of people die leaving a small number of people to reproduce before they also die. The route to the bottleneck is over a mass of human bodies. And yet in the end they still die. How much is it worth to pass on your genes, for it is only your genes in the end that survive and even they do not survive in your unique configuration, nor do they survive eternally. Survival for the configuration of chemicals we call life is time limited, not absolute.

    The other side of the bottleneck has no appeal for me.

    Of the story of the real man that Hotel Rawanda was based on
    Though Rusesabagina said that 90 percent of the film — that at times graphically captures the 100 days of genocide in which the regime, its army and the extremist militia killed nearly one million of the Tutsi minority and moderate Hutus who opposed the genocide in 1994 -— is true, there were many scenes that only approximate the grisly murders. “If we had shown what actually occurred, no one would come to see the film,” Rusesabagina said.

    Another emotionally charged and riveting scene occurs when Cheadle and one of the men who works for him at the Hotel Mille Collines are driving down a road and experience a series of bumps. When they step out of the van they discover they have been driving over dead bodies. “That scene was a compilation of things I had seen during my travels about the countryside and seeing the massacre,” Rusesabagina explained.

  • And more from the drug dealers (errr…manufacturers):

    Missing that aenesthetic for your surgery? It wasn’t profitable enough because the patent ran out. Too bad – that’s capitalism…. ;-)

  • Negative-Technically Positive-Feedback Loops

    When a weak housing market hurts consumer spending leading to more weakness in housing,that is actually a POSITIVE feedback loop i.e.
    positive because it reinforces the initial trend.However economists
    and others have agreed to call that a Negative Feedback Loop,even though
    that is technically incorrect,to avoid confusion for the Mass (Ortega
    called them “the masses”,but I prefer the singular in the sense that cancer is also singular).

    I wanted to clear up this point (positive = negative) for my next posting.But lunch must intervene.I’ll be back soon.

    Double D

  • Have room for another black swan at the table?….or should I say, black jellyfish….

  • Right on Victor,

    The Portuguese Man-Of-War,with it’s beautiful blue body is a common sight off the east coast of Florida.A beauty that belies it’s nasty
    sting.But the Box Jellyfish is one of the most venomous creatures in
    the world.Once only seen in Australian waters and a few other places
    in the western Pacific and Indian oceans, itis now a treat in Hawaii and

    But now on to negative feedback,defined previously above.Measuring the immeasurable or unquantifiable negative feed back loop that the looming
    depression will bring,will be an immposible task.That must be a tautology Kathy.

    How can you measure the fear on a neighbor’s face when he or she tells
    you another family member has lost a job.How do you define the pall on
    the face of your co-workers,each one terrorized by the threat of being

    How about that house down the block being foreclosed on,or even worse
    those tratorious strategic defaulters furthur depressing the value of
    your under water mortgage.I could go on and on,and it’s going to get
    worse-much worse.

    Forget the government statistics,they are mostly lies anyway. What we
    really have to worry about (or not for commentators on this site)is
    the undefinable miasma about to grip the world.It’s the negative feed back loop that you can’t touch,but you sure can feel.

    Double D

  • Victor:

    Thanks for the Dr. Burzynski video link. Dr. McPherson’s solution – dissolution – (of the industrial economy) is the only way out, but with that will also end the relatively high-tech methods used by Dr. Burzynski.

    I’m not pulling the trigger, but my tax dollars pay for the guns, the bullets, and the salary of that soldier who is.


    Every person who is a “citizen” of a state – any state – is in the same predicament: being born into it, and living one’s entire life that way, just about everyone comes to accept it as “normal”. The only way out of this quandary is anarchy.

  • ‘I also don’t care for the term “sheople” (or “sheeple”, as you may). Rebel as you will against it, the fact is that,as a whole, we are social and hierarchical creatures.’ -victor

    i love using the term sheople to remind myself and my readers that civilized institutions actively domesticate us, treat us like livestock for the purpose of control/exploitation. i love making this distinction between us and ‘primitive’ uncivilized ‘savages’ unbowed by ‘authority’. call me a romantic if u will, i don’t agree with the notion that civilization improves either human character or deportment. i don’t agree with the christian supported idea of inherent human depravity. i agree we’re inherently social and inclined to hierarchy, but hierarchy based on what? as long as it’s rigid, dogmatic, coercive, it’s not a hierarchy i wish to support. anarchical hierarchy based upon informal, fluid, voluntary respect/deference to those who’ve demonstrated charisma/wisdom/etc. i can support.

    i’m going to continue using the term sheople. hopefully it won’t bother anyone too much. collapse is the main issue; all else is secondary.

  • TVT

    i’m going to continue using the term sheople. hopefully it won’t bother anyone too much. collapse is the main issue; all else is secondary.

    Doesn’t bother me at all….as I said, just a personal preference for me…I understand what you mean by it. And I am happy that you recognise the reality of hierarchy and the role it should play in social structures – informal, fluid, voluntary respect/deference to those who’ve demonstrated charisma/wisdom/etc.

  • Bank bailouts explained…. ;-)

    (sorry…off-topic – again)