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Author Topic: Apocalypse: What would you do  (Read 9032 times)
Susan
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« Reply #45 on: May 10, 2008, 07:42:23 AM »

What would everyone do for water? The pipes will no longer work. Bottled water will be scarce. not everyone has access to or knows how to dig a well - digging a well is dangerous.

Back in the day people got all kinds of diseases and sicknesses from drinking river water.
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« Reply #46 on: May 10, 2008, 09:51:30 AM »

What would everyone do for water? The pipes will no longer work. Bottled water will be scarce. not everyone has access to or knows how to dig a well - digging a well is dangerous.

Back in the day people got all kinds of diseases and sicknesses from drinking river water.

We have the water problem licked. There are three springs on the property - and they're full of watercress, salamanders, and crawdads for snacking, too.
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« Reply #47 on: May 13, 2008, 10:29:36 PM »

My family's got a water purifying filtering device, and if that ever gave out, I could still always try boiling the stuff furiously the way people did in the old days. Yeah, our ancestors did suffer a lot from all the nasty stuff that's in the water, but that was mostly because they didn't know it was there. Once they found out about germs, they started boiling the water to cleanse it. Drinking only rainwater might help lower one's chances of getting diseases too, although a few airborne pathogens might get into that stuff. (Pollution gets into it too, but that would of course be less of a problem with most of the population dead.)
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Susan
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« Reply #48 on: May 14, 2008, 05:51:21 PM »

Well to collect a sufficient amount of rainwater for drinking or hygeine you'd have to get rain barrels and then you're getting into a whole new ballgame of learning how to collect and store water properly..lol

I figure what's left of the population will probably die off from either stupidity or ignorance (being that we really have no real survival skills).  Look at those folks on Survivor, they have lots of fish and resources on those islands but they rely on the show to provide them with freshwater and rice in order to keep from looking like some of the castaways in the earlier seasons who were emaciated. It's sort of ironic that our survival skills got us this far and yet if we were without our technology and supermarkets our civilization would die off so damn fast..
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« Reply #49 on: May 14, 2008, 07:50:38 PM »

Susan, believe me that there are a number of people I have met over the years who could probably survive in almost any situation if it was physically possible.  They are out there.  Some of my skills are a bit rusty, but I remember that many things are possible - just not always the specifics.  They'd come back with some trying.  The key would be if I had the time for the limited trial and error I'd need.  You don't always get that in extreme conditions.

Also, humans learn quite well from "monkey see, monkey do."  All you need is one person who knows something (or figures it out) for everyone to learn it.

I have doubts that many of the people you see on "Survivor" have much experience actually surviving.  They also seem to get distracted from certain tasks, like establishing snares, nets, or traps, building shelters, or exploring for alternative food sources or shelter by the challenges that they have to do for the show.

Lots of people these days are quite squeamish about what they eat, but there are a lot of plants and animals that are edible if the person gets past the "I can't eat that" factor. 
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« Reply #50 on: May 15, 2008, 04:49:24 AM »

Yeah, Survivor is a pretty stupid show anyway; as with so many other "reality" shows, there isn't much that's realistic about it. A realistic survival show would probably be some kind of backwoods militia infomercial on the local public access station that nobody watches.

Part of what's nice about the particular scenario involving surviving a plague is how much room it would generally leave for trial and error of the kind Andrew mentions. When civilizations collapse, nature reclaims every place civilization is no longer maintaining. Hence, the forests of Europe expanded quite a bit after Rome collapsed, and wild animal populations exploded after the Black Death wiped out so many of the Europeans in the Middle Ages. This resurgence of nature usually brings a surplus of food and biomass that's beneficial to the survivors, though not always: the Sahara Desert currently covers most of what used to be Rome's Carthaginian bread basket, the sand dunes being the form of nature that was expanding the most there at the time.

In our civilization's case, modern technology has killed off all but a very few predators; the deer population in the USA is already exploding right here in the middle of civilization, leading to numerous automobile accidents involving deer where I live. Imagine what the deer population would do if there were fewer people driving cars around to cull the herd! Survivors would almost have a moral duty to go around shooting the deer until their predators could make a long overdue comeback, since the deer's numbers would soon be so numerous that the forests would be overgrazed and they would be in danger of starving.  The only downside to this for humans would be that we'd have to do something about the gamey taste of the meat while we're learning to preserve it. Still, as Andrew says, that taste might not bother us so much when we're hungry enough for the meat.

For all the dangers of the resurgent wilderness, the greatest danger most of us would face in any post-apocalyptic scenario would still be coming from our fellow survivors. As noted in the earliest chapters of the Bible and confirmed even by the likes of hardened skeptics such as Hobbes, we're all inherently evil and civilization is an all-too-fragile veneer of authority that just barely manages to restrain our worst impulses enough that we don't die out. As death camps and other organized persecutions demonstrate, civilization quite often merely serves to refine our worst impulses and make us more efficient murderers anyway. In a post-apocalyptic scenario, we'd be back to being the individually atrocious predators we were before we got civilized.

Among the greatest benefits of a plague over all other apocalyptic scenarios, in other words, is that it wouldn't leave quite so many of our fellow ravening beasts alive to prey upon us. Other scenarios that kill massive numbers of people, such as nuclear war, would tend to wipe out our resources along with them. The worst scenarios for us all would be the ones that strip away our civilization and its resources but leave most people alive, such as an E-bomb attack; what would determine our individual survival in this case would be how ruthless and efficient we could be in dealing with our fellow survivors with most of them now turned into our enemies.

An E-bomb attack, in case you haven't heard of it, works this way: if Iran or North Korea were to detonate a reasonably large nuclear weapon high above the middle of the U.S. instead of down in one of our cities, the massive electromagnetic pulse this would produce (yes, something like the weapon Neo and Trinity were shown using in The Matrix) would destroy most of our electronic appliances within an enormous radius possibly covering parts of Canada and Mexico as well. Computers being complex and particularly sensitive to such bursts, our internet would be hit particularly hard. The only surviving electronic equipment, in fact, would be stuff that happened to be sufficiently shielded by metallic walls or fences acting as Faraday cages.

Aside from a few luckless people dying from having their pacemakers fried, most of us would survive the pulse. I can't be very optimistic about how well our civilization would hold up with so much of its machinery broken, however. I'm not so sure how well I'd fare against my fellow survivors either. Still, that's one reason my family keeps guns and ammunition among our emergency supplies: we need a fighting chance. That's also a good reason to keep guns even if you're not some radical libertarian or activist for the NRA and you don't live in a high-crime neighborhood. You'll probably keep them tucked away much as we do and hope this kind of thing never happens, but just in case...
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Scott
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« Reply #51 on: May 15, 2008, 05:20:41 AM »

Yeah, Survivor is a pretty stupid show anyway; as with so many other "reality" shows, there isn't much that's realistic about it. A realistic survival show would probably be some kind of backwoods militia infomercial on the local public access station that nobody watches.

Funny you mentioned reality shows as I just finish over 300+ minutes of FRONTIER HOUSE which showed on PBS. Later I'll be doing a post on this series. I'll just mention that they put 3 families back in 1880's Montana for 5 months. They had to build their own shelters, grow food, live stock, etc. It's a pretty good example of how far we have come from our basic survival skills.

As noted in the earliest chapters of the Bible and confirmed even by the likes of hardened skeptics such as Hobbes, we're all inherently evil and civilization is an all-too-fragile veneer of authority that just barely manages to restrain our worst impulses enough that we don't die out. As death camps and other organized persecutions demonstrate, civilization quite often merely serves to refine our worst impulses and make us more efficient murderers anyway. In a post-apocalyptic scenario, we'd be back to being the individually atrocious predators we were before we got civilized.

Without God we only follow our own impulses. Unfortunately many times people also follow their own impulse under the supposed name of God.

This resurgence of nature usually brings a surplus of food and biomass that's beneficial to the survivors, though not always: the Sahara Desert currently covers most of what used to be Rome's Carthaginian bread basket, the sand dunes being the form of nature that was expanding the most there at the time.

That has always fascinated me. The Sahara Desert once being green. Though this isn't the cause of that North African phenomenon another thing to consider is a polar shift happening in the future.

An E-bomb attack, in case you haven't heard of it, works this way: if Iran or North Korea were to detonate a reasonably large nuclear weapon high above the middle of the U.S. instead of down in one of our cities, the massive electromagnetic pulse this would produce (yes, something like the weapon Neo and Trinity were shown using in The Matrix) would destroy most of our electronic appliances within an enormous radius possibly covering parts of Canada and Mexico as well. Computers being complex and particularly sensitive to such bursts, our internet would be hit particularly hard. The only surviving electronic equipment, in fact, would be stuff that happened to be sufficiently shielded by metallic walls or fences acting as Faraday cages.

Aside from a few luckless people dying from having their pacemakers fried, most of us would survive the pulse. I can't be very optimistic about how well our civilization would hold up with so much of its machinery broken, however. I'm not so sure how well I'd fare against my fellow survivors either. Still, that's one reason my family keeps guns and ammunition among our emergency supplies: we need a fighting chance. That's also a good reason to keep guns even if you're not some radical libertarian or activist for the NRA and you don't live in a high-crime neighborhood. You'll probably keep them tucked away much as we do and hope this kind of thing never happens, but just in case...

Been watching the quite developement of the E-Bomb for about 10 years now. It would be amazing to see what happened in the cause of such a weapon being used on a world-wide scale even though in may only be used regionally. One bomb would fry all electronics for a thousand miles with all people and buildings remaining intact. As you mentioned above I think gunpowder would rule the day after that.

Another senario is a world goverment creating a mind control machine. A machine that would eliminate your own thoughts. (not that it isn't being done already.) . How would you defend against this besides wearing a tin foil cap.  Smile

We already have very effective microwave and sonic weapons that aren't being talked about much by anyone in the news.

 

« Last Edit: May 15, 2008, 05:33:56 AM by Conan » Logged

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« Reply #52 on: May 16, 2008, 10:34:14 PM »

Funny you mentioned reality shows as I just finish over 300+ minutes of FRONTIER HOUSE which showed on PBS. Later I'll be doing a post on this series. I'll just mention that they put 3 families back in 1880's Montana for 5 months. They had to build their own shelters, grow food, live stock, etc. It's a pretty good example of how far we have come from our basic survival skills.

It's not just a matter of our attenuated survival skills: a lot of our civilization's infrastructure is laid out in a way that only works well with modern conveniences. Take away the cars (or the gasoline--it'll probably be going up to $10 a gallon soon), and suburbs become a difficult place to live and do business. If we run out of ground water or the capacity to drill for it, Las Vegas, Tucson, and Phoenix are all going to be depopulated rapidly and we'll have millions of refugees headed quite literally for greener pastures. Cut off the electricity, and our skyscrapers in the city can't be inhabited: without air conditioning, they heat up to unbearable levels even during the winter. Our conveniences are no longer merely nice things to have, but necessities for the survival of many.

Without God we only follow our own impulses. Unfortunately many times people also follow their own impulse under the supposed name of God.

Faith is another important matter: God restrains our impulses only when we actually believe what He says and act accordingly. Today's vague spirituality leaves people little else but the name of God, and--as Nietzsche noticed in his time--when people no longer worship God in substance, all that remains for them is to cross out the name, since a mere name certainly won't restrain them from indulging in any of their worst impulses.

Then too, God being quite real, we do well to pay a bit of attention to those passages in Scripture that speak of God's judgments and punishments, since we can expect to see at least some of them visited on our own countries in the times to come.

That has always fascinated me. The Sahara Desert once being green. Though this isn't the cause of that North African phenomenon another thing to consider is a polar shift happening in the future.

If such a shift were to take place, chances are it would be relatively gradual by our standards, and therefore not much of a factor in an apocalypse. Still, just as global cooling had the Vikings packing up and leaving Greenland, such shifts might contribute to the waning of our own civilization. California, in particular, has had an unusually temperate climate this last century or so. Most of our data from past centuries suggests this condition is an anomaly and will not last, so we Americans had probably better start growing our fresh fruit somewhere else soon.

Been watching the quite developement of the E-Bomb for about 10 years now. It would be amazing to see what happened in the cause of such a weapon being used on a world-wide scale even though in may only be used regionally. One bomb would fry all electronics for a thousand miles with all people and buildings remaining intact. As you mentioned above I think gunpowder would rule the day after that.

We do have more sophisticated weapons in development that are designed to be E-bombs, but nuclear weapons are already effective this way for someone looking to destroy the entire nation. The reason this problem never came under much consideration before is that back during the Cold War, we would all have been too busy being smashed into subatomic particles in a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union to be worried about the effects of the electromagnetic pulses on our appliances. When a rogue regime such as North Korea doesn't have enough nukes to destroy everybody on the ground, however, exploding the nuke much higher up and wiping out our electronics instead becomes much more worthwhile.

Another senario is a world goverment creating a mind control machine. A machine that would eliminate your own thoughts. (not that it isn't being done already.) . How would you defend against this besides wearing a tin foil cap.  Smile

We already have those; they're called public schools. Good luck blocking out THOSE mind rays!

We already have very effective microwave and sonic weapons that aren't being talked about much by anyone in the news.

They've had successful test runs anyway, yes. These more sophisticated weapons are useful to us for our wiping out our enemies and their equipment in precision strikes. The cruder weapons of yesteryear are more useful to our enemies for terrorizing whole populations.
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Scott
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« Reply #53 on: May 25, 2008, 05:20:07 AM »

Oil can cause Apocalyptic social crisis with our current populations. Here's a news report.

http://green.yahoo.com/news/ap/20080524/ap_on_re_us/environmental_survivalists.html
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« Reply #54 on: May 25, 2008, 07:30:27 AM »

I found this to be a very realistic scenario....!

 
Small | Large


 (I happen to have a copy of that old HORROR MONSTERS mag the kid was reading!  BounceGiggle)

Actually....this really IS what might happen....chaos....starvation...cannaibalism! YIKES!!!

 
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« Reply #55 on: May 25, 2008, 12:09:26 PM »

Quote
Actually....this really IS what might happen....chaos....starvation...cannaibalism! YIKES!!!

OOH! THE FALLOUT!

All of our Leggo houses destroyed!

Of course, the problem with them eating that first guy is an hour later they'll be hungry again . . .

Thank you, ladies and germs! I'll be appearing here all week!
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« Reply #56 on: May 25, 2008, 02:58:53 PM »

Quote
Actually....this really IS what might happen....chaos....starvation...cannaibalism! YIKES!!!






Of course, the problem with them eating that first guy is an hour later they'll be hungry again . . .

Thank you, ladies and germs! I'll be appearing here all week!


HAHAHAHAH!  BounceGiggle

That one gets the Last Man Laffing Prize!

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« Reply #57 on: May 25, 2008, 10:13:23 PM »

The best way to survive is to keep to yourself.  If your immediate family has survived too, then you won't be starved for company.  But larger groups tend to have the most brutal person take charge and  beat the others into submission.  I look around me now and I see that it wouldn't take much for the predator instinct to take over some people.

So I would head away from where larger numbers of people are grouped.  In a plague situation, there wouldn't be many left anyway, so that semil-solitude wouldn't be a problem.

As for wildlife, I'd be concerned more about domestic pets going feral and preying on me than the actual Aussie wildlife.  Kangaroos are pretty harmless and generally head the other way if they see you coming.  Snakes and spiders and such kill you even without a disaster scenario happening. And I don't think I'd be in mortal danger of a possum  *lol*

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