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Thread: Apocalypse Now

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    Apocalypse Now

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    I hope Garry doesn't mind me moving this Topic here. (Was: Rise and Fall of Civilizations, Fantasy Forum).

    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Not quite, the ones best prepared to weather a technologically collapes. In this case those working with the least technology are the most likley to survive as they have the tools to deal with no technolopgy.

    Ergo, the subsistecne farmers working with cattle power.
    Again I am confused. I thought we ruled out a "Mega Disaster" and were talking more about a "Degradation" process.

    But OK, let us choose my favorite one: “The Super Solar Storm”. We are going to wipe out access to electricity completely. I think it qualifies as a “Technology Collapse”.

    You are saying the most prepared are the “Sustenance Farmers” working with “Cattle Power”??

    What stops 1 million urban people from going to the fields and work there? Or worse, raid the fields and kill the “Sustenance Farmers”.

    - Oh sorry Mr. Farmer, I won’t touch your 10 cows, I’ll stay in my urban starving home. I would work for you, but my PhD in Computer Science did not include basic farming skills.

    Also let’s not forget my favorite ruling class during a Crisis: The Military Class, they have training, discipline and weapons. Ups! I forgot, they have scientists, engineers and doctors too.

    - Mr. Farmer, your 10 cows and farm are now under the control of the state.

    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    It is full enough that without our current farming technology we cannot feed the world. Without our current transportation technology we can't get the food to people, and without our energy technology we cannot support populations in some of the places we are supporting populations.
    It's not "We cannot feed the world", Is we don't want to because is bad business. If those starving persons can not pay, nobody will produce food for them.

    We don't use solar because is not "Cost effective", A 1700 ft house can be energy independent with a 30K USD solar system (Which can survive a Solar Storm), but is cheaper to buy from the grid and buy a super gas consuming SUV.

    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Zimmerman is forgetting a few things. One the rules of the game have changed. It is not how many you start with, it's how many you end with. The world is no longer a level playing field where survival is concerned. In a crisis the urban populations go first, they need the technology the most to survive. The last people that will fail are the subsistence farmers of the third world. By not enjoying our technology they are not dependent on it.
    Do you really believe Urban populations do not know how to grow food? How to fish? How to Hunt? Do you really believe that all PhDs in engineering will be dead in 10 days if left out in the woods??

    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Any survivors that mannge to pull themselves from the rubble of the planet had better have some very basic skills, or they are not going to be survivors for long. Better hope for the sake of the human race the US gets it right in the nose.[/COLOR][/SIZE]
    Let's hope they are not as useless as we are.

    .
    Saluti
    Carlos

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimthar View Post
    Do you really believe Urban populations do not know how to grow food? How to fish? How to Hunt? Do you really believe that all PhDs in engineering will be dead in 10 days if left out in the woods??
    They frequently are. All? No. A great majority? Yes. Hunters are a small part of the population.

    Remember the great blackout of '03? People in New York were seeing the unfettered stars for the first time. They were afraid that the stars had something to do with the blackout. Superstition, fear and ignorance still run deep. I also recall that vast amounts of food were lost. Stores were giving meat away as fast as they could. The entire dairy and meat departments of every store in Metro Detroit were stripped. Fact was you couldn't get milk for about 48 hours. We were 24 hours without power, but it wasn't localized. Everything was down. The whole city ground to a halt. There were not enough refrigerated trucks in town to save the food. And if you had one, you could barely move it with the traffic signals down. The loss just in Detroit amounted to millions of dollars.

    That was 24 hours. What if it was a week, two weeks? How long before the lack of food and transportation started to starve people? We would quickly strip the stores of the dry and canned goods.

    The main problem with being in the urban environment is yes, few people have the skills of hunting and farming. They are skill sets, as much as engineering or doctoring.

    The second problem is density. The sheer number of people mean that even if you have the skill set you might not live to practice it. If we had six hours warning that the East coast would be hit, we could not get the people out. There are not enough roads. In a technological collapse, urban centers are death traps. 80% of the people in the US live in those death traps.

    I do not think it unreasonable to state that people currently living the nontechnological, subsistence life are better prepared to live it that pampered city dwellers. Remember, that life is a skill set as well. The Indian farmer behind his bullocks is as smart as you or I, he is not an ignorant fool. He knows the rhythm of the land he lives on, what crops to plant and when to plant them. How to care for his cattle, and a hundred other things we do not know, but would need to know.

    Take a look at your fellows at work. How many of them have the skills to get behind an ox drawn plow and make their own food? Can you milk a cow? Can you hunt?

    Ideally we bring the entire world to a "developed" state. How much more food could that Indian farmer grow with modern sustainable methods?

    The days when a nation could out populate it's neighbors are over. We need to leave that idea and that game behind. Better we cannot afford the game at all. The Nation of Man, that is a goal to be aimed for.

    We would be better off making sure every Chinese family had a refrigerator. Increase the Chinese standard of living and their population will fall off. It happens every time.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Take a look at your fellows at work. How many of them have the skills to get behind an ox drawn plow and make their own food? Can you milk a cow? Can you hunt?
    yes, yes and yes. ^^

    but then i'm not a normal example. my people believe in preparing for an apocolypse. so we seek after training and books about the basics of how to do just about everything.

    now, my hands would be torn up trying to plow, cause i don't have enough callouses. and i haven't practiced on a cow... and i still need to learn how to make the weapons. and practicing shooting (bow and arrow). or learn how to trap. that's on my list. in any case i know the book i need to get for learning about that. (not that theory is the same in any wise. but it's a start.)
    Last edited by nijineko; 02-29-2008 at 02:07 AM.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
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    I would get practicing then, because bowyer and fletcher are not skills picked up on a whim and all the book knowledge in the world will not help you much. Archery itself? Non intuitive. It doesn't work how you think it works. I know, I am an Archer. I can hit what I aim at. It takes years of practice. I do fletch, I have yet to try making a bow, but from those that have you can depend on your first effort being worthless. A gent I know that makes Flemish twist strings said that if you don't have someone to show you how, you may never get it right. Funny, but that string is as important as the rest of the kit.

    You have knowledge from a book. That isn't practical knowledge. You can well die if you must use that knowledge to survive. The learning curve can be steep. If it is do or die, that curve might be a cliff. Don't depend on anything that you do not have as a practical skill right now.

    However gamers typically have larger than average skill sets. You didn't mention your work fellows as having any of these skills. Can you get out of the city, find a survivable area and get over the learning curve before it kills you?

    Also do not forget you have to fight for these resources. The huntable and farmable land is not empty. It has people on it. People willing to defend it. They already have skills you have yet to develop. Do you honestly think that if Billy Bob Countryboy considers you a threat to his survival he will hesitate to shoot you?

    I have it easy, I don't make it. My medical conditions make me one of the people dependent on technology to live. So I have a real strong interest in seeing the world does not come apart.

    It comes down to that. People that have the skills, now, are the people that survive the fall of civilization, be it instant or gradual. The people that primarily have the skills of basic survival, and do not live in areas were they must fight to get the resources are those living at the subsistence level of of technology, on the very land they need. Developed world city dwellers are the least equipped to survive "The Fall."

    So it is better to stop playing the Great Game and learn to get along with each other. Better to raise up your neighbor as they raise you up as well. Zimmerman's old game of completing tribes is not on our favor anymore. Frankly it never was in anyone's favor. No one wins wars, you just have the side that loses less.

    No human being has the right -- under any circumstances -- to initiate force against another human being, nor to advocate, threaten or delegate its initiation. --The Zero Aggression Principle

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    Scenario #1: The Technological Collapse

    I made previous comments, but this is a summary of why I don't believe Humanity will go extinct or go back to a "savage state".

    1) Knowledge is widespread across the globe and is not contained or Trap in "Urban Areas". There are thousands of manufacturing locations in the middle of corn fields. Hundreds of University campuses (A lot of them Agro-Oriented) in small towns (Not just in the first world, but in the third too)
    2) "Military Class"
    3) Food is right now produced in enough numbers in Area 1 and is transported to Area 2. People will move from Area 2 to Area 1. Not all will make it, but once the equilibrium is met, Area 1 will prosper and grow.

    Scenario #2: Over Population & Few resources. (Degradation Process)

    This is why I don't believe Humanity will go extinct or go back to a "savage state".

    1) War (Not including nuclear)
    2) Move to other types of resources.

    ---

    Funny thing is why is the Population Numbers being blamed, Modern Capitalism is the root cause.
    Last edited by Dimthar; 02-29-2008 at 01:53 PM.
    Saluti
    Carlos

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    oh, i can generally hit what i shoot at with a bow. that part's not book knowledge. (should have clarified...) and with a rifle, but i'm not fond of guns in general.

    and to my aggravation, i'm more accurate with a gun than with a bow. sigh. i've never missed any target i've shot at with a .22 (once i've ranged and sighted it), but i still have trouble hitting the bull's eye with a bow. i'll hit the target about 80%, but if i was hunting, i'd probably get pretty hungry. unless it was big. and couldn't come get me for shooting it.... so absolutely need more practice with a bow.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
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    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko View Post
    oh, i can generally hit what i shoot at with a bow. that part's not book knowledge. (should have clarified...) and with a rifle, but i'm not fond of guns in general.

    and to my aggravation, i'm more accurate with a gun than with a bow. sigh. i've never missed any target i've shot at with a .22 (once i've ranged and sighted it), but i still have trouble hitting the bull's eye with a bow. i'll hit the target about 80%, but if i was hunting, i'd probably get pretty hungry. unless it was big. and couldn't come get me for shooting it.... so absolutely need more practice with a bow.
    You always need practice with a bow. It's perishable skill. Shot League last night,. 3D, 15 targets, two rounds. I didn't do too badly considering the perished state of my skills. (I've been out of it a while.) There is always room for improvement. This year I'm shooting Traditional. First time using the Martin recurve in a league. I've always used the compound for 3D before.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dimthar View Post
    Scenario #1: The Technological Collapse

    I made previous comments, but this is a summary of why I don't believe Humanity will go extinct or go back to a "savage state".

    1) Knowledge is widespread across the globe and is not contained or Trap in "Urban Areas". There are thousands of manufacturing locations in the middle of corn fields. Hundreds of University campuses (A lot of them Agro-Oriented) in small towns (Not just in the first world, but in the third too)
    2) "Military Class"
    3) Food is right now produced in enough numbers in Area 1 and is transported to Area 2. People will move from Area 2 to Area 1. Not all will make it, but once the equilibrium is met, Area 1 will prosper and grow.

    Scenario #2: Over Population & Few resources. (Degradation Process)

    This is why I don't believe Humanity will go extinct or go back to a "savage state".

    1) War (Not including nuclear)
    2) Move to other types of resources.

    ---

    Funny thing is why is the Population Numbers being blamed, Modern Capitalism is the root cause.

    Your argument is lacking argument there. The primary threats to man come it two categories.

    1: Outside forces we cannot control. Fergitaboutit. If Betelgeuse decided to supernova and blast us with a gamma burst there isn't a damn thing we can do about it. Yellowstone erupting and killing most of the US? Not a thing. Fergitaboutit. No need to worry or even plan. You cannot account for all the world altering events that can possible happen. I do believe we do need to mitigate the ones we can mitigate. An asteroid watch is a very good idea. We have technology that can help, but only if we have years of lead time.

    2: Us. "We have met the enemy and he is us." -- Pogo. Man vs man, we are the greatest threat to our own survival. The good news is we have every chance of changing that. But, we have to change our thinking about certain things. Such as a nation-centric political process. The idea that we can still afford war. Competing on the national level by out populating our neighbors. These are counter productive and self destructive behaviors. I would rather see a world full of villages and cities. Central governments work for their own best benefit, not for the benefit of the people under them. Mind you not a world government, that would simply be a bigger central government with even less accountability. Decental government on the local level that is totally accountable.

    The Military? Part of the problem not a solution. Generals don't sleep well unless someone is dying somewhere. I am all in favor of arming the people, but the standing army is a suck on our resources that doesn't return a bloody thing. Keep this in mind. The military produces nothing. Every penny put into the military is lost. You never see it again. Wealth and resources down the drain. The "military class" is part of the problem.

    Capitalism when allowed to function correctly works. What you are seeing is not capitalism. It is mercantilism. A different and dangerous animal. Follow the link.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Your argument is lacking argument there. The primary threats to man come it two categories ...

    ... 2: Us. "We have met the enemy and he is us." -- Pogo. .
    I said "Humanity will not go extinct" or "Return to a Savage State" by its own hand. I don't see anything in your response to prove me wrong. A Super Volcano? Big Asteroid? yes, we can not control.

    Other than that ... I though it was clear that I agreed with you in a "Developing Crisis" if we keep the same course.

    .
    Saluti
    Carlos

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    Reducing Population.

    I was thinking this whole population thing while waiting for my 3 women at the mall.

    If we really want to decrease the population, we need a Fertility Rate (FRT) of less than 2.

    In a "Society of FRT 1" (Which means 1 son/daughter for every 2 parents). If enforced by the government (kind of close to what China is doing), what would be the effects after 3 or 4 generations?

    I mean your closest family member (other than parents and grandparents) is going to be your 3rd-4th cousin.

    A Society of "Single Children".

    Cheaper wedding parties for sure ... or more room for friends.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub-replacement_fertility

    .
    Last edited by Dimthar; 03-03-2008 at 02:19 PM.
    Saluti
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimthar View Post
    I said "Humanity will not go extinct" or "Return to a Savage State" by its own hand. I don't see anything in your response to prove me wrong. A Super Volcano? Big Asteroid? yes, we can not control.
    There is no reasoning behind the statements. We have no assurance that we will not be our own demise. We certainly have the means, and I fear people mad enough to start it.

    There have been more species extinct than we currently have on the planet. Life endures, but species do not. We are not some evolutionary peak that cannot be surpassed. There used to be more shapes of man on the planet. They are gone. I am convinced that our longing for creatures like Dwarves and Elves comes from an ancient memory of the time we were not the only kind of man.

    If the reign of man is to end on this world it will either be the work of a mindless force, or by his own hand. And that is something we must consider. We have the means to destroy ourselves, unique in that among all of the creatures on the planet, we can destroy ourselves.

    It is not just atomic destruction we need to be wary of. If we by our action destroy the very ecology that allows use to live, we have done the deed as surly as ten thousand nukes descending from the sky. Life will survive, be we will not.

    Thinking that we cannot do this is arrogance. Hubris, Hubris est. Knowing and realizing that we can destroy ourselves is the first step in preventing that very occurrence.

    There is no harm in learning to live light on the land. There is no harm in realizing that we are not separate nations, but one Nation of Man. There is no harm in living without violence toward your fellow man or his ideas and beliefs.

    It is time to cast the ways of the past away for the destructive errors that they are.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    The Military? Part of the problem not a solution. Generals don't sleep well unless someone is dying somewhere. I am all in favor of arming the people, but the standing army is a suck on our resources that doesn't return a bloody thing. Keep this in mind. The military produces nothing. Every penny put into the military is lost. You never see it again. Wealth and resources down the drain. The "military class" is part of the problem.

    I have to disagree with this to the extent that we are not using our military in the right way. When we go to everyone's rescue and don't get reimbursed for the cost, then yes, we get nothing out of it. All those other governments should have to pay our cost (for example Iraq has all that oil money but yet they use rebuilding as an excuse. I'm not advocating using the military as a paid mercenary force, but at least if some other country wants the use of our military, they should be willing to pay the expenses involved). I could continue, but I want to keep this from turning into a novel.

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    studying the remains, we've come near to destroying ourselves as a race at least once. if not twice.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplmac View Post
    I have to disagree with this to the extent that we are not using our military in the right way. When we go to everyone's rescue and don't get reimbursed for the cost, then yes, we get nothing out of it. All those other governments should have to pay our cost (for example Iraq has all that oil money but yet they use rebuilding as an excuse. I'm not advocating using the military as a paid mercenary force, but at least if some other country wants the use of our military, they should be willing to pay the expenses involved). I could continue, but I want to keep this from turning into a novel.
    Even if we never use the military it costs money just sitting there. There has never been a profitable war. Militaries are an expense. They cost money, they never return it.

    Given my way we would have a totally defensive system. I would pull every single US soldier back to within the US shore, distribute the weapons and return to the militia model. Foreign adventures would be forbidden. If people on the other side of the world want to be stupid at each other, they can. Bother the US and will smash you. Come peacefully and we will welcome you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Even if we never use the military it costs money just sitting there. There has never been a profitable war. Militaries are an expense. They cost money, they never return it.

    Given my way we would have a totally defensive system. I would pull every single US soldier back to within the US shore, distribute the weapons and return to the militia model. Foreign adventures would be forbidden. If people on the other side of the world want to be stupid at each other, they can. Bother the US and will smash you. Come peacefully and we will welcome you.
    True, but even in the militia model, there were still some full time military personel, even if there was no conflict going on. Although, I believe this was mostly the higher officers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko View Post
    studying the remains, we've come near to destroying ourselves as a race at least once. if not twice.
    You might be interested in reading this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_clock
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