I’m probably beating a dead horse with this, particularly in this crowd. The Collapse will probably not be sudden and complete. It is likely to be televised, however.
I was going to write at length about this; how a bizarre strain of deliberate anti-intellectualism is raising the ugly spectre of a possible neo-Dark Age coming; how some other blogs seem to be reaching some of the same conclusions I have about the nature of collapse. Unfortunately, everything I tried to write seemed to turn into a rant about current events (the Presidential race, the latest Middle East crisis, the relation between the two), and I’m prone to lapsing into incoherence when I do that. (I’ve deleted three drafts of this post already this morning…)
On a different note, I got a chuckle reading the recent “Why I Hate Preppers” article, over at another of my favorite blogs. The author is a self-described “survivalist,” and lists (at length) his issues with “preppers” and the “prepper movement.” While there are parts of his rant that I agree with, there are likewise parts that I don’t agree with; regardless, of particular interest to me were these bits of the last two paragraphs:
“…I am using the time I redeemed from migraine-inducing discussions with preppers to build stronger relationships with my retreat neighbors for whom heating with wood, gardening, hunting, and animal husbandry is not something they are preparing to do, but already a part of their every day lives.”
“Survival is more about skills than stuff.”
Those two quotes pretty much sum up three of the four main points I try to push:
- Survival is more about what you know, than what you have (although that doesn’t hurt, either).
- If you’re not practicing your skills/using what you know on a regular basis (ideally by living with them), you’re doing it wrong.
- Your neighbors are a resource as important to your survival as your stockpiles.
The fourth point? Critical thinking. A little calm, rational contemplation can make it easier to prepare for just about any situation. The emphasis has to lie on the latter bits: to prepare, for just about any situation. That implies that you’re doing the thinking beforehand, and reminds you that you can’t think of everything. (Good reflexes–often built by practicing for the things you have prepared for–will help get you through most of what you haven’t thought of.)
In the meantime, a little closer to home, we’ve had our first delivery of firewood. I hope to be able to use wood cut from our property in the future, but a number of factors have precluded that this year. I’m looking into getting some non-split firewood, as well–it’s much less expensive, and I’m happy to split it myself–like most good wood, it’ll warm you twice: once when you split it, again when you burn it. Halting first steps are being made towards getting the field and garden areas ready for cultivation; when it gets a little cooler than it is, we’ll start pruning the fruit trees. Likewise, an eye has been cast towards refurbishing the stable, in anticipation of the day we get goats (that will be a learning experience).
What are your thoughts on the article(s) above? And, more importantly, what have you done to prep lately?