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ATTN, Dok: How the cookie crumbles.

Started by Elder Iptuous, June 18, 2010, 04:08:55 AM

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Elder Iptuous

Roger,

i didn't want to fully jack Kai's excellent thread on our destruction of the biosphere, but in it you mentioned fully spelling out your take on how things might go down in the near to medium term future.

I'd be interested in you spilling it, if you don't mind taking a minute to do so.

My take is thus:

-it is clearly evident that the distribution of resources among the population is 'L shaped', with a select few controlling the vast majority of it.
-it seems likely that some percentage of this crowd sees the trajectory that we are on as a species, and the crumbling that is taking place.
-it seems perfectly natural to me that there would be groups that form among this crowd with the intention of preparing themselves for continued survival through the coming crises.  i don't know how large any of these groups may be, and based on human nature would assume that they have not aggregated into one giant 'illuminati' with a singular focus, but i'm sure there are a few groups that are pretty darned powerful.
-if i were someone of this sort, it would seem natural to think in terms of us/them, with 'them' being the 'little people', 'useless eaters', or 'massive human liability that will drag us down with them unless we strike first'.
-i would think that there are some groups that take the cold, hard view of Malthus, that we simply cannot tolerate the population size that we have, let alone what it is heading towards.  thus they could very well be planning for large scale depopulation.
-i would guess that starvation would be the weapon of choice, as it is cheap, effective, and has historical precedent.

beyond this, i don't know...

what is your view?

others feel free to chip in with your view of our coming dystopia...

Doktor Howl

Okay.  Who gets to eat?

And which is the "useless eater"?  The schmoe making minimum wage cleaning toilets, or the residents of the mansions in Newport, RI, who have never lifted a finger in their goddamned useless lives?

Also, Malthus was wrong, which was understandable, considering that he had no reason to suspect the giant leaps in technology that started a century or so after his death.  Problem is, the population's growth is logarithmic, and is now accelerating so fast that new technology better happen soon.

Lastly, what makes you think we have any control over who lives or dies in the next few decades?  This won't be a managed affair.
Molon Lube

Elder Iptuous

i agree with you on all points...

who gets to eat?  only time will tell, i guess.  but i would wager that those with resources will harbor workers to produce food for them and will offer protection from the crumbling world outside in exchange...

the 'useless eater' is simply what i'm guessing the fortunate few with the luxury of being born into vast wealth or lucky enough to ride the wheel of fortune to the top think about the poor schmoe on the bottom that pours his sweat and blood into simply providing an existence for his family.  i'm not saying that i agree with that view, but that it seems perfectly natural knowing human nature that that is what they would think....

I understand Malthus was wrong in the details of his declaration, but certainly the gist of it still holds.  i don't think that we can technologically miracle our way out of his ending indefinitely (and i get the impression you don't either?)

as far as control, i agree.  who knows how it will go?  but i'm sure that some with vast resources are going to do what they can to impact the ending to the degree that they can, right?

So is your view that things are going to simply crumble in an entirely unpredictable nature?

Doktor Howl

Quote from: Iptuous on June 18, 2010, 04:42:55 AM
i agree with you on all points...

who gets to eat?  only time will tell, i guess.  but i would wager that those with resources will harbor workers to produce food for them and will offer protection from the crumbling world outside in exchange...

the 'useless eater' is simply what i'm guessing the fortunate few with the luxury of being born into vast wealth or lucky enough to ride the wheel of fortune to the top think about the poor schmoe on the bottom that pours his sweat and blood into simply providing an existence for his family.  i'm not saying that i agree with that view, but that it seems perfectly natural knowing human nature that that is what they would think....

I understand Malthus was wrong in the details of his declaration, but certainly the gist of it still holds.  i don't think that we can technologically miracle our way out of his ending indefinitely (and i get the impression you don't either?)

as far as control, i agree.  who knows how it will go?  but i'm sure that some with vast resources are going to do what they can to impact the ending to the degree that they can, right?

So is your view that things are going to simply crumble in an entirely unpredictable nature?

I think things will stagger along, and then tip the fuck over.  When that happens, be near a well.

Those fat rich bastards won't have a chance.  Long pork shoulder, nothing else.  "Those with resources" are largely represented by Paris Hilton, and live an entirely artificial existence, with no connection whatsoever with the fortunes managed by others, and no useful skills, leadership or otherwise.
Molon Lube

Elder Iptuous

Hmm...

I guess i've always thought of the Paris Hiltons as those at the low end of the vertical line on the L.  I don't think they are preparing to defend themselves from the hoi polloi's long pig spits at all, and they will surely succumb.
but, I think those that have the real wealth/power are those families that have had it for generations, and have figured out how to raise their young with preserving that wealth in mind.  I think you may be underestimating them to some degree?
i don't think it requires much tinfoil to imagine that, right?


Requia ☣

Paying people minimum wage requires that there be a surplus of labor.  The rich have a vested interest in there being as many poor people as possible, and they'll do what they can to keep that going till everything collapses at once under the weight of the shifting environment, or maybe the rest of the world decides it just isn't going to do business with America anymore, because we can't pay our debts.
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Doktor Howl

Quote from: Iptuous on June 18, 2010, 04:52:13 AM
Hmm...

I guess i've always thought of the Paris Hiltons as those at the low end of the vertical line on the L.  I don't think they are preparing to defend themselves from the hoi polloi's long pig spits at all, and they will surely succumb.
but, I think those that have the real wealth/power are those families that have had it for generations, and have figured out how to raise their young with preserving that wealth in mind.  I think you may be underestimating them to some degree?
i don't think it requires much tinfoil to imagine that, right?



Nobody is preparing anything.  There is no "elite".  There are fat, stupid plutocratic drones, and fat, uneducated servant drones.  The old money families have raised 2 generations of inbred morons that exist on wealth so vast it perpetuates itself automatically.  None of this will do them any good when the lights go out for good.  The poor have skills useful as long as there is electricity.  They too will be helpless when the power shuts down.
Molon Lube

Doktor Howl

Quote from: Requia ☣ on June 18, 2010, 04:54:50 AM
Paying people minimum wage requires that there be a surplus of labor.  The rich have a vested interest in there being as many poor people as possible, and they'll do what they can to keep that going till everything collapses at once under the weight of the shifting environment, or maybe the rest of the world decides it just isn't going to do business with America anymore, because we can't pay our debts.

Optimist. 
Molon Lube

Captain Utopia


It's infinitely more terrifying to believe that things could get this fucked up without a conspiratorial elite at the helm.

tyrannosaurus vex

IMHO:

I think Roger is correct in saying that nobody's planning anything. There is, at least in the "developed world," a sense that things have always been the way they are now and that they will somehow always be that way. We are disconnected from history, we have no real vision of the future aside from whatever trinket is being released next quarter, and not a damn one of us really knows what makes society tick.

If there are people with the skills necessary to prop up some semblance of civilization after the Big One, they lack the skills necessary to organize that society into something that can be propped up. And the people who have those skills are distrusted by everyone.

The extremely wealthy will automatically be fucked, when their armies of lawyers and thugs realize the money they can offer them is worthless. The government will bark orders and kill people for a few months but eventually it will become obvious that it was always just a fanciful luxury that hastened rather than staved off the demise of society. The bottom class will last the longest since they are already used to living without much and tend to retain the ability to form friendships based on the communal sharing of goods and services (even if they believe socialism is evil), but they too will succumb to ever-expanding anarchy.

As for technology, the only kind of technology that can "save" us is green, practically unlimited electricity generation and storage. These are no doubt being worked on (and may be completed to some usable degree for all I know), but because of market pressure and political realities, will never be implemented in time to avoid the disaster.
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Triple Zero

Quote from: Iptuous on June 18, 2010, 04:52:13 AMI guess i've always thought of the Paris Hiltons as those at the low end of the vertical line on the L.  I don't think they are preparing to defend themselves from the hoi polloi's long pig spits at all, and they will surely succumb.
but, I think those that have the real wealth/power are those families that have had it for generations, and have figured out how to raise their young with preserving that wealth in mind.  I think you may be underestimating them to some degree?
i don't think it requires much tinfoil to imagine that, right?

I think you may be overestimating them, in fact.

Past [lack of] performance has shown that one is a lot more likely to overestimate human intelligence than to underestimate it.

Really, they are probably just as stupid as everybody else, it's not that you magically get a working brain just by happening to be born high-class, or even born with the ability to claw your way up during life.

See, you would prepare if you were in their position, Ippy. And so would I. And Dok, and Richter, and some others here.

But you must not forget, the distribution of stupid is uniform over nearly any subset of humans. That's because stupid tends to grow and redistribute as the subset settles.

I would guess, that due to sheer chance, there might be 2 or 3 plutarks that got the right kind of crazy preparedness. But just like the ones in the middle and the lower strata, they are looked upon with bemusement. They are probably loners and not part of some old money generation spanning survival plan.

In addition through sheer chance upon more sheer chance, there might be one that when TSHTF doesn't go into full self-serving hermit-mode [possibly with family] but indeed actually desires and manages to erect some power structure around him. But it would be an anomaly, and what of it? :)
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e-prime disclaimer: let it seem fairly unclear I understand the apparent subjectivity of the above statements. maybe.

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P3nT4gR4m

Something occurred to me last night as I was walking the dog through a bunch of farmland near my home. We're pretty rural where I live. Basically it's one small town in the middle of a bunch of farms. Essentially it's the kind of place that seems like it's capable of supporting the people living there. Obviously this isn't proven or anything, just how it immediately strikes me - it produces enough food to feed everyone. When you compare this to a city which is exponentially more population-dense and produces fuck all in the way of food you'll be able to see where I'm going, regardless of whether my self sufficiency guestimate is on the money or not.

My point is that when the shit hits the fan the cities and the people in them will start to die first, along with those strange desert dwelling/third world places where nothing grows and there's no water. It strikes me there is a broad geographic spectrum of areas more or less dependent on infrastructure. So basically what seems to be on the cards is a potential scenario where my town and others like it is going to be invaded by a bunch of skinny, anaemic, city fucks, looking to steal our food. Now everybody knows that a city dweller, by their very nature is generally a physically weak specimen in comparison to a townie so, on their own it'd be a straightforward case of "squeal like a piggy" but they have massive numbers on their side.

I had a big dumb grin on my face at this point - basically I'm going to get a good approximation of the zombie apocalypse I always dreamed of :lulz:

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Captain Utopia

OFUK  :lulz:

Though, think of all the food types which will survive in a city for a few weeks by itself - soda/crisps/pre-packaged junk food, limited water and no fresh produce.  By the time they reach the towns they'll be constipated as fuck, moving slowly and groaning for fibre... "GRAAAAAINS!"

Elder Iptuous

Trip,
I understand that the distribution of intelligence and foresight is independent of wherewithall.  That doesn't seem to lead to the conclusion that the rich are incapable, though.
how do you arrive at the figure of 2 or 3 elite people with the notion of surviving apocalyptic conditions?  That seems to be a pdooma on the short end of the stick, imo.  
also, i would think that those that have been able to generate and maintain wealth over an extended period of time would give more consideration to each others' insights than average joe would give to another average joe's, who can be easily dismissed.
further, i would think that one in a position of power and wealth would be unlikely to simply 'hole up' in the event of a great crumbling simply because erecting power structures around themselves is the way they got to their lofty positions in the first place, and it is second nature to them.  

When i see things like the continuity of government plans that have some degree of external scrutiny and are on the public dime, and then think that there are people with great personal resources that aren't beholding to any external forces, i wonder what they might have in the works.  But then, i'm paranoid....

Pent,
that notion is taken as almost axiomatic in paranoid survivalist circles and is referred to as 'zombies' with exactly that understanding...
the cities are seen as nearly certain death.

Dysfunctional Cunt

Ask yourselves a very serious question.  Is it truly money which will decide? 

How many people have.....

Lived without electricity? 
Know how to farm, not potted plants, a farm? 
Ever milked a cow or a goat? 
Ever wrung a chicken's neck? 
Any comprehension on how to cook with a wood stove? 
How to preserve food for the winter?

I honestly believe it will still hold to be survival of the fittest, I just don't think the fittest will be the richest or even the smartest.  I think the survivor's will be the ones who can actually do just that.... Survive.

I know I'm good.  I own a farm and I'm not afraid to use it  :lulz:  I just have to move to the backwoods of Virginia, just outside Tennessee.