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Learning From The TV (Imagine That!)

Shows offering lessons in resilience
Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 9:28 PM

I'm one of those people who thinks most of what passes as "content" today on TV and movie screens is pure crap.

The hours lost watching this slop diminish us. We waste precious time and neural energy that could be put to productive use improving our lives.

The amount of time we collectively throw away like this is truly depressing. As Business Insider puts it "the average American watches so much TV it's almost a full-time job":

time-spent-on-media-in-US-per-adult

(Source: Neilsen Total Audience Report, Q1 2016)

Reflect on that: the average US adult watches 5 hours of television PER DAY. There are roughly 242 million people 18 and over living in the US. So that means we collectively consume 1.2 billion hours of TV per day. That's over 440 billion hours per year.

Imagine how much more we could get accomplished as a nation if we devoted even just half of that time into self-betterment projects or public service. That's a staggering amount of human productivity we're pissing away.

And note that I'm only looking at the TV usage stats -- there's an additional 4.5 hours of internet/smartphone/radio time (per day!) we'd benefit from cutting back on, too. With so much of our day spent being a screen zombie, how the hell do we get anything done?

But despite my ranting, I'm not a complete ascetic about television. Yes, I do watch it -- in moderation -- as does the rest of my family. But in my household, the TV is usually off. And when on, it's usually to watch a specific show or film -- not to "see what's on" and mindlessly channel surf.

And amidst the vast sea of cable-network detritus, every so often there's a show or two that I find worthwhile -- either for entertainment or for learning something.

Recently, there are two shows I'm currently enjoying that deliver on both counts. And very surprisingly, they're "reality TV" -- a genre I usually associate as the worst of the worst when it comes to low-quality programming. But I'm finding I'm learning some useful lessons from these two series, and I thought I'd take a moment to share my observations for those who might want to tune in and see for themselves.

Both of these shows are on the History Channel. That's pure coincidence, or perhaps a sign that the History Channel doesn't produce pure dreck. But just in case you're wondering, no, Peak Prosperity has no relationship with them, nor is getting anything in return for mentioning them here. I simply like these two shows.

"Alone" (History Channel, Thursday nights)

Alone is an experiment in the "lone wolf" approach to survival.

Each season (they're on Season 3 now), they drop 10 contestants -- each of whom is well experienced with outdoor survival -- off in a remote part of the world and see who can last the longest without any support from or interaction with other people.

Contestants are allowed to bring 10 items from a pre-approved list of 50 -- and that's it. They're dropped off far enough apart so that they won't come into contact with each other. They must learn to acquire shelter, food, warmth, etc all on their own. Whoever can last the longest without requesting/requiring emergency evacuation wins -- and receives a check for $500,000.

Here's a quick trailer for the show, to give you a sense of what the conditions are like:

For anyone with a prepper mindset, Alone is fun to watch. As mentioned, all of these people are experienced outdoorsmen/women. They know what they're doing. Each brings their own set of skills, and they're often delightfully creative in how they apply that expertise to feed and shelter themselves. Human ingenuity, especially when under pressure, is an amazing force to behold.

But ingenuity only goes so far. When completely removed from the supply chain of modern living, survival is hard.

Even though the contestants are intentionally located in areas where fish and wild game live, obtaining enough calories to survive consumes all of their time and focus. Most days, they're not able to replace the calories they expend. Substantial weight loss occurs.

Creating a shelter that can withstand the onset of winter and its harsh storms is another requirement contestants must attend to. One that gets harder as their energy saps due to their deficient diet.

Watching this show, you learn quickly that those armchair preppers who buy a pile of camping gear and then consider themselves all set to go "live off the grid" during a crisis are delusional. Alone shows us how much work needs to be put in day after day to provide the calories needed to sustain just a single person. These contestants are experts in hunting and foraging and yet most days they fail to provide for themselves. And remember, they're in an unpopulated area. For those of us who live near a well-stocked river or forest, how long will it take for the deer and fish there to dwindle away if our entire neighborhood is competing with us for food? A week?

Plus, there's a huge "Murphy's Law" factor, too. Initial shelter designs fail. Firewood becomes scarce. Scavengers steal your food. One contestant this season got bitten by a Chilean Recluse spider, whose venom is more potent than a rattlesnake's and can cause organ failure (she pulled a very cool MacGyver maneuver and created a poultice from native plantains and lentils to draw out the poison successfully). There are just so many points of failure out there waiting to happen. And keep in mind, these conditions don't involve other people lurking around who want to steal your stuff.

But the biggest challenge, by far, is mental. How contestants deal with the complete and total social isolation determines their odds for success.

As we talk about in our book Prosper! as well as often on this site, humans are social animals. We're wired to co-exist with others. Remove that interaction, and we're out of our natural element. Remove that interaction for long enough, and our ability to function can become seriously compromised.

We write often of Social Capital and Emotional Capital, both of which are critical success factors on Alone. The structure of the competition deliberately removes the Social Capital factor: there's no morale-boosting camaraderie, nor is there anyone to turn to when your own abilities aren't up to the task. But it's the Emotional Capital element that matters most: through the setbacks, though the hunger, through the cold, through the boredom, through the fear -- How are you going to persevere?

The contestants here are seriously hard people. They can deal with a prodigious amount of physical adversity -- for most of these folks, substantially more than the show will throw at them. But when you start hearing them question their resolve (Why am I doing this?), or whether it's worth spending so much time away from their family, you know their will is breaking. It's a classic signal they're about to tap out. Once the will is broken, the physical tribulation just serves as the excuse to leave.

It's surprising to see how relatively little time it takes for these folks to break mentally. Season 1 lasted 56 days. That's less than 2 months. Season 2 lasted 66 days. Now, while that's certainly a lot longer than I would have lasted, I would have expected experienced wilderness enthusiasts to go on for much longer -- like the trappers of past centuries were able to. Also, remember that there's a half-million dollar payout awaiting the victor. Part of the swift attrition is likely due to the harshness of the regions the show takes place in, but watching on a weekly basis, it's clear that it's the isolation that gets folks in the end.

What Alone does a good job of, in my opinion, is validating our conclusion that The lone wolf is a myth. Very, very few of us can truly "go it alone" -- in times of crisis, or anytime otherwise for that matter. We need to live in community; to leverage the strengths of others, as well as to have purpose in life and to be psychically nourished. We literally starve both our mental and physical well-being when we isolate ourselves from social contact.

More importantly, the lessons of the show underscore how emotional resilience is *the* critical success factor for overcoming adversity. Those rich in it find the strength and the ingenuity to carry on. Those poor in it give up -- no matter how well-resourced they are in other forms of capital.

It's important to keep in mind that Emotional Capital is something all of us can build, and usually at no financial cost (feel free to read our recommended steps here) . As we often say about dealing with crisis: It's not the insult that will determine your fate, it's your reaction to it.

Alone: Season 3 airs Thursday nights on the History Channel. Past episodes can be streamed online or purchased from iTunes. 

"The Selection" (History Channel)

I only recently stated watching The Selection: Special Operations Experiment, but I'm fully sucked in at this point. 

This is a first-run series that takes 30 qualifying civilians and puts them through a hyper-intense boot camp run by US special forces instructors. The goal is to meet similar performance standards that elite combat soldiers like Navy Seals, Green Berets and Army Rangers are held to. There is no monetary prize for any contestants who pass.

First off, let me make it clear that I don't have any military experience, so I have no first-hand knowledge underlying my opinions of this show. Nor do I mean to equate what these contestants go through with the rigors and dangers of those who serve in the active military. I had a lot of respect for our active servicemen and women beforehand. I simply have even more for them now.

Exceptionally grueling is the best way to describe the program the contestants for The Selection are put through. As the professional instructors explain, their job at the start is to weed out the weak. One they've done that, they then focus on weeding out the strong. Those remaining after that (if any) have the mettle the special forces are looking for.

It's not like this is a group of creampuffs. To be chosen for the show, contestants had to meet an array of rigorous fitness qualifications. One guy mentioned how much weight he can deadlift. That's something I myself work at, and while I'm not the strongest guy at the gym, my deadlift is a respectable 340lbs. His is over 500lbs. So most of these men and women are legit bad-asses. 

The first two days of the program are a non-stop pain-fest of physical challenges. The goal is to force anyone and everyone whose body can't meet the standard, or whose commitment to the program isn't firm, to quit. The workouts are punishing, and they just keep coming. The instructors are brutal -- cruel even. They're looking for weakness. And if they find any, they press on it -- hard. Sleep and rest is minimal and interrupted, sometimes by being blindfolded and sent to interrogation.

Here's a brief preview that shows (just a slice of!) what's thrown at these guys:

Five candidates quit in the first few hours. By the end of Day 2, half had dropped out.

And then, the psychological stress component dialed up. By this point, the instructors knew that those remaining had a lot of physical fortitude. But how strong was their mental resolve?

Candidates were "captured by the enemy", bound, blindfolded and placed into boxes for hours, with recorded baby cries and klaxons blaring over loudspeakers. They quickly lost track of time and place. After that came drowning tests. And more sleep-deprivation. And harsh criticism of their commitment to the program. 

After Day 5, it was down to just 8. Now the series is at Day 9, with just 5 candidates left.

While it may sound like this is a TV show for sadists (and it probably does appeal to that audience segment), I've found a lot of inspiration and insight following it. As inhumanely cruel as it appears in its application, there's a method behind the instructors' madness. Here's what I've learned:

The mind trumps the body. "Your mind will fail before you body does" repeat the instructors throughout this series. What they mean is that, if you're conscious and functioning, you have more in you to keep going. As in Alone, what defeats these contestants is almost always a breakdown of their willpower.  Yes, severe physical abuse is being doled out, but based on their real-life experiences and those of their fellow soldiers, the veteran instructors know first-hand that limits are set by the mind. Find a way to expand those mental limits, and the body will follow. 

It's shocking to watch the attrition process during the show, because it's largely so hard to predict. Some of the earliest drop-outs were big guys, guys who looked like contenders to last until the bitter end. But there was some mental shortcoming each had; a lack of confidence, a fear, a hubris -- some "seed of doubt" as the instructors called it that, once identified, they "watered to grow into a beautiful quit tree". 

And on the other hand, there were candidates who lasted longer than anyone expected; again, due to the mental factor. One standout was a smaller guy from the Philippines who couldn't have weighed more than 130lbs (if that). By sheer force of will, he outlasted men who outweighed him by 100 pounds of muscle. He was only dropped from the program when the instructors realized he couldn't swim(!) during an ocean exercise.

Based on my own life experience, I wholeheartedly believe the same is true for overcoming ANY obstacle, physical or otherwise. It's what we believe we can do, or endure, that determines our destiny. If we work on strengthening our emotional resilience (as discussed in the previous section) -- on expanding what we believe to be possible -- we can achieve dramatically more in our lives. 

Finding your "Why?" is the key to perseverance. Building on the importance of mental fortitude is the criticality of having a guiding purpose. What's the reason that keeps you moving forward when times get tough?

The instructors call this "finding your Why?". Those with a strong Why? can power through abuse. On the show, these are the folks who were able to withstand tear gas, torture, drowning risk, extreme heat/cold, physical exhaustion, lack of sleep, and the instructors' head games. Those without a bedrock Why? folded early.

Through little mini-interviews during the show, you get a glimpse inside the heads of the candidates. Those with something to prove -- to themselves, to a family member, or to society -- are the ones faring best. They have a cause, a goal, or a driving principle that is sustaining them. Fear of the pain of betraying that outweighs the physical and mental pain they're being subjected to.

Having a rock-solid Why? is the #1 determinant to completing their brutal selection process say the instructors. I believe it. And that insight has inspired me to look inwards at my own internal motivations. What, specifically, is my Why? How solid is it? What might I be able to do to strengthen it?

How solid is yours?

Humans belong in a tribe. What's really fascinating to watch in this series is that, as the pool of contestants winnows down, those remaining no longer are competitors. They begin to develop a team mentality. It ceases being, Can I make it through the next challenge? and instead morphs into, What can I do to make sure WE get through it?

This, of course, is what the instructors are looking for. From experience they know that an effective soldier is part of a team, who puts that team's objectives and welfare above his/her own.

While I assume this has been a time-proven lesson over the thousands of years of human warfare, it's really inspirational to see how the remaining candidates feed off of each other's support. As the adversity intensifies, the strength they draw from going through it together visibly grows.

This directly reminds me of the discussion we had on this site with with Sebastian Junger about his book Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging. Junger, who spent over a year embedded with an army platoon in an Afghanistan hot zone, observed the tight-knit brotherhood that soldiers in combat develop. Many of them have trouble re-integrating into the relative quiet of civilian life, not due so much to issues of PTSD, but to loss of that sense of belonging and purpose. 

Junger notes that humans evolved as a tribal species, living in close groups of no more than 60 people, under constant threat from other tribes and natural stressors.

So, in a very real way, the remaining candidates on this show are living -- really truly alive as humans were meant to be.

When they're removed from the group for interrogation, it's not uncommon for these incredibly tough people to cry when the instructors challenge their commitment to remain. You can see that at this point they're experiencing a fulfillment and a self-discovery that is very rare for them  -- and so, they view this unbelievably punishing experience as a priceless gift. I find myself envying these guys.

The challenge for the rest of us is to ask ourselves, How can I add more tribalism to my life? We live in a society that actually values independence from -- not interdependence on -- others. We are starving our social receptors in much the same way as the contestants on Alone are. Why? The benefits of brotherhood/sisterhood are so clear when we can see them. Why not have more of that in our lives? Why not be more alive?

The Selection: Special Operation Experiment airs its final episode tomorrow night (Thursday, 1/26/17) on the History Channel.

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23 Comments

reflector's picture
reflector
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 20 2011
Posts: 257
good

good article, adam.

as far as your thoughts about humans being social animals and being wired to coexist with others, i would be careful to over-generalize, even if it's true of most people.

there's hermits and recluses who are happy by themselves, to varying degrees.

i've been a loner most of my life, an outsider to society and its constructs, never really fitting in.  which in some ways i'm grateful for, it can be helpful in developing skepticism, seeing through society's bullshit, and learning to think independently.

i watched a video recently on the topic of introverts versus extroverts, which estimated that 70% of the population are extroverts, they enjoy interacting with other people, they gain energy through interacting with other people.

and almost 30% of people are introverts, they gain energy through being alone and having time to themselves to recharge, and find interactions with other people draining which they can handle for a little while but then need to go away to be by themselves to recharge.

and it occurred to me that i'm an introvert, which is something i always knew, how did i manage to forget that? we all forget who we are, at times.

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
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Posts: 138
An exemplary culture

Adam wrote,

Junger notes that humans evolved as a tribal species, living in close groups of no more than 60 people, under constant threat from other tribes and natural stressors.

Maybe not quite. I urge everyone to read a book called Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe. It has completely overturned my thinking. In it Pascoe examines ignored documentary evidence plus archaeological research to report that the Australian aborigines by large had lived lives in harmony with nature & with the land, sowing, cultivating enormous areas of "desert" land, irrigating, tilling, harvesting, storing grains, building houses and dams. They constructed "a system of pan-continental government that generated peace and prosperity." Their civilisation in Australia is reckoned at 40,000 years of age, perhaps even 60,000.

Some of this may be too good to be true, but even if only half of it is, the concepts and practices of the Aborigines need serious study rather than the the scornful dismissal they've been given thus far.

And it seems that they did it all with only minor skirmishes, never a European-style civil war. Oh yes, they do have clan and tribal squabbles, not everyone gets on blissfully with everyone else, of course, but as Pascoe puts it, they never thought of pouring boiling oil on their enemies.

In 1788 Europeans started arriving in earnest, dragged Australia roughly into the world system and did their best to exterminate the original inhabitants with their culture. We Europeans need to repent and change.

macro2682's picture
macro2682
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
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Posts: 523
Adding more tribalism...

Step one is to stop paying comcast/timewarner/rcn to reduce your quality of life. My wife put her foot down on this (as she so often does) and so I'm still paying RCN $200/mo for a data stream that I cannot control.  If I canceled cable, all the shows we (she) watch(es) would still be available, but we would have to consciously decide to watch them. For example, if we had Hulu/prime/netflix only, my wife would have to say to herself "ok, right now I would like to watch 30 minutes of the real housewives of wherever. The difference between this conscious decision and the unconscious "let's see what's on", is like night and day.  Then there is the cost. We probably have 4 shows that we would consciously decide to watch each week. That's $50 per 30-minute show... I might as well hire an attorney to read me the newspaper. That would be less expensive.  How it is that nobody (apple, google) has been able to capture this inefficiency by selling shows a-la-cart is beyond me. 

drbost's picture
drbost
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Posts: 48
The Why of community developlment

Thanks for your article, Adam.  It reinforces why we devote effort to community development.

Jeffleonard90@gmail.com's picture
[email protected]..
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Posts: 28
Amazing Documentary and Great Hunting Show

I can't remember how many times I have watched this, its well worth your time.

http://www.downvids.net/alone-in-the-wilderness-dick-proenneke-full-docu...

Dick Proenneke left it all and got dropped off in the Alaska wilderness back in the 60's with some tools and basic gear, built a cabin by hand with amazing craftsmanship skills and continued living alone for 35 years.  Its great for kids and adults, I watch it all the time.  Anyone who has ever ripped a log with a handsaw will appreciate this mans abilities.

For those who hunt wild game and are looking to up your wild game cooking skills, watch Meateater on netflix.  Even if you don't hunt, you may watch this show and want to.  Steve Rinella brings some time tested primal cooking skills to your TV screen. He cooks meat in stomach, buries deer heads that taste like carnitas.

http://www.themeateater.com/2016/the-meateater-crews-netflix-picks/

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1466
Introverts of PP at Rowe this year

As a fellow introvert, I understand reflector's viewpoint.

Perhaps this year at the Rowe Conference we could have a special breakout session for "The Introverts of PP" from 3 pm to 5 pm.  We could all stay in our rooms during that time and not attend, and afterwards really feel refreshed by our alone time. 

:-)

charleshughsmith's picture
charleshughsmith
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Posts: 591
don't forget Gilligan's Island!

don't forget Gilligan's Island as a font of neat ideas of stuff to make with bamboo, and as a useful descriptor of all the petty conflicts that arise within hierarchical tribes... 

dryam2000's picture
dryam2000
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 6 2009
Posts: 271
Good Read. Thanks!

Good read!

Made me reflect on the times I'd be talking to cows along the road because of extreme loneliness when I was on 20+ mile runs back in the day, & I very rarely feel lonely in the least bit as I'm definitely on the introverted side of things.

As a side note......

"The benefits of brotherhood/sisterhood are so clear when we can see them."

This is one big reason why gangs exist.  It's their sense of greater purpose & sense of belonging.

DennisC's picture
DennisC
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Joined: Mar 19 2011
Posts: 184
Just Make Sure to...

bring a tear-off sheet from your flip chart, containing the ten bullet points describing why you like being alone, to the breakfast "post-mortem" session the next day.

Back in the day, I used this joke with the bean counters at budget meetings, on occasion.  It almost always got a laugh.

Question: How do you know if an accountant is an extrovert or introvert?

Answer: An extrovert looks at your shoes when talking to you, an introvert looks at their shoes when talking to you.

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
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Posts: 669
sand_puppy wrote: As a fellow

sand_puppy wrote:

As a fellow introvert, I understand reflector's viewpoint.

Perhaps this year at the Rowe Conference we could have a special breakout session for "The Introverts of PP" from 3 pm to 5 pm.  We could all stay in our rooms during that time and not attend, and afterwards really feel refreshed by our alone time. 

:-)

LOL.

I seem to recall a Briggs / Meyer personality survey of PP bloggers.  If I recall correctly INT* personalities were some insane number like 80+ percent.  The I in INT, stands for introvert.

I'm an INTJ.  I enjoy people.... in reasonable numbers for a portion of the day.

I've done a lot of wilderness traveling over the years.  I'm here to tell you, wilderness travel, even with modern gear and grub, is a lot more work than city folk are accustomed to.

westcoastjan's picture
westcoastjan
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 4 2012
Posts: 552
LOL Sandpuppy and Charles...

Too funny!  I do concur with Rector though. There are many of us who are introverted and the whole tribal community thing presents a whole new challenge.

For myself I am profoundly deaf. You would not know it to meet me in person, my adaptive skills are that good. The unseen limitations make social interactions and connecting that much more difficult. My challenges are not so easily overcome.  My introversion is a necessary coping skill. Groups cause me more stress than good. How am I to reconcile that in my preps? It is not an easy question to answer.

If there is one movie that resonated it is Castaway. Wilson and I would do just fine if the SHTF and I was in that scenario. As an added bonus I do not have to worry about lip reading cheeky Quiet nights by the fire on the beach is almost like a fantasy lol.

I have no illusions about how long I will last in a true SHTF situation. I will do better than most because I am so aware and prepared. But I have no desire to live in a world run amok where I have to worry about my neighbours coveting everything I have. When we get to that point I will be happy to check out and leave this wretched world to the roving tribes who think they will be able to have a go at it.  Good luck with that...

Jan

Snydeman's picture
Snydeman
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 6 2013
Posts: 309
Nope

E N F/T P (F/T because my scores there were dead even)

Probably explains a lot. My N score is so high it can't even see the "S."

grandefille's picture
grandefille
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 11 2010
Posts: 33
me too!

same MB scores

pangiagreg's picture
pangiagreg
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Posts: 11
Tom Campbell Los Angeles 2016

Adam,

I am going to suggest that you consider diversifying your perspective by watching some Tom Campbell YouTube videos. He is a physicist that works for NASA and shares some very deep insights. Understanding what Tom is sharing will require some degree of focus and attention. Tom's series filmed in Los Angeles 2016 is a good place to start. Following is a link to #5 of 7 videos filmed in the series. Start with #5 and then watch #1-7. Wishing you, Chris and Peak Prosperity the best - Greg 

Link: 

P.S. #1-4 covers the science and physics behind what Tom has to share. #5-7 is the "soft" side of the science. If you ever have a chance to read his story, it is quite fascinating. 

Broadspectrum's picture
Broadspectrum
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Joined: Mar 14 2009
Posts: 79
1st Day on the Job

Hi All,

In regards to the big guys looking like the best contenders to last to the bitter end, when I was in college I worked for an industrial cleaning corporation on a vacuum truck in many different steel mills.  Our job was to use the vacuum truck to remove all kinds of debris from the mills that had been done in the past with just shovels and wheelbarrows.  We would build long corrugated pipe lines to whatever work area we had and then fire up the trucks.  The suction is powerful enough to suck up bricks.  A worker could have a boot sucked off if they weren’t careful.  You get the idea?  I’m sure.

Well, anyway, one of the specific jobs is to go down into the flew after the furnace has been shut down for a few days and the temperatures have dropped down to the 200 – 300 degree range.  It is our job to go down into the flew with the suction pipe to shovel into it all of the impurities from the steel making process that have accumulated to be about 1 to 3 feet high. 

As I said, it is very hot down in the flew.  I hardly ever use that word “hot” anymore when talking about the weather.  I learned it’s all relative.  Because we’d be dressed in layers of clothing underneath our cover alls to keep in our body moisture, so we wouldn’t cook while down there.  And dig this, outside it was winter and below freezing.  What we were wearing was appropriate for both environments.  One extreme to the other we’d go.

This was just one possible job assignment but if it was your very first day on the job a person would be put down in the flew to test them.  It was 15 minutes at the shovel and then it’s someone else’s turn while you rested for a couple turns and then back up to stand in front of red hot rubble shoveling it into a suction pipe which will start to whistle if you don’t keep send stuff up the pipe.

I saw so many big bad dudes, first day on the job, take one or two turns at the shovel and up the ladder they’d go, never to be seen again.  They’d quit right there and then.  It  was hilarious to see this happen.  I always got a kick out of it.  Maybe they had better job prospects but for whatever reason that job was too much for them to handle mentally.

And to be a crew member on one of the vacuum trucks was a thing of solidarity because we had to look out for each other all the time.  Steel mills are very dangerous places.  If a person is not careful you may be seriously injured or even killed.  We were in many different mills and they are all not the same and they all have weird places that need cleaned out of grease and grime and rubble.  We couldn’t get used to our surroundings because they changed from day to day.  We were a subcontracted company (one of many like us).  The actual steel mill workers looked down on us because of the work we did but it was the most physically demanding work done in the mills.  And without us, the work that they did could not be done.  How’s that for irony?  I took it as a badge of honor and to this day, no matter what job I do, it is not very hard compared to my days on a vacuum truck.  I truly know what hard work is really all about.

Peace for Real,

Broadspectrum

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
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Posts: 356
A job that literally sucks!

Well done Broadspectrum. Couldn't agree more. Are we really aware of the world around us or have we succumbed to what the technology tells us?

Waterdog14's picture
Waterdog14
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Posts: 111
Thanks for a great lead - Tom Campbell

pangiagreg wrote:

I am going to suggest that you consider diversifying your perspective by watching some Tom Campbell YouTube videos. He is a physicist that works for NASA and shares some very deep insights. Understanding what Tom is sharing will require some degree of focus and attention. Tom's series filmed in Los Angeles 2016 is a good place to start....

Link: 

I hadn't heard of Tom Campbell before, and this video "fired on all cylinders" for me.  Of course, I was more willing to listen after researching Tom Campbell's career/background ("Who is this guy?"  "Oh, a high-powered scientist/physicist"  "Ok, meets my personal bias...")  Now that I've watched this first video, I'm going to invest time into reading/watching more of his work.  Incredible.  It amazes me how much I learn on the PP site -- things that don't necessary directly relate to Energy, Economy, and the Environment, but things I need to learn. 

Thanks, Pangiagreg, for sharing this link. 

P.S.  Consistently INTJ since first tested in the 1970s... 

westcoastjan's picture
westcoastjan
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Posts: 552
No cc or subtitles on the videos

While I love people submitting links and videos to interesting info and music I am sick to death of YouTube videos that are not closed captioned or sub-titled. There remain a tremendous number of media sources that are not accessible or inclusive, putting people with disabilities on a different playing field. 

I would love to see PP do a better job of supporting the disabled by ensuring all submitted content adheres to legislated standards for accessibility. It's the right thing to do. 

To all PP readers - you have a role to play. If it isn't captioned don't submit it but rather complain to the producer and tell them your friends who are hearing impaired are being left out! If no one ever says anything nothing ever changes...I have to advocate for this shit every day of my life. A little more support from you folks would be nice! I can't win the war by myself!

Jan

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2184
Excellent article, Adam

I found your article to be personally relevant and timely, as I deal with a stressful work-related situation.  As I get closer to retirement age (getting older, burning out), and as my perception of the world has changed over time, I am finding the energy, drive, and motivation to meet work-related goals has diminished.  Yet the goals are still there, as is the pressure to meet them. So your discussion on key aspects of strengthening mental/emotional resilience came at a good time.

Instead of "tapping out" with a victim mentality, I've decided to mentally align myself with the 130 lb Filipino with the huge willpower to succeed. And I'm looking for the "Why" that will re-vitalize my efforts, and shift my stance from reactive to proactive.  While this is not an instant or total cure for the "stress that ails me" by any means, I can feel the empowerment that comes when I shift my mental stance in this manner.  Having a motivating reason to succeed is powerful medicine (provides a strong mental handle) for strengthening  emotional resilience. 

So while I wish I was not going through the situation I'm going through at work right now, I am trying to look at it as an "opportunity" to build emotional resilience skills.  For when it will really matter.

thatchmo's picture
thatchmo
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2008
Posts: 398
Say again?

Hi Jan.  As a guy who seems to be (disconcertedly) loosing some of my hearing capabilities- age, motorcycles, chainsaws, rock 'n roll....-, I can understand your concern and appreciate your bringing this issue to our attention.  But suggesting withholding of important information because of lack of closed-captioning seems a bit unrealistic and has a "I'm gonna hold my breath 'till I get what I want" feel to it.  I poked around google and was surprised that there wasn't an easy app to add CC to any video- hey, come on, this is the new millennium, right?  Though I see YouTube has a page to encourage adding CC to submitted vids.....Again, thanks for bringing this up, I'm sure it will be more important to me as the years progress.  Too bad there's not a "laser eye surgery" equivalent for our ears.....Aloha, Steve.

westcoastjan's picture
westcoastjan
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 4 2012
Posts: 552
yes, but...

Appreciate your reply Thatchmo. Nothing changes until people speak up. I try to change people via education and awareness. Legislation is not the way to go IMHO as it amounts to coercion which only serves to create more resistance. It became necessary though because there was so little being done willingly to support inclusion and accessibility. And the dance goes on... compliance remains abysmal even in spite of legislation. 

Until one experiences exclusion as being the daily norm then it is nigh impossible to understand the devastating impact that has. To always be missing information that everyone else has is tough.  This tends to be exacerbated on sites, this being one among many I read, that are primarily all about information sharing. For comparative purposes, try to imagine going about your life where every thing you read is missing words and phrases, and you have to try to figure out what you are missing, sometimes unsuccessfully. It's not fun, and can in fact be life threatening in emergency situations in real life, such as an announcement to evacuate.

I could go on and on about accessibility issues. The bottom line for me is either people are willing to help or not. I am very grateful this site has transcripts for podcasts. Some videos are captioned, some are not. I hate it when they are not - as you say, this is 2017. Surely we can do better... but as long as people keep posting them not caring that x amount of people will not be able to enjoy them because of the lack of captioning then that is the way it is. C'est la vie.

There is a lot of unfairness in this world. Everyone has something to contend with - no one gets off scot-free. Profound deafness is my cross to bear and I do not always bear it well. It is a lot easier to bear when one knows they have support and that others are at least trying to ensure that what they do is inclusive. If that support is absent, well, don't expect me to be a happy camper...

Jan 

Waterdog14's picture
Waterdog14
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 18 2014
Posts: 111
On second thought - TC is too far out there for me

Waterdog14 wrote:

I hadn't heard of Tom Campbell before, and this video "fired on all cylinders" for me.  Of course, I was more willing to listen after researching Tom Campbell's career/background ("Who is this guy?"  "Oh, a high-powered scientist/physicist"  "Ok, meets my personal bias...")  Now that I've watched this first video, I'm going to invest time into reading/watching more of his work.  Incredible.  It amazes me how much I learn on the PP site -- things that don't necessary directly relate to Energy, Economy, and the Environment, but things I need to learn. 

Clarification:  Campbell's talk on overcoming fear seemed "spot on" and very helpful.  But the rest of his philosophy is too far out there for me...  Perhaps it's not true, or perhaps I'm not ready to understand it or believe it.  Doesn't matter much.  I have work to do. 

New_Life's picture
New_Life
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2011
Posts: 94
Escape to the Wild

Another recommendation, for UK viewers or those that can set their VPN locale to UK..

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/escape-to-the-wild

Entertaining and thought provoking...

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