No Mercy: true stories of disasters, survival and brutality
On Australian ABC, the national radio, I just listened to a 1 hour interview about human nature in an adversity. It was very disturbing but interesting.
You can download an mp3 here…
Eleanor Learmonth and Jenny Tabakoff have written a fascinating book called ‘No Mercy: true stories of disasters, survival and brutality’ about the physical and psychological changes that affect stranded disaster victims. When pushed to the brink, do we descend into savagery?
At the end of the interview she gives 13 do’s and don’ts.
1- Toss the grog.
2- Immediately elect a Leader.
3- As soon as possible establish order and a routine.
4- Never allow the weak to die in order to save the strong.
5- Share resources and workload equally amongst survivors regardless of rank.
6- Use a rotating work schedule.
8- Stay busy even if it seems pointless.
9- Leader must be replaceable and accountable.
10- Stop the group from fragmenting, no factions.
11- Have a plan, if the plan fails make a new plan.
12- If one faction begins to dominate and victimise the rest, the remainder need to organise and defend themselves.
13- Fight the mindset of individual self preservation, we are communal creatures. We survive best in groups.
I hope you find this informative.
I hit the post button too early.
The Publishers page on this book…
If you're on Peak Prosperity, you should listen to this.
The issues of mindset and survival psychology in this are very well researched and presented. Whether you're a hard charging, leadership position type of individual, or a person who is new to chaos, you can learn a great deal about effective leader and followership from what Eleanor is saying in this interview.
The case studies are very interesting and meaningful.
The Story of the Medusa, in particular, shows the implacability of violence when resources are scarce, and the population is high. 15/149 people survived, over in-fighting that lasted only a week. This should be a huge red flag for PeakProsperity aficionados.
The Robber's Cave Experiment, as well, illustrates human nature nicely.
I learned a lot from this, and will be buying the book.
Thanks kindly Oldvanman, this is an information Gold Mine – I am indebted to this contribution.
On the strong recommendation of A.M. and the excellent write-up I will be sure to listen to the link.
Just to show that there's no such thing as safe society, note the brutal riots in Switzerland after their elimination from the World cup. Be sure to watch all 10 seconds (if you can!).
How will we humans manage to manage ourselves as the kinds of resources and safety we are accustomed to erode? This is the question that brings me closest to despair. The interview is fearless and fascinating.
I'd love to read the book too.
I hate to reveal my lack of international sophistication but what does this phrase mean?
I found that grog refers to alcohol. By tossing it does this mean the same as "tossing a few back" or tossing it out to avoid it?
I would sure agree that being intoxicated in a dangerous or high stakes situation is very unwise. Our ability to read other people and find a creative solution is a high order cognitive process that is killed stone cold dead when when drinking.
Means giving up alcohol. Drinking during crisis is a poor decision.
Once you have a chance to listen to the interview, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts about possibly having Mrs. Learmonth as a guest. It might be tricky to view the topic of lack of leadership during a survival situation through the lens of the 3Es, but it also might produce some stellar dialog.
Either way, there's a lot of room for discussion.
…Especially with the deeply concerning state of affairs in Switzerland.
That's nearly as bad as what happened when Canada was eliminated.
Despite the disturbing images coming out of Switzerland and Canada I have to agree that the potential for things to go very wrong, very quickly, deserves clear eyed attention. I've started reading the book, and it is sobering. That said, the example set by Cuba also deserves attention. After a crushing economic collapse followed by 5 years of real privation and hunger, there was no genocide, no cities burned and people are eating better now then before the collapse.
If you're looking around for a leader and don't see one, maybe it's you.