What Skill to Acquire?

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  • Wed, Jan 07, 2009 - 05:19pm

    #11
    gregroberts

    gregroberts

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    Re: What Skill to Acquire?

Something many people don’t realize is that working with metals is very important to any society, everything that is manmade today requires that metal be reshaped to fit some purpose. Food requires tractors and plows, plastics require metal molds, woodworking tools are metal, as are nails and screws. Learning machinist and blacksmithing skills would be useful in hard times.

Greg

  • Wed, Jan 07, 2009 - 06:13pm

    #12

    Linda K

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    Re: What Skill to Acquire?

I’d suggest doing something you have a natural inclination for. Also consider your age. I changed careers many years ago when I could see working on tall ladders wasn’t personally sustainable.

Recent discussions have made me reevaluate keeping my mom’s old pedal sewing machine. Looks less like a decorative antique when you think about no or not so much electricity. Clothing is in the bottom of the posted pyramid.

  • Wed, Jan 07, 2009 - 08:00pm

    #13
    .

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    Re: What Skill to Acquire?

   Basic skills like the ones mentioned in the prior posts are great.  Hand tools that use your body for power are nice and should be acquired for a redundant back up system (low cost from garage sales). But don’t forget battery operated equipment.  The main goal I have been working towards is moving back to the family farm that was homesteaded in 1896.  Much of the current farm equipment is powered by gasoline, which will become scarce if not impossible to obtain in a worst case scenario.  So what to do to save labor and your back?  Think of this combination: solar panels, wind turbines and water turbins used to generate electricity that is stored in a battery array.  The battery array in turn charges all of my cordless tools (DeWalt 18v cordless equipment).  For larger tools I am working on  a small trailer that has a battery array and an inverter to power my electric tools (like a chainsaw, weedeater, etc) for use out in the woods or fields.  This in turn is towed by an electric golf cart.  Once I get to my location for the work I will use 100 ft power cords for my chainsaw to cut firewood or what not.  I have been slowly gathering the equipment from garage sales, craigslist etc.  Lets hope my system works.  I’ll keep you posted.

 

  • Wed, Jan 07, 2009 - 08:51pm

    #14

    EndGamePlayer

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    Re: What Skill to Acquire?

Hi Worker Be-

Sounds like we’re doing – we’re getting off the addiction to gas/oil. Many times I’ve gone through withdrawl.

Our farm is doing a permaculture and no mowing grasses theme and we’re raising our own food. Last summer was a real learning experience and frankly, after 25 days of zucchini in everything – I was dieing for a bag of potatoe chips, a big mac and a chocolate shake.

We spent 25 + days eating just from what we could grow and my daughter’s diabetes was never under better control. Next summer we’re adding goat’s milk to the diet of garden food and eggs. Now I have a better idea of what else I want to grow.

We chopped our own wood for heat and my fingers get nipped to the bone when hanging out clothes now that it’s winter. . .not to mention clothes freeze faster than I can get them up. We finally put up a clothes line inside but I like the wind-whipped clothes better.

Skills?  Learn to toughen up. Going to town or getting to work could mean a ride on the bike in the snow & ice. (having a power bike could help) Having food to eat could mean spending summer days in mud in the garden instead of the warm sandy beach. Having a warm home could mean spending your spare time insulating your house till you are not blue in the face or breaking your back cutting trees and falling over logs. .

Just remember – you can do it and learn to live well under these conditions. Just keep doing it. 

Live in Peace-

  • Wed, Jan 07, 2009 - 09:48pm

    #15
    Blind Joe

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    Re: What Skill to Acquire?

"A butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker."

Writing certainly isn’t a bad skill to have. I think most places will be able to afford that level of complexity.

Think about what you would want to do if you were applying for a job at Colonial Williamsburg. In other words, how would you fit in to the steampunk economy?

  • Thu, Jan 08, 2009 - 12:52pm

    #16

    Damnthematrix

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    Re: What Skill to Acquire?

Depending on your age, I’d suggest learning as much as possible.  This is of course nearly impossible in the age of specialisation, like now……  but you should have a go.

I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet here….  but the number of skills I have gathered over my 40 or so year of adulthood is not only impressive, but by today’s standards, quite rare.

I’ve just built a house.  Which I designed BTW, to state of the art energy efficiency standards.  I did do an ‘apprenticeship’ by first renovating two other houses, but just look at what I did here:

I set the house out (with my then 15 y o  son) using a $50 laser level, some timber, and string.  Yes, it took us a week to do a job an experienced surveyor could have done in half a day, but even the block layers were impressed when they measured the finished base and it was 2mm out of square! (under 1/8th of an inch)

I poured the concrete slab (more friends here..!)

I did all the carpentry.  Doors and windows, all timber.  I even routed 1200m (3/4 of a mile) of shiplap joins in pine boards a friend milled from raw logs a long time ago..   I also built most of the kitchen from scratch, using scrap drawers, but I made my own doors and benchtops…

I wired the house myself.  Including the PV system…  though it was connected to the grid with expert help.  It all works perfectly!

I did all the plumbing (except drainage under the slab – I’d never done that before) including the solar hot water installation..

I roofed the house too, with the assistance of a team of friends….. 

I’ve done all the tiling.  My DH helped with the creative bits here, anyone who walks into the house usually goes WOW when they see the floor…

Then of course I designed and implemented the Permaculture around the house, planted all the trees, and built the chicken pen, and I’m learning how to look after goats and how to raise ducklings and chicks.  I’ve just built a large internal fence to manage the menagerie.

I know how to weld, sort of.  I’m an OK mechanic….  our cars over the years have rarely gone to workshops, a year ago I totally rebuilt a ride on mower my (idiot) brother broke, pulled apart, and gave me in pieces without a manual (no longer available!).  Life’s little challenges.

Now of course, none of it is perfect…  I do have limitations! Wink  But it’s good enough, it works and it has character even!

The important thing I think, is to have a go….   If you don’t you won’t make the mistakes you learn from.  And the school of hard knocks is the best of all.

I also brew beer..  and make bread.

I’m also confident I can survive the crash…. with no gold and no money.

Mike 

  • Thu, Jan 08, 2009 - 05:00pm

    #17
    hobbes

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    Re: What Skill to Acquire?

As Chris Kresser pointed out, the skills valuable would be based on the vision we wdould have for the future. In a world where energy is a precious commodity, we may see more businesses that sell wind turbines or solar generators for the home. Cars like those of today may be a rare commodity. But in India, we already have a tiny car that can be charged by plugging into the socket like a mobile phone. This one does not make a style statement, but once charged can go upto 60-80 kms. Energy engineers that make/service these kind of devices could be a profession for the future. 
Carpenters, plumbers, barbers, teachers, cobblers, will all be required by the society. Computers and the internet would certainly exist although their affordability by the common man is doubtful.
Once the transition to a low-energy world has been made, there will be a profession to everyone’s capability. I believe the idea of growing your own food is to survive the transition.
  • Thu, Jan 08, 2009 - 06:57pm

    #18

    tom.

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    Make your own gas





  • Wed, Jan 14, 2009 - 11:02am

    #19
    El-Capitan

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    Re: What Skill to Acquire?

I know it’s not nice to think about, but I think knowledge in security/military tactics would be very useful. If you imagine a world where the demand for level 1 needs (in Maslow’s heirarchy) exceed supply, you can see this is the case. I will certainly be prepared to protect my family and our food supply…

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