Why it's so hard to be a Peak Prosperity reader sometimes...

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Snydeman
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Why it's so hard to be a Peak Prosperity reader sometimes...

Ok, so my title is perhaps a bit misleading, in that it may be inferred that I am faulting the site or its creator, which I am not. However I have found myself frustrated and unsettled by a few things:

1) Timetables and predictions are a fickle thing, and while Chris (and by extension anyone else who has posted articles to the main site) has been very open about the fact that his predictions are not intended to be taken as gospel faith - he acknowledges that these things are easy to predict in a macro sense, but difficult to lock in on at a micro level, such as day-to-day or month-to-month - I find it difficult to justify any sense of foreboding when predicted times-o-badness come and go without any significant hiccups actually occurring on or near their projected/predicted date range. There was supposed to be a big drop in stocks back in the spring doldrums, but that never happened. We've been talking about a bond bubble for a while now, and that hasn't popped. Stocks were again predicted to take a BIG hit this past September/October, but again...nothing. Things seem to be creaking along, clearly broken but without actually breaking.

Now I am NOT criticizing what it seems I am criticizing - I am intelligent enough to understand why such predictions are unreliable in their exactness but still viable in the overall guess about trajectories and patterns, even if I can't elucidate those same trajectories and patterns myself - and Chris et al never promised an exact timetable of collapse. However, I do admit to being tired and worn out. Tired because every time I read the main articles on this site I go into a mild "panic mode" and rededicate myself to prepping for inevitable economic, political, and social unraveling even more than I am already. I engage in the task with vigor, energy, and a desire to go a little further in debt to build up stockpiles of necessary materials now (Debt will be irrelevant, and we never go so far in debt that we couldn't pay it off within a few months). But that process fatigues me, and in a way dulls my senses to future predicted timetables...which could backfire if those actually DO pan out when predicted.

I suppose the basic issue is how do stay "frosty" without taking every prediction so much to heart that I go into panic mode?

Why do I go into panic mode? Well, that is related to point number 2.

 

2) I read a LOT on this, and other similar-minded, sites. A LOT. I'm reading books of all varieties, from how to grow food to how to adequately arm ones self in order to defend ones property and family. I'm reading on community building, the post-collapse economy, and how to raise bees and make beer. My wife and I (unlike Orlov's opening statement in "Five Stages of Collapse" we are both on-board with prepping) have done the following to prepare ourselves:

-Bought and installed a Pioneer Princess wood burning cook stove.

-Purchased and begun training in the use of several firearms and weapons; bows, crossbows, an AR-10, a German K-98 rifle, a Mossberg .410 shotgun and a .22 pistol and scoped long rifle. We've also gotten a few knives and have a friend willing to train us in knife-fighting. We have a partridge, and a tree, but we have yet to put them together yet, (That's a lame attempt at humor)

-Stcokpiled over 300 canned goods, 300 pounds of white rice, 200+ pounds of stored wheat, a water distiller/filter (The Big Berkely), a grain grinder, ammunition, arrows, etc.

-Created two sizable gardens on our limited lawn space of 1/4 acre and begun learning what does and what does not grow here. We haven't yet started making our own seeds, but that is slotted for this next harvest season. We have ordered a sizable amount of seeds for next spring and plan on doing so every season so as to have a decent seed bank on hand of plants that grow and thrive in our region. (Maryland)

-Bought books on every conceivable subject so as to have knowledge we can refer to if things turn south soon.

-Installed a rain collection barrel with plans to do one more.

-Bought extra tools, even things I don't need now but might need then.

-Stockpiled all manner of other supplies, like extra clothes and medical stuff.

-Developed a bug-out plan and a place we could head if necessary, though that would lose us a lot of what we've gathered in preparation.

-Buying gold is out, as we're spending most of our liquidity on preparing with physical assets that would be needed for the first two years of a post-collapse scenario.

So, it isn't like we're sitting here on our asses and just reading. We ARE preparing, and spending a lot of cash on doing so. However I've found that the more I read, the less prepared I feel. I'd love to raise bees, but that's illegal by us. Same with chickens. We'd love to move to a place that has more land and is more remote and defendable, but we can't afford that kind of move. It seems like I read so many articles about optimal preparation for inevitable collapse, but in doing so I come to the realization that we will never be, and can never be, optimally prepared as a family. And this produces a level of fear I'm sure many can understand. (I'm a father of two young girls, if that helps)

We've tried to build a community - probably the MOST important step to preparing - but while everyone around us acknowledges that things are VERY wrong and likely to go VERY badly sometime soon, no one seems to be able to fathom the problem like most of us here on this site can. Never mind discussing how we can help ameliorate some of the problems ahead of time, or possibly make any collapse a little better...they can't even bring themselves to think of the possibility that growth won't be infinite, science won't solve the problems in time, or angels of the Lord won't somehow alter the physical limitations of our planet to save us at the last moment, even though they can ALL sense danger ahead. So, we're preppers in a suburban neighborhood that thinks it is silly and quaint to have installed an oven based on ancient technology, even though we think it's a necessity. So much for community.

As an aside, no doubt that stove of ours won't look so quaint if things start to unravel and the power stops being so reliable around here, which explains why we now have the guns too, though we would readily share our bounty with anyone of like mind and equal preparation.

Now none of this is a total loss, because we have always prepped with an eye towards the goal of reducing our reliance on the system and building more resilience as a family. Everything we have done can help us regardless of whether things collapse or not, and as Chris points out in his final chapter of the Crash Course, we'd rather prepare and look silly than not prepare and have no fall-back plan.

Still, the knowledge that we can't do things optimally has us scared because we can't cover all the bases by ourselves and there don't seem to be a lot of people in our area with whom we could make connections. It's fraying our nerves, distracting our minds, and interfering with our "normal lives" in not-so-healthy ways. We won't even get IN to the fact that we feel like a superhero with a secret identity, nor the question of how I as a teacher can integrate knowledge of what's coming in my lessons to the next generation in a meaningful way which will not get me fired. I'll save those for another post.

Any sage advice? Does anyone even know of what I am speaking?

How do I keep sane and remotely hopeful for the future?

-Snydeman, the Broken One.

 

 

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thc0655
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John Rubino on "Prediction Fatigue"
Back to the Future, Part 1: Prediction Fatigue
(From Dollarcollapse.com)
inShare
by John Rubino on August 14, 2013 · 16 comments
It’s around 10 o’clock on a Friday night in early 2005. I’m shooting pool in a local bar with Hunter, a math professor at the local university who had just come into a big inheritance and was tossing it around like the found money that it was. He had recently paid cash for a house and taken his new girlfriend to Vietnam, and had (to get to the point of this post), after a few long talks with me, concluded that the housing bubble was about to burst and the banks and home builders were once-in-a-lifetime short candidates. He’d committed a fair chunk of change to put options on those companies in eager anticipation of their collapse.
 
But not only had the collapse not come but those stocks had risen, sending his options bets into freefall. On this night, he’d had enough. “Listen,” he said, “I can’t think about this anymore. Maybe it’ll happen, maybe it won’t but we’ve said everything there is to say, so let’s find something else to talk about.” We shifted focus to the game at hand, which also had money riding on it, and didn’t talk stocks for the rest of the night. Very discouraging. A friend had placed a big bet on my recommendation, had lost money and was pissed.
 
We didn’t know it at the time, but Hunter and I were experiencing something common among those who like to bet against bubbles: prediction fatigue, that (sometimes very long) stretch of purgatory that starts when you become certain that things are out of control and a crash is imminent – and runs until the crash actually takes place. Junk bonds, for instance, were clearly a bubble in 1988 but didn’t implode until late 1989. Tech stocks were classic short candidates in 1998 but doubled one more time before tanking in 2000. Housing stocks were garbage (along with most of the mortgages then being written) by 2004, but then they did this:
 
 
 
It was March 2006 before they started to roll over, and even then they staged a serious relief rally before entering their death spiral in 2007. By that time Hunter had closed out his options, I had been forced by my brokerage house to sign a waver stating that I remained short the banks over their strenuous objections, and millions of other people who had correctly diagnosed the housing bubble but bet against it too soon had lost their shirts. (I hung in and ended up doing pretty well, though not nearly as well as if I’d waited two more years to short everything in sight.)
 
Now here we are again. An insane round of global debt monetization has inflated another series of bubbles. Stocks are generally as high as they were in 2006. Treasury bonds, despite a recent correction, are as overvalued as tech stocks in the late 90s. Junk bonds are rocking. Even housing is coming back. The sound-money community understands all this, realizes that the new bubble will burst just like its predecessors – and is sick of hearing about it.
 
A DollarCollapse a reader illustrated this frustration with the following:
 
For how many decades have we been hearing about threats to Israel, Iran’s imminent nuclear capabilities, instabilities in the Middle East threatening a third world war, local skirmishes getting out of hand, and oil supplies being cut off? The 2009 “suckers” stock market rally, the demise of the EU and the euro, China this, China that, Japan is going to crash, Fukashima may be a world-wide disaster, the US dollar is going to crash, interest rates are sure to rise, gold and silver are going ballistic, gold and silver are in bubbles, gold and silver may crash, debt is the problem, debt is not the problem, debt doesn’t matter, when the Fed stops QE things are going to crash, the Fed will never stop QE, if the Fed doesn’t stop QE things are going to crash, corporate profits are rising, corporate profits are falling, stocks are overpriced, stocks are under priced, the US is becoming fascist, the US is experiencing an entrepreneurial renaissance, there is an energy and manufacturing boom in the US, there is no recovery in the US, everybody wants to come to America, America is in decline, unemployment is falling, real unemployment is rising, the Fed won’t let the markets go down much, the Fed can’t keep the markets up indefinitely, central banks are buying gold, central banks are selling gold, there is a shortage of gold, there is no shortage of gold, the gold price is manipulated, the gold price is not manipulated, interest rates are rising, interest rates are falling, inflation is low, inflation is higher than it seems, inflation is really not as high as it seems, Europe is starting to grow again, Europe is stagnating, Europe is getting worse, the developed Western economies are in decline and the East is growing, North America is experiencing a revival, the developing economies are declining, the US stock market is the place to be, anyone still in stocks is going to regret it, bonds are in a bubble, bonds are still the safe haven, junk bonds are safe because of all the corporate cash, junk bonds are signaling trouble, mining stocks are the most undervalued of all, mining stocks are poised to go higher, mining stocks still have further to fall, mining stocks will fall if the overall market falls, mining stocks are a hedge against a market crash, the demand for oil is growing, the demand for oil is falling, the demand for oil is flat, fracking will make the US a net energy exporter, fracking will fail to live up to its hype, consumer consumption is rising, consumer consumption is falling, wages are rising, wages are falling, the glass is half full, the glass is half empty.
Yep. The stream of “this is it!” prognostication from every corner of the financial market (some of it coming from this site and most of it sounding very reasonable at the time) has been going on far too long, and everybody’s sick of it. But that it always seems to go this way implies that prediction exhaustion is a necessary stage in the process, akin to “capitulation” prior to a market bottom. Just when you can’t stand it anymore and are ready to wash your hands of the whole project, cash out, and get on with life, things suddenly go your way.
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ferralhen
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i built this place and live

i built this place and live the way i live because it makes sense to me to live this way...i'm not placing a bet or hedging one. i'm not waiting for a collapse..i am trying to take control over having the things i need to stay alive..and as i age and can do less each year.

i am aging. and the old paradim of saving buckets of money to retire on shifted for me with the tech bust. it was clear that was no longer true...no longer the way to think or look at things financial.
so an event occurring or not, we have to figure out how to deal with old age when we can no longer earn income...no longer have money coming in...no longer can produce anything of value to trade.this is one thing you can count on happening on time.!

you are perhaps waiting and planning for the wrong train to hit the wall...the train we all get on is a progression to old age and then.death.

so for a collapse or just for old age...my plan was changed to be the same for either to occur.

fwiw
fh

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We are fighting the most

We are fighting the most powerful forces in the world. They have an arsenal of tricks to keep their ponzi schemes going but they are running out of them. When the world runs out of gold there will be no way to hide that and then it will be the end. They will position themselves accordingly and you can choose to go along for the ride along with the 0.01% elites, or be like the other 99.99% who will lose.

I am amazed at the reactions of people to what I am saying. Almost no one takes me seriously. Now, if they would at least look at and consider the facts and then decide to reject them, that's one thing. But most aren't even interested in hearing it. They have faith in money and power and that's that. When I ask them what a dollar is and where it gets its purchasing power from, no one can answer me. But they continue to have faith in them regardless. I'm jut a quack, what do I know.

The best I can get is, "Sure, bad things will happen in the future but you just have to live your life and not worry about it". Famous last words of a dying civilization. They have no idea about what's coming and how easy it would be to sidestep the carnage.

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Mark_BC wrote:We are fighting
Mark_BC wrote:

We are fighting the most powerful forces in the world. They have an arsenal of tricks to keep their ponzi schemes going but they are running out of them. When the world runs out of gold there will be no way to hide that and then it will be the end. They will position themselves accordingly and you can choose to go along for the ride along with the 0.01% elites, or be like the other 99.99% who will lose. I am amazed at the reactions of people to what I am saying. Almost no one takes me seriously. Now, if they would at least look at and consider the facts and then decide to reject them, that's one thing. But most aren't even interested in hearing it. They have faith in money and power and that's that. When I ask them what a dollar is and where it gets its purchasing power from, no one can answer me. But they continue to have faith in them regardless. I'm jut a quack, what do I know. The best I can get is, "Sure, bad things will happen in the future but you just have to live your life and not worry about it". Famous last words of a dying civilization. They have no idea about what's coming and how easy it would be to sidestep the carnage.

I agree with what you say except for this statement:

"When the world runs out of gold there will be no way to hide that and then it will be the end."

They will simply reboot the system with a new one world currency with at least a partial foundation in digital gold and the whole damned cycle will start all over again. 

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osb272646
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Prepper life

Snydeman - A few years ago I was in a similar mode of prepping that you are. I was motivated by the dire forecasts into trying to do something I wasn’t cut out to do, in order to try to protect myself and my family from the impacts of system collapse. After some weeks in the “head for the hills” mode, due to CM’s forecast of impending doom back in early 2011, I reached an epiphany on this Prepper thing. Mainly I realized that there’s more to life than obsessing over how I’m going to stop some guy from stealing my tomatoes when the collapse comes.

As a result, I developed a different paradigm for system collapse:

. Such an event, if it occurs, will not be cataclysmic, it will unfold over years, or even decades. Standards of living in our society will degrade in fits and starts. You simply cannot prepare for this in an all encompassing manner, because as events unfold, circumstances change and things which were unforeseen will happen, and things that are expected will not happen. You do the best you can, after weighing the odds of a given scenario actually happening.

. It is possible that NOTHING will happen at all. All the hand wringing and predicting since 2007, we should be a smoldering ash heap by now. But, instead we have had technological advancement on many fronts, more efficient energy utilization in many aspects of our economy, and overall economic growth, albeit weak, which is normal for a deleveraging world economy.

. Prepping is a good idea to an extent. Self sufficiency and resilience are important, not only for SHTF scenarios but for ordinary life events, such as job loss, or adverse weather events. The extent that one prepares must match his or her psychology. Some prep because its satisfying to their psyche. If you are doing it with constant expectation or longing for the collapse to come, I believe you are going to be sorely disappointed.

. There is money to be made in predicting doom and gloom. Always has been. In some ways it has reached religious proportions, with people making horrendous predictions and then telling you that they know how to help you avoid these terrible events. For a fee, of course. This has been going on for ages, long before the internet. The internet simply opens up the channels for accessing people. People who would have ignored such literature down at the bookstore get sucked in by a pop up ad or a scary article posted on a co-conspiring website.

If you enjoy the prepping that you’re doing, great. But I detect that you are experiencing some kind of let down when the terrible things don’t happen. You may be over prepping. Some of that energy you’re devoting to getting ready for social collapse might be better spent enjoying life.

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Re: Why it's so hard to be a Peak Prosperity reader sometimes...

WOW! You are so much more prepared than I am, and I'm more prepared than anyone else I know personally. And your wife is on board! Those facts alone make your chances of survival very high. That's something to keep you sane I would think. I admit, it's a lonely road. Most people are too scared to think about and refuse to discuss the future honestly. Eventually they'll be forced to. People like you are the 'seed men' for the future generations.

On a more practical level I meditate and express my gratitude for my family and for each new day of life.

Good luck brother.

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John Michael Greer

John Michael Greer wrote something very similar in his book the long descent. He called it catabolic collapse, or a series of step down mini collapses followed by periods of stability. He talked about this pattern over the course of decades if not centuries.

I'm simply preparing for being poorer, I'm assuming that even without hyper-inflation / pandemic / no food on the shelves, that the creeping inflation will keep making me poorer. I'm working on the assumption that I'll be priced out of cheap fuel, cheap food and the luxuries of life and I'm assuming this pattern will continue for the rest of my life.

It's actually happening, but everyone just sees it as normal now, job layoffs, high energy prices, high food prices, high price for medicines. I'll happily sit back and watch a mini catastrophe happen, a fuel shock, or a stock market crash, but as ferralhen said, I'm preparing for getting old, and preparing it without depending on the modern infrastructure.

It's not a bad life, I had to feed some calves this morning, and rabbits and dogs, then I sat by the river for a few hours. I had a look at the vegetable garden and thought about weeding but i just sat by the river with the dogs instead. I can live this way and be content.

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reply to Snydeman

Dear Snydeman, the broken one,

I'm watching a youtube video of Lana Del Rey - Summer time sadness, a song about suicide that has 94 million views. I'm deeply scared and worried by it, it's hauntingly beautiful, deeply moving but also very worrying. I can't help but think that of the expression, "it's no measure of health to be well adjusted in a fundamentally sick society.

I don't think there are many on this site that haven't been depressed at some point or another. I've tried lots of things to ease my mind:

1. Learning saddlery

2. doing fencing,

3. Sitting by a river,

4, reading fiction to distract

5. Eating vast amounts of chocolate.

6. Visiting the peak oil shrink web site.

There isn't anything that always works, and I'm not sure that I would always want to be happy, sometimes I need sadness to make me realize how good the happy moments are. You can distract your body, or your mind but sooner or later the issues you have will catch up. If it gets too bad, find someone you can trust to talk to.

Good luck.

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i'd like to pipe in that i

i'd like to pipe in that i think terrible things are already occurring and have been for some time. collapse is a hockey stick graph too. people don't seem to draw it that way tho. they draw an equal down size curve mirror reverse of the upswing.i'm suggesting collapse is exponentiated also.and it charts like a hockey stick too.

the stadium doesn't look to some to be filling at all. some of us understand the momentum of collapse; understanding how soon the stadium can and will fill.

i no longer have one foot in this world and one foot in both. i'm in this world, with a back up in place.i have the freedom to live in peace now.at least in my own head.

having preps in place, collapse or no collapse...my life carries on the same. that is it's value to me. 

 

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nigel, i walk

nigel,i walk down a country road. i let the frost and wnter break down alot of my garden. one of my preps was a lot of therapy work. the noise in my head is much quieter now...and i appreciate not having to deal with that now as my energy subsides some.

sitting by a river for as long as you care, is an immense  luxury..immense wealth. throw in a quiet mind and you are in priceless territory.

of course it took years of hard work to be at this point. it doesn't just drop out of the sky

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nigel
nigel wrote:

John Michael Greer called it catabolic collapse, or a series of step down mini collapses followed by periods of stability. He talked about this pattern over the course of decades if not centuries.

It's actually happening, but everyone just sees it as normal now, job layoffs, high energy prices, high food prices, high price for medicines. 

It's not a bad life, I had to feed some calves this morning, and rabbits and dogs, then I sat by the river for a few hours. I had a look at the vegetable garden and thought about weeding but i just sat by the river with the dogs instead. I can live this way and be content.

Well said....I agree that it is happening now. The collapse has started. And it's more likely to be slow and insidious than quick and obvious. BUT....if you change to a more sustainable lifestyle now, you will be ready for any scenario.

 

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You buy car insurance.  Do

You buy car insurance.  Do you worry day and night about your car being destroyed?  You buy life insurance for your family.  Do you worry constantly about what happens to them if you die today?  Of course not.  That is why you bought the insurance.  If your car gets stolen or destroyed in an accident, you will be at least partially compensated by the type of policy you bought.  Same goes for life insurance.  You bought what you thought your family needed to make it without you.  After you buy the insurance, you go on with your life, feeling confident that if the worst happens, you and /or  your family will be OK.

 The same goes with preparing for the future in all other ways.  If you do not feel comfortable with your preparations, you either need more preparations or you need to examine the threats you are concerned about.  This site just presents the threats out there and how to plan for them.  Different locations, your age, your financial resources, and many other factors make one-size-fits-all plans useless.  You are your own underwriter.  You must use your resources in the most efficient manner for you and forget about situations that are unlikely for you.  Having done that, get on with your life and check in with Chris and others to make adjustments as situations change.  You should feel proud of yourself for caring for your family in ways others do not.  Insurance salesmen sell peace of mind.  Make sure you spend your time and resources in ways that will give you peace of mind.

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You buy insurance

You buy car insurance.  Do you worry day and night about your car being destroyed?  You buy life insurance for your family.  Do you worry constantly about what happens to them if you die today?  Of course not.  That is why you bought the insurance.  If your car gets stolen or destroyed in an accident, you will be at least partially compensated by the type of policy you bought.  Same goes for life insurance.  You bought what you thought your family needed to make it without you.  After you buy the insurance, you go on with your life, feeling confident that if the worst happens, you and /or  your family will be OK.

 The same goes with preparing for the future in all other ways.  If you do not feel comfortable with your preparations, you either need more preparations or you need to examine the threats you are concerned about.  This site just presents the threats out there and how to plan for them.  Different locations, your age, your financial resources, and many other factors make one-size-fits-all plans useless.  You are your own underwriter.  You must use your resources in the most efficient manner for you and forget about situations that are unlikely for you.  Having done that, get on with your life and check in with Chris and others to make adjustments as situations change.  You should feel proud of yourself for caring for your family in ways others do not.  Insurance salesmen sell peace of mind.  Make sure you spend your time and resources in ways that will give you peace of mind.

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Thanks all!

There is a lot of wisdom in this thread I will surely ponder. We may need to step back from intense prepping for a bit, content in the knowledge that we're in better shape than most, and also remember that "optimal" is a moving target. Like I mentioned, having two young children adds a dimension we wouldn't have if it was just my wife and I; if collapse came and it was just us, we would worry less as we've already lived good lives and don't have so much race left to run. But my girls do, and all that I do, I do for them. Still, they need me now too. 

 

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Critical Path

For those who would like a glimpse of where society could be headed, instead of collapse, I recommend Buckminster Fuller's "Critical Path".  Written in 1981, before PC's and Internet, Fuller conceptualized the advent of Hi - technology and where it would ultimately take society.  Many of the things he predicted are happening now, we don't notice them so much because of all the noise and chaotic day to day events overshadow and obscure them.

Younger people won't recognize Fuller.  But he was huge in the 60's and early 70's, very controversial, similar to what Snowden is today.

It is a difficult, almost tortuous, (at least for myself)  read, but the expanded awareness is well worth the effort, IMHO.

 

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Yeah, for [email protected]#$^%'s sake, hurry up and COLLAPSE ALREADY!

Lord knows I've had the above thought umpteen times.  The cognitive dissonance between prepping like mad and carrying on with whatever Biz-As-Usual one's day-to-day requires can be EPIC.  I own and run a Pilates studio, and while most of my (for the most part exceedingly well-to-do) clients have at least a nagging suspicion something is rotten in the state of Denmark, nobody's taking any steps (either that, or whoever IS has a really good head for OPSEC <smile>).  Over the last five years I've nibbled around the subject with those who seem open to it, but the convo never ventures far, and for the most part I have now stopped trying to educate anyone -- unless they come to me with questions.  (My sweetheart is an example of the latter -- we're now up to the "what is money?" and "why would TPTB/gov do this?" conversations <wry grin>...)  This cog dis can be a huge drain on my mental energies (and therefore my physical body), but I hele on.... (dat one Hawaiian kine expression mean "keep on truckin'"...)

My suggestions are:  

1.  keep on prepping like mad;

2.  keep on living your life within the new parameters (I have taken my living standard down *drastically* -- I'm living off of less than $1200/month all in [granted, I'm single no kids no pets, but still...].  Doing this voluntarily, I have basically gone ahead and "crashed" myself, so when the living standard erodes suddenly (or slowly over time), I won't feel it as a loss;

3.  do things that give you soul-satisfaction EVERY DAY -- even if it's just a 5-minute moment in an otherwise busy day...no point in getting safely to the future if we arrive a shell of our best/former selves;

4.  search for perspective every day -- yes, we live in some challenging & mad times but in so many ways pretty much anybody living in a developed country/economy these days lives well by planetary standard -- I lived without running water or an indoor toilet for 7 weeks last year...you think I take those things for granted now? <grin>;

5.  never, ever, EVER give the f!!k up...fight, love, struggle, toil and laugh your way into the Next World...  After all...what's the option?  

One man's opinion/method...

Viva -- Sager

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jtwalsh
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Posts: 268
It's O.K.

 

Snydeman:  I’m glad to see your latest post. I think you’ve got it. Here’s what I was going to write to you:

                In 1962 as the Cuban Missile Crisis unfolded I was eight years old.  My father worked for the defense department.  I could tell from his demeanor throughout those days that something was terribly wrong.  One of my most vivid memories is crouching by the rear brick wall of the gymnasium in my depression era elementary school.  Even in second grade I was aware enough to know that a big bomb would send shattered glass and bricks raining down on all of us. 

                Jump ahead twenty years.  In 1983 President Regan is seriously challenging the Soviet Union on multiple levels.  After our withdrawal from Vietnam, the invasion of Afghanistan by the Russians and the seizing of our embassy in Tehran it appeared that the United States was on the decline.  When Regan challenged this analysis, all the fear of nuclear war and mass devastation that had occupied the back of our brains came to the fore.  Movies like Testament and The Day After reminded us that the world was going to end with a burned surface and poisoned skies and seas.  We were doomed. 

The stalemate between the American and Russian empires began before I was born and showed no sign of ending short of mass death and destruction.  This slow boiling conflict was all we had ever known and it seemed that it would continue through our lives and beyond.  In 1983 I was a young father with two daughters, living fifteen miles from where the submarines carrying nuclear missiles were built.  Possibilities of long term survival seemed remote.

                Six years later the Berlin Wall fell, almost overnight.  By 1992 the Soviet Union itself was gone, without a missile being launched, or even a shot being fired from the West.

                I think what I am trying to convey is that the universe has a funny way of making things come out differently than you could have ever expected.  You need to plan, and you have.  You are far ahead of most folk and even ahead of many “prepers”.  You are mentally aware of the situation which gives you the power to grow, to observe and to change direction or make mid-course corrections if necessary.  Again, this awareness puts you light years ahead of your friends and neighbors who will pretend everything is o.k. until events overwhelm them.

                Prepare.  Be aware. Continue to learn.  Know that you are doing everything in your power for those little girls.  Then take a deep breath and relax.  Enjoy today.  Have fun with your wife and daughters.  Don’t regret these activities by torturing yourself thinking, “I should be preparing.  I wasted a day,” or “we shouldn’t have seen a movie, ordered a pizza, gone out to eat, etc, etc, because we need to spend more on preps.” If we are destroying our lives to get ready, what are we saving?

 It is a balancing act and a hard one to learn.  After years of trying I still have times when I don’t get it right, but if you remain aware of yourself and your situation you get up and try again.  My wife and I have raised five children.  We have watched a child with a congenital heart condition grow up, have children and begin a career not knowing if she will wake up tomorrow.  I have waited restless nights on end as a son did two tours of Afghanistan.  I have three grandchildren and one on the way.  In the past couple of years I have come to internalize the reality that they will in all likelihood be here long after I am gone.  I can help prepare them for the future but I cannot walk their walk with them.  All that’s given us it to do the best we can today, enjoy where we are and who we are with, and realize the universe is not always stacked against us.

Keep up the good work.   JT

digging's picture
digging
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Yes it can be hard some times

Yes it can be hard some times I believe for various reasons. One that gets me down is just feeling lonesome for a 'team', a deep desire to be working together with others on these kinds of projects. 

 I've started to see things differently, at first I was just always thinking and working on 'preparing', but now I'm starting to realize it's far deeper, this is about 'growing' a new life. 

We are like seeds of the new forest that needs to grow, and we are suffering through the germination stages right now.

Digging

 

 

Dutch John's picture
Dutch John
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Posts: 50
Enjoy the present

Modern society is like a zoo. With the difference that zoo animals are not enslaved. We are all born in this golden cage and many like it. Some of us escaped and enjoy a free, new, resilient, selfsufficient life. They will never voluntary return to the cages of the zoo. So enjoy every day. Don't be a prepper, waiting for the apocalypse. Be a selfsufficient person that enjoys his of her new life, independent of a possible collapse will occur or not. Whatever direction the future will go, I'm having a hell of a good time, having chosen for voluntary poverty.... Regards, DJ

treemagnet's picture
treemagnet
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Posts: 344
It ain't easy being green

or so said Kermit the Frog.  I agree with your post but really, you know the answer - you've got the luxury of no choice.  So my 'sage' advice is play the hand your dealt and at least consider drinking heavily.  Humor aside, your efforts thus far sound impressive - take a break and pat yourself on the back, come back with a fresh perspective. 

marky's picture
marky
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Posts: 33
Dear Snydeman

"Don't believe everything you think" may be advice worth considering.  I've been through various ways of looking at the world in my life, times when I thought I hated the system (teenaged socialist), times when I thought I loved it (yuppie time) and times when I couldn't wait for it to fall apart.  But through all of these phases, and many others, my mental framework for looking at the world was always wrong.  I was just projecting on to it an idea of how I wanted it to be, for my own reasons that I didn't really understand at the time - mostly some sort of fearful reasoning.  Eventually, I saw this pattern in myself and started to stop taking too seriously the stories I told myself (it took me a while to get out of the habit, still working on it). 

Really, all we have is the present moment and going about our business and being alive right now is quite pleasant, mostly.  But when we drag in our mental frameworks for how we expect the world to be (for example, "it should be collapsing already") that's when we get disappointed.  Not that the world disappoints us (say, by not collapsing) - it just makes us realize how wrong our expectations were. And after enough disappointments, our minds can get tired of having to reevaluate and float another framework (depression).  But we're really doing all this to ourselves by setting up these expectations in our heads.  Sure, it makes a lot of sense to prepare for a difficult times - we're in difficult times already.  But try just to focus on the fun to be had in doing the prep. work, and don't get too worked up about how things are supposed to work out in the macro sense, because we will all be wrong on that one.  And if the prep. work is not fun, or at least is not tolerable, then you shouldn't be doing it.  One day, or moment, at a time. Plus beer, preferably home brew, is always helpful.

As regards the ways to teach kids about our predicament, I've talked to my own kids about how the way we live today is kind of a blip. I don't want to freak them out, and don't talk too much about when it might end, but I do want them to know that this current phase in world history is not normal - it was only really their parents and grandparents that jumped the shark on the driving-and-shopping thing.  Previous generations were a bit more focused on the basics of getting by. Maybe there's a way of looking at it from that historical perspective that could help? 

Good luck!

ckessel's picture
ckessel
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Posts: 486
AMEN to that

Hi Sager,

I read you loud and clear!   It is tough at times but always getting better as the level of acceptance goes in.

As my Dad always used to say: "don't let the bastards get you down!"

Have a great day and watch the PM market after the Bernank makes his FOMC remarks today.  JP Morgan is now long on gold!!!!!

Coop

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
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Posts: 2259
Great suggestions, SagerXX

...I think #1, 2, 4 and 5 are all really important.  But the one that jumps out at me as something I need to do to make it for the long haul is #3; making a point of doing something that gives me soul satisfaction every day - even for 5 minutes.  It is way too easy to get over-focused on the prepping (because it is important), and trying to stay on top every bit of news about where we are at this instant in the collapse.  And that on top of all of life's other demands is very fatiguing.  We need that relationship with whatever gives us joy in life to keep our chins up, and to make life worth living as we go through these times of change.  Thanks for the reminder!

Dutch John's picture
Dutch John
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Posts: 50
Choice?

Treemagnet,

You wrote: "the luxury of no choice". Guess you mean: the luxury of choice. What is wrong with choosing for voluntary poverty and exploring new directions, when the alternative is contributing to consumerism?

Regards, DJ

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2252
pinecarr wrote:...I
pinecarr wrote:

...I think #1, 2, 4 and 5 are all really important.  But the one that jumps out at me as something I need to do to make it for the long haul is #3; making a point of doing something that gives me soul satisfaction every day - even for 5 minutes.  It is way too easy to get over-focused on the prepping (because it is important), and trying to stay on top every bit of news about where we are at this instant in the collapse.  And that on top of all of life's other demands is very fatiguing.  We need that relationship with whatever gives us joy in life to keep our chins up, and to make life worth living as we go through these times of change.  Thanks for the reminder!

Always a pleasure to serve.  As for me, this weekend I'm taking off work to go to the Adirondacks for a couple days.  Gonna swim in 13th Lake.  Nekkid.  Then retire to the bungalow for a few fingers of something tasty...  Hold my goddess close, and dream the Next World...

viva -- Sager

treemagnet's picture
treemagnet
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 13 2011
Posts: 344
Nope.

I said what I meant - cause once some people peek behind the curtain and see what they see, they can't 'unring  the bell'....but, preparedness is about a voluntary choice/action, so we're saying the same thing.  Is that your gasifier in that avatar?  If so, how do you keep/get out the tar and junk? 

Dutch John's picture
Dutch John
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 10 2008
Posts: 50
OK

Got your point.
Yes that is a gasifier. Somewhere in the dungeons of PP is an article I wrote on woodgasification. Or visit my website woodgas.nl when you have questions.

Regards,
DJ

Marty59's picture
Marty59
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Joined: Oct 23 2009
Posts: 10
Follow the money

The one aspect of doom and gloom that has not really been brought up in this thread, although alluded to, is that serious money propagandizes  both sides of the argument.  Buy side commentators, bulls, often have stock, bond, derivative, and options holdings  that they want to sell at the best price they can get, or are paid buy those that do, so they try to drive prices up .

The bears, or sell side commentators are in the reverse position. They are trying to cover shorts or create shorting opportunities, all of them by manipulating public perceptions of the macro condition to drive prices down.

Both prey on the little guy. It is a zero sum game.

Prices and values oscillate on a regular basis, even if to an unpredictable amount. Both groups exaggerate the potential of the oscillations for their own profit. 

True believers of any stripe open themselves to serious boom and bust.

The only answer I can think of is diversification and realistic pragmatism.

Find metrics independent of your biases to check against to see if things are really going the way you think they should. Technical analysis and chart reading are a good place to start.

Some people have been waiting for Armageddon for 2000 years but some peacemaker always comes along and screws it up for them.

 

treemagnet's picture
treemagnet
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Posts: 344
Why do I like this so much?

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2013/11/collapsing-consciously.html Obvious statement coming.....but why does a piece hit the target with me so well and others put me to sleep? This ones got something for everyone, but the focus on lilly white middle America as the last bastion of 'normal' struck a chord with me. Perhaps the specificity various points in the post appeals to my 13er need for clarity and brevity. Maybe some of you see it differently? Love the 'anti-tribe tribe' thing though - we're so fragile it won't take much to rock our little worlds.

agitating prop's picture
agitating prop
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: May 28 2009
Posts: 864
working hypothesis

My working hypothesis for the last couple of years has been to live my life, while developing good solid friendships in the real world. I pay attention to what is going on without becoming unduly alarmed. I have done all of the grunt work, laid a foundation, socially, financially.

Having watched the show, 'Preppers,' a few times, I am convinced that, if not handled correctly, being aggressively afraid (is that an oxymoron?) can cause serious damage to the psyches of your kids.

If you are part of an online affinity community you can be vulnerable on a few counts. You can take well meaning advice too much to heart. Nobody has a crystal ball and real life has a way of making monkeys out of all of us.

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