What To Do? Spitball-ing The Future

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belli's picture
belli
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What To Do? Spitball-ing The Future

I see a lot of activity on the forums regarding preparation, food storage, and financial strategies to deal with a failing dollar.  OK, society crumbles, the process happens quickly or slowly.

You have (6) months of storable food and water, your liquid wealth is now in monetary metals in a hole in the ground – then what …?

What do we need to with out remaining time and resources to prepare for a very different world?  What should a Tax Attorney do with his/her time … learn a trade, farming …?

I’m interested in knowing how other picture a world that has to do more with less.   How should we transition our current skill sets to fit the future?
 

Ready's picture
Ready
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Re: What To Do? Spitball-ing The Future

I am at the point where I am ready for just about anything. My parachute is packed.

I am spending my time re-tooling myself and changing my skill sets. Specifically, I am working towards a new business in alternative energy sales, installation, consultation, manufacturing, etc. I do not see my current business thriving in the future, and I have to be prepared, not just with food and water, but income and value to my community.

Fast forward 5 years. Do you see the same demand for a Tax Attorney as today? Even if the demand remains high, will the value of the service be enough to live comfortably? If not, what can you do now to plan for a flexible a future as possible?

Knowing what you know now, when you went to college, what would you have chosen to do? Maybe time to pursue that?

 

PS, welcome aboard CM.com.

Best,

Rog

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belli
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Re: What To Do? Spitball-ing The Future

Excellent!, I’m looking for specifics, there are a number of practical issues that play out as I think about what to do.  Looking back over time, families tended to stay close and in the same business.  In my case, I have children and I feel that my actions going forward professionally,  has a high probability of shaping their future professional options. While I’m not an Attorney; I stared out as an Industrial Designer and Architect, then Creative Director, followed by Video Game Designer and now Medical.

Essentially, I stated out generalized and evolved into over specialization.  It’s this level of generalization vs. specialization I struggle with Rog, you say that “energy sales, installation, consultation, manufacturing, etc” is your path (good one!).  Does that mean that you feel you will need to cover all aspect of ‘new energy’, do you see your future market being more local vs. global?
 

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JAG
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Re: What To Do? Spitball-ing The Future

 A dream or ideal of mine since high school (many years ago) was to become totally independent from society (but still a part of society), and to be as self-reliant as possible. I started on this path in college, even started building a super-insulated geodesic home, but soon had to abandon it as the realities of "adult" life hit me. Now, many years later, I found this site and a need to reawaken and revisit my self-reliant ideal, this time however, with a little more life experience to give it context. 

For me, being "ready" means being self-reliant.  I struggle to find enough time in the day to actualize all aspects of a self-reliant lifestyle, so my work load in this regard is never ending. Though I am inclined by self nature to want to make a "grand plan" and then execute it, I have noticed (thanks to my wife) that I am far more productive if I take things on a project-by-project basis.

I guess my advice, for what its worth, would be to approach "readiness" as a process (lifestyle) and not a destination. Develop a self-reliant lifestyle and teach it to your children. What more rewarding or important life-lesson could there be?

Thanks....and I'm off to my project for this weekend....expanding my vermiculture system.

SPM's picture
SPM
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Re: What To Do? Spitball-ing The Future

I agree. Technology and technical aptitude will be whats needed for the future. http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=9196

Medical is an admiral and societally important profession.

My opinion on specialization vs generalization. If you are very specialized and you try and take on a task that is not in your comfort zone. I think it would be more difficult that if you were generalized in many areas of technology. This said, the same can apply if you are generalized. Say your specialty is solar panels, you know them inside and out, now you try and build solar water heaters. It would be much more difficult coming from knowing what your are doing, to try and figure everything out along the way.

Most engineering degrees give you enough of a base that you can tackle most avenues without too many hicupps. It will at least give you a good enough base that you should feel comfortable. ME or EE from a 4 yr., not ITT Tech. When you go into a Masters program with engineering, thats when you become more specialized.

 

 

 

Ready's picture
Ready
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Re: What To Do? Spitball-ing The Future

Well,

I feel the skills necessary to understand and deliver energy in an efficient manner are also a specialized skill set, today. When was the last time you really sat down an thought about how hard it is for the electric company to manage the high and low usage of a community? How much work is done pumping water, etc? So I am pursuing a new career in an area that has been, but will not be a specialized skill. I plan to be the go-to guy in my community long term, and the successful purveyor of product and skill short term.

There are so many threads here that I have been a part of as it pertains to energy that I cannot possibly restate all the specifics here. That said, I am looking at the horizon without oil, and wish to soften the blow for as many as I can. For now, it is a monetary issue. In the future, I expect it to be a humanitarian issue.

I also farm, keep animals, etc. I have 2 residences, one in the city where my income is, and one in the country where my parachute is.

Not sure if this is specific enough, but I'm sure others will chime in.

Best,

Rog

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SPM
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Re: What To Do? Spitball-ing The Future

I think what you are doing is admirable Rog, I wasn't arguing with you.

When I fist started my career adventures, I installed electrical systems into commercial buildings. I had to get my General Electricians license to do that job, but its expired now. I would be curious to see what new regulations California has passed. The NEC book isnt cheap.

I think math is one of the most important skill sets any one individual can have. Aside from farming

 

Ready's picture
Ready
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Re: What To Do? Spitball-ing The Future
SPM wrote:

I think what you are doing is admirable Rog, I wasn't arguing with you.

Didn't think you were SPM. I consider you one of the good guys, and while I don't expect to argue with you, I'm sure I would learn something in the process of a disagreement should it ever happen.

If you look at the timestamps, I did not have the benefit of reading your post before sending mine. Since I was not responding to you, it's all good brother!

My first degree was in Electrical Engineering. I then got into Computer Science, but I always had a soft spot for electricity. Luckily, where my farm is I don't even have a building code so I get to perform wiring as needed without inspections or licenses. I won't go in to the fact that I think most of the building codes are more about financial gain than protecting the public, different thread.

Going back to the intent of the thread, I am curious if we have answered your questions, and if you have a general idea what you will do.

Best,

Rog

 

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Juvysen
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Re: What To Do? Spitball-ing The Future

I guess for me... I'm an at-home mom, but have a degree in biology and a ms in educational studies.  I'm preparing by working on my knitting ability (learning to spin yarn, too... hopefully will have sheep someday), getting my butt in gear to be a productive gardener, learning to save seeds, learning medicinal herb usage and preparation, food preservation methods... things that I *like* to do, but I also think they may well be useful when we run out of oil. 

 

 Anyway, basically I have a stockpile of various kinds of how-to books, "great literature", textbooks, etc...  various things, that may be useful for learning new skills when necessary or also entertainment?  I dunno. Oh... I also am considering homeschooling so I have a lot of home-school-y books, etc, but I guess I feel like we've got worse stuff to deal with if there's no schools after TSHTF, so I'm not sure that really counts.  I feel like some of the stuff i have (the guitar that none of us plays... yet) is just basic entertainment types of things.  Games, cards, music - I guess I feel like this stuff will help boost morale and give us something fun to do when there's no TV, etc.  Maybe it's silly, but it feels a little comforting for me to think that it won't all be terrible/hard work/whatever.

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jerrydon10
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Re: What To Do? Spitball-ing The Future

Well, here is my 2 cents, belli.

There will be a transition period. No one knows what to expect in this phase. Will it be a mad max scenario where thugs rule the streets? I don't think it will be in the U.S. but I am prepared if it comes to this.

After that, I think we will settle into a lifestyle that is a cross between today and the 1880s.

Some will be driving alternatively powered cars, others will be on horseback. Some will be canning tomatoes, others will be be growing hydroponic greenhouse products.

What can never be destroyed is knowledge. We know how to build an Internet and we will. We know modern medical advances, how to put a man on the moon and how to build a nuclear power plant. That knowledge, once learned, will always be there.

You are a lawyer, were there lawyers in the 1880s? Of course. We will still need lawyers, doctors, nurses, butchers and carpenters...etc. I can't see much changing for the needed professionals.

Others like me that have built businesses will have to adapt, but that is OK. I will adapt.

Quite frankly, I am not alarmed by what I see coming. I look forward to slowing down in life, enjoying the people I love and having a BBQ with you guys occasionally. *wink*

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Gungnir
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Re: What To Do? Spitball-ing The Future

Interesting thread this.

So where am I now, working as a software engineer, developing applications for consumers. Will this be useful in the future, I don't honestly know, it depends on how things change over the upcoming years.

I've prepared however, got my land, got my supplies, got a great wife who's equally concerned about the future. I have skills in a number of areas too, while no specialist, I can build a super-het receiver in the VHF/UHF range with the right bits, and I know the bits I need too, and could repair most electronics that is PTH (pin through hole) with a soldering iron, SMT is a little more difficult but doable too, I can do math to probably a US Degree level or higher, I did physics at college, and while my specialities in physics (quantum field theory, particle physics and general relativity) probably won't be of  huge benefit to even as JD mentions an 1880's type lifestyle, it did open my eyes to other things, and I know the simple stuff, like optics, thermodynamics, mechanics, etc. so I could build safe (mostly) boilers for steam power generation (I'm considering experimenting with Tesla Turbines).

I spent a short time in the Military too, so I have a good grounding in potentially useful armed defensive tactics if things go really south, and I'm in a hunting area, so if nothing else I can track and hunt. I also relaod metallic and shotshell cartridges which might turn into a very important skill, if things turn bad (guns are just sticks without ammunition)

I grew up with hippy parents who always had an organic vegetable garden, when our neighbors were planting lawns we were digging ours up and planting potatoes, cabbages, carrots peas and beans, and any number of other stuff that always wound up in the kitchen.

Finally I've always been a Gearhead, so I can do most motor mechanics too. Most experience is on Motorcycles, but also cars, it's just a matter of scale, and while I hate doing it, I can also rebuild transmissions.

Most of this is totally self taught hobby type stuff other than my current career, it's just stuff I picked up as I got into these things. 

How will I do in the future, well, I guess I'll grow most of my food, get some animals to raise for milk and meat. Drop off the grid as much as possible, I'm looking forward to it, being completely self sustaining. Yes it will be different in many ways, stress will be significantly different than I currently experience, but a lot of that stress will be in my control to relieve rather than having it in somone elses control.

The reason I chose this is to minimize dependencies, if I have as few as possible with general civilization, then I can forget about what happens there to a point. Of course I will have dependencies on the general community where I'm moving too, but they're mostly isolated, and are themselves self-reliant. My choice minimizes my risks, and I've planned for a huge number of risks, that are reflected in my choices of my where my property is located and its size, my decision to be almost completely self sustaining (or only relying on a relatively small number of equally self sustaining people), in a defensive location that's mostly isolated. I take my skills with me, with my supplies (12 months of full supplies for the two of us) plenty of reloading supplies too, my equipment, tools and both fossil fueled and renewable power generation methods. Its not going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but ultimately it will be fulfilling.

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jpitre
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Re: What To Do? Spitball-ing The Future

 It is not completely clear to me  what actions today will lead to the most successful outcome in the future -- but here are some of the things my wife & I have done as recent (potential) retirees:

1) Sold our home in the city (Phoenix AZ) 3 years ago and moved to acreage 50 miles east & built our house (small) with large workshop & animal shelter area - with good well on aquifer emanating for the adjoining wilderness area

2) Took a course in Permaculture and just finished our Master Gardener's course

3) Have pastured chickens and more eggs than we can use and a good garden that is getting bigger month by month

4) Just completed installation of a solar array so are now energy self sufficient except for transportation fuel

5) Hope that an electric car will be on the market soon (or will build one) to use most of the time in place of the pickup truck. Have both horses and bicycles and are proficient at using them.

6) Plan to install solar systems as a small  business -- both heating water & photovoltaic systems to supplement retirement pensions

In a nutshell, we want to be  as self sufficient as we can and offer what we have learned and what we can do to our local community

Jim

belli's picture
belli
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Re: What To Do? Spitball-ing The Future

This is all very helpful,  I see individuals taking actions to reduce consumption and move towards producing a subsistence level.  Perhaps that's all that can be done relative to were we are in the downward cycle?   My impression is the general consensus:  globalism is winding down and localism will reemerge.

Perhaps this process is so complex, the feedback so amplified that, the transition will be truly an emergent  phenomenon.   Personally, I find that that position hard to accept, history has shown the odds will skew outcomes in favor of those in control of resources. 

If we assume the future will be resource scarce,  individuals will gap personal consumption with personal production, where are the holes?  Humans by nature will cluster together, form groups, communities, etc.  At some point they will begin to trade with one another and that trade will from networks.  

Should we not consider a wider scope of preparedness?  If we know that ultimately to some extent, locally,  we are all in the same boat?   I'm only suggesting a whiteboard approach to understanding the problem.

An example: transactions will happen as we move through a' transition period', it is possible that our currency (USD) will fail, it's also possible it's purchasing power will fall.  This all sounds horrible and inevitable until you break it down, if we look to developing nations,  microfinace

Microfinance
Microfinance / (look past Jeffery Sacks - if you hate him)
 
provides a possible scenario to re-wite community risk strategies.  It is theoretically possible to use this as scaffolding and merge group purchasing techniques and  microfinanced to hedge future shortages.  Essentially, using the existing decaying systems, fracturing the risks over a local group not for the benefit of a individual or corporate entity but for a future community.

That's coming off the top of my head and might be more riff than reason.    The point however, 1) breaking down the problems,  2) focussing present knowledge of the current (failing) system to transition to a future system (perhaps decentralized),  3) proposing a future system that is more localized and understanding  the essential components.

My impression is that the folks on this site have a wide range of skills that are essential for sketching out the future.  What we need however is a scale perhaps:

nano-view - what you and you family do
micro-view - what yo and you family does in you community
macro-view - what you community does with adjacent communities 

These are complex difficult issues,  at some point regardless of government / corporatism we need to start slinging ideas to address the how the {nano,micro,macro}  scales transition and see if we can come up with ideas. 
 

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