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Thank you for the link and the words of encouragement.
The biggest changes we’ve experienced in the last 30 years have been techno-cultural. People communicate differently. They meet and date differently. I would look to address this in your book.
Lots of fertile ground here. Thanks, Macro.
Tons of great advice. Thank you to everyone that’s posted! I appreciate it.
I think JHK did a nice job with the World Made by Hand series, and I think Orlov’s book is very telling. I do agree that complex systems simplify as they collapse, and the more complex the system the more vulnerable to collapse. Jared Diamond’s book, Collapse was interesting. The civilizations that he detailed all collapsed because of a lack of resources, or a destruction of the environment leading to a lack of resources. Many of these people were able to migrate to other civilizations that hadn’t exhausted crucial resources. Now, the resources being exhausted are global. No place to migrate to. I wonder if that’s why some are obsessed with space travel. I saw this article about a bunch of people that volunteered to colonize Mars. They could just go to Death Valley and try that out first!
I don’t think technology is coming to the rescue, and I think that will come as a shock to many.
The trick for me is to create characters that people can identify and root for. Ultimately, regardless of the setting, it’s the characters that drive the story. Ideally, the setting doesn’t kill them all!
The comments and advice have been great. Thanks again.
Thank you to everyone for your input. Lots of great ideas.
Mark and Gemel’s discussion is very helpful to me. I think you both bring up excellent points. My number one concern with this novel is that I want it to be realistic, but there has to be hope. Otherwise, what’s the point?
I think if I can come up with a scenario that is possible, it doesn’t even have to be likely, but at least possible, then maybe this book can have hope. I’ve been practicing permaculture for a decade now, and there are a ton of things that could be done to help the environment. Reforestation, earthworks, etc… Of course, by and large human beings aren’t doing them.
The big question I suppose is, how do human beings move from dense, high net energy sources, to low net evergy sources? With a massive drop in their standard of living!
Thank you for your insights. It’s much appreciated. I just had this conversation with someone about the possibilty of a nuclear strike. I wonder how difficult it is to decommission a nuclear plant?
These are a few things that I’m considering. I’m still very early in the process of research and plotting, so feel free to criticize. Some of these items are not necessarily what I believe will happen, but what might be an entertaining plot point.
Economy- Stock market collapse in mid-2020’s followed by a currency collapse, leading eventually to a global crypto currency. No more physical cash. People are embedded with microchips to make payments and to be identified, also to be given or prevented access. People cannot make any transactions in the economy without a functioning chip. Anyone that causes problems can be found and can have their chips suspended. The wealth gap is staggering. Most of the planet is scraping by, with a tiny fraction living in unbelievable wealth, with robotics in their homes, short work days, and excellent health care such as bionic body parts and nanotechnology to fight disease. These great inventions are not available to 99.9%.
Politics- The US moves toward Democratic Socialism as a response to the increasing wealth gap that’s caused by an ever shrinking resource pie. Bankers still reign supreme with Democratic Socialism. This compounds the issue leading to mass poverty, starvation, and death. Universal Basic Income is used to keep people quiet, but it is barely enough to buy necessities.
Depopulation- With robotics, many people are not necessary in the new economy. In fact, they are a terrible drain on the limited and dwindling resources. For those in power, what to do? Chemicals are pumped into public waters to increase sterility. People die from myriad diseases, poor health, drug addiction, alcoholism like in the former Soviet Union, and war. Communities become bifurcated. Wealthy and not. Gated and not. The poor live a very low energy lifestyle out of necessity. The wealthy simply take more of the shrinking pie, leaving less crumbs.
Crime- The top .01% are protected by police and private security. The rest are left to their own devices. There are massive “no go” zones in the US, with a crumbling infrastructure. Roads are no longer passable. With no money for security, people are forced to take care of their own. These areas are very tribal.
Crime is nearly nonexistent in wealthy areas. Anyone caught committing a crime in a wealthy area are subjected to a DNA scan. For third offenses or if you’ve been determined to contain the genetic marker for sociopathy, you’re automatically shipped to one of nine islands throughout the world. These islands are primative. “Criminals” are left to sort themselves out. Drones and naval vessels insure no development or escape. (I’m not sure how realistic this would be, but it would be cool to put a bunch of psychopaths on an island and to see what happens! Of course, dissenters might find themselves here too.)
Environment- It’s on average four degrees warmer, which doesn’t sound like much, but it has a huge impact. Desertification continues unchecked. 40% of land mass now desert, up from 20% today. Oceans very acidic. Fishing very limited. Algae blooms and jellyfish rule. Some low lying cities abandoned as levie and sea walls get to be too expensive. Sorry Miami, New Orleans, etc… Factory farming collapses in favor of small self-sufficient farms. Healthy food is extremely expensive. And only for the wealthy, and those with the land and skills to farm self-sufficiently. But even those farmers live a poor, low energy lifestyle.
Travel- Only the wealthy have cars or travel by airplane. The poor walk. Some ride bikes.
War- Iran is the last major war, and the last country without a Rothschild central bank. With a global currency, every country with a central bank, and people controlled by their chips, world finally at “peace”. Many third world countries are forced to deindustrialize. This is painful as the land is not as fruitful as it was. First world countries also deindustrialize to a certain extent as their populations decline. They still maintain the manufacturing of goods needed by the elite, despite the limited resources. Tribal warfare is commonplace in the third world. Large militaries are a thing of the past, as governments use their resources to control their own populations. Uprisings are quickly quelled in the first world by powerful military-like police forces, and of course people are found and eliminated because of their chips.
The .01% are not all bad, and the 99.9% are not all good. Plenty of both in these categories. Lots of hard choices to be made in a declining energy future.
Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate your honesty and openess. You said, "Some people take this too far." Just curious, what's too far?
Most people would say what I've done is extreme, but under many scenarios, it would be woefully inadequate. My wife and I live in a hyper efficient house that produces twice the energy we need with solar. We garden, we raise chickens, and bees, and fish. We have a 6 acre permaculture designed property where I've planted 2000 trees, dug four ponds, and installed five massive swales. We don't have debt or live extravagantly.
I started "prepping" in 2007. I really don't like the term. What many of us do was simply common sense a hundred years ago. And those that didn't go into the winter with a full root cellar were foolish. It's funny, I rarely think about "prepping" anymore. I don't watch the news. I'm a big fan of PP, but I only come by every week or so. This is just how we live now. And it's a lot of fun. My wife is 45 and weighs five pounds less than when we were married. She loves the food and the animals. I do all the hard work. She gets to pet the chickens and enjoy the unique and tasty things we grow.
Living a less stressful and more natural life appealed to my wife. She's not a fan of guns and could care less about finance. I wonder if you found something that she loved, that she immediately benefited from, if she would change her tune? Healthy food, especially with young children tends to be important to mothers these days, and with good reason in my opinion. Maybe show her some of Geoff Lawton's videos. Very inspiring stuff.
Good luck and congrats on all you've done.
If you have 30% or more clay, you can seal a pond with a compactor. I like to use a sheepsfoot vibratory compactor. If not, you can still dig the pond out and compact it. It will leak, but if you keep ducks, they can help seal a pond as well. (All earthen ponds leak. It just depends on how much leaks out and how much goes in.)
I would agree with you that he would not be justified in initiating violence for flag burning. However, if he was someone who shed blood or was associated with those who shed blood defending what that flag symbolized (note the emphasis and past tense), his imagined emotional reaction is understandable, even though it would over the top and definitely not justified. I'm pretty sure though that his statement was simply an expression of poetic license and not to be taken literally.
Personally, I find someone who would burn their country's flag but chose to live in said country silly. And if someone acts silly, I find it best to simply ignore them. Hopefully, they would seek to change the system for the better rather than wasting their time with pyromaniacal machinations.
But you lost my agreement when you quoted Nietzsche. The man was confused about almost everything and ultimately went insane, so adhering to any beliefs or philosophy espoused by such a person has no appeal to me. I've always questioned his popularity but obviously, human taste is a very individual matter. YMMV.
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So someone's emotional reaction to flag burning that was associated with the military or the state is totally understandable given the possible blood they shed, but it is not justified for someone to be angry enough with the state to burn the flag? So that is simply silly? Are the 250 million people killed in the past century by governments around the world not enough blood for someone to have justifiable anger? How about the rape victims in prison for nonviolent offenses? The US is the only country in the world where male rape victims outnumber female. Are those victims not justified in being angry at the state? How about the theft of our labor through taxation?
When you talk about blood being spilled by the state, it is civilians around the world that spill the most blood. And for what? Every major American war started by a lie. Even the most conservative estimates have the civilian to soldier death rate at 1:1. This doesn't even begin to address refugees, and people who died because they were driven from their homes or the economy was destroyed, and they no longer had access to basic needs.
Your ad hominem attacks in regard to Nietzsche in no way invalidate his claim. Everything the state has, has been stolen.
I believe that people should be able to live their own lives as they wish as long as they don’t infringe on others. “Others” in this case means “other AMERICANS”. There are so many things today that are politically incorrect and are no no’s because we might offend someone. I don’t give a rats ass if someone who is not an American is offended by anything that I do on American soil as an American citizen. Today you say that hanging the American flag might offend someone? Really? Who cares? This is America, it is our soil and if it offends you then please leave, we don’t need you! On the other hand, “burning the American flag” is OK. Really? It offends me because I am an American. It offends me so much that if I saw this from my neighbor I would probably go to jail for beating him senseless after putting the fire out.
So if I go out and buy an American flag, and decide to burn it, this fool (Bill Holter) is justified in initiating violence against me. This is the insane blind patriotism that has been shoved down our throats since birth. For someone who professes to think for himself, I would expect more. Why should we worship the American flag?
Friedrich Nietzsche — 'Everything the State says is a lie, and everything it has it has stolen.'