Thursday, June 27, 2013

3pc2v2no15

3PC2v2no15

THREE PHASES CIVILIZATION COLLAPSE

PODA-Dark Ages Can Be Fun

One almost wonders if The Inquisition or The Crusades was really necessary or if it was just a lot of folks getting pretty bored and trying to create drama to amuse themselves ( okay, that was the middle ages and not the dark ages, the dark ages being the lost period after Rome fell, but we only really know about the later period ). Dark Ages might start out with famine and pestilence and constant warfare, and that is good from a system carrying capacity view, but once you hit rock bottom the only direction is up. You cleanse the excess population ( and I don’t mean that from a Powers That Be standpoint where they plan on extinction to keep the remaining resources themselves- as they are surely are now as we speak and if you don’t think so you are na├»ve, but rather from the standpoint of species survival ) and shuffle the deck of power around a bit and it is mostly peaches and cream from there. I mean, once The Cleansing is done, it is just settling down to raise the kids and grandkids and the occasional skirmish to keep your skills sharp and in general enjoying life when its NOT a crap sandwich. Life can be fun after a collapse. Some folks enjoy jockeying for power, generalship with the highest stakes. Most of us, those quite content to raise the kids and enjoy a cup of coffee and the newspaper in the morning ( in other words, the little pleasures in life. No one is claiming trees will be wasted on newspapers anymore ), can eagerly await life returning to the new normal.

*

There will always be idiots out there not content until they use your life as a chess piece in a glorious geopolitical game. No age will see the end of that. BUT. In a more decentralized existence there will be fewer of them. When you hide in the shadows to collect and exercise power, a small village is not the place to stay ignored. A vast nation state is more to their liking, those demonic malcontents. Small is more beautiful in politics a well as economics. Not only will nobility make better decisions because of intimate local conditional awareness, economics takes on a far less sinister aspect. When you are known by all customers, and barter is the norm, there is less cheating or other tomfoolery. The idiots are soon weeded out, between personal justice being meted out, shunning by others whose products the thieves need and the local law not inclined to coddle the unworthy. Lawlessness confines itself to unpopulated areas such as forests and highways or larger cities. There will always be criminals, but none under the grey areas of the law such as today ( such as corporate shoddiness and dangerous products or activities ). You might be robbed, but not repeatedly or systematically. Even taxes are fairer in the dark ages. Paying in crops might be problematic long term ( the government skims the profits and sets aside for times of lean- and sometimes they miscalculate badly ), but it beats today’s system of being reliant on money. It takes less in tools and knowledge to feed oneself in an agricultural system than one where the rich hold the purse strings. You will always be screwed as a poor person under any system, but some have more opportunity to kill you than others. Under a system 100% reliant on land rather than money, the poor are the means of production ( in other words, when the king himself is unable to plow a field the peasants are usually allowed to do so ).

*

Under a return to cities and a banker economy, even one ultimately reliant on crops, we see a return to today’s inequities. You’ll have sharecroppers being cheated, urban poor starving, etc. Before we once again return to an energy surplus enabling that, we will have stalled under a decentralized local economy butt simple in its organization. The return to a 90+% farmer existence. When there are no chances of working towards obscene power or wealth, contrary to how you live now and have been given to expect, when one is born into ones station, there isn’t a lot of disappointment with life. You don’t waste a lot of time or energy in mourning lost opportunities. I’ve known guys who won’t have any relationships because they can’t attract a mate who is on par with a Playboy Bunny. They only want the best or nothing at all ( and not surprisingly, they don’t tend to stay employed all that much either. They evidently think only the top of the pyramid is worthy of their efforts ). These kinds of false hopes and silly aspirations are a byproduct of today’s fantasy of equality. In the end, it leads to unfulfilled lives. You won’t have this kind of emptiness in the coming dark age.

*

A life of no hopes and no choices suck. But most systems throughout history encouraged extended and stable families, and few of us wish for much more. Not everyone thinks unlimited shopping and meaningless careers are all that great. Sometimes simple but meaningful labor and a happy family are a better barometer of a life well lived. A return to simplicity ( again, obviously, AFTER the collapse and die-off and return to stability ) can be its own reward. The future doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. It can have a light at the end of the tunnel, a return to normal instead of an existence like a kindergarten for the rich- spoiled rotten children fighting over a toy not because they need it but because they want it. Life today is too much an empty fight over baubles and toys, plastic women fighting over the mate with the most money, men fighting over the trophy wife best suited for impressing the other peacocks in the pack. Hoarding credit chits to see who won in the end in a race to the bottom. Everyone wants to be the Vanderbilt’s, and no one is happy they are not.

END


20 comments:

  1. A voice in the wildernes

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    1. Ya'all enjoy this rare glint of optimism. I won't do it again too soon.

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    2. Oh yea ,I enjoyed it thoroughly. But I did think it was some one else writing.are you ok ,you sound a little to up beat ,but thoroughly enjoyable.

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    3. A rare convergance of NOT optimism but less fear and fading paranoia and happiness as the gold price plummets.

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  2. Great post James, and spot on!

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  3. Yup, I be the curmudgeon in our little group that is pessimistic that life will ever return to anything normal once SHTF.
    On the other hand one couple in our group makes sales as his living currently. Thinks that he'll be out there trading and bartering six months after the fact, HA ! More like five years if he's lucky...
    I tell him that most likely there won't be anything to trade for. I figure that after a period it will be more like scavenging for more raw materials so that we can manufacture more of our own stuff. Eventually yes, trade will come again. Just not soon.

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    1. Folks just don't take into account infrastructure building costs.

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  4. Nixtamal frees Vit B3/niacin in whole corn.
    Many in the south subsisted almost entirely on whole corn. Due to lack of naicin/Vit B3, they developed pellegra characterized by cracked, scaly, discolored skin, digestive problems, and overall bodily weakness. We now know that whole corn contains significant amounts of vitamin B3, whch cannot readily be absorbed from corn unless corn products (like cornmeal) are prepared in a way that releases this vitamin for absorption.
    Nixtamal is the treated corn used to make masa and hominy. First the corn is cooked and soaked in lime, rinsed and then the hulls may or may not be removed. This task may seem daunting and the ingredients may seem unusual, but they are easily found and you will have fresher tasting Posole, Tamales and Tortillas. Once you assemble the ingredients, the rest is easy.
    You can use nixtamal in * Tamale Dough * Corn Tortillas * Hominy for Posole
    Time Required: 2 hours to 24 hours, depending on use
    Here's How:
    1. Prepare Measure out 3 lbs or 2 quarts dried corn, 4 quarts water and 5 tablespoons slaked lime.
    2. Mix Mix water and lime in a large nonreactive pot. Turn heat to "high" and stir constantly until lime is thoroughly dissolved.
    3. Cook Add corn to pot and remove any kernels that float to the top. Bring water to a rolling boil, then turn down heat to let it simmer.
    * Tortillas- Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Let soak overnight.
    * Tamale Dough- Boil for 15 minutes, then soak for 1 1/2 hours.
    * Hominy- Boil 15 minutes and soak 15 mintues.
    4. Soak after simmering for the appropriate amount of time, cover the pot and turn off the heat. Allow the corn to soak in the heated water. See #8 for soaking times.
    5. Rinse and Remove. Drain corn in a large colander and rinse under water using your fingers to rub the corn, removing all traces of lime. If you are making hominy, remove the hulls at this time. The hulls are the little brown tips, and you can just rub them or pick them off.
    6. Additional Rinse. Put hulled corn into large bowl and cover with lukewarm water. Allow to soak 5-10 minutes while moving the corn around with your fingers. Repeat. This will ensure the lime is washed away.
    7. Drain the finished corn through a colander and you now have nixtamal.
    8. Cooking and Soaking Times-
    * Tortillas- Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Let soak overnight.
    * Tamale Dough- Boil for 15 mintues, then let it soak for 1 1/2 hours.
    * Hominy- Boil for 15 minutes and let it soak for 15 mintues.
    9. To make dough for tamales or tortillas, grind the nixtamal. The food processor can be used for tamale dough, but it won't grind it fine enough for tortillas. Use a grinder, or a metate y mano to grind it very fine for tortillas.
    Tips:
    1. Remove all of the lime or your masa will be sour and taste badly.
    2. For hominy, remember to remove the hulls.
    3. Follow the cooking and soaking times because they differ depending on use.
    4. Be very careful. Lime is caustic and can cause bodily harm if ingested in large quantities. It is in the same family as lye.
    5. Find lime in the pickling supplies section of your local grocer. It may be called pickling lime.
    What You Need:
    * Dried Corn - Field, Dent or Hominy
    * Lime- "Cal", Slaked Lime, Calcium Hydroxide (Not Quick Lime or Calcium Oxide)
    * Water * Food Processor or Grinder
    * Non-Reactive Pot (Stainless Steel or Enamel)

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    1. Thanks Vlad! Important stuff. Remember, you can post a comment about anything pertaining to survival, not just commentary on that particular days subject.

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    2. The Aztecs used wood ash to provide the lime to unlock the nutrition of their corn. -SemperFido

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    3. Correct. Hardwood ash. -SemperFido

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  5. Hey!

    Let's try to limit the blabber, drool, and flowery phrases.
    You running off at the mouth, typing every stray thought that enters your brain, just to stretch a good idea to make the word quota, does not increase your readership one little bit.

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    1. The only thing that would increase my readership is to paste graphic ads for MRE's and $500 grinders everywhere, not insult the idiots of the world, pretend the collapse won't happen until your 30 year mortgage is paid off and shoot glittery sunshine out of my ass at everybody. Thanks, I'll take quality over quantity for readers. And remember, this is part of a book. Sometimes it is going to drag a bit, other times I won't get to the point in that section. Peace!

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  6. I came to read and enlighten myself but I gotsa to leave. "There's a Crazy Ass Cracker following me!

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    1. You are still enlightened, just scared, too.

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  7. Jim, Middle Ages versus Dark Ages. Just because they all rode around on horses and wore armor doesn't make them equivalent. The people who wrote the stories about the Dark Ages here, King Arthur, in the 1200s were as close to our time as his. The later writers (Mallory, pub.~1485).

    The Middle Ages were a very sophisticated time period, but it did eventually start to fall apart. The Crusades you speak of started at the early peak of the Middle Ages. The collapse of the Middle Ages is generally viewed as starting in the 1300s with the honest of the Great Famine (1315) which coincides with the end of the Medieval Warm Period and the start of the cycle Black Deaths that started mid-century, but continued on into the early 19th century. Note that the Black Death (Bubonic Plague) still occurs intermittently in the Southwest United States.

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    1. I concede your much better grasp on the minute details of history. Sometimes being Big Picture helps-general trends/lessons- sometimes I get a few minor details wrong. Like putting the Muslims in the wrong century. How embarrassing. Was there a lot of armor in the Dark Ages? I would think the full armored fighted evolved later, the cost of metal and all.

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  8. Jim, the dark ages were relative. The Eastern Roman Empire (only historians call it Byzantine) didn't fall until the 15th century.

    The ex-Romans like Arthur likely had access to Roman style armor, which was of a reasonable quality, for some time. But the attrition on that equipment would have been heavy, and with the collapse of commerce and the countryside, starvation likely terminated a lot of their efforts.

    The German nobility had access to metal armor, but the common folk did not, and mass migrating Germans have a lot of common folk. One key apocalyptic point, most societies can only support a small number of exclusively warrior types, if you want to beef up your numbers, you have to take your common folk. If they practiced, like the English with their longbows, or the Swiss with their Pike, the common folk would not necessarily helpless. However, once you bring your common men-folk, the women and children were also going to come along. Thus the real danger of these mass migrations, the sustained movement of a particularly large number of armed men, with an even larger number of mouths to feed.

    You are correct from the point of view of the remnant portions of Western Roman Empire that once the initial Roman equipment was gone, it took many centuries for them to get back to where they could afford heavier armor. But one suspects that at least part of the problem is that most of the regions, with the economic collapse, had nothing worth trading to the areas that could still make it.

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    1. Also, since the Romans only had border defenses, there was no fall back internal ones for groups fighting the barbarians. Took awhile to build up the infrastructure for that, THEN commerce recovered somewhat. Although I think most places relied on old Roman buildings as that nucleus.

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