The Diner Atavachron

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Published on The Doomstead Diner October 29, 2017


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I first became obsessed with preserving my intellectual material a few years ago when we had a major crash of the Diner, which took over a week to finally resolve.  At the time, most of what I had written was only on the Diner server and in the WP and SMF Databases, I didn't take copies of the stuff as I wrote it.  I generally write first draft, stream of consciousness with no edits.  MILLIONS OF WORDS documenting the Collapse of Industrial Civilization just GONE, All GONE!  Fortunately, my Code Jockey friend Harry was able to retrieve pretty much all the material, and the Diner went back into normal operational mode.  However, in the intervening week, I went through a period of complete heartbreak, although I tried to deny it to console myself.  "It's all just Dust in the Wind" I kept repeating as a Mantra as I shuffled my crippled self around my digs, making my little circle from the bed to the bathroom to the computer to the porch, rinse and repeat each day.  It's not like too many people will ever go back and read all those old blogs of course, hell not that many people read them when they were brand spanking new!  At the same time though, I spent ungodly hours writing all that stuff, and even if it's not important to anyone else, it's important to me!

So, once Harry got the blog back up and running, I set off on my first archiving project, which was to create a "Doomstead Diner  Beta" blog on the FREE WordPress site with my own articles on that site.  That project took quite some time because each article had to be individually hand pasted over to the site.  I'm sure some Code Jockey could take the whole Diner WP database and transfer it en masse, but I don't know how to do that.  However, in the end I got the job done, and now at least those articles should stay up on the web until WP goes outta biz or the Internet Goes Dark ™, whichever comes first .  I haven't updated the site though with new articles over the last 2 years or so, but now I have a new and BETTER archiving project I am working on! icon_sunny web server I drop on the material will eventually become inaccessable, and so is not a good long term storage medium.  The BEST long term storage medium remains, believe it or not, PAPER & INK.  Good acid free paper in a controlled environment can last 1000's of years.  Problem with paper & ink though is at least for me, it would be unwieldy to say the least to try and print out everything I have written over the last 20 years on the internet.  Lord only knows how many reams of paper this would take and how many HP Ink Cartridges, and then where and how to store all of that?  I would need at least a good size Storage Unit and then you have to pay for those things monthly. my next idea was to store on Micro SD cards, which come in quite cheap these days for a LOT of storage, you can actually get them up to 2 Terabytes, although this much is totally unnecessary for me even including all my Audio & Video stuff.  128 Gigs would be more than enough, as long as I compress the video down anyhow.  There are problems with the Micro SD card solution though, for the long term.  First, they are easily wiped out by an EMP discharge, so if there is either Global Thermonuclear War or the SUN☼ has a Carrington event, unprotected they are finished.  So I figured then to drop them in small Faraday Cages made from Aluminum Capsules.  This does protect them from an EMP, but there are other problems with solid state flash memory besides just EMPs.  They're not "forever" in maintaining the integrity of the information, the digibits eventually randomize.  The Geek sites say they will only hold your information for around 10 years, which isn't very long compared to paper and ink! Sad  I think they actually hold information longer than that, since I have some old cards that still work OK, but they definitely don't last longer than say 50 years, still not too long. I finally settled on as the main storage medium were DVD-R discs, written for Read-Only, which profess a lifetime of 100 years holding the information integrity intact.  They are impervious to EMP, because the storage is Optical and not electronic.  The plastic they are made from is even better than the plastic bags filling the ocean these days, and that shit lasts FOREVER.  No test has been performed to see how long the informational integrity on a DVD-R REALLY lasts, because they haven't been around for 100 years yet.  That is just an estimate.  So I am crossing my fingers that they last longer than that, especially if placed in a controlled environment.

The secondary method for the archiving is just good old fashioned paper and ink, but I obviously can't do all of it.  So I selected out a few choice articles to print, about 100 pages worth in a super tiny 6pt font you need reading glasses to read unless you still have eyes like a hawk.  Like this sentence but smaller.  Those pages are vacuum sealed with an Oxygen Absorber to keep them from deteriorating.  Again, the plastic used for the vacuum sealing is extremely long lasting and durable stuff.  Limitation of the paper medium is that only text and graphics can be represented, you can't put video or audio on paper.  So that nixes a lot of stuff from the get-go on this medium. the medium established, the next big issue was actually getting all this stuff either off my hard drives or off the cloud on the web and organizing it up.  This is the project I am still engaged with, and it occupies a good deal of my time these days, so I don't have as much time to write new stuff.  I have burned through most of my backlog of unpublished articles for Sunday Brunch, so I may miss a week or two over the next month or two getting some Doom of the Week written for publication on the Diner.  I'll fill in by republishing some "Blasts from the Past" of older articles that many new Diners have not read.

Besides the archiving project, I also have another Adventure planned down to the Lower 48 for Thanksgiving Week.  For me, every excursion leaving the digs is an Adventure!  lol.  I hope to spend time in the various Homeless encampments around Seattle, and I also have scheduled meetings with the monument people I have contracted with to build my Tombstone, which is quite the challenge!  I'll have more about the tombstone in a later article once we get all the plans finalized.  It's still a big question mark as to what can actually be done, and finding the stone cutters who can/will do it and for what price.  So I don't want to put up designs that aren't going to actually be produced.  Suffice it to say though, if I can get the whole thing put together, it will be a one of a kind in the world!   lol.  If you are leaving something behind to last until the SUN☼ goes Red Giant, it should be distinctive! icon_sunny

Anyhow, to close up here for this Sunday Brunch, the attitude of many people is once you're dead, YOU'RE DEAD, and what you did on earth while living no longer matters anymore.  Dust in the Wind, as it were.  I don't subscribe to this school of thought, to me what you did on Earth during any given insertion of your consciousness into a Meat Suit here as a corporeal package matters to some degree.  You affected the lives of others who will follow you, friends, children, students, readers all to some degree.  They in turn will affect those that follow them.  What can you leave on earth after your spirit passes to the Great Beyond and leaves the meat suit?  Going back as far as 40,000 years, one artist left  a sculpture which exists to this day.

Architects and Engineers from the Greek Hellenic period of antiquity left behind them the Acropolis and the Parthenon.

The Ancient Egyptians left behind the Pyramids.

I have nothing so grand to leave behind me when I Buy My Ticket to the Great Beyond ™ .  I don't have the money or the slaves to build such things in any event. lol.  I have only my writing and my observations on the nature of the world we live in made over the last quarter century or so on the internet.  That is my Legacy.  So on my way out the door here now, I am tieing it all up and putting it in a package that will last (hopefully at least) as long as the Egyptian Pyramids. I will have features of the design for preservation in upcoming articles. Only time will tell on that one, and I will be long gone from this meat suit when the day comes all I ever did is erased forever from this segment of the space-time continuum, which almost certainly will occur when the SUN☼ goes Red Giant at the latest.  I am not too hopeful that Aliens will arrive before then to rescue humanity, or that Elon Musk will do it either.  No matter what though, even when all the physical media fail, the ideas will exist for all eternity as part of the existential reality.  Ideas are immortal.

One Response to The Diner Atavachron

  • Godofredo Aravena says:

    RE, founf this in my archives.

    Doomers, our responsability with the future. A proposal.

    Originally posted in November 2013 on NBL Blog.

    (revised in November 2017)


    Every time I read the NBL posts, I get the feeling that there´s nothing to do with our lives, and our future. We have no future. We just have to wait for the catastrophe.

    We used to have a reason for living, that is not anymore.

    Also, most of us know, by own experience, that spreading the message of NTE take us nowhere, as climate change has no way back. At least regarding our actions as species.

    Besides, nobody knows in a precise way what comes ahead, and how climate change will affect us, depending on where we live.

    Maybe NTE ahead, but also far too many “who knows”.

    Carolyn Baker has done a great effort to help some people to face the reality of NTE.

    The message given so far seems to me as, all we have to do is to give love, have peace, enjoy the time we have left, and enjoy nature and all that we may lose with climate change. In simple words, rules of behavior to keep us calmed, to keep us in peace with incoming tragedy. A life with no purpose. Kind of selfish rules by the way, only for ourselves. For our tranquility as persons.

    To be selfish is as natural as nature. All creatures need to be selfish, to survive. The magic of nature is that by being selfish, creatures help each other. They constantly give something in return, usually becoming food to other species, a form of energy. In simple words, creatures of nature are energy collectors. Just by living and dying, and being selfish while alive, give something in return to the rest (the system).

    But humans as species, by being selfish somehow destroy or damage the rest, people and environment, and give nothing in return, but a huge amount of waste, most of it difficult to recycle by the system. And, contrary to the rest of creatures, we are not only (mainly) energy consumers. We also collect stuff with no purpose regarding the rest of the system (nature). As species we see and measure the world based on our very personal point of view. As we live, we do not care about the rest, and as we became so powerful (thanks to technology), we can create much destruction along the way. Just to serve our own pleasure.

    So, being selfish is a green practice, only if by being selfish, the system thrives, and/or stays in a steady state. Evidence tells me that mankind selfishness is not of the “green” type.


    But doomers (those that see we are about to face big problems), have the possibility to, in some way, evolve to a different state. They have a possibility to be selfish in a green way. And do something really useful to the (future) system. Something that goes beyond ourselves.

    Doomers are in a different (higher maybe) mind state. Accepting the possible NTE (or the magnitude of the problems we are about to face somehow soon) opens the mind to a different view of life and nature. 

    So welcome new mind state, because I guess, we have a job to do (if we want), on behalf of the rest of our society. A job, or responsibility, that requires a different mind state.

    We have to stop thinking only on us (and our beloved personal life). So far, on NBL, we keep on being somehow too selfish. Very much just like the rest of people.

    We have to start seeing the future in a different way, and start doing something for somebody that we do not know, that is not our family, somebody that we will never meet. We have to start thinking as our society should have done couple of centuries ago and (probably) things today would be different.

    We have to do something thinking in our descendants, in a very broad term, whoever they are. Even if they are intelligent beings not humans, or humans in a different case. Or simply surviving humans.

    We have to give something against nothing, contrary to our modern commercial standard practice.

    Roughly just like Robert McNamara dos in the movie “Fog of War”. We have to transmit a message about what we have learnt. And I do not mean technology, I mean our mistakes and/or lessons of life. More than just a bunch of data, instead, hopefully data coupled to some analysis.   


    We have to find a way to provide some answers to the questions about us that future generations will have.

    Just like Jared Diamond`s question, “what was thinking the person while chopping down the last palm tree on Easter Island?”. A question that has no answer today. We can only suppose. It would have been good to have that answer. We could have taken some lessons.


    We have to try to provide answers to questions that the future intelligent specie that will replace us, whoever they are, will have about us. We probably are becoming a failed experiment, but the creator(s) will probably create a replacement, with maybe a few adjustments in our biology, to maybe live in a slightly different environment. Or, maybe some individuals of our specie will survive, along with other creatures. Enough individuals to spread again over earth, a certainly different earth. As crocodiles survived to two ELE, and other animals did too. It is a possibility.

    Replaced or not replaced, in a not so distant future, there will be an intelligent species on Earth again.

    All intelligent creatures, those able to create things, have to learn from their mistakes, there is no other way. If they don’t, they may end in the same point we are today. Our replacement species, as we are today, will be very powerful in relation to the rest of species, and has to learn to handle their power, before facing a predicament as we do today. We can help them by doing something today to, maybe, avoid the self destruction path again.

    Any future intelligent being will in some moment have questions about us.

    Why we disappeared?

    Why our culture declined?

    What went wrong?

    What caused the sixth ELE?

    And so.

    We, today, as living individuals, know many of the answers to those questions, but once we disappear, the answers will go to the grave with us.

    I guess instead of trying to save the planet we know today, a lost battle already, we have to try to preserve the answers to these questions somehow safe.

    That is not an easy task certainly. To find a media, that will withstand the test of time is a hard job. To find a way to teach a language to somebody in the future that knows nothing about our current languages may become another hard job. That, if we want to keep the information using some type of hardware media (computer, hardrive, pendrive, paper,  plastic, stones, whatever).

    Maybe we have to keep this knowledge through our immediate descendants, just like ancient tribes did. And knowledge be constantly transmitted to descendants. A practice that could become part of our culture.

    There are so many lessons to keep.

    To rebuild our past has been a hard and complex task. Lots of questions with no answers.

    Let´s help to our descendants to know about our story, their past, as seen from inside. Let them know the lessons hardly learnt. It may help them to avoid the seventh ELE, and develop a sustainable culture.

    This is much more than just keeping a lot of files, it is personal and careful selection of files that we may seem relevant to keep, coupled to some analysis, to put things in context. Pointed to the Jared Diamonds of the future. We have some years ahead to find ways to transmit this information to somebody in the future.

    Our current global database, Internet, will probably not last long enough. If some people find a way to continue our species, they will have very hard times, with very limited  technology. I would expect that after the decline of modern-current society, a dark age of maybe some hundreds of years will follow.


    If we want a reason to live the rest of our life, this is a good one. That makes much sense (to me).

    Instead of being Doomers or Preppers, we could be “Filers”.


    Note 1 2017: This text is part of my historical archive. I have made some very minor changes to the original, but tried to keep the original as much as possible. I guess the message keeps on having the same connection with current times as four years ago.

    Note 2 2017: I consider myself a doomer in the broad sense. I do not believe in NTE, as Guy McPherson promotes, but I can clearly see that the current system is going to collapse in some moment within the next 30-50 years, and for sure, not as expected.





    Godofredo Aravena



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