Harry Lerwill

The 1st Diner Convocation IV

Off the keyboard of Haniel

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Doomstead Diner on March 26, 2014

http://cdn.monolithic.org/vault/img/2013/07/30/51f7ea58c29e06eb0b000001/medium_photo_skitch_document.jpg

Discuss this article at the SUN Table inside the Diner

“I don’t want to live in a mushroom, mum!”

My first attempt to broach the subject of a Monolithic dome with the family did not go down as I expected.  A few months of studying the safety, energy saving features, and long-term value of domes seemed to be in danger of falling at the first hurdle – family buy-in.

Growing up in the UK, I have not taken to stick and mud housing nearly as well as those born on this side of the pond.  To me, they don’t seem to be built to last.  I lived in homes that had seen multiple generations before Columbus set sail, with walls of stone two feet thick, so I there’s something I find impermanent about wood.  Quarrying seems expensive and unreinforced masonry a death trap in an earthquake area, so ferroconcrete domes seemed a good middle ground.

The wife jokingly promised that she’d make me dress up as a garden gnome and make me sit on top of it to entertain the kids, and the subject was dropped from family discussion, but the dream never died.

Fast forward a decade and my continuing interest in resource depletion and mitigating strategies, as well as a desire to have more control over my food supply, harkening back to the days of growing our own food as I grew up, lead me to the Doomstead Diner.  There I found a lively discussion on community owned doomsteads, with a level of attention to detail that I found rare in the “peak oil” community.  My first encounter with the topic was though the LATOC website, and I quickly read up the limited available literature, joining the forums and becoming familiar with both the facts, and the mythologies of the movement.

After a few weeks the topic of Domes came up in a discussion with another diner, Eddie.  Like him, I saw the value in embedding energy into a structure now, which would serve as shelter for centuries and centuries to come.

Storm Shelter Survives EF-5 TornadoAt the same time, the news that summer from the mid west was not good, as yet again they suffered a “record” tornado season.  Records only last a year or two these days.  A few images did stand out to me and the wife: a few news reports of domes surviving when all around them was reduced to toothpicks.

Having never worked in construction, I find the idea of building a dome home daunting and not the sort of project I want to take on by myself.  My first thought was my brother-in-law, who is a certified concrete inspector in California, and certainly had the foreknowledge to be a valuable asset to such an endeavor.  Sadly, he’s content being a stay-at-home dad and not looking to reenter the workforce, so declined my offer to take him along.

As luck would have it, another friend who is also interested in resource depletion and developing resilient responses to the challenges also expressed an interest.  While he does not have the concrete experience, he has significant family resources in the polyurethane foam industry, sufficient for him to attend with us armed with the questions that will get us the most value out of the course.

For quite a few months talk had centered on holding convocation, where members of the community could meet in real life, get to know the people behind the online personas; some of us are open books, others have a lower online presence than people in the witness protection program.  With a couple of us attending the course, and a proposal on the table for a SUN dome building business as a way of kickstarting a community owned venture, the pieces fell into place and now we have five attending the course, plus others attending the convocation.

Will this convocation give birth to a viable dome-building business?  Only time will tell.  I already have interest in a couple of “grow dome” projects here in California, but the bulk of the potential clients lie in the Midwest, where tornado season will be starting up soon.  Many eyes are watching the extreme weather, hoping and praying that 97% of climate scientists are wrong, that this year will not be the logical progression of the last decade.

If those climate scientists are right, we’re in for a very rough ride these next few decades.  Some think it’s game over for humanity, but I don’t subscribe to that point of view.   I’m of the opinion that we’ll lose 50% or more of the planet’s overpopulation in my remaining lifetime, with similar reduction during the next couple of generations.  I plan for me and those I call family to be among the survivors, and a resilient living arrangement is part of that plan.

They say an Englishman’s home is his castle, but I’m Welsh, not English.  The English built their castles, for the most part, to keep us out.  A dome home is the modern incarnation of the castle.  That’s a much more appealing image than a mushroom.  The kids like the idea this time around. 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/80/North_Wales_Caernarfon_Castle.jpg

 

Yellow Pages and Doom – an Odd Combination?

Off the keyboard of Harry Lerwill

Published on the Doomstead Diner on July 11, 2013

Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasbord inside the Diner

Peak oil and local search may seem a strange combination but it is one that is very much on my mind as an individual working in the Yellow Pages industry, in what may be the twilight of the industrial age.

Everyone knows what Yellow Pages are, that large book that is dropped on the doorstep once or more a year.  A lot of people do not realize that there are many Yellow Pages, the epoch of lumbering dinosaurs owned by the telephone company are well in the past.  The market now dominated by the leaner, more nimble and responsive independent publishers; competition bringing costs down and greater choices for everyone.

What many do not realize is how sustainable the Yellow Pages industry has become in the twenty first century. More trees were cut down to support the infrastructure needed to allow me to write this post than went into the seven billion pages of advertising we printed last year.  In fact, we print the Yellow Pages on paper that is made entirely from recycled materials and waste from the lumber industry.

In a sector that is moving from the relatively low energy modality of print, to one that requires the modern infrastructure of internet and mobile, how will businesses change if the energy available to society significantly changes?  How will buying patterns change when oil prices spike again?  What will $5.00 a gallon gas do to the way people shop?

Of course, it’s possible that humanity may find a solution to the increasing scarcity of oil.  It won’t be biofuels, tar sands, solar or wind power; in fact there is no fuel source we currently know of that can compete with oil and its products.  But who knows, humanity has overcome many challenges in the past and maybe we can keep going onward and upward forever.  I’m not betting on it, though, while the myth of infinite progress may be one of the most prevalent beliefs today, we should remember that the citizens of Rome never believed Rome would fall anytime before the second coming.

So what would local search look like after a century of technological progress?  Perhaps we’ll all have our own personal electronic assistant who knows our tastes and will select the vendors, products and services for us.  Perhaps she will also handle introductions and take care of the mundane details.

On the other hand, if society declines and the cost of energy increases to the point where people are choosing carefully what they use it for, systems will revert to lower energy models.  In such a scenario, the printed book could once again become a dominant player in the marketplace.  Local search will really become local if the cost to ship goods from across the continent becomes excessive. People will be buying local not out of loyalty to the community they live and work in, but out of practicality.

Which way will society go?  As much as I’d like to believe that it is up to us, we may well have passed the threshold beyond which all we can do is hope we have a relatively soft landing.  We’ve climbed a long way in a short number of centuries; I hope we have a long descent rather than a fast crash so that we have time to adjust to a world that would be familiar to our great, great grandparents.

Until then, I enjoy working in the Yellow Pages industry.  If a fast crash happens, I know how valuable the product will be to the community.  With no Google, Bing or NSA archives to go to to get your products shipped from China, the Yellow Pages will be an excellent source of where to go locally for the things you forgot to put into your preps.  I’m sure it won’t be the first time in the hundred years since the first book landed on a doorstep that it becomes a guide for finding the best places to loot.

 

My first short story, “Caravan of hopes” is available in this anthology edited By John Michael Greer.

[amazon asin=B00A323CPU&template=image&chan=default]

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

https://image.freepik.com/free-icon/musical-notes-symbols_318-29778.jpg

Support the Diner

Search the Diner

Surveys & Podcasts

NEW SURVEY

Renewable Energy

VISIT AND FOLLOW US ON DINER SOUNDCLOUD

" As a daily reader of all of the doomsday blogs, e.g. the Diner, Nature Bats Last, Zerohedge, Scribbler, etc… I must say that I most look forward to your “off the microphone” rants. Your analysis, insights, and conclusions are always logical, well supported, and clearly articulated – a trifecta not frequently achieved."- Joe D

Archives

Global Diners

View Full Diner Stats

Global Population Stats

Enter a Country Name for full Population & Demographic Statistics

Lake Mead Watch

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NA-BX686_LakeMe_G_20130816175615.jpg

loading

Inside the Diner

I shot him an email. No phone number. Maybe its a scam.

News flash. John Wayne is part of the problem, not part of the solution. A lot of America's worst problems can be traced directly to John Wayne, although I don't blame him. He was just an actor.

I hope you improve too, and you might. But right now I doubt you could really cope wth getting up and down that much. I know you'd get along fine with the other live-aboards and you could hire some help, but it still sounds tricky to me.AC is not a bi...

I'm gonna let the thread drift enough to respond to K-Dog's comments on the white supremacists.So...half a million people, tops, are even interested in hard-core white supremacy enough to click on a website. Out of 326M people in the US.  125K care en...

Quote from: Surly1 on Today at 05:56:20 AMQED. Like you, I've actually seen him talk to women.Yes, and I have seen both of you in action with your wives as well. I will refrain from adding an ad hom graphic. ...

Recent Facebook Posts

No recent Facebook posts to show

Diner Twitter feed

Knarf’s Knewz

Quote from: Eddie on March 13, 2018, 05:21:10 PMAl [...]

Quote from: knarf on March 13, 2018, 03:33:01 PMAU [...]

Quote from: knarf on March 13, 2018, 03:25:04 PM [...]

A new study found that the Great Recession correla [...]

From 2003 to 2005, Gina Haspel was a senior offici [...]

Diner Newz Feeds

  • Surly
  • Agelbert
  • Knarf
  • Golden Oxen
  • Frostbite Falls

The Doomstead Diner Daily 4/26[html]News digest br [...]

[img]https://scontent.forf1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0 [...]

The Doomstead Diner Daily 4/24[html]... [...]

The Doomstead Diner Daily 4/23[html]News digest br [...]

Quote from: Eddie on April 22, 2018, 10:58:00 AMTh [...]

Quote from: David B. on April 12, 2018, 04:20:53 P [...]

Quote from: David B. on April 12, 2018, 04:20:53 P [...]

Quote from: agelbert on April 12, 2018, 03:47:06 P [...]

Quote from: Eddie on March 13, 2018, 05:21:10 PMAl [...]

Quote from: knarf on March 13, 2018, 03:33:01 PMAU [...]

Quote from: knarf on March 13, 2018, 03:25:04 PM [...]

A new study found that the Great Recession correla [...]

From 2003 to 2005, Gina Haspel was a senior offici [...]

https://news.goldcore.com/ie/gold-blog/russia-buys [...]

Dear Readers,  This is a must read and a view that [...]

I did study those instruments when I was younger, [...]

Quote from: RE on Today at 05:13:10 AMThe NEW Chai [...]

After more than a decade sitting in the same El Ch [...]

 I just fell off my 5 gallon bucket seat reading t [...]

Quote from: RE on April 20, 2018, 09:05:29 AMQuote [...]

Quote from: Eddie on April 20, 2018, 08:33:16 AMTh [...]

Alternate Perspectives

  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

A Duty to Know By Cognitive Dissonance   Conversations Mrs. Cog and I have often revolve around awar [...]

The Pendulum – Part Three Seeking Balance By High Desert   Missing in the mix of hundreds of bug-out [...]

The Pendulum – Part Two Hard Work, Bad Luck and Murphy’s Law By High Desert   Missing in the mix of [...]

The Pendulum - Part One Retreat to High Ground By High Desert     Missing in the mix of hundreds of [...]

The (Mind) Games People Play By Cognitive Dissonance     Fair warning! This is a long and dense read [...]

Event Update For 2018-04-24http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2018-04-23http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2018-04-22http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2018-04-21http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2018-04-20http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

NYC plans to undertake the swindle of the civilisation by suing the companies that have enabled it t [...]

MbS, the personification of the age-old pre-revolutionary scenario in which an expiring regime attem [...]

You know things have taken a turn for the desperate when women have started to drive. Or rather, whe [...]

From Filmers to Farmers is re-launched on the astounding open source blogging platform Ghost! [...]

The blogging scene is admittedly atrocious. Is there really no option for a collapse blogger to turn [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability

  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

Mycelial Mind"One thing we can say about our fungal cousins. They are vastly better connected to the natural [...]

How Many Trees Do We Need?"A city like New York (18.6 million people) should require 55.8 million trees to provide its ox [...]

First they locked up the Knowledge"If you were given the choice between continued life on earth and computerized devices and the [...]

Just One Word: Bioplastics"Any carbon that does not go back to the atmosphere can just chill. It can be a building or a b [...]

NTHE is a Four Letter Word"Collective neurosis can be attributed to a concatenation of causes — diet, electrosmog, epigen [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

To fight climate change, you need to get the world off of fossil fuels. And to do that, you need to [...]

Americans are good on the "thoughts and prayers" thing. Also not so bad about digging in f [...]

In the echo-sphere of political punditry consensus forms rapidly, gels, and then, in short order…cal [...]

Discussions with figures from Noam Chomsky and Peter Senge to Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama off [...]

Lefty Greenies have some laudable ideas. Why is it then that they don't bother to really build [...]

Top Commentariats

  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

"You cannot replace energy with debt." tell the frackers that :). Bankruptcy is not based [...]

Communism philosophy totally missed the boat too with its focus on "means of production". [...]

Of course, if the financial system collapses, the decline rate will be much faster. This is somethin [...]

"Much like the hunger games layout. With the games themselves optional. This scenario is a slow [...]

Steve, another great article, thank you, your insights and summations are invaluable. It is a very d [...]

Here is how you will know when we have DOOM/COLLAPSE! You are absolutely certain that you can not go [...]

I go back and forth on this whole thing being quick or a slow burn collapse. Thus far the fire marsh [...]

Understanding? -to stand under and look up at something and to allow yourself to be in awe. Everywhe [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Simplifying the Final Countdown

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

Off the Keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Merry Doomy Christmas

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

In this paper, the ability of two joint bias correction algorithms to adjust biases in daily mean te [...]

This study examines the impact of changing climate and product market conditions on crop yield and l [...]

Mountain ecosystems are considered to be vulnerable to climate change, with potential detrimental ef [...]