Mechanical Zombie Nomads

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Published on The Doomstead Diner September 19, 2017

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"It's not just a career, it's a lifestyle change, you are going to become nomads."

–Trucking School Trainer

Gary Indiana, located a couple of miles outside of Chicago, has many signs declaring a collapsed landscape and economy.  There are weeds growing in almost every commercial lot, and boards in windows, and people who seem to be poisoned by the water, or the atmosphere, or maybe it's just that they were abandoned by the American Dream.  Whatever the case, there are a lot of people, and a lot of cars, and a lot of stupidity.  Of course, there is stupidity falling like rain in every state in this Idiocracy we're inhabiting.  Fukitol, alcohol, fried fast genetically modified gas station foods, corn sugar, CAFO meats…all in a consumer paradise.  Amidst the weeds growing in the concrete and asphalt of what used to be, there's still "opportunity."  You can get your commercial drivers license, and you can get paid to do so.  In fact, there are more jobs in the trucking industry than there are people willing […] Continue Reading…

Let There be Light!

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner September 17, 2017

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The recent two major Hurricane events and the Power Outages which have followed led me to writing this Prep article on being prepared for such eventualities with good lighting gear.  On begining the article on Wednesday, there were still around 6.5M people without power in FL, and still 200K around Houston without power as well.  Hurricane Jose is now threatening to do a Strafing Run up the East Coast of the FSoA, although at the moment a landfall doesn't seem likely.

Until you are without it, you don't think much about the necessity of lighting in industrial civilization, but it is everywhere.  Many buildings have interior rooms with no windows.  After dark, city streets become unsafe without streetlights.  Cooking your dinner if you didn't get it done before Sunset requires lighting.

Fortunately these days, unlike A/C which requires GOBS of electric power to run, lighting only requires a tiny fraction of this and you can have enough power stored in batteries of various types to stay well lit for at least a few weeks without any […] Continue Reading…

The Strafing Run of Mother Nature 3: The Dimming Bulb Aftermath of Irma

 

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner September 12, 2017

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A while back I wrote a series of articles called "The Dimming Bulb", discussing our decreasing ability to keep electric power moving through the copper wires of our electric grids to the end Konsumer as we slide down the Seneca Cliff on the far side of the Age of Oil.  This aspect of energy decline in availability and affordability is often overlooked in the face of all the problems that come from the transportation industry and lack of fuel for the Carz and Trux.  In fact though, it may well be that lack of ability to keep electricity moving through our metro areas with high populations and a voracious need for this power may be what brings TEOTWAWKI before lack of gas for Happy Motoring does.

Just about everything in our society depends on having electricity on demand.  To begin with, the residential konsumers of the JUICE in Florida are currently watching their freezers defrost and if they are not cooking or drying the meat they have stored, they are going to lose a […] Continue Reading…

The Strafing Run of Mother Nature 2 – The Path of Total Destruction

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Published on The Doomstead Diner September 10, 2017

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…or perhaps, the Eve of Destruction

 

As I begin writing this article, it is 3PM Alaska Time on Thursday, September 7, 2017.  Cat 5 Hurricane Irma has already begun her Strafing Run to destroy Industrial Civilization even faster than it can do it by itself.  Irma follows closely on the heels of Harvey, which focused it's attention on the center of the Oil based economy, Houston, Texas and left it in ruins.  In "normal times", Houston and the cleanup would still be the focus of the MSM newz, since most of the area is still a complete disaster scene.  Even FEMA admits it is a cleanup which will take "years".  These are not "normal times" however, they are the "NEW Normal Times".

In the New Normal, there is a new and bigger disaster every week, which is great for a Collapse Observer and Writer, but not so great for the millions of people living in a given disaster zone.  Even while these climate related disasters get ever larger and more frequent though, you have a […] Continue Reading…

The Strafing Run of Mother Nature

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner September 8, 2017

 

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Here you have it in one animated gif from the NOAA.

The Virgin Islands are already TOAST from the hit from Irma, José is coming in for a 2nd Strafing Run in a few days.  Next up on the hit list tonight from Irma are the Bahamas.  A few of the islands may get a direct hit from the Eye of the Storm, but all of them are within range of the massive 160 mile diameter of Hurricane Force winds.  They will all also be TOAST by tomorrow morning.

Although generally speaking most of the Tourista Hotels on these islands are built from reinforced concrete and can stand up to anything but a full on hit from a Cat 5, you have to remember that most of the people who work in the service industry supporting that tourista bizness don't live in near such sturdy buildings, although the management is at least kind enough to open up their stairwells as shelter during the height of the storm to locals as well as Honeymooners in the Tropical […] Continue Reading…

Campfires in Collapse 2

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Published on The Doomstead Diner September 6, 2017

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Here in the second installment of the Campfires in Collapse series, we look at the issues ofr acquiring fuel for your fire on the cheap, as well as making a campfire suitable for cooking on, which really big bonfires generally are not too good for other than roasting marshmallows.  A big Bonfire makes tons of heat, but for cooking you need a controlled heat which is stable over typical cooking times, usually in the 1/2 hour to 1 hour range for most meals besides stuff you slow cook, which can be much longer and generally take other methods to accomplish out in the field where you don't have a working electric slow cooker that will deliver just the right amount of energy when you set the temperature so you don't have to go over and mind the fire every 5 minutes to make sure it's not burning too hot or too cold.

Back in my main camping years which went from about the age of 11 until age […] Continue Reading…

Collapse Step by Step, Part 5: Political Realities

Off the keyboard of Irvine Mills

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Published on The Easiest Person to Fool August 6, 2017

 

 

 

Breakwater off shore from Kincardine

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I've been promising to write about political realities for a while now. My last couple of posts were about ways of defining political positions (political compasses) and how well various positions are adapted to life in the age of scarcity (energy decline and economic contraction). Now the time has finally come to talk about those political realities and consider why modern politics is so maladapted to the challenges we face, now and in the coming decades.

There are many aspects to being a successful politician or political party, but surely the first is getting elected. If you don't have a reasonable chance of getting elected, then it's all just cheap talk (enjoyed by many of us, I will admit). In order to get elected you need two things: votes and money to run your campaign.

If you talk to voters you'll find that most of them aren't very happy with the way things are going and they'd like you to fix things. So you need a "platform", a story […] Continue Reading…

The Path of Totality: The Repair Adventure

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on September 3, 2016

At last, customer service!

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Regular visitors know that on my way to experience the eclipse with RE my transmission decided to switch into 'limp home mode' where the top gear becomes second gear and 5000 rpm only gets you 40 mph in a car that can cruse all day at 100 mph.  This happened out of cell phone range at 3 AM eastbound on I-90 three miles into Montana.  But I did not limp home.  Instead I continued in 'limp to eclipse' mode figuring wrongly that there were as many Mercedes dealerships ahead of me as there were behind me.  The human brain is built to deceive.  RE and Brian who RE was traveling with, met me after I could get them on the phone when I once again came into phone range and could tell them I was in trouble. 

They were just a couple of hours ahead of me having spent the night in Drummond MT. My saviors RE and Brian met up with me in Anaconda Montana where […] Continue Reading…

“Get Out Now Or Die”

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Published on The Doomstead Diner September 3, 2017

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See the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼ HERE

This week in Collapse featured the arrival of Hurricane Harvey on the Shores of South East Texas, with the Bull's Eye of Houston directly in its path.  The city got positively HAMMERED with a massive Rain Event, topping 4' in a few locations.  Usually Hurricane destructive events are focused on a few miles around where the Eye of the Hurricane hits when it is at full strength, goes a few miles inland and then dissipates after that.  So in normal circumstances it is only cities that are located right on the ocean that will sustain maximum damage from such a storm.  Cities like New York with Sandy, New Orleans with Katrina or Donna and numerous others which have hit Florida over the last century of record keeping on this are the most vulnerable.

Harvey was a bit different though, because the overall weather patterns kept it stalled over the Houston neighborhood for several days, and the rainfall totals kept piling up.  Levees were overtopped, flash flooding […] Continue Reading…

The Eclipse at 60

Off the keyboard & vidcam of RE & camera of Surly

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Published on The Doomstead Diner August 31, 2017

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Happy 60th Birthday to ME!

Somewhat incredibly, today I reached my 60th complete year Walking the Earth as a Homo Sap Meat package.  I have considered myself "60" for just about the whole of this last year, but now it is "official", I am 60 years old.  I never figured I would make it so long in this iteration of my immortal soul.  I should have been dead many times over already, and really I have considered all the time since I was 50 as Bonus Time.  I am glad I got this Bonus, because it gave me the opportunity to observe and write about the Collapse of Industrial Civilization I witness around me every day.

In terms of my own life, I already covered most of it in my autobiographical posts, so not a whole heck of a lot to write there anymore other than going into more detail, most of which […] Continue Reading…

The Great Eclipse of 2017

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Composite Eclipse August 21, 2017 Copyright Impact Photography 2017

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on August 27, 2017

"I've seen a total eclipse from every continent – including Antarctica. And it's been a wonderful way to see the world. The eclipses take you to really unusual, off-beat places that you might not normally plan a vacation to, but they're wonderful places to go."
–Fred Espenak​, Goddard Scientist Emeritus, and retired NASA astrophysicist 

The Great Eclipse of 2017, the first total eclipse visible in the continental U.S. in over 38 years, first intruded upon my awareness toward the end of last year. 

It was only during the spring that my plans began to crystallize. Photography being both my avocation and a part-time job, it occurred to me that if I did not make a good faith effort to get inside the zone of totality with a camera, I would regret it for the rest of my days. What kind of real photographer would not try? The die was cast.

So how do you photograph the sun? You need a filter and a long lens, plus a tripod. I read articles to learn how.

You have to start with a solar filter. Even if 99% of […] Continue Reading…

The Last Great Adventure 2: The Total Eclipse of the SUN☼

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner August 27, 2017

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The Last Great Adventure is not yet over, since currently as I write this article I am sitting in the Spokane airport waiting for a plane to Seattle, where I will spend another couple of days with another one of the Diners who was with me at the campsite we occupied down in Rexburg, Idaho to observe this once-in-a-lifetime cosmological event (actually, there is another one in 2024 I hope to still be above ground for in 2024 to attend).  Then on Friday night I fly back to the Last Great Frontier and park myself back at my Diner Workstation in the digs.  I don't have any other Bucket List items and at the moment I have no plans to leave my  perch for observing the Collapse of Industrial Civilization for the forseeable future.  You can't do better than Alaska for low population density and good energy, food and water resources.  Besides, it's where all my Preps are.

Overall, the Last Great Adventure to the Path of Totality of the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼ […] Continue Reading…

Collapse of Cyber Anonymity

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Published on The Doomstead Diner August 23, 2017

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A few weeks ago I bought myself a new computer, a Dell "All-in-One" unit which is sort of a Laptop on Steroids.  All the components besides the keyboard and mouse are packed into the same framework as the screen. No tower necessary here, so very clean on the desk or wherever you wish to put it.  Much larger screen than even the largest laptop, good for watching videos if you do that sort of thing on your computer, which I do periodically these days.  I don't watch whole movies generally speaking or have a Netflix account, but I do watch music videos and some newz stories.  It is also nice to have a real big screen just for reading these days, as my eyesight finally appears to be deteriorating after 60 years of not needing glasses or contacts.  I'm going to have to go in to an optometrist and get glasses pretty soon I think.  My right eye is much worse than the left one, and overall the right side of my meat […] Continue Reading…

The Path of Totality: The Last Great Adventure

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Published on The Doomstead Diner August 12, 2017

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On Wednesday August 16th at 8:00 AM, I am scheduled for the long awaited Hearing with the SSA to try and resolve the dispute on how my SS Bennies were figured after I received my Workman's Compensation Award.  After that I have booked and planned a trip down to the Lower 48 to Witness the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼  at a prime location for this, right on the line of the Path of Totality.  It remains an open question however whether I will achieve either goal.

On my own, there is no way I could pull it off.  I have been in bad health for years, but the last few weeks have seen an enormous deterioration.  I am fortunate though that I got a couple of friends who are going to try and help me to make it there for the Last Great Adventure of my life as a Meat Package Walking the Earth.  I don't know if we will be successful with this as of yet.  Every day becomes harder to even […] Continue Reading…

Campfires in Collapse 1

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Published on The Doomstead Diner August 10, 2017

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This is the first video in a series of 4 about how to use a typical campsite fire as a means to warm up your Mobile Domicile, in this case my Stealth Van SaVANnah.  All the same techniques could be used in many other types of mobile dwellings of course, besides such dwellings as Geodesic Domes, Yurts and TeePees.

In the series, we also discuss Cooking Techniques for working over an Open Fire without burning the shit out of your food if you make one big enough to also do the heating task besides the cooking task.  Generally speaking under ideal circumstances, cooking fires should be small ones using small wood, while heating fires should be big ones using big wood.  But when Boondocking, you can't always get both or have the ideal situation.

Your Tools and your Knowledge are the most important things in terms of making the best use of the fire you make, and getting the most out of the Energy that is released in the […] Continue Reading…

60: The Life & Times of a Boomer Doomer

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Published on The Doomstead Diner August 9, 2017

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My 60th Birth Anniversary Month of August has arrived, and I am getting Prepped for a trip down to the Lower 48 to see the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼   My original plan was to post this Full Biography on August 31st, my Birthday after I get back, but these days I am not sure I will make it through until tomorrow, much less down to Idaho or back up here to the digs after that.  Every day is a challenge staying above ground now.  In the Drafts here on the Diner is my Self-Obituary.  One of the other diner Admins will need to publish that after I Buy My Ticket to the Great Beyond.

So to tidy up here just in case TONIGHT is the one the Grim Reaper finally arrives, here's the Full Autobiography of RE.  It's only around 13,000 words, so not complete detail here, but it should give the casual reader some of the Flavor of my Life these last 60 years.  There are also many other autobiographical articles of mine […] Continue Reading…

Collapse Step by Step, Part 4: Political Positions

Off the keyboard of Irvine Mills

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Published on The Easiest Person to Fool August 6, 2017

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Adapting to energy decline and economic contraction.

 

Kincardine Yacht Club, Returning from Wednesday Night Race

In my last post I talked about some ways of expressing the nuances of political positions. I started out with the basic left-right spectrum and then moved on to the "Political Compass" , which gives us a two dimensional map of our position, using the left—right axis and the libertarian—authoritarian axis. But without too much sweat I was able to come up with four more axes that, along with those two, define what I think are the most important aspects of a political position.

There are probably more, but in this post I'd like to focus on how a government's position on each of those six axes might determine how successful it is likely to be in adapting to the challenges that face us during the next few decades. Challenges that it seems very likely will lead to the collapse of industrial civilization.

Acknowledge Limits <—> Deny Limits

We are already nicely into a crisis caused by the end of economic […] Continue Reading…

This Week In Doom August 6, 2017

From the keyboard of Surly1
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PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SARAH ROGERS/THE DAILY BEAST

 

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on August 6, 2017

“Negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting."
 ― Donald J. Trump  

It's not a premise particularly new or unique, but I will say with some pride that I had it early.

What Donald Trump wants to do above all else is hold onto his base, meaning a roughly 35 per cent approval rating in public polls. No matter how bigly he or his surrogates want to describe his inauguration crowds or his popular vote victory, he is a minority president opposed by well more than half of the country. In that way, he will retain the loyalty of the Congressional "Freedom Causus" of libertarian-tinged free- market fundamentalists, and ride out any legal unpleasantness that may come his way.

Of all the things Trump may or may not be, Trump is most certainly a TV guy. He pays attention to Nielsen ratings, he knows how to promote, to capture attention with outrage, and how to play the media. He made his bones saying,"you're fired!" By now it's axiomatic […] Continue Reading…

Boondocking the Last Great Frontier 4

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Published on The Doomstead Diner August 6, 2017

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I was going to do all 7 Days of the Last Great Frontier Boondocking Adventure in detail for every day, but I think after 3 days the techniques have been pretty well elucidated.  So I will tidy up this series with a recap of the last 4 days of the adventure.

Day 4- I determined not to spend ANY money, either on food or a campsite.  My choice for this day/night was the Mickey D's which is right across the street from the Wasilla Lake Park.  It was another beautiful day on the Last Great Frontier, and I spent most of it in the Park, scarfing up one of the nicer Picnic Tables for my Outdoor Diner Office and Command & Control Center.  My food for the afternoon was the last 1/3rd of the Subway Spicy Italian Hero I bought at the beginning of the week.  It was a little soggy by this point, you really should try to finish one of these in 2-3 days, not 4.  But it still tasted OK and didn't […] Continue Reading…

Fake Newz Kills

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi

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Published on Cassandra's Legacy on July 19, 2017

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When Fake News Kill. Mata Hari, the Spy Who Never Was

 

 

 

One century after her death, Mata Hari remains for us the prototypical figure of the female spy. An extreme case of “femme fatale”; she is seen as someone who not only seduced men for her lust of money and power, but also for the greater lust of having them killed by the thousands on the battlefield. But she never was what she was said to be. Rather, she was one of the first victims of what we call today "fake news," also known as "propaganda", a set of techniques of mass manipulation being developed at that time and which today have reached near perfection. 

A hundred years ago, on July 24, 1917, Margaretha Gertruida Zelle, known as Mata Hari, was sentenced to death by a military court in Paris on the accusation of being a spy for the Germans. She was said to have passed to them information that caused the death of “maybe fifty thousand French soldiers.”. She was shot a few months later.

 

Today, […] Continue Reading…

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RE Economics

Going Cashless

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Simplifying the Final Countdown

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Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

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Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

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Singularity of the Dollar

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Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

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SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

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

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Merry Doomy Christmas

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Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

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Changes in climate because of global warming during the 20th and 21st centuries have a direct impact [...]

This paper evaluates contributions to global temperature anomalies from greenhouse gas concentration [...]