AuthorTopic: A Time of Seven Generations  (Read 13138 times)

Offline Eddie

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Re: Self-Sufficiency: Can it be achieved in time?
« Reply #45 on: March 10, 2017, 02:01:37 PM »
The Seven Generations concept is a fine one, and a good example of how much wiser native elders were than the criminals we call leaders today.

With that said, I have to go on record here. I think there's something going on here you might call "hunter-gatherer bias" It's rampant in the doom community. 

Except this is not Hunter-Gather technology.  It's agriculture, but done without metal tools.

I don't buy your high tech city-state gated community for rich people living the high tech lifestyle while  the poor people are outside living as H-Gs with stone tools.  You haven't addressed the key issue, which is maintaining metallurgy without much energy and without the heavy equipment for mining what is already increasingly difficult to mine up material.

RE

Mining and the power for metallurgy are in the same place, geographically speaking. Or at least they were, which is why they exist in the first place. They certainly are still in a few places. The knowledge base exists. Tech will devolve, not go poof in a puff of smoke.

I never said high tech. When I talk about technology, I'm not talking i-Phones and self-driving cars. I'm talking about places with radios, and lights that work, and machine shops and refrigerators.  Existing hi-tech stuff like computers? Harder to say. Might be legacy only but still working. The hardware is mostly crap, so maybe not.

But it's a long way down to sinew and flint, and a lot of potential to hang on to much more of 19th to early 20th century life than what you want to believe.

Just my opinion. I think it makes some sense. Your ideas are so fixed, not surprised constipation is a problem. I don't want to argue with you anymore either. Nobody really knows what will happen. We can only hope to make good decisions that lead us in the right general direction.



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Offline RE

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Re: 7 Generations Ahead: The Key to Sustainability
« Reply #46 on: March 10, 2017, 02:04:24 PM »

Well first it's Ayden and Harper (my two son's first names).

Second, you don't agree with what?  My entire post?  I stated a lot, what exactly is it that I said that you don't agree with? 

Thirdly you had a few typos there...you really should work on that if you're going to be the Spelling Gestapo.  Especially with the amount of shit I have recently endured due to fuckin' up the Queens proper English. 

Yes, I would certainly make tools with bamboo.  In fact, I do make tools with bamboo quite often actually.  I went looking for traditional agricultural tools made of bamboo but did not turn anything up (I did this with my original post on this thread).  I found a plow with bamboo in it's design, and of course bamboo rakes which I already knew about (Keiji has some he's made for sale at his shop). 

You could easily make a small trowel with a larger diameter bamboo, but a large shovel I'm not sure you could do.  I suppose you could make a shovel out of moso since it gets 12" in diameter.  You can make knives with bamboo...I've been cut by bamboo several times (when you split it the skin can be quite sharp).  I can easily envision a fork made out of bamboo. 

Metal is not necessary for agriculture to exist...obviously.  The Easter Islanders had a civilization that was constructed on no more than they could float there with on hollowed out tree canoes. 

I'm too busy making money in our current state of BAU to be too concerned with making shovels after tshtf.  I'm making money with Permaculture and bamboo on top of my conventional landscaping endeavor.  That is wayyyyyyy more than most people are doing with respect to the lower energy per capita future that's just about here. 

The way I see it, the fact that I'm a practicing professional permaculturist, as well as learning all of the skills involved with traditional bamboo culture, as well as cultivating a business that works well with BAU...my children are better positioned than most non-wealthy children are.  Learning to make a shovel out of a dumpster just isn't necessary IMO.  That's what blacksmiths are for.

Typos are the keyboard's fault. lol.

This is the part I don't agree with:

Quote
Making a shovel from rail isn't something that 99.999% of us 99%ers will ever have the time or inclination for.  We have to be concerned with making the money that is necessary for keeping our children alive into their adulthood...never mind their children.  It's likely that their children will not come into existence because the world will be so fucked up that you'd have to be fucking crazy to reproduce and bring that responsibility onto yourself.

I think you have plenty of time to experiment with making such things to begin with, and also time to try using them in your garden.  Second, if you don't think your kids will have children, then you are a believer in Near Term Human Extinction, just you put it a little further out than Guy Mcpherson into the 3rd Generation.  I don't buy NTHE, and I look 7 Generations ahead to see what we need to do now to survive that long.

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Offline RE

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Re: Self-Sufficiency: Can it be achieved in time?
« Reply #47 on: March 10, 2017, 02:09:13 PM »
I don't want to argue with you anymore either.

We've been doing a lot of that lately.  lol.

When two people are fixed on different end game scenarios as most likely, it's pretty hard to reconcile without simply dropping the topic.

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Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: Self-Sufficiency: Can it be achieved in time?
« Reply #48 on: March 10, 2017, 04:49:53 PM »
You haven't addressed the key issue, which is maintaining metallurgy without much energy and without the heavy equipment for mining what is already increasingly difficult to mine up material.
Entirely possible:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/VVV4xeWBIxE" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/VVV4xeWBIxE</a>
The real question is, is it worth spending an entire day to get a little lump?
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline RE

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Re: Self-Sufficiency: Can it be achieved in time?
« Reply #49 on: March 10, 2017, 05:24:16 PM »
Entirely possible:
The real question is, is it worth spending an entire day to get a little lump?

I have surfed this rewilder vid channel before, and yes the basic smelting of metal is possible even without fossil fuels, long as you got enough wood around to make charcoal and do it with.

However, for the kind of tools we are used to using today, it takes a lot more than just being able to smelt the metal out of the ore.  The MACHINING of the refined metal is just as hard if not harder.

Go to Home Depot in their hardware dept and look at all the screws, nuts and bolts with very fine turning that if not matched up perfectly, just does not work.  So when your joinery stuff fails (and it always fails, think tire lug nuts), what do you replace that with?  You're not going to be able to do that as Mr. Rewilder for sure, and even a pro Blacksmith won't be able to do it either.

The best I think you could do here is make stuff like Scythe Blades, axles for wheels and other single cast items of metal, and that for only as long as you can acquire enough energy to smelt it and the raw ore to smelt.

RE
« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 05:26:22 PM by RE »
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Offline Nearingsfault

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Re: Self-Sufficiency: Can it be achieved in time?
« Reply #50 on: March 10, 2017, 07:56:21 PM »
"Just" a scythe blade that stays sharp all day. "Just" a cart axle that does not wear out or require hourly regreassing. I'm on Eddie's team.  I think we will use our current tools while they work to build ones of lesser complexity and build down to what our energy budget will allow. Lost knowledge is a possibility I suppose but it's still out there. Perhaps it's hard to see sometimes.  As an example about a half hour from me there is a machinist. His hobby is restoring old machinery.  This one man has acumulated 30 tractors from the 1920's to the 1960's.  Also is a whole room devoted to single cylinder engines from the early 20th century.  Spread throughout North America are countless numbers of these mechanical hoarders.  They forge, weld, hammer, cast, rebuild, mill, turn for pure enjoyment. Faced with a catastrophe they would not give up without a fight.  Would they succeed? Most not but some would and would forge a world that works with the energy budget they had.  We created the mechanical world because it give a huge advantage.  Some will use it and keep it going.  I'll admit I'm biased Cheers
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

Offline RE

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Re: Self-Sufficiency: Can it be achieved in time?
« Reply #51 on: March 10, 2017, 08:16:41 PM »
"Just" a scythe blade that stays sharp all day. "Just" a cart axle that does not wear out or require hourly regreassing. I'm on Eddie's team.  I think we will use our current tools while they work to build ones of lesser complexity and build down to what our energy budget will allow. Lost knowledge is a possibility I suppose but it's still out there. Perhaps it's hard to see sometimes.  As an example about a half hour from me there is a machinist. His hobby is restoring old machinery.  This one man has acumulated 30 tractors from the 1920's to the 1960's.  Also is a whole room devoted to single cylinder engines from the early 20th century.  Spread throughout North America are countless numbers of these mechanical hoarders.  They forge, weld, hammer, cast, rebuild, mill, turn for pure enjoyment. Faced with a catastrophe they would not give up without a fight.  Would they succeed? Most not but some would and would forge a world that works with the energy budget they had.  We created the mechanical world because it give a huge advantage.  Some will use it and keep it going.  I'll admit I'm biased Cheers

All of those mechanical hoarders who do restoration of old machines depend on NEW machines to do that restoration with.

So I play on the other team from you and Eddie.  Not sure who is on my team here on this one, PY probably and maybe KD.

Diners are free to sign up with either team in this thread.

Batter UP!  ;D

RE
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Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: Self-Sufficiency: Can it be achieved in time?
« Reply #52 on: March 11, 2017, 11:04:48 AM »
"Just" a scythe blade that stays sharp all day. "Just" a cart axle that does not wear out or require hourly regreassing. I'm on Eddie's team.  I think we will use our current tools while they work to build ones of lesser complexity and build down to what our energy budget will allow. Lost knowledge is a possibility I suppose but it's still out there. Perhaps it's hard to see sometimes.  As an example about a half hour from me there is a machinist. His hobby is restoring old machinery.  This one man has acumulated 30 tractors from the 1920's to the 1960's.  Also is a whole room devoted to single cylinder engines from the early 20th century.  Spread throughout North America are countless numbers of these mechanical hoarders.  They forge, weld, hammer, cast, rebuild, mill, turn for pure enjoyment. Faced with a catastrophe they would not give up without a fight.  Would they succeed? Most not but some would and would forge a world that works with the energy budget they had.  We created the mechanical world because it give a huge advantage.  Some will use it and keep it going.  I'll admit I'm biased Cheers

All of those mechanical hoarders who do restoration of old machines depend on NEW machines to do that restoration with.

So I play on the other team from you and Eddie.  Not sure who is on my team here on this one, PY probably and maybe KD.

Diners are free to sign up with either team in this thread.

Batter UP!  ;D

RE
A little bit back you said about picking your favorite scenario, or at least picking the one that you feel is most likely.... well, I'm split on those.  When it comes to most likely, I'm definitely in your camp RE, but it is NOT my favorite.  I would much rather see the world come together more rationally and save enough that we can continue on at a medieval level of technology.  I think the difference is worth the effort.  The difference between a stone knife and a scythe is almost unimaginable when it comes to harvesting grains.  And a metal axle bearing for transportation is another incredible labor savor -- it is easily worth the day's effort to smelt.

But, I do want to know what I need to know in case we do have to go back to Hunter-Gatherer tech.
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline luciddreams

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Re: Self-Sufficiency: Can it be achieved in time?
« Reply #53 on: March 11, 2017, 01:20:25 PM »
I don't see us going back to stone tools, or hunting and gathering. 

I think what is more likely is that we have a HUGE die off over the next 50 years or so.  It will be huge, chaotic, and due to many things such as climate change, disease, starvation, and war.  If you knock out 80% of the population than all of a sudden you have enough fossil energy to last for hundreds of years with our current tech.  Plus there will be modest gains in green tech. 

I think some percentage of man will go on with our current level of technology.  A lot of people have to die. 

Offline RE

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Re: Self-Sufficiency: Can it be achieved in time?
« Reply #54 on: March 11, 2017, 04:07:26 PM »
"Just" a scythe blade that stays sharp all day. "Just" a cart axle that does not wear out or require hourly regreassing. I'm on Eddie's team.  I think we will use our current tools while they work to build ones of lesser complexity and build down to what our energy budget will allow. Lost knowledge is a possibility I suppose but it's still out there. Perhaps it's hard to see sometimes.  As an example about a half hour from me there is a machinist. His hobby is restoring old machinery.  This one man has acumulated 30 tractors from the 1920's to the 1960's.  Also is a whole room devoted to single cylinder engines from the early 20th century.  Spread throughout North America are countless numbers of these mechanical hoarders.  They forge, weld, hammer, cast, rebuild, mill, turn for pure enjoyment. Faced with a catastrophe they would not give up without a fight.  Would they succeed? Most not but some would and would forge a world that works with the energy budget they had.  We created the mechanical world because it give a huge advantage.  Some will use it and keep it going.  I'll admit I'm biased Cheers

All of those mechanical hoarders who do restoration of old machines depend on NEW machines to do that restoration with.

So I play on the other team from you and Eddie.  Not sure who is on my team here on this one, PY probably and maybe KD.

Diners are free to sign up with either team in this thread.

Batter UP!  ;D

RE
A little bit back you said about picking your favorite scenario, or at least picking the one that you feel is most likely.... well, I'm split on those.  When it comes to most likely, I'm definitely in your camp RE, but it is NOT my favorite.  I would much rather see the world come together more rationally and save enough that we can continue on at a medieval level of technology.  I think the difference is worth the effort.  The difference between a stone knife and a scythe is almost unimaginable when it comes to harvesting grains.  And a metal axle bearing for transportation is another incredible labor savor -- it is easily worth the day's effort to smelt.

But, I do want to know what I need to know in case we do have to go back to Hunter-Gatherer tech.

A 16th-early 18th century level of technology is a possibility, and would be my next most likely scenario.


I think some percentage of man will go on with our current level of technology.  A lot of people have to die.

I consider this scenario highly unlikely.  A lot of people will die, yes, but the remaining ones will not likely retain current technology.

RE
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Offline luciddreams

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Re: Self-Sufficiency: Can it be achieved in time?
« Reply #55 on: March 11, 2017, 04:50:24 PM »


I consider this scenario highly unlikely.  A lot of people will die, yes, but the remaining ones will not likely retain current technology.

RE

Alright, why not? 

Why can't a small percentage of elite man retain all current knowledge?  We have the technology to store most of our scientific and technological advances. 

I can envision an elite university where the students are trained to retain this information in their brains, and to pass it on as time goes forward.  There is no reason why all knowledge we have gained should be lost. 

So why not? 

There could feasibly be a controlled transition.  Actually, Jason Heppenstall envisioned such a transition with his latest novel Seat of Mars.  I have a signed copy and read it in three sittings (it was a Christmas present from my wife and Hepp).  I read to page 111 on the first sitting.  It's an amazing read and all should read it. 

Anyways, there is no reason why a select few millions of humans can't be cultivated to retain what we have gained in knowledge.  Any major political power could produce such a University. 

There is no reason why we lose the knowledge we have gained.  It's just that most of us won't be around any longer. 

So again I ask you RE, why is this an unreasonable view.  I'll give you that it's a purely optimistic one, but it's within the realm of possibility.  Civilization as a whole is fucked, but mankind is certainly not.  We can survive, and we will survive.  Until the sun goes super nova. 

Offline RE

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Re: Self-Sufficiency: Can it be achieved in time?
« Reply #56 on: March 11, 2017, 05:13:57 PM »


I consider this scenario highly unlikely.  A lot of people will die, yes, but the remaining ones will not likely retain current technology.

RE

Alright, why not? 

Why can't a small percentage of elite man retain all current knowledge?  We have the technology to store most of our scientific and technological advances. 

I can envision an elite university where the students are trained to retain this information in their brains, and to pass it on as time goes forward.  There is no reason why all knowledge we have gained should be lost. 

So why not? 

There could feasibly be a controlled transition.  Actually, Jason Heppenstall envisioned such a transition with his latest novel Seat of Mars.  I have a signed copy and read it in three sittings (it was a Christmas present from my wife and Hepp).  I read to page 111 on the first sitting.  It's an amazing read and all should read it. 

Anyways, there is no reason why a select few millions of humans can't be cultivated to retain what we have gained in knowledge.  Any major political power could produce such a University. 

There is no reason why we lose the knowledge we have gained.  It's just that most of us won't be around any longer. 

So again I ask you RE, why is this an unreasonable view.  I'll give you that it's a purely optimistic one, but it's within the realm of possibility.  Civilization as a whole is fucked, but mankind is certainly not.  We can survive, and we will survive.  Until the sun goes super nova.

Being "within the realm of possibility" does not make it a likelihood.

High technology society is extremely complex and energy dependent.  It's not just knowledge that keeps it running.The microchips in your laptop require resources from all over the globe to be manufactured and delivery systems that can't be maintained in a low per capita energy world.As people start dieing off, these chains will break and the clean rooms and factories necessary to produce these things won't be maintained any better than the Nuke Puke power plants will.  Roads and Bridges will not be maintained, so even if you had a Tesla Model X and solar PV cells on your roof to charge it up, you wouldn't be able to drive it around.  Airport runways won't be maintained, there will be no tar or concrete to do it with, so you will have nowhere to land your Private Jet if you still have one that works.

I do agree civilization is fucked but mankind is not.  We'll do just fine with Stone Knives and Bearskins.

RE
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Offline luciddreams

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Re: Self-Sufficiency: Can it be achieved in time?
« Reply #57 on: March 11, 2017, 05:20:46 PM »


I consider this scenario highly unlikely.  A lot of people will die, yes, but the remaining ones will not likely retain current technology.

RE

Alright, why not? 

Why can't a small percentage of elite man retain all current knowledge?  We have the technology to store most of our scientific and technological advances. 

I can envision an elite university where the students are trained to retain this information in their brains, and to pass it on as time goes forward.  There is no reason why all knowledge we have gained should be lost. 

So why not? 

There could feasibly be a controlled transition.  Actually, Jason Heppenstall envisioned such a transition with his latest novel Seat of Mars.  I have a signed copy and read it in three sittings (it was a Christmas present from my wife and Hepp).  I read to page 111 on the first sitting.  It's an amazing read and all should read it. 

Anyways, there is no reason why a select few millions of humans can't be cultivated to retain what we have gained in knowledge.  Any major political power could produce such a University. 

There is no reason why we lose the knowledge we have gained.  It's just that most of us won't be around any longer. 

So again I ask you RE, why is this an unreasonable view.  I'll give you that it's a purely optimistic one, but it's within the realm of possibility.  Civilization as a whole is fucked, but mankind is certainly not.  We can survive, and we will survive.  Until the sun goes super nova.

Being "within the realm of possibility" does not make it a likelihood.

High technology society is extremely complex and energy dependent.  It's not just knowledge that keeps it running.The microchips in your laptop require resources from all over the globe to be manufactured and delivery systems that can't be maintained in a low per capita energy world.As people start dieing off, these chains will break and the clean rooms and factories necessary to produce these things won't be maintained any better than the Nuke Puke power plants will.  Roads and Bridges will not be maintained, so even if you had a Tesla Model X and solar PV cells on your roof to charge it up, you wouldn't be able to drive it around.  Airport runways won't be maintained, there will be no tar or concrete to do it with, so you will have nowhere to land your Private Jet if you still have one that works.

I do agree civilization is fucked but mankind is not.  We'll do just fine with Stone Knives and Bearskins.

RE

There is plenty of fossil energy left to keep a small city, like Atlantis, on planet Earth for some time to come.  Yes a lot of people will die, most will die, but we won't lose the technology overnight.  We'll have time to adapt and maintain.  When it becomes unavoidable that BAU is over, there will be some effort made by some sane governments.  This will be enough to keep the knowledge. 

Most will die though. 


Offline RE

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Re: Self-Sufficiency: Can it be achieved in time?
« Reply #58 on: March 11, 2017, 05:40:52 PM »


There is plenty of fossil energy left to keep a small city, like Atlantis, on planet Earth for some time to come.  Yes a lot of people will die, most will die, but we won't lose the technology overnight.  We'll have time to adapt and maintain.  When it becomes unavoidable that BAU is over, there will be some effort made by some sane governments.  This will be enough to keep the knowledge. 

Most will die though.

I didn't say it would happen overnight.  I said it would occur over 100-200 years, in the time of your grandchildren or great-grandchildren, assuming Ayden and Harper choose to have children anyhow.

A "small city like Atlantis" doesn't have the resources necessary to maintain such a level of technology.  You need mines in Africa, mines in Alaska and energy you can still pump up at a positive EROEI.  That is likely to be gone in 50 years at the outside.

RE
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 05:43:08 PM by RE »
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Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: Self-Sufficiency: Can it be achieved in time?
« Reply #59 on: March 11, 2017, 06:02:55 PM »
I consider this scenario highly unlikely.  A lot of people will die, yes, but the remaining ones will not likely retain current technology.
Alright, why not? 

Why can't a small percentage of elite man retain all current knowledge?  We have the technology to store most of our scientific and technological advances. 

I can envision an elite university where the students are trained to retain this information in their brains, and to pass it on as time goes forward.  There is no reason why all knowledge we have gained should be lost. 
The best chance for this scenario playing out would be a library in the middle of a very arid desert.  A collection of acid-free books could be preserved for a very long time there.  The Long Now Foundation did have the idea for a 10000 Year Library, but they have scaled it back to just a clock.  To the best of my knowledge, no one is undertaking anything resembling this kind of effort.

One thing I've thought about, though, is if we were able to maintain the knowledge of how to make semiconductors, eventually we might be able to rebuild much of the rest, albeit on a much smaller scale.  The big question, of course, would be whether it would be worth the effort.  Along those lines, I've thought audiobooks might be the sweet spot: microphones and speakers are simple enough devices, and they would allow remote transmission of knowledge without people needing to be literate.  And dedicated audiobooks would be much simpler devices than computers.

An unlikely but very interesting scenario....
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

 

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