Friday, 14 June 2013

I Need To Think About My Future (Part 7)

Read previous post in this series here.
Or start at the beginning here.

A Restatement of Purpose

This is perhaps an opportune moment for me to restate what I am doing here in this series of posts.  

The title says I need to think about my future. To what purpose? Well, we all live in a world of vapid uncertainty. Nothing is clear, sharply focussed, or undeniably true.  This is partly I think due to the complexity of society that we have woven about us.  We don't know where we are going.  No one seems to be in charge or at least holds a steady hand on the wheel.  Lists of problems are growing and pressing all around us. 

This is no way to live. This is no way to plan and Know, with a capital 'K', that your plans will, with any degree of assurance, take you further towards achieving your goals. 

What we need, more importantly, what I need, is to establish a level of certainty in a world that is anything but certain.  Is that achievable?  Can I do that?  Or is this just part of the human condition?  Is this part and parcel of what has become known as the Uncertainty Principle, where, simply stated, 'You can never be sure of everything'?

In the complexity of the Quantum world we can never know precisely where something is, because the very act of measuring its speed and position has a direct effect on one or both of those things?

I have used the word 'complexity' twice now in this section and it may be that this is somehow the answer, or rather somehow the problem.  Does it not stand to reason that reducing complexity may somehow reduce uncertainty, that a move towards simplicity may somehow provide more clarity?

I cannot state with any assurance that this is true, but it would not hurt to in some measure explore the possibility.  So, what do I recommend? What solutions do I have to offer?

A Compendium of Solutions?

Ah, if only I could conjure one of those up.  No, this is not going to actually be a 'kit' to solve all problems for all situations in a dystopian world. 

In such a world, your survival will largely depend on your ability to think independently, yet, wherever possible, co-operatively with others.  It is my intention therefore to encourage you to start or to expand your thinking along those lines.  I will of course be providing what I consider to be some helpful guidance on matters that may or may not have had occasion to cross your mind previously, and this will hopefully help to focus and direct your thoughts.

Let's start by stating a basic premise.

A Basic Premise

I cannot be sure that what I have already said or am about to say, is how events will actually transpire and it would be foolish of you to take my word for it without having given some thought to the possibilities yourself, but I believe what we are going to see occur on this planet at some stage not too far in the future will be something along these lines.

At some future point in time there will be a period of intense disruption on this planet. It may be that the initial impact of the disruption will primarily impinge on only one or maybe a few specific regions of the globe, depending on the nature of the troubles but it will quickly, if not initially, envelop the entire globe in its effect and it will result in the displacement of millions, perhaps billions of people from their normal place of domicile.  The cause of this disruption may or may not be due to prior actions of human society but the odds are in favour of us having at least something to do with it.  We can only hope that the worst effects are relatively short lived and that it will be followed by a period of renewed life for at least a remnant of our species and a majority of our coexistent creatures. That is not guaranteed in all cases that I can imagine but what follows is premised on the non-extinguishing of all life globally. Something that has almost occurred several times in Earth's history.

There is a good chance that you and/or your family or community may be among the multitude of persons displaced by the event.  If you normally live close to national borders, including and perhaps especially coastal areas, areas bordering on extreme climate conditions, or in proximity to or part of a large metropolis, that risk of needing to migrate elsewhere is significantly increased.

If you cannot foresee this ever happening to you or you believe that even if it does occur, you will somehow not be affected by it, then I suggest that you will be wasting your time in reading further.  Otherwise, please continue.

Generally speaking, people will only uproot themselves when driven by absolute necessity. The majority in that situation will be ill-prepared for what faces them.  If such things are occurring worldwide then little or no assistance can be expected to be forthcoming and many people will perish in the process of extracting themselves from the most affected areas and endeavouring to hold life and limb together through the worst of the conditions.  Those who make it through to the end will face a very different world than anything that they have ever imagined or experienced.  Normal civilisation will have ended. The normal rules of life will no longer apply.

Basic Needs

A person's basic needs are not dependent on the circumstances in which that person finds themselves.  Basic needs, those necessary to sustain life, remain static.

Again, depending on the cause of the collapse, the fabric of prior civilisation may be:
  • Visibly intact, though unworkable because no-one remains who knows how to restart or organise it or where/how to get the energy to power all or even part of it.  Some of it may be usable or salvageable for other less energy intensive purposes. 
  • Visible but in a state of destruction such that little of it could ever be usable or salvageable.
  • No longer available due to being buried, submerged or by other means completely scattered across the face of the Earth.

The first point to note is that in none of the above situations can you depend on, nor should you even expect, there being any form of government or law enforcement in effect, now, or quite possibly even in the long term.  You are largely now dependant on your own resources, devices, aptitude and attitude.  Trust among survivors, few if any of whom you will likely know from previous life experiences, will have to be proven and earned.

In the first of the above listed possibilities, it is likely that you, as a survivor, will be able to scavenge food and water supplies from the remains of society; vacant homes, retail food outlets, bulk storage facilities etc., to cover your short or even perhaps your medium term needs, providing that you get there first and have the means to hold on to whatever you find.

You may well find that it is fairly easy to find shelter for a while or even for extended periods as some or much of the structural property remains intact.  There will be a lot of vacant property.  However, making shelter into a safe haven and finding sufficient food and water to sustain you for more than a short period is very unlikely and does not come without additional risk as those survivors who may not have been so fortunate as yourself come looking to take whatever they think you may have to meet their own needs.

You will then have the identical problems to overcome in the medium and long term as mentioned below in the remaining scenarios.  And the same terminal risk of failure.

In the second and third of these circumstances, because of the increased devastation, there will be no opportunity to go down to the nearest take-away or supermarket for food and water, also little to no prospect of taking shelter, even temporarily, in a normal home, your own or anyone else's.

In all of these cases, as a survivor, you will make your own arrangements covering the short, medium and long term, to find continuing supplies of food and water from natural sources and to make or construct adequate shelter for yourself.  Or you will die.

Through pre-planning, you may have the means and comfort to buy yourself a little time to organise yourself properly, by subsisting on the small amount although temporary nature of such supplies as you were able to carry with you through the first stage of the disruption.  Your adequate pre-planning for such events may be just the difference between making it through to the next stage or going under right here.

~  :  ~

I have mentioned three basic needs so far.  Water, food and shelter.  There are others of course but these three are absolute necessities of life.  Let's look at these things in finer detail in the next post.

No comments:

Post a Comment