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20 October 2011

EMP - We're not ready

Monday I spent the shift listening to a podcast on Electro-magnetic Pulse called EMPact Radio. I found myself pausing every few minutes realizing just how bad our state of readiness is. We shouldn't even speak of readiness regarding this. Not now. We've built our civilization around the availability of power. Like the food supply it's ubiquitous to most of us. If we can put together a dollar, there's always something to eat. It may not be good for us. But it's there. Just look at how people behave before just the threat of an interruption in the food supply. We're not ready for that either. For most of us our hunter-gatherer days are too far back in the ancestral line to be of any use to us. We never ask ourselves what we would do if we had to go back to that. Mechanization has given us a great many things. Unfortunately we've also thrown away a lot. Our toys didn't take away the knowledge of a century ago. Gradually we bought into the lie that it was no longer needed.Technology is not a substitute for the skills of living. It serves us. But we have to leave it in that confine. As a culture, we've failed in that endeavor. A growing number of us have seen the failure and are returning to those skills. We suffer ridicule at the hands of those who lack the courage to utter seven words...what if we had to go back? The things contained in the soap bubble of our modern world are too tempting. We can't imagine our lives without them and our ancestors, just going back 75 years, couldn't imagine their lives with them. I hope it doesn't happen. I hope I don't live to see it. But at some point I could wake up in darkness with my battery-powered things not functioning. It doesn't have to be al-Qaida. It could be the sun. Since I was born too late, how I respond to that will be governed by my character and whatever training I've completed. I could start ordering parts to build things to protect my electronics from a pulse. I'll do that eventually. But having gizmos that work when most other people's aren't isn't important to me. What I want first is to know how to feed and shelter myself. I need to be able to build fires, obtain water and defend myself and my family. I can always buy more crap after the radiation settles back down.

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