The "end of the world" library (repeat) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I've had a few recent emails asking for my "reading list." I enjoyed reading the responses to this thread before. So, one more time... my "end of the world" reading list:


The Encyclopedia of Country Living, Carla Emery **** If you want to practice country living (or prepare for Y2K) and can afford one book, this is it.

"Five Acres and Independence," Maurice Kains ** A solid guide for practical, small-scale farming.

"The Good Life," Scott & Helen Nearing ** Ill pass on the socialist rhetoric, but theres plenty of good self reliance information along the way.

"The New Way Things Work," David Macauly **** This book is hard to put down. A delight.

"How to Grow More Vegetables," John Jeavons ** A primer on the biodynamic method of gardening in clear prose.

"Where There is No Doctor," David Werner * No review.

U.S. Army Survival Manual, FM 21-76 *** Uncle Sams guide to stayin alive.


"Robinson Crusoe," Daniel Defoe *** The original Y2K survivor.

"The Portable Thoreau," edited works of Henry David Thoreau **** Readable, enjoyable, calming.

"Follow the River," James Alexander Thom *** A great story about the human spirit.

"Deliverance," James Dickey **** Classic that just made B&N top 100 of century list.

"Alas, Babylon," Pat Frank ** Dated read about post-nuclear war life in central Florida.

"Lucifers Hammer," Larry Niven &Jerry Pournelle *** Far better than the recent asteroid/comet disaster movies.

"The Stand," Stephen King *** I found myself enjoying this dark, complex book.

"Survive the Savage Sea," Dougal Robertson *** A sea-going version of Follow the River.

"Lord of the Flies," William Golding ** If you only read this book because you had to, try it again.

"Death in the Long Grass," Peter Capstick **** Not Ortega y Gassett, but very good hunting stories.


-- Mr. Decker (, July 16, 1999


Decker, how many recessions have you predicted in advance?

Are you a Wall Street Economist?

Will you ever comment on the "Cities Have y2k Problems" thread?


-- Ray (, July 16, 1999.

Hey Decker, could you explain what a "util" is? That was the part of ECON 101 that I just couldn't get the hang of. And all those stupid graphs, too.

-- King of Spain (, July 16, 1999.

i,s kinda confused'what dicker talkin about/

-- dogma., (, July 16, 1999.

Mr. Decker

All good reads. I have many of them.

Watch six and keep your...

-- eyes_open (, July 16, 1999.

Atlas Shrugged, if only for its portrayal of a decaying society.
Encyclopedia Britannica, either hard copy or CD (the latter only if you have made arrangement to make sure you are going to have power, of course)

-- Steve Heller (, July 16, 1999.


Like your reading list. Although not quite of the quality per se of many of the books we mutually own, pick up a copy of Michael Caiden's "Exit Earth" if you get a chance. Very little relevance to Y2K, except maybe for the government disinformation campaign.

Robert Heinlein's "Tunnel in the Sky".

To my mind, the breakdown of communication and transportation discussed in Niven and Pournelle's "Footfall" might come MUCH closer to describing the potential degradation of the economy post Y2K. Fortunately, we don't have to worry about the invasion by intelligent elephants. (G)

Tom Brown's books are pretty good, also.

-- Jon Williamson (, July 16, 1999.

And don't forget to scan the preps forum, where all your questions can be answered (usually!). Hot link under "About" on the New Answers page. See also there Brian's amazing indexing job on this forum's preps posts before the division.

-- Old Git (, July 16, 1999.


That's a fine reading list for sure. If things get tight and we have some idle time on our hands (no TV, etc) those books will be a delight.

Hey Old Git,

Nice post. You brought this thread right around to where it belongs. :-)

-- Gordon (, July 16, 1999.

Here are some books that are "on line". Not all the ones I would like but it is a start. Anything by Jack London HIGHLY recommended. Most of these are time "bound" You may have "noticed" some of the books here.\
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Sea-Wolf (Jack London)
Dante's Hell
I Ching tr. by Richard Wilhelm
Sun Tzu on The Art of War
The Sun-tzu
Tao Teh King by Lao-Tzu
World Wide Web Homebrew Homepage
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Volume I, HTML)
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Volume 2, HTML)
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Volume 3, HTML)
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Volume 4, HTML)
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Volume 5, HTML)
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Volume 6, HTML)
A Discourse on Method by Rene Descartes
Etext of Beowulf
Ethics (Part I) by Benedict de Spinoza
Ethics (Part II) by Benedict de Spinoza
Ethics (Part III) by Benedict de Spinoza
Ethics (Part IV) by Benedict de Spinoza :
Ethics (Part V) by Benedict de Spinoza :
The U. S. Bill of Rights
Complete Works by William Shakespeare
The Bible (King James Version)< /A>

-- Brian (, July 17, 1999.

there are two versions of Sun Tzu because of a later one by Thomas Cleary.

-- Brian (, July 17, 1999.


I laughed out loud when I read your request. You have stumbled on the perfect way to make me even less popular... lecturing about esoteric economic topics.

Ah, but if I write in terms of Y2K preparation!

When you are preparing for Y2K, you have to make decisions about how to allocate your scarce resources. Of course, you want to maximize your "satisfaction" or "total utility." Hmmm... there are many different items you need. How do you decide between a second BayGen flashlight and an extra 100 pounds of rice? Inquring economists want to know!

When in doubt, we need a theory. In this case, we call it "marginal utility theory." This is simply a way to model human behavior (and to allow economists to feel more legitimate because we can use math.)

We know you want to maximize your satisfaction. [Boy, do we!] To quantify this, however, we have to think in terms of "units" of satsifaction. [Are we on familiar ground here, "Spain."]

Total utility is total "satisfaction." Marginal utility is the change in total utility from a one-unit increase in consumption of one good. [Just one more martini, bartender.]

Oh, we need another theory--diminishing marginal utility. This is pretty easy. The additional satisfaction of each extra unit of any good is lower than the previous unit. On your big Y2K shopping trip, at some point you look in the cart and say, "That's about enough dried beans," and you roll into another part of the store.

This process is called utility maximization. Your internal computer is constantly determining what combination of goods will give you maximum satisfaction. What happens if you bump into me in the store, and I offer to sell you mud wrestling tickets? I imagine you may choose to reallocate your "market basket" to include the tickets.

[A requirement of utility maximization is that the marginal utility (expressed in dollars) equals the price of the good.]

If I hate mud wrestling, I may choose to sell you the tickets for $10. You may have been willing to spend $100. You have received $90 in "consumer surplus." Hooray.

Hmmm... what else should you know:

1. Preferences do not depend on the prices of goods. (Although read Veblen for some wonderful economic writing including pecuniary emulation.)

2. Preferences do not depend on income. (Ain't that the truth.)

3. More is preferred to less of a good.

4. Preferences reflect how you rank alternative, affordable consumption bundles also called "market baskets."

Now, shall we talk about indifference curves or is this enough for today?


-- Mr. Decker (, July 17, 1999.

Decker,Sysman,Big Dog, Dianne: Some months ago there was a thread wherein MANY people listed the books that they would like to have with them"if stranded on a desert island",so to speak. Can anyone give me a cite/link to that thread???I would like to print it off before going to the used book store. THANKS!!!!!

-- jeanne (, July 17, 1999.

jeanne -- No mention of deserts or islands, here, but this may be what you were looking for: Stocking your Y2k Library

Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr near Monterey, California

-- LinkDancr (addy.available@my.webpage.neener.autospammers--regrets.greenspun), July 19, 1999.

I've just updated my Y2K books page, including a complete re-organization.

Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr near Monterey, California

-- BookDancr (addy.available@my.webpage.neener.autospammers--regrets.greenspun), July 19, 1999.

See also this thread at the troll-free TB2000 Preps Forum. Contains links to three prior classic TB2000 threads and more current suggestions:

-- Old Git (, July 19, 1999.

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