Long-Term Preparations - Have We Scratched The Surface?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Whether Y2K is a hoped-for BITR or a 8.5 (still my expectation), the next decade to three is likely to see legitimate threats of nuclear, biological, chemical or cyberterrorism, any or all of which could cripple YOUR local infrastructure. They could cripple you personally.

While the next six months will either see a hoped-for relaxation of Y2K prepping (BITR?) or use of preps (8.5?), I expect to become increasingly engaged technically in considerations of long-term infrastructure threats (including threats to privacy as a result of defending against the baddies) and familially in long-term preparation and self-reliance.

In simple terms, the Mormon preparation philosophy may be right-on (a year of "everything"). And not only for doomers but for all Americans. A country where the majority had even 30-60 days of "back-up" is more robust than one with three days.

I am curious about your thoughts on this, partly because it might lead into some future directions for this forum post-rollover, whatever happens with Y2K.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), October 26, 1999


The sentiment has been expressed more than once here that the process of preparation has changed the life situations of some on this and the other board. I count myself among them.

My situation is a bit different from many in that I live in the country with a well, a septic system, a garden and GI neighbors 20 miles from a medium-sized city.

My thoughts are that, even if Y2K is a BITR, some profound changes are coming in this society. Leaving aside, for the moment, terrorism and the nuclear threat, I have an abiding concern for the future of this nation.

That concern springs from a belief that our society is fundamentally different from the one of just 25 years ago. Our freedoms have eroded--at the request of many--and we are a "dumbed down" nation that has lost sight of the basic principles that provided us that freedom.

Far too many people in this country want something for nothing, with the notable exception of responsibility for their own actions, and they will accept an ever more intrusive government for perceived safety, security and comfort.

We have a central government that is now corrupt--because the people offered up corrupting power--and we will not see a peaceful retrenchment by that government.

There also is the spectre of a corrupt monetary system that is bound to fail. Five thousand years of history speak volumes, and we have a system now that is baseless. It will fail, and when it does, we will face the same scenario that would be occasioned by a Y2K 10.

It's only a matter of time, so my plan is to maintain my preparations while enjoying the altered lifestyle that accompanied "getting ready." Why would I not do that?

It is much more satisfying, and I feel better about myself for having learned to do some things and view life differently than I once did.

-- Vic (Rdrunner@internetwork.net), October 26, 1999.

Started preparing in the 70's. Y2K is just one
more passing wave that justifies my lifesyle.

-- spider (spider0@usa.net), October 26, 1999.

While I loathe the word "empowerment" on principle, I see Y2K preps as empowering by definition. The difference for me is not that this is a first-time effort (we were reasonabl prepared before Y2K) but that the convergence of externals (Y2K, cyberterrorism, etc) with internals (taking greater charge of our own lives) seems to be the "magic" element in why so many doomers have viewed Y2K as something quite positive personally.

The question is whether there isn't room for a recovery of "old" American virtues (self-reliance, community, etc) with 21st century requirements (security, redundance, survivability) that goes beyond Y2K?

This isn't all that different, btw, than the Humpty Dumpty talk on Ed's other forum. If there is a difference, it is that this forum has been emphasizing the practical elements of that recovery.

As for the possibilities of making a difference at the macro level, that is always nice, but any serious recovery of this ethos has to begin at the "citizen" and local level anyway.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), October 26, 1999.


I hope to maintain the 1 1/2 year head start I've gotten in my preparations. Preparations not only in gallons of water put up or sacks of beans in the dry,but the mental aspect as well. I have learned alot in the TB-2000 and prep forums. With that I have copied,studied and tried to learn things i expect to be needed if things get real bad. As for the directions for this forum i say let it evolve with the times....... It'll serve us well

-- kevin (innxxs@yahoo.com), October 26, 1999.

I did not know this forum existed. Thanks, Big Dog. I agree with the previous post. It just makes common sense to have preparations to deal with man-made or Mother Nature events. Until earlier this year, I sort of bargained with the Gods and hoped I would come out alright. (this is from a woman who now lives fairly close to the epicenter of Loma Prieta)

Since I read Ed Yourdon's book and GI'd, my larder, garage, and back yard have morphed. I think it is all part of living deliberately. I just retired from the corporate world and am doing sporadic consulting to help pay the bills until the pension kicks in next spring. My view of my finances and investment wheeling and dealing that my ego got me into in the past has changed as well. I don't want to go back to the corporate world in Silicon Valley.

Given all of that I think it is really important to take an organized approach to keeping track of what is in stock in the house and factoring that in with seasonal produce, grocery promotions, etc.

About a year ago I bought an inexpensive hydrator from WallMart for about $30. I have used it to dry fruit and berries from the yard as well as make sure that purchased fruit or things like green peppers and onions don't just spoil and have to be thrown out.

Things that don't go bad over time such as paper goods and kitty litter should be bought in quantity as space and budget permits.

I am still debating over purchasing a small chest freezer to hold the excess from the garden and a lot of frozen water to transfer to the fridge when the power crashes. (it does that a fair amount in winter here anyway). financially, it is sort of a tie between that and a UPS for the PC. I am about ready to invest in a hiker's water filter too to supplement purchased water, and bleach/iodine supplies.

I am finally becoming a grownup on car servicing. Not being mechanically adroit, I take it in. I am also getting better about driving on the top half of the gas tank. I deliberately timed a major service for early October to get those things checked and replaced that could be in short supply due to global import issues. I am now looking for a used bicyle. Not because I love to bike up hills, but the nearest grocery of any size is more than 5 miles away.

Early this spring I bought a solar water heater (about $6.00), a single burner propane camp stove and a couple months worth of propane, a solar radio, a lamp that runs on a battery thing and some thermal containers to keep hot things hot. Since then I bought a 40 gallon water storage barrel and foot pump, a new sleeping bag, and a combination outdoor fireplace and grill for use outside. It burns wood and scraps, not just charcoal. I also bought a couple solar motion detectors for the yard.

Right now I am reviewing my inventories, taking a hard look and current investment choices and alternatives (no I am not a gold bug. I think it is too late for me to jump into something without the knowledge), getting my winter veggies in the ground and carrying on the ongoing internal dialog about home protection. Dog versus pepper spray, versus more.

Waiting to see what will happen is hard. Last weekend the entire forum was argumentative (more than usual), edgy and looking for news in dark corners.

When I take another break from work I will look at these threads. Bet I can learn a lot. thanks

-- Nancy (wellsnl@hotmail.com), October 26, 1999.

Is it just me or has anyone else had the urge to try and buy "one of everything" in the WalMart hardware section?

-- a (a@a.a), October 26, 1999.

a -- you too?

I see personal and community preparation for redundancy as not dissimilar to issues that will face software infrastructures post Y2K. JIT is fine but it should be supplemented by less complex survivable community, family and individual backups to give a margin of comfort whether the crisis is a hurricane, Y2K, Saddam Hussein or ???

Your humorous query points up that we don't really know a lot about which "durables" are needed for that backup. We also don't know a lot about how to rotate stocks on a community basis.

Heck, from a macro economic point-of-view, once the "redundancy" is put in place (for instance, personal preps), people STILL go on consuming. In a somewhat ironic sense (ironic for those who want to see a turn away from consumerism as such), preparation can support and undergird JIT, not weaken it.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), October 26, 1999.

The last place I lived with my family in England was a farm laborer's cottage, built in the early 1700s. It was relatively large, perhaps because it belonged to the local monastery at Chicksands. There were three small bedrooms, living and dining rooms and a kitchen. A bathtub was later added in the kitchen (there was a large oak lid on it which made a lovely work surface). The flush toilet was added outside. Between the house and the toilet, attached, was a storage area. Here would have been kept root vegetables in the winter and food for chickens and ducks. There was a pantry in the house with a stone slab floor (NE corner, of course) where milk, butter and meat would have been kept. Fireplaces in the living room, dining room and two of the bedrooms were meant first for wood-, then later for coal-burning.

The family home before that was from the mid-Victorian period in a large city, about the size of New Orleans. It was much bigger--same number of rooms but more square feet, and a separate bathroom. But the flush toilet was still outside! There was a double cellar, one side of which was meant for coal, which was delivered through a trapdoor in the sidewalk. There were four fireplaces to keep the place warm (barely!). The second cellar contained a large stone table and there were huge hooks hanging from the ceiling. Obviously, it was built to hold whole sides of bacon, whole hams, etc., and the table would have kept cheese, eggs and milk cool.

Like American houses, British houses today have no allotted space to store food. I think we got out of the habit during and after the world wars, when food was in very short supply and hoarding (more than two days of food) was illegal. In good times my family could have lasted probably a couple of weeks without buying food, but there would have been no milk and very little meat, and the meals would have been quite small.

Sweetie and I spent much of our honeymoon clambering over semi-ruined and intact castles, most built in the 1100s. All of them had huge storage rooms and, of course, were self-contained, with kitchens, bakeries and breweries. There was room to herd cattle inside during attack, and space to grow limited amounts of food and the all-important medicinal herbs.

All of the old stately homes I've visited--Hampton Court (1400s), Elizabethan manor houses, the Duke of Wellington's place in central London (early 1800s), old pubs of all vintages, and so on, were built with space for food storage. Even our first house, built c. a930, had room for food storage, but it was in the country.

In my view, then, living without a good store of food is a relatively recent phenomenon, brought about by a combination of world wars and greatly improved food production and distribution--themselves wrought by the necessities of war supply. It's probably less than a hundred years since we began to stop storing food for more than a week or two.

I get a very comforting feeling when I look at our "store room." Of course part of it must be due to thinking we'll be okay for a while if Y2K is bad, but I can't help thinking a lot of it is because we were genetically selected to prefer living this way. (Those who didn't live this way starved to death.)

If youl ook at historical timelines--not for the world, not for this country but, say, for England, you can easily see that there were always reasons to store food. Wars, civil and otherwise, revolutions, crop failures, economic downturns, plagues, epidemics, unreliable weather and so on. The last 50 years of relative peace and prosperity for the majority in the western world is an aberration where history is concerned. Our worst fears of what might happen in the not too distant future is actually the way things have always been--very uncertain. Same with the weather--there's been a corresponding period of relatively mild weather for the last 50 years.

You might say, well, yeah, but there weren't nuclear and chemical accidents to worry about in those days. No, but the village or town was your world. A late-19th c. influenza epidemic which wiped out a big part of the town or village was just as terrifying as any biological warfare--there was no help for it. Same with cholera, plague, TB, dysentery, smallpox, food poisoning, whatever. I was probably one of the last kids to contract scarlet fever, scary even in the late 1940s. When was the last time you heard of anyone with the disease? The Black Death wiped out whole villages, just as a nuclear accident could wipe out a huge part of the world as we know it.

Taking these few thoughts you can explore into all sorts of interesting byways. Think about it for a while. I think you'll agree, basically, the more things change the more they remain the same. The good side is you have the genes to handle it! Find 'em!

PS. As I ended this a flashback occurred. I was 11 years old and in the great hall at Hampton Court Palace. Either side of the huge stone fireplace were stairs, one set leading up, the other down. As I began to ascend the right-hand set, I looked down and saw the thick stone step had been worn away in the middle. All those feet over the past five hundred years! It's difficult to imagine solid stone being worn away so that the sides of the step were about one foot thick and the middle about six inches, but I assure you it was so. And now I think about some of the graffiti on the walls of the Tower of London, used as a jail for most of the years since it was built (1066). I think of the graffiti near the execution chamber, said to have been carved by Spanish prisoners from an attempted invasion in 1580-something, I think it was. And then I drift back to St. Alban's and Chester, where we saw lots of evidence of Roman occupation--don't ask me dates! Before the Christian calendar, I think; certainly not much later than about 400AD.

No matter what, life goes on.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), October 26, 1999.

I am one of those who believe that this has been a positive event in my life. Although I love the mundane reasons why it's much easier to be "prepared" - not running to the store just for toilet paper when I need it - the biggest change is the way I look at life.

I've always been enamoured with the "rural, homestead, living-off-the-land" scenario but have never come close. Finally, 4 years ago, we moved to "THE COUNTRY". But I still lived the way I used to (except for more animals!). If Y2K is NOT a 10, I hope to learn more about the "old" ways and gradually change over to a more self-sufficient way of living. I want to garden instead of just stocking canned food, cook on an open fire or solar cooker instead of using my stove,etc. I wish I had the time to learn everything I want to know in the next 66 days. Instead, I hope to use the momentum of Y2K to carry me to another level of living. I've learned that it's not how much material goods you have stocked because that amount is always finite. Rather, it's gaining the knowledge to stay alive without the material goods we have become so dependent on.

That is my goal. I hope the effects of Y2K are minimal enought to allow me the chance to do that.

-- dakota (none@thistime.com), October 26, 1999.

I, too, have found a way of life which I really like. My parents were married at the end of the Depreesion and I was born after World WarII. Being a "baby booner", my idea of a surplus was to have an extra chicken pot pie in the freezer in case of emergencies. When my Mother moved in with me from the family home, I moved FOUR years worth of toilet paper. I was amused not angry but vowed I would never be "that way".

At the present time I must have close to four years worth of toilet paper. Values, such as thrift, have never been an important part of my life until now. As a history teacher, I know there are a great number of lessons to be learned from the Great Depression! Values such as honesty, morality and patriotism have fallen on many deaf ears, including the ears of many of our leaders. My hope in all of this chaos now and certainly with Y2K is the spirit of the American people whether they are doomers or pollys. I have to believe that the American spirit of freedom, justice and individuality will once more become part of the American fiber. Perhaps Y2K will be a hard lesson worth learning. Every night I pray for all peoples of the world that we will learn the lesson well.

-- Ruth Edwards (REath29646@aol.com), October 26, 1999.

I'll say it plainly: self-centered self-reliance is bull shit. The Mormons have a community; they don't just have preps. Let's not be confused.

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), October 26, 1999.

P.S. Insofar as we have failed to scratch the surface of what is best in us, we have failed to scratch the surface of humanizing activities.

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), October 26, 1999.

Stan, I get your point, and you are right about the importance of community. However,that cannot be built quickly. I, for one, am new to my area and like most Californians find getting to know the neighbors a slow process ( I have always said that Californians love humanity, but not necessarily their neighbors). I am becoming active in the community and volunteering for jobs, but that process takes time.

Meanwhile, learning to live more simply and deliberately as well as listening to my genetic roots (thanks, Old Git. Mine go back six generations to pioneer days in Colorado)is becoming increasingly important to me. The years I spent working my ass off and flying everywhere are now replaced by "Martha Stewart" type activities that are enjoyable, right brained, and feel good.

Y2K was a catalyst. This will become a way of life. You should have seen the look on my sister and her family's faces when I popped out jars of apricot and plum jam during a family meal in Denver a couple of weeks ago. That image of me was pretty far down their list!

-- Nancy (wellsnl@hotmail.com), October 26, 1999.


Thank you for your insight in regard to self-centered self-reliance.

IMHO, we all need community, whether we define it is a neighborhood, a church affilliation, support group or friends. Sometimes I hear profound arrogance on the forum; people who celebrate selfish"independence" and "self-reliance", until something happens where they need firefighters or doctor or dentist....or hospital or burn unit. Then it's"oops" , maybe I do need community afterall.

All of my preparation has been done with the idea being able to help someone else. I can not help everyone, but I can help someone.

Even with my MS, I work to live in service to community; I'm emotionally available for someone who needs to talk. I don't expect Y2K to change that. Community can help us survive Y2K (or other contemplated terrors).

To think we can survive alone is to be unprepared for the unexpected crisis. It is to not know or respect our limitations. It is ignorance and arrogance.

-- Leslie (***@***.net), October 26, 1999.

BITR or not, we will continue to maintain some level of preparations. Even if Y2K is a BITR, we still have solar flares, weather events (hurricanes, etc.), tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions...not to mention potential economic problems. Being prepared helps one sleep better...

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), October 27, 1999.

I would have to agree with MadMonk. Regardless of the outcome, we will continue to have some degree of preparedness. To add to what others have said, this has caused a change in life outlook. There are a number of things that I enjoyed doing years ago, which I gradually lost touch with in the years 'on the road'. (Hard to have a garden when you have to pick up and move in the middle of the growing season. Which doesn't explain why I quit shooting. That just 'slipped away', until I started going out with son-in-law. Then I remembered how much I had enjoyed it.)

I suspect that the modern lifestyle just crept up on a lot of us. It is easier, and faster, to take the car to one of the 'Jiffy-Lubes' to get the oil changed, to take the clothes to a drop-off 'wash-dry-fold' place, to eat out, to buy pre-packaged, to order pizza or chinese in. And you forget how much better home-made biscuits or cornbread taste. You forget how much better fresh green beans are than 'store-bought'. You forget how much better tasting fresh garden grown tomatoes are compared to the 'hothouse' tomatoes in the stores.

The entire society is geared to 'use part and throw away the rest.' Just look at one of the more intractible problems of our day... the inability to find anywhere to put the growing mountains of trash. (There is a landfill in either New York or New Jersey, I believe it is called 'Fresh Kills', which is nicknamed 'Mt Trashmore', and is the highest point of land east of the Catskill Mountains. Incredible. We have truly become the 'disposable society'. This is one of the things which must change, regardless.

Another place where our society is absurd compared to the history of the race is the incredible interdependence of almost everything. Just a small amount of independence would have gone a long way toward insulating the society from what is likely about to happen to it in two months. Think of it. If you asked most kids today where food comes from the answer would be 'the grocery store'. Milk comes from a carton, meat comes from a shrink-wrapped package. Dressing out a deer would be putting neat little clothes on it. (Actually heard that. From an ADULT!) Math is new, ethics are something taught in a class, and morals are things that come at the end of old stories which are no longer 'relevant'. Kids would be at an absolute loss if they were to be given hand-made items at Christmas, or for a birthday. Their probable response would be 'did you lose your job and couldn't afford anything GOOD?'


If there is any one good thing that could possibly happen as a result of the onrushing Y2K disaster, the return to some of the older virtues would have my vote. I certainly can't think of anything else good to say about the situation. Thus, your question here has a great deal of merit. Unfortunately, I don't expect that the majority of those in our consumer society would hear this message any better than the one about preparing for Y2K. Even if the event turns out to be a *LOT* more than the BITR that the major media are spoon feeding them every day.

-- just another (another@engineer.com), October 27, 1999.

Mount Trashmore is in Virginia Beach. And it IS the highest thing around for miles, otherwise very flat around there.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), October 27, 1999.

Self-reliance and community are not contradictory as earlier American history demonstrated repeatedly. Families were expected to "care for their own" as the pre-requisite for responsible community, but most everyone recognized that there were inter-dependencies with neighbors that were crucial to everyone's survival and mutual happiness.

Both self-reliance and community have been largely replaced by a nanny government, though rural communities like my own still contain living echoes (alas, increasingly few) of our earlier traditions.

Regrettably, Y2K is a fixed date. Community cannot be built in a day or in a spiritual, philosophical or political vacuum. But families can prepare for Y2K. It is understandable in our culture as it IS that family preparation has been the main theme of the forum -- though not its exclusive theme, as this thread and many others have continually demonstrated.

Moreover, given the government's posture, there are authentic risks to public revelation of familial preparation that have made it far more difficult than it should have been to engage communities. Those of us who have sought to do so have placed our families at 'x' risk already.

Preparation and community begin with families, though they don't end there. Self-reliance is not sufficient but it is a precondition for healthy community. For that matter, "communities" require functional self-reliance to interact in a healthy matter with other communities.

For millenia, families and communities "laid up" in good times because bad times always come. They recognized their dependence on forces greater than themselves. If "bad times" have not been abolished by late twentieth-century American man, then we may well find that post-Y2K preparations remain applicable.

This will certainly include efforts to recover authentic community.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), October 27, 1999.

The next logical step, as you imply, to preparing oneself to be self-sufficient is to build community. If we come out the other side of Y2K alive, it might be a wonderful opportunity to get together with as many from this forum as possible, to explore ways of creating viable communities. That takes a LOT of work and dedication, and much bending of individual rigidity to cause to flourish. However, as I said in a recently-posted thread of yours about our fears, it is too easy to become part of an intentional community where one gets into an undesirable, or even unsafe, situation. The choice of individuals for such a community needs to be extraordinarily careful.

And of course, after (whoops...if I say the word, will Echelon come here and read this?) Waco, how would one know if their innocent community might become a target for someone else's agenda?

I envy the Mormons, the Quakers, the Amish, and any other long-standing communities of persons with common roots, common values, common grounds.

But how one duplicates this in a heterogeneous society is the BIG question. And how one duplicates this when we cannot all earn our livings from our homes, on our land, etc., but must find it from outside is another big hindrance to creating community.

Big Dog, have you considered "growing" such a community around you post-rollover? Now THAT would be something to consider joining!

-- Elaine Seavey (Gods1sheep@aol.com), October 27, 1999.

I haven't had much time to unpack what I started to get into in a rather testy manner (and my very real apologies to anyone who thought my comments were aimed at them, personally). Obviously, I am all for personal preparations and smart living a la Ken Decker. While there are limitations to how many can get prepared today and/or ease into self-reliance, I am concerned more about the possibility of community (or its impossibility) among those who are prepared, who are getting prepared, and who are becoming self-reliant. There are some lessons to be learned from those who began out of concern for Y2K. Some lessons are encouraging. Other lessons are discouraging (at least at first glance). I think we need to look at these lessons and learn something.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), October 27, 1999.

Stan -- What lessons do you have in mind?

Elaine -- I'm not competent to grow a community! And your warnings about the dangers of intentional communities are exactly right. Real community seems to develop serendipitously and unexpectedly, both virtually (as with the two TB2K forums) and in "real" life.

However, this thread certainly envisions an ongoing conversation, at least "virtually", about preparation, community, self-reliance and (I hope this doesn't sound too pretentious) the political, ethical, spiritual and technical bases for recovering all of them post-Y2K -- WHATEVER happens with Y2K itself.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), October 27, 1999.

The emergence of online information sharing, sympathetic support, and combined thinking about potential challenges... of those who are prepping in light of Y2K is an interesting development-- especially when you consider the diversity represented by regulars and lurkers. Something else may come out of such discussion forums as TB2000, and it is likely to be more steps in the right direction (Y2K or not). One question I wonder about is if these same people (myself included) are forming real relationships with each other: relationships that are deeper than private email. Can we become a virtual community with human relationships that go beyond common interests and concerns?

Will our relationships evolve through deep concerns about each other and real actions that are taken. For example, will we actually make real sacrifices for the other? I expect some have already. I have gone and met people, regulars and lurkers. And some have come to see me. On the other hand, there is a bunker mentality that seems to prevent some of us from making commitments, sharing risks, and work together. Even where I live, some GIs seem to be disinterested in making some basic committments to each other, sharing risks, and working together to common goals. This indifference goes beyond any prudent or reasonable sense of caution. It may be a cultural response that needs overcoming.

There is a real question about trust here... and our ability to trust.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), October 27, 1999.

P.S. As an after thought, it goes beyond trust. It is about being open with each other, our ability to open up to each other, and know and love each other in a way that is, most likely, contrary to our experience thus far.

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), October 27, 1999.

Big Dog writes:

"... this thread certainly envisions an ongoing conversation, at least "virtually", about preparation, community, self-reliance and (I hope this doesn't sound too pretentious) the political, ethical, spiritual and technical bases for recovering all of them post-Y2K -- WHATEVER happens with Y2K itself."

Do you think that this conversation can only ever be 'virtually'?

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), October 27, 1999.

Interesting thought, Stan. One of the virtues of the web is the removal of physical and geographical boundaries in community development.

Now its real hard to set up tool sharing or skills bartering among you all in the DC area and some of us on the west coast, but I think most of us keep lurking and posting for the learning, the sharing and the connection.

I found last weekend to be real interesting on the forum There were a lot of restless, edgy people--me too. It is almost like hurry up already.

I don't mean to make light of the downside potential of Y2K, but if there is a pony in the pile here, it is the realization of the value of simpler times and simpler ways. That lifestyle change for many of us may well see us through the chronic Y2K condition and economic malaise that is a near certainty.

For someone like me, the switch to nurturing myself and others with the sustainable forms of home-grown produce, home-prepared meals is a big change from the woman in the suit carrying a briefcase and getting on yet another airplane. May she rest in peace

-- Nancy (wellsnl@hotmail.com), October 27, 1999.

Funny thing, you should mention it, Nancy. I was thinking about how GIs in California and Virginia and everywhere in between could work together. And as far fetched as it seems, it isn't impossible that Stan Faryna would be driving a semi-truck with big, bold letters G.I.T. (Get It Together) across the side, bringing local goods to a place near you. Of course, it would be easier on me if the post office worked. (grin) Sure, shorter routes would also be easier, and I think that connecting the dots (routes) would likely fall into place... if some of us are capable of thinking outside the box and ready to ride.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), October 28, 1999.

Stan, others -- The Internet is as "real" as mail, telegraph or telephone. Actually, a broad-based, though ad hoc, series of Y2K communities do exist and/or are emerging. My main point was simply that I think community arises as much through serendipity (cf Y2K itself, oddly enough) as through intention. That said, DC meetings for GIs were/are certainly intentional.

My gut feeling is that the face-to-face relationships that have/are emerging are at least as far along as any such relationships should be. "None of us are as we wish/believe ourselves to be" -- it takes years to go from step 1 to step 10. In my limited experience, it can't be wisely sped up, no matter what the crisis is that we face.

The truth is that we come into any crisis with the reservoir of family, friends and community that we have already been building for the past 20 years (1979-1999). The 1998-1999 "enhancements" are wonderful but must take their humble place within that context.

Should this forum continue for months or years post-rollover due to a perceived value (the only thing that will actually draw people), it may indeed spur the development of communities. I hope it will.

Meanwhile, "the journey of a thousand miles begin with ..... "

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), October 28, 1999.

This thread has taken an interesting turn -- focussing on post-y2k conversations of a helping kind.

It was this ambition coupled with the expectation that the telephones would go down (& along with it the Internet -- which at times has served me a Father Confessor/shrink/humor department/motivation builder, during those times all us Doomers have experienced) that gave me the energy to "sell" an amateur radio net post-y2k, starting in the Spring of '97 (As you can imagine there were virtually NO takers at that time.)

I've mostly talked about exchanging expert advice on critical needs -- but always unspoken ('cause I couldn't handle the inevitable: "Wha? Whaz all this stuff about spiritual needs, comfort, and consoling? WHIMPS!") was the 2000-lb gorilla -- loneliness/soul sickness -- that will get us, out there somewhere well-fortified in our y2k 'survival compound.'

BTW, it was a big reason for me leaving my Wyoming homestead -- there was NOBODY within miles anything but clueless about what is likely down the road. After a year of preps it suddenly dawned on me that without COMMUNITY I was a goner, not only physically but also psychologically/spiritually. At the time (January '98) almost NO one on the forums existing at that time were talking any other language than holing up, don't give your real name, or your email address, and don't describe your situation in too much detail lest you be discovered.

I think the consciousness is shifting a bit. That's good. In that spirit I've kept pushing for a ham Net. Not much in the way of results: out of 93 hams who contacted us on the air, only FOUR have responded that they want to pursue this project & build it, so that after 1/1/00 we'll have a way to keep talking to each other. There are many reasons for this. All of them understandable.

But it makes it difficult for me to envision how we'll have those conversations we'll all need, if Ma Bell goes down.

Bottomline: it will take a miracle to pull it off, unless y2k is really much more benign than many of us are preparing for. But miracles DO happen. I've even been witness to quite a few in my life. Now if you DON'T believe in miracles you'll have to fall back on 'human ingenuity.' But I haven't run into any of you types while working on the ham net project the past couple months. Maybe you'll do it with string and tin cans. Rotsa ruck.


-- William J. Schenker, MD (wjs@linkfast.net), October 28, 1999.

Many of the Y2K prep groups use the concept of developing a sense of community as one of the key benefits of preparedness. It goes beyond the comfort factor of a prepared neighbor.

I did some work fairly early in the game in my local community Y2K group, but I must confess I got impatient and turned off with some of the political fringe opinions and antics. Mostly my own issues as I was winding down a career and was sufficiently burned out that my patience level was zero.

Still the idea of a sustainable community goes beyond the communal living stereotype of the '60s. The co-housing concept is an updated version. People are using the web to develop intranet/extranet sites that can keep track of tools, reserve communal transportation, trade skills, barter, babysit, all sorts of things.

I have a lot of middle-aged friends who are looking at the co-housing concept as a viable alternative to assisted living or the isolation of single person households. It has appeal for me too, but not now.

This is a sort of community already. Certainly one with a broad range of opinions :) and skillsets. There is sharing, fighting (flaming), arguing, laughing, and shared restlessness while we wait.

-- Nancy (wellsnl@hotmail.com), October 28, 1999.

Off the top of my head, I'd say 1/3 of the people I know would rather die than live without our modern day creature comforts. If TSHTF, you'll be seeing whole families killing themselves because they "JUST CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!"

Like the big shots who plan to fly coast-to-coast on 12/31/99...these people would RATHER die than live life without being able to fly around the world at will. And how many "working moms" can actually handle being with their family 24/7 day in and day out, without being able to talk on the phone or watch tv or "get away". Hey, the Riddilen will eventually run out and THEN WHAT!!! OH GOD!!! They'll actually have to BE a PARENT!!! They are doomed I tell you...doomed...doomed...doomed...

I'm a stay-at-home-dad...have been for the last few years. I know what MOST of the babyboomer parents think of their own children...nothing, because they don't even know who their children are except as a bill for child care or an excuse to take another pill.


-- BackflowPlug (BackflowPlug@sewer.com), October 29, 1999.

Bill -- Keep at it! (I promise to have my ticket in November). Communication is key, both to Y2K and survivability across any crisis over the next two decades or so. Think bio-, chem-, nuke-, cyberterrorism .....

I may start another thread out of this one that noodles around at the foundations required for building sustainable community as well as considers the contributions and limits that the Internet plays in that. This should include checking in with those around the country that have been at this with- or without Y2K.

Backflowplug (there's a handle ...): I think your percentage is low. But don't confuse one reality with another. I am NOT utopian, not even a little bit.

I have my own "real" life to lead, individually and with family/community. Within that sphere, I bear personal responsibilities and have personal privileges and opportunities. One of those privileges "may be" community. I say, "may be" because we usually only experience it several times in our lifetime. It is an extraordinarily fragile plant in this fallen ecosystem. But it is no less desirable for that -- actually, more desirable.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), October 29, 1999.


Keep on keeping on. At this time, I can not afford to get into ham radio nor have I identified anyone in my local area who has money or the interest in such. Heck, I can't even get local GIs to think about a CB network in the event that we need to communicate with each other and/or share information. However, I think what you are doing is critical for Y2K and beyond. You are absolutely right about making sure conversations can continue if tradition communications goes down.

Big Dog,

Like you, I have no interest at all in communal life a la the 60s cults, gurus, and other movements. In fact, I highly prize my privacy, property, and the exercise of personal economic initiatives. If there was an embedded chip meltdown, however, I'm not against doubling up. Indeed, necessity would recommend such arrangements. Myself, I am unfamilar with how co-housing communities work, but have heard of people who are involved in such projects. Perhaps, Nancy could tell us more.


I'm just brain storming right now, but an extended neighborhood might be appealing to me in a small, rural community with a population of less than 5,000 and some 30 percent of that population being farmers. Is this anything like the co-housing projects that you mentioned? Anyway, I'd like to learn more about co-housing and was wondering what you could tell us about it, if you could provide URLs/ links to information on the web, etc. I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), October 29, 1999.

to da top

-- recycler (tip@top.list), October 30, 1999.

Stan, Big Dog, etc. there is a web site called cohousing.org (sorry, I am html challenged) that has a lot of information about the concept and how to bring it to reality. This is a movement ported from Denmark I think. From a property standpoint, I think they tend to be a mix of housing types (single family, zero lot line apartments, town houses, etc). There are usually communal gardens, communal tool use, shared access to a handful of automobiles/trucks, communal center for meetings, meal prepartation (people have choices about eating with the group and take part in preparation/cleanup), some have business centers to support SOHOs, etc.

As I said, I am intrigued by the concept. It is not inexpensive and takes a long time to germinate if you start with a new site. Many existing communities have waiting lists.

Not sure I will ever take the plunge. I have lived alone for almost 12 years (4 of those years were in apartments or a condominium) and have found that I am really happy in a small community that is 40 or 50 miles or more away from large cities. I am beginning to get established where I live and there may be promise in taking some of the positives in sustainable living and translating them to small communities.

-- Nancy (wellsnl@hotmail.com), October 30, 1999.

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