12 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Brett

  1. It depends on where you live. In cities, three weeks seems very optimistic. Out in the boonies, it’s likely to be far longer.
    “Lucifer’s Hammer” is a good case study.

  2. A very good friend, who in the past worked for an alphabet agency, once told me that it had been gamed many times by the agencies and military, and every time it came down to, “Americans will be eating dogs in two weeks.”

  3. Hurricane Katrina is a convenient case study. LA, New York, Baltimore aren’t any better prepared than New Orleans was.

    • That case will work if you assume a localized failure. If you assume something large scale — civil breakdown, or an effective EMP attack — it’s going to be a lot worse because help from the outside won’t be there, as it was with NO.

    • Katrina involved more than just the utilities going down. Flooding and heavy rain contributed as well.

      I suspect each scenario will produce “interesting” twists. An earthquake could introduce large numbers of casualties at time T0 as well as bridge failures, water supplies severed, and mud slides across roads. A tsunami fills storm drainage systems with debris. A solar flare disrupts electric power distribution but leaves roads and most people, initially, healthy. Etc.

  4. What he’s saying then, is that the savagery is already there, lurking just under the surface waiting for its opportunity to break out and have its day in the sunshine. The Progressives and community organizers have seen to it.

    • That’s one way of looking at it. A less pessimistic way is to point out that civilization depends on fragile services. Cities exist only because food comes in daily, and if the machinery that does so is broken, starvation is only days away. That would probably be true even without progressive help — while they may have made things more fragile, that may be a minor difference in the overall picture.

      • I remember reading about late Rome, when there were severe financial problems. They could choose between keeping the bread going, or the circuses. They cut back on bread. Weak but entertained people are less of a problem than strong and bored.

        What happens when all the digital entertainment stops, and the food ran out because bored people often stress-eat?

  5. This is just a “more educated” way of saying civilization is infrastructure dependent, and the more complex the infrastructure the greater the fragility (as Paul K. mentions above)

    NYC will experience a different collapse rate than Salmon, Idaho, and almost certainly they will have different degrees of collapse. No real surprise there.

    Perhaps the bigger question is how much metastasis will occur and how severe it will get.

  6. Katrina *IS* a good case study: In the areas outside of Nawlins, people banded together and worked to solve the problems for themselves locally to the best of their ability.

    Inside Nawlins, they waited for the government to come and save them.

    • True. And since the NO government was (is?) corrupt, it didn’t actually do anything to help.

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