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Thursday, October 30, 2014

While you were away

. . . the Apocalypse happened.

Some decades ago I used to disappear alone into the woods more often than I do now. That was in the days before cell phones when everyone wasn't expected to be available at all times. Now I'm still sometimes not available, but people just think it's weird.

I often wondered what it would be like to come out of the woods only to discover something major happened and I missed it. Sometimes significant news events took place, but nothing like a world war or anything else of that magnitude.

In the modern world it is possible to be in contact with the rest of the world just about anywhere. Cell phones are ubiquitous. Even in places without cell phone service there's satellite phones. There's even that old standby, short wave radio.

In spite of all the connection technologies, it's still possible to be isolated for days or even months.

Spelunkers come to mind. Cell phone reception is very bad deep underground. Some cave explores disappear underground for days at a time. They could probably survive a massive solar flare that fries half the planet and not notice until they surface.

Right now the world's oceans are being criss crossed by a multitude of private boats. While most have some form of long range communication, many don't. A few hard core old salts only carry VHF radios, good only for short distances. There are other boats out there who've lost their communication systems through equipment failure. They won't know what's going on in the world until they make their next port.

This fall there are folks in the remote north of Alaska and Canada about to be snowed in for the winter. Being in a remote cabin is not what it used to be. Some of those folks will spend the long winter surfing the Internet thanks to satellite dishes. Of course, if their equipment fails they won't know what's going on in the world until the spring breakup.

Primitive tribes still inhabit remote parts of the world. High tech civilization could collapse and it would make no negative impact on their lives at all.

Somehow I'm comforted by the knowledge that all these isolated people are out there. It's like an insurance policy for the human race. Some horrific disasters could strike the planet and a remnant would survive to repopulate.

For all we know it's happened in the past.



  1. Perhaps I'll get a device that will record things for me if I'm not here or at the supermarket or the movies or fishing or sleeping or having dinner.
    I wouldn't want to miss a minor event like the end of the world...

    1. It would be a shame to miss all the excitement.

  2. end of the world was when everything became available 24/7 in streaming digital driving them all into permanant zombified items resembling real people



  3. Interesting blog, Sixbears. I often think the majority of the world, or at least America, is too "plugged in". I only last week got my first smart phone, but that was a result of sitting in airports with cancelled flights. Others were checking for alternatives on smart phones, but not I. Maybe that puts me into the group of which I've just complained, but I will say that my new toy is turned off most of the time. It's more a crutch - or at least I hope so. Conflicted.....

    1. I'll be the first to admit that smart phones are both a useful tool and a major distraction.

      I cancelled phone and data service on mine, but at the same time bought a Straight Talk phone for my lovely wife when she flew to California.

      . . . probably have to borrow her's to update the blog this coming winter.

  4. Love this Blog !! You have a great sense of what is important

  5. I need to get back on the ham bands. I have been off of them too long. I like talking to people all over the world. I always carry my radio with me when I travel and an antenna. I have been accused of being a ham most of my life so naturally I had to get a license for it (grin).

    1. I've come close to getting into ham a time or two, but never quite got the time and money together. Perhaps someday.

  6. Interesting to think that TWAWKI may be destroyed by people in high-rises, but repopulated by people in mud huts. Sort of fitting; isn't it?

  7. I think phones cell phones intrusive indeed, unless one is trying to get a heart, lung, liver or anyother organ of the body, just forgettabout being connected 24/7...I had a medical procedure in an ambulatory center all the GI specialists had to have cell phones or the anesthisilogsit or their RN counterparts had to have them for emergencies...I found people talking on their phones a pain in the butt and I had to have an endoscopy and a colonscopy at the same time..I will not have a colonscopy or the endoscopy ever again, they said nothing would hurt when I came out of the being under fully I was in pain and today about 1 week after the whole shebang I am just getting to the point I can walk and do what I need to do, I am retired and don't have to be anyplace special..I think most procedures are not necessary I don't have colon cancer and there is nothing wrong with my throat at all..I have nightmares about everything now and I could have done without the before procedures of everything really draining me before the colonscopy no thank you. I think the mad rush for phones is absolutely ridiculous and we have a land line and do just fine..ciao!

    1. When I do need a phone I take my 5 year old $10 Tracfone with me.

      I'm 56 and never had a colonoscopy. No history of that type of cancer in the family, plus zero medical insurance. (and basically I don't want one)

  8. It's nothing new... this obsession with perceived awareness.
    My parents insisted on having the radio tuned into the BBC morning, noon and night so they could be informed as to what was happening in the world.
    I've concluded it's part of the "British Disease". They were convinced it all mattered.
    Parliment disscussing "the situation" in India, China or Mexico for hours, as if it made a scrap of difference.
    Stuffed full of their pompas self importance.
    Since leaving home I've made point of NOT knowing and as a result, have avoided much of the stress and misery the media's poison would have inflicted.
    From my perspective, this unawareness is to be highly recomended.
    As for the cell phone, there is usually a small button somewhere marked "OFF".

    1. You must admit, the BBC sounds terribly serious, even when they are covering silly things. It gives the illusion of importance.

      It's sort of like following a day time soap opera. Don't watch it for years, tune in again and it's the same old story lines.

      There's no cell phone service where i live. It drives visitors nuts. They suddenly see how often they check their phone. They have to borrow my land line and suddenly 99% of the calls and messages don't have to be made.

    2. It is amusing watching the 'cell phone flinch' when folks realize they don't have any reception, particularly the folks who are part of officialdom.

    3. It is a flinch, isn't it? That's what it looks like when someone loses most of their knowledge -their connection to the web.