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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Weirdly Dependent



Many people are concerned about what will happen in a collapse situation. We are all aware of the dangers of disruptions in food delivery, power and water supply. Those problems are pretty self evident. Then there are the huge number of people dependent on the prompt delivery of medications. It’s not just for things like cardiac and diabetic issues either. A lot of people will suddenly find themselves going off psych meds cold turkey. That’ll cause some serious mental stress.

Another thing that will cause serious mental distress is when all the cell phones die. In a relatively short period of time, smart phones have become ubiquitous. Everybody has one. Go anywhere in public and you’ll see people on their phone.

People’s whole lives are tied to their phone. They really are amazing inventions, replacing a shopping cart full of single purpose items, everything from cameras to calendars. When a tool that’s used for everything is no longer working people will be adrift.

Nobody memorizes anything. Why should they? If it’s not already in the phone’s memory, a simple internet search will produce the information. We’ve off-loaded our memory into a physical device.

Not only are people going to be mentally lost, they’ll be physically lost. Phones have great map functions. They are easy to use. They are so easy to use that many people never learn directions. Quite a few people even use the map function to go to places they travel to on a regular basis, never really learning the route.

Suddenly going without their phones is going to be extremely stressful. Many people have to constantly check their phone and only a small fraction of that is actual necessary business. The device demands attention and few resist.

Like most people, I use a smart phone too, but I’m aware of its seduction. Currently I’m using a three year old $99 phone with a minimal plan that cost less that $13/month. By today’s standards I’m a neanderthal. Not only that, my lovely wife and I share the same phone. How weird is that?

-Sixbears

14 comments:

  1. All hail the Luddites. I make part of my living with tech but have resisted getting a swipe-left-to-ignore-reality device so far. They (and their apps) are designed to hook you in. Oh, and I still prefer to read a physical map.

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    1. I don't need a map app -my lovely wife tells me where to go. :)

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  2. I've got a $20 dumb phone from Chinamart. If I'm afraid I'll forget something, I write it in the tiny notebook that I carry in my shirt pocket. I've travel by ridges, valleys and waterways as much as roads, so I don't get turned around that often. I imagine you're the same on the latter. If the SHTF, we'll be in rough shape, but not as bad as many.

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    1. I've a pile of small notebooks and I love them. Growing up dad would take me hunting. Once in a great while I'd cross a hiking trail but rarely walked them. Only later did I learn that it was part of an extensive trail system. I grew up "bushwhacking" before I knew that had a name.

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  3. I'm a neanderthal too. 3G phone, 90 day $25 pre-paid account. Smart Nuthing the only app is on-off. But it does have a nifty calculator when its inconvenient to take off my socks to count. "Goes In To - Take Away From" functions just fine.

    My coworkers are exactly as you describe. They go back home when they find they forgot the phone (hard for me to believe, it seems permanently welded to one of their hands). Losing their contacts is catastrophic - most people gave up their land lines, so there is no record of what their current mobile number is.

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    1. I still have a land line. It's the old number but is through Vonage as it's much cheaper than the local phone company was. Figured I was going to have Internet anyway.

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  4. Not weird...smart. - Momlady

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  5. Ha ha , I've got a flip phone. Use it like an old fashioned wall hanger too.
    Sets beside my lazyboy in the living room. Rarely do I take it with me.
    I refuse to get a smart phone, when my flip phone dies no more phone...
    Same with my computer, I'll be going full Luddite at that point.

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    1. I'm usually a couple generations behind when it comes to electronics.

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  6. That's why I don't have a smart phone.... and the dumb phone hardly ever gets turned on. Once every couple weeks when I do remember I have a pile of spam messages even in chinese. Go figure!
    If you really want to see what total collapse looks like you need go no further than Venezuela today. No electricity = no dialysis machines, no incubators for preemies, no refrigeration for food or meds, no metro stations, no gas pumps etc.
    https://www.caracaschronicles.com/2019/03/26/a-country-interrupted/

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    1. Collapse is here -it's just not evenly distributed yet. Today it's Venezuela. When it starts to affect more and more countries at the same time -watch out.

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  7. Slightly off topic but an interesting take on selfsustinability.
    https://thefieldlab.blogspot.com/2019/03/the-irony-of-it-all.html

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    1. He gets full points for honesty. One problem is that you have to do much better than subsistence. That doesn't pay the taxes, insurance, and many other expenses needed in a modern world. Try and raise your kids like dibble stick barbarians and the state will take them away.

      Supplementing my diet is easy. I've even lived off the land successfully as an experiment years ago. However, it was in the summer. I lived off fish, berries and wild greens. The lack of spices made it boring, but it was possible. During the cold weather, it's a different can of worms. I did live off of rock tripe for three winter days in the mountains once. Don't recommend it.

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