Prepping for the end of (my access to) the (industrialised) world

June 19, 2016 — January 24, 2022

hand wringing
social graph

Surviving the collapse of civilisation. This is purely a collective endeavour. Humans are a social species.

As far as individual prepping goes, working out how to weather a nanotoech war on an oil rig-based permaculture farm with geothermal bitcoin mining rig is too effortful for my personal lifestyle choices. For garden-variety emergencies it is worth getting go bag since that gets you through many basic problems.

To get through other crunchy bits of the future, I am interested in adaptive communities. Schemes of amusing or thought provoking nature along those themes listed here.

1 Basic mutual aid with your neighbours.

  • Mutual Aid disaster relief

    e.g. The Resilience We Want

  • The response is a book, podcast, and documentary series exploring the remarkable communities that arise in the aftermath of disasters. Spanning the globe, each episode takes a deep dive into a unique location to uncover the under-reported stories that are hidden just beneath the surface of extraordinary events.

2 Community resilience

Katie Patrick: The IMAGINE Project is a community-driven movement that gives people tools, activities, and social support to re-imagine their cities as biophilic, ecologically harmonious, and beautiful places. We aim for our community to be focused on equal parts creative visualization and real on-the-ground ecological transformation.

Commons Transition is into this, I think.

Characterised by openness, reciprocity and stewardship, the Commons paradigm offers flexible, integrative solutions that combine three approaches:

  • Free: open, shareable, and with equitable access;
  • Fair: just distribution for participating commoners and in social solidarity with all humankind, inclusive of varieties in race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, and citizenship status; and
  • Alive and engaged with nature: acknowledging our integral role as responsible stewards and restorers, not dominators and destructors, of nature.

Their manifestos occasionally bang on a too great a length to work out precisely what they are into (Worrying traces of committee design), but there are enough keywords there that I am interested in that something must be useful. See perhaps Commons Transition Primer.

3 Outré options

reinvent everything

In the context of a disruption of this magnitude, we must understand that most of our “civilization toolkit” will be entirely transformed. Very deep things. Stuff like how we live together in community and even how we form families. Certainly things like how we educate our children and how we produce and share resources.

I find that it can often be difficult to process this level of reinvention. Even when we consciously try to hold ourselves to a high standard, our habits of mind inevitably impose themselves on what we envision, and we unconsciously smuggle much of our current world into our imagined future. We look to the future and imagine flying cars.

The approach that I’ve learned to take when tasked with such a challenge is something I call “reinvention”. This is a practiced effort to “boil off” the media and mechanisms of some social function and distill out the most foundational elements that these institutions are attempting to satisfy. Once we have clearly grasped this deep code, we can then dip into our provisional “toolkit from the future” and play with inventing new institutional architectures that satisfy the fundamental needs .

This essay is an effort to walk through this process in the context of the clearly failing social institution known as “journalism.” The intent here is more to convey the process of reinvention than to actually reinvent journalism — although if you find yourself inspired to dig deeper, reinventing journalism is certainly a worthy purpose to pursue


Which artisanal skill do you want to contribute to community resilience? See DIY.

5 Restarting technology

6 Incoming

A lot of Vinay Gupta, the guy whose vision is so powerful he can see promise even in Burners.

7 References

Dartnell. 2015. The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Civilization in the Aftermath of a Cataclysm.
Murphy. 2020. Markets Against Modernity: Ecological Irrationality, Public and Private. Capitalist Thought : Studies in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.
North. 2018. How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler.
Plant. 2019. Primitive Technology: A Survivalist’s Guide to Building Tools, Shelters, and More in the Wild.