Urban planning community

Poll results: Do you think a global crisis will occur in your lifetime? (check all you agree with)

Voters
23. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yep, plan on no power and the collapse of civil order. Gimme the directions to Zman's!

    8 34.78%
  • Maybe in my kids lifetime, but not mine

    3 13.04%
  • We might experience a 'hiccup' but the Powers that Be will cope adequately

    10 43.48%
  • My future's so bright I gotta wear shades

    4 17.39%
  • Zombies will be here any day now. Bring 'em on!!

    6 26.09%
  • Zombies will probably flame me while I'm texting

    0 0%
  • Man, you really DO hate America, don't you?

    6 26.09%
  • Dude, you NEED to stop watching all those Kevin Costner movies!

    0 0%
Multiple choice poll
+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: When the Power Goes Out

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    18,451

    When the Power Goes Out

    A coworker told me recently they were now requiring students at her kid’s high school to have a cell phone/android/iphone/whatever to bring to class so the students could download educational apps. It’s an experimental program and I guess the administration figured 97% of students already had cell phones and were creating a nuisance due to the kids using them incessantly during class, so the school figured if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em. The rule is that your cell phone has to stay on top of your desk and you can’t text or talk on them during class.

    This same coworker told me they don’t teach cursive in their school district either. I gather this is quite common as schools across the country have instead focused on teaching kids keyboard skills, rather than handwriting. This same forward-thinking school has significantly reduced their library book holdings and invested the money into more computer terminals so students can learn to google their questions instead of look them up in reference books.

    There is logic behind these moves to embrace technology. The reality is that these kids will likely use/rely on keyboarding, iphoning, and google skills far more than the analog counterparts. But it’s a cosmic law that energy expended towards one thing must necessarily come at the expense of something else. Am I being overly paranoid in suggesting we’re overlooking the more basic survival skills; skills necessary to get by if the Power Ever Goes Out? We catch tiny glimpses of this during those exceptional circumstances when we lose power during a storm or other emergency. Life without electricity or modern amenities is novel and even a fun at first, but gets progressively more oppressive as time passes.

    Something we often like to ignore is the fact that the process of civilization undergoes ebbs and flows, and times of crisis/downfall have regularly punctuated our ascent at various times and places throughout history and pre-history. It has not been one continuous steady climb upwards. Are we doing our children a disservice by making no preparation or provision against catastrophic failure?

    Have you ever watched Frontier House, Colonial House, or the like? Lots folks of folks don’t do well with their modern skills on those shows. How well do you think you’d fare if the power ever went out for an extended period (as in so long you don’t know if/when it will be restored)?
    Last edited by Maister; 29 Sep 2011 at 11:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    In a 480 square foot ex baseball nacho stand
    Posts
    7,511
    Our power went off for about an hour eariler this week. The planners in my group all picked up of "phones" (mini-computers) and continued to so-called work.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  3. #3
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Someplace between yesterday and tomorrow.
    Posts
    13,123
    Prepare!

    Thus is the reason I am a supporter of houses being net zero and reducing our consumption. I believe that there is enough civil turmoil brewing that we might be on the edge of another dark ages. I don’t believe that it will create mass pandemonium or result in a total collapse of civilization, but I think that we could experience situations such as rolling blackouts, food shortages, and riots over the span of a few years. It will be followed with a combination of a revival and a renaissance of sorts.

    A very wealthy and very smart guy that I know once told me to get debt free and invest in gold and silver, backed by gun powder because if history is any indicator, things are about to get bad unless we take drastic measures to change them. But given our elected leaders at the state and federal levels, it is doubtful that will happen any time soon.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Akron
    Posts
    2,255
    Don't look now, but ONE ALREADY HAS!
    WALSTIB

  5. #5
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Appleton, Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,174
    Another thought on power is that every city in today's World is critically life-dependent on power to run their sewer and most importantly water supply systems - no power for over a month or so and most cities will become uninhabitable due to lack of water.



    And I'm not even starting on lack of refrigeration and our modern food supply.



    Mike

  6. #6
    Cyburbian dw914er's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,154
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Prepare!

    A very wealthy and very smart guy that I know once told me to get debt free and invest in gold and silver, backed by gun powder because if history is any indicator, things are about to get bad unless we take drastic measures to change them. But given our elected leaders at the state and federal levels, it is doubtful that will happen any time soon.
    If financial institutions were to collapse, I'm not sure if being debt free would make any difference. I agree though having a gun and items to barter would be how you would survive.

    Though, to the original post: I don't think I've ever had to write in cursive. I was at the transition of the handwriting to digital typing age, so I had to learn both skills, but I probably would have survived without one of those skills.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Snarkville
    Posts
    6,593
    Quote Originally posted by dw914er View post
    If financial institutions were to collapse, I'm not sure if being debt free would make any difference. .
    Seems like if financial institutions were going to collapse you should be racking up as much debt as possible to buy guns and gold.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian dw914er's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,154
    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Seems like if financial institutions were going to collapse you should be racking up as much debt as possible to buy guns and gold.
    It's not like I'd actually be paying for it anyways

  9. #9
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2009
    Location
    The Glass City
    Posts
    2,610

    My future is so bright!

    Seriously, there is a remote chance that things would get so out of control that "the power would go out" - but would that last for ages? would it mean we have to conduct research with the duey decimal system again? Did I spell duey decimal system correctly? Who knows. I personally think people are way too smart and pampered for that. For every Evil Overlord out there, there is a bright entrepreneur working tirelessly to break into the market with something bigger, better, faster, cheaper, and cleaner.

    Let the wee ones learn with their fancy robots. It is the nature of things. Our grandparents knew all kinds of things that we haven't the slightly clue about - like making flour. If we need the information to survive, we can find it.

    Sure there is civil unrest, but can anyone honestly point out a period of human history when there wasn't? We are a cranky, demanding, selfish species. We want want want and we always think we know best. It is our nature. The end is not near. We aren't that special.
    Occupy Your Brain!

  10. #10
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    18,451
    You can tell TS is a glass half full kinda gal. That is, if the glass is half filled with vodka and you can pretty well bet the reason it's not completely full is because she drank the other half!

    Sure, there's almost always civil unrest ocurring somewhere on earth, but this is an apocalyptic scenario we're talking about. The question is will we face a global crisis in our lifetimes; something that will affect people's lives on a Sagan-esque scale; a situation where people in one part of the world will be so busy trying to Deal that they're unable to help anyone else Deal. Used to be during the Cold War that crisis was usually thought of as a global exchange of nukes, but these days we apocalyptics like to consider other scenarios such as the collapse of the world's financial institutions and the ensuing collapse of the global economy and world order, or post-peak oil warfare, or the most godawful computer virus ever devised grinding the developed world's technologically-driven lives to a halt. That kinda thing.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Slightly Off-Center
    Posts
    8,260
    When the lights go down in the city,
    and the sun shines on the bay,
    do i want to be there,
    in my city,
    ohoh ohohoh ohoh
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  12. #12
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Jukin' City
    Posts
    16,702

    The lights aren't going out...yet

    Off-topic:
    My civilian contact in the Pentagon (yes, that Pentagon), is telling us that all the high level discussions over the past several years always begin with water supply or lack thereof. Lower on the list are shortages of oil, natural gas, and coal supplies. The paramount strategic issue of the future is water. This will be the next global crisis.

    As is said, whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Snarkville
    Posts
    6,593
    AIB RJ

    I remember reading a few years ago about how big corporations have been busy buying up major aquifers and water rights.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Posts
    9,934
    Blog entries
    5
    I'm more concerned with lack of clean water than anything else. Having spent decent amounts of time in remote villages and slums in developing countries doing without electric or gas is a nuisance but not unbearable. The lack of unrationed clean water is a completely different thing.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  15. #15
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2009
    Location
    The Glass City
    Posts
    2,610
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    You can tell TS is a glass half full kinda gal. That is, if the glass is half filled with vodka and you can pretty well bet the reason it's not completely full is because she drank the other half!
    Hah! You think you have me all figured out, but my drink is gin I'll have you know!

    Right, so back on topic. I feel ill equipped to guess the fate of mankind on a global level, but my educated guess would be no.
    Occupy Your Brain!

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Wives have more power?
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 30
    Last post: 09 Apr 2010, 5:38 PM
  2. If you could have one super-power...
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 10
    Last post: 22 Mar 2010, 11:59 AM
  3. Girl power!
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 20
    Last post: 05 Mar 2005, 11:17 AM
  4. PG to the 4th Power
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 57
    Last post: 03 Mar 2005, 2:54 AM
  5. Power to the BOA!
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 3
    Last post: 16 Jul 2004, 4:06 PM