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What Reading List Would Enable the Rebuilding of Civilization?

05/10/2009 1:34 PM

There was a time when Man the Toolmaker, could be embodied in one man who knew all there was to be known. That guy knew how to make a fire, or a sharp hand held axe rock, and then a spear, and a bow and arrow, some rope, and string.

Say there was an Apocalyptic Riot, and we were returned to the Stone Age, temporarily?

What Books of Engineering and Science would enable the rebuilding as quickly as possible the best of our civilization?

As a start I nominate the Boy Scout Handbook and Merit Badge Manuals.

P.S. I decided to put this in the Education Section as it was a question inspired by the discussion of Free University Education Chrisg288 started.

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#1

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/10/2009 1:59 PM

The McMaster-Carr catalogue if UPS survived.

Otherwise Machinery's Handbook.

If the Boy Scout Handbook, I vote for the old Scout Field Book.

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/10/2009 2:38 PM

The back catalogue of Mother Earth News; Making shaping treating of steel, Popular Mechanics do it yourself encyclopedia (circa 1950's) Chemical technician ready reference, CRC manual, and a good statistics text.

milo

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/10/2009 4:25 PM

How to find Iron and make it into Steel. I wondered if there was a book by that title?

What do we need to know?{p] For instance, I've never found any metal in the ground and turned it into anything.p] There is probably a good reading list out of MIT.

My wife says it is MIT, Harvard, and NC State, of engineering schools that are likely to have the best Reading Lists.

I am certain Milo is on the right track, since he immediately mentions steel, as something important to know about.

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#257
In reply to #5

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/18/2009 10:53 AM

1. Machinery' Handbook

2. Making Shaping and Treating of steel; United States Steel Corp

3. 4 Volumes of Ingenious Mechanisms for inventors

4. Metals Handbook relevant volumes; ASME

5. Practical gear design, Darle Dudley

6. Feynman's Lectures on Physics

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#2

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/10/2009 2:34 PM

most certainly an interesting thought...

i question if the " nwo " so alluded to would even bother to care " the best of our society "...

right is might .. survival of the fittest..?...mob mentality and justice..?

the Donner party comes to mind.....

somehow i think the vision of " flight of the Phoenix "..

well.. let me think...

stone age equipement..kinda fits this planets stone-age interpersonal relationships..( i hate you because.. ( fill in the blank of your choice ) ) you're catholic , you're white , you're black , you're from the other camp )) you're a rude obnoxious guest. )

h.g. Wells never let us see the books that were chosen...

best of our society..?

what would be the 1st ten things you'd wanna build?

then there's the aspect .. who would lead.. who would follow?

who would stop you from harming me when i think the wall should be here not there and we cant AGREE ON THE RIGHT PLACE TO PUT IT ..?

or me you..?.

suppose that you tell me my skills in the old world have no value now , and i decide i don't wanna weed the potato patch ?

would we be wise and humble enough to go ask the American Native Indians for their help in their knowledge of nature's treasures..? only this time we cant give `em tubercle bacillus again in return ..or make more whiskey..

although books on engineering might provide some answers..i point to the effort to rebuild the Parthenon..

the burning of the library at Alexandria lost secrets to mankind for ever.

some of these thought are more questions...

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#15
In reply to #2

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 1:01 AM

I can make whiskey. In the scenario discussed, that might even be one of the most valuable skills to have because good old alcohol is an excellent disinfectant and pain killer in addition to its more enjoyable qualities.

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#17
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 3:08 AM

stand , be identified and join with us , with skills that needy , you're in !!

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#19
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 3:26 AM

Pretty good trading potential too... I'll stay with you. (I can catch mice)

Del

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#20
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 3:44 AM

protein is a good addition to a survivalist diet. ..

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#4

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/10/2009 3:09 PM

The 5 books that make up the "Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy" trilogy!

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#6

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/10/2009 5:14 PM

The Traditional Bowyer's Bible (volumes 1&2 should surfice, heck go for it, have the whole set)
Del

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#7
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/10/2009 5:17 PM

But of course!

milo

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#156
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/13/2009 5:53 PM

Well I'll start with the basics....as in the "Ten Commandments".

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#8

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/10/2009 5:46 PM

I was waiting to see if anyone would make the following suggestion, and to my surprise, no one has yet submitted what I feel to be the exact answer to the OPs question.

This question was asked and answered in a book by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. I think the title was "A Mote in God's Eye," but the plot was a large comet hitting the earth and destroying civilization. The hero of the book who puts at least a small portion of the USA back on the path towards civilization is a nerdy engineer type, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of the basics that make our world work. He makes constant reference to a publication that is of German origin, but was translated into English in the UK (as is obvious by even a casual reading).

This encyclopedia, which I highly recommend, does indeed explain all the basics of important technologies. It's not a recipe book, but it is a bible of technology:

"The Way Things Work," ISBN 0-671-21086-6. It is a two volume set, with the first volume being much older than the second.

Regarding the importance of metals, here is a succinct history of man's exploitation of the planet's treasures. It isn't written as a recipe book either, but it chronicles man's discovery and understanding of metal acquisition and fabrication from banging on the first nodules of copper with a rock through modern (1940s) steel processes. A fascinating vignette in this book chronicles how slave miners died to retrieve the silver that funded the fleet Athens built around 500 BC; the fleet that defeated the Persians at the battle of Salamis in 480 BC, which preserved Greek civilization as the foundation of the western world.

"The Sons of Vulcan," Thomas Hibben, J.B. Lippincott, 1940.

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#9
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/10/2009 7:34 PM

Thought that was The Battle of Marathon. I am going by what I remember of the 1865 book by John Creasy, 15 Battles that Changed the World.

I do like the idea of a recipe book, and think maybe that is why I like the Boy Scout Merit Badge Books.

It has been on my mind that aluminum from bauxite is available from most any dirt, if you know what to do with it.

When I was in Community College I did attempt to learn Geology, but as much as I was interested and no matter that I actually went to class, the teacher was really about the worst teacher I ever tried to learn from.

Hey, maybe to provide a great education to as many as possible internationally, some classrooms ought to be filmed, and others presented as filmed!

Right now there ought to be a great deal of cheap television equipment available due to the US digital mandate that has made analog obsolete without converter boxes.

If I had the money I'd buy all that old stuff up along with all the cheap tvs and drop it around the world and transmit the best educational tv I could find to them little flickering boxes.

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#10
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/10/2009 7:48 PM

The battle at the plains of Marathon was a largely Athenian victory over a Persian invasion in 490 BC, ten years prior to the naval battle at Salamis. At Marathon, the Persians were attempting to invade from the sea, and were thrown back into the sea by a small force of Athenians helped by an even smaller force from Platea. The Spartans couldn't be bothered, the phase of the moon wasn't right.

After Marathon, the Persians retreated and there was a plan for another invasion, but the Persian king Darius died, and it was a while before the new king, Xerxes, could stabilize control and then turn his attention back to Greece. In the meantime, the Athenians discovered silver in Mt. Laurens, and the rest, as recounted in my previous post, is history.

BTW, it was Xerxes' Persians who fought the Spartans at Thermopylae, as recounted in the recent movie "The 300" or something like that (didn't see the movie).

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#11
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/10/2009 8:27 PM

Thanks for the correction. This is an interesting aside to allow in the thread for I still want to know which of the two battles emc c considers most important.

According to John Creasy The Battle of Marathon was important from a point of favor towards individual rights, over states rights.

In simplified terms, the Persians were more conformist, and the Athenians were individualistic.

According to what I understand if the Athenians had now won this particular battle, Western Civilization as we know it, would have very likely been wiped out.

As I understand it there was within the Athenian camp in command, revolving command of the army. From what I understand the General in Command was charged with making arguments for actions of either doing nothing, or making an attack.

It was sort of Democracy Extremis, and I am fascinated by the ideas men fought for when civilization was a wisp.

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#12
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/10/2009 10:40 PM

Well, Athens was a complete democracy - one (free) man, one vote. There was no constitution as such.

I don't think you can say that one or the other (Marathon or Salamis) battle was the more important. A loss in either would have spelled the end for Greek civilization, and with it, western civilization. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle; all of these lived during or after the Golden Age of Greece after the Persians had been routed.

Transcendian's characterization of the Persian Wars conflict as "important from a point of favor towards individual rights, over states' rights" uses modern terminology that would have fallen on deaf ears back then, but the characterization is accurate. A free man in Greece, particularly Athens, was the equal of any other free man. When the Greeks fought, each man bore arms and wore armor he himself had purchased. The Greeks at Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis were fighting for their survival as free men. The people who were swallowed up in the Persian Empire were all slaves.

While the Greeks were outnumbered at Marathon, and Herodotus records the Persian Army of Xerxes as having a million men (likely something of an exaggeration), the reason that the Greeks could offer more than token resistance to vastly larger forces was due in large part to the fact that free men were fighting slaves. And the free men could see what they (or more likely) their descendants would be, in the men they were facing in battle. The Persian forces were largely ill-equipped slaves who were whipped forward into battle by sergeants who would kill any that turned tail and ran. You can see that such soldiers would have a morale problem. Whereas the free Greeks (who also operated a slave economy) were free to spend their time training as soldiers, philosophers, and the like. The difference was that the Greeks did their own fighting; they didn't leave it up to slaves.

It was this basic difference, free men vs. slaves, that eventually led Alexander the Great to conclude that he could conquer Persia, which he did. After the Peloponnesian Wars, which weakened Greece after its Golden Age, an entire generation of Greeks had grown up knowing nothing but war. With peace, these professional soldiers hired out to competing forces in the now decadent Persian Empire. A Greek general, Xenophon, wrote an account of his travels and battles called, "The March of the Ten Thousand." In that account, you could learn that in most of the battles fought across Persia, the combatants were groups of Greek mercenary cores and local Persian slave soldiers. In battle after battle, the slaves ran off or were killed, and the battles ended up being between two groups of Greek mercenaries, fighting for their customers. It was this account that fired Alexander with the idea to take on Persia.

For the historically unschooled, we are talking here about the time period 500 - 300 BC. Note this is around one thousand years before Islam conquered the Middle East. And yet, fourteen centuries after Islam overran the Middle East, you had the same sort of cultural conflict between east and west as back during the Persian Wars, a full twenty-four plus centuries earlier.

I refer of course to Persian Gulf War I, where western forces engaged and routed Iraqi forces in Kuwait. At the time, the Iraqi army was the fourth largest in the world, and battle-hardened after an eight year conflict with neighboring Iran. You had all the same comparisons: free men, highly trained and very well-equipped, vs. virtual slaves who were hungry and poorly equipped with very low morale.

It appears that some of the less desirable traits of Middle East culture antedate Islam by many centuries. And Transcendian, with whom I often conflict, has nailed it this time: free men vs. slaves, individuals vs. the omnipotent state.

Something serious to think about at a time when the last best hope championing the individual over the state is under assault from a state hell-bent on omnipotence... (Check out my "location" info if you don't understand this).

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#29
In reply to #12

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 8:53 AM

Hi,

I think that this is oversimplified.

The main influx of culture and civilisation into Greece came from the Egypts after Darius conquered Egypt and forced all priests return to their native countries, including Pythagoras.

He had served for 20 years in Egyptian temples, these were responsible for measurement so he could learn what was later interpreted as his "invention".

And Egypt relied on slavery too, but nonetheless it had phases of predominance and blossoming.

So what is really causing rise and fall of civilisations remains to be solved.

The Greek never were really one people but many states that fought each other.

Divide et impera! Divide and rule!

And there was the cheating of Pericles with the treasures of the Attic-Delic treaty organisation. Pericles hat paid with state money the Athenians to vote for him, had spent much more than he was able to pay back after being reelected.

So he sent troops to bring the large silver treasure of this pre-runner of NATO into Athenian mainland. Naturally that robbery triggered a war, Athens won but was no longer itself, strong and prospering.

Then Pericles wasted the money with luxury (the big temples) and the big walls from Athens to Piraeus harbor. One more wall that failed.

Not as the Spartans attacked but by the illness (Pest?) that spread quickly because so many landliving people had taken refuge insede the walls, and as there was no sewage system you may imagine what followed.

Civilisations may die by seemingly minor rrors.

We may see ours to die because of insufficient education.

RHABE

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#47
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 12:59 PM

We may see ours to die because of ineffectiveeducation.

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#52
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 1:17 PM

Ah - now

No crossthread pollination

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#23
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the Re-Building of Civilization?

05/11/2009 7:20 AM

if you are interested in this particular piece of history then i would refer you to the writings of Xenophon, one of the foremost military historians of that era... But regarding the development and working of advanced metals and alloys; I am of the opinion that this particular knowledge would be more important than most, except maybe advanced mathematics and construction manuals, after all, what use is gold, steel, aluminium and copper if you cant build anything more complex than a lean-to?

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#18
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 3:18 AM

one night while in viet nam, it was late, around 10 pm...walking from the gate to the main blvd both sides of the road was " dog patch "..mind you this is right out side the base, a main base, not some fire base on some hill top, " homes " were made from corrugated cardboard roughly one inch thick , used in shipping boxes..( the actually box was the home )joined in some mannor.. maybe tin roof .. or that corrugated green tinted plastic s_ it.. ..thru each door way you could see a tv...

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#14
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 12:38 AM

Right authors but wrong book - it was "Lucifer's Hammer".

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#111
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/13/2009 9:08 AM

GA, As I recall the hero of this story saw what was coming and triple wraped his best survival books (many mentioned) and hid them in his freshly installed metal septic tank. Reasoning that scrap metal would be found before foundries were rebuilt.

My own choices would be 'How to Stay Alive in the Woods' and 'Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants' both by Bradford Angier, 'Back to Eden' by Jethro Kloss (herbology), and 'The Owner Built Home' by Ken Kerns, which details how to build a shelter with ready natural and scrap materials.

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#42
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 12:22 PM

The way things work - ROCKS!

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#73
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 5:17 PM

That particular book by Larry niven was "Lucifer's Hammer", a very good read, Larry writes hard sci-fi no B.S., Has anyone mentioned the great value of goates, they make milk, meat, clothing, are good pack animals, almost as good as dogs for watching the yard, and many other uses. Lynn

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#74
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 5:21 PM

Goats - Very, very good points!

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#13

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 12:14 AM

I don't have a comprehensive answer... Wikipedia maybe.. but there is a reason I have 5000 books, most of which are put in storage. This is a puzzle I have always wondered about..

I read a science fiction short story back in 1986, about a man who gets accidentally sent back in time, and has a gun, but only one bullet, and I think he goes to iceland in the age of vikings, and he has seen so much technology, but is unable to even light a fire, or many other basic survival skills... and subsequently the crude backwards people of the time ridicule him.. I think he eventually commits suicide because of the irony of his uselessness versus his memory of all the technological advancement.. can't remember the story title or author..

but in general, these are the Value Chains that I mentioned in that other thread... a basic step-by-step how-to progression up the technological evolutionary ladder for any given part of the hierarchy-of-needs, for human survival. It is an all-embracing question.

An apocolyptic riot is not needed. All you need is for say a financial collapse to occur, and america to go bankrupt. then out goes the power, and off goes the oil.. civilization will come to a screeching halt in the cities.. people, angry, starving and afraid, armed to the teeth, and undereducated. its Mad Max time.

Who knows how to grow food, or hunt or raise animals, from scratch? Who actually knows how to built shelter, from scratch. Who knows how to fix a modern car?

Every technology requires an infrastructure to support its ongoing operation. What good is a car with no gas stations, roads, traffic control, or spare parts, or knowledge of the repair? These value chains surround us... we all know bits and pieces of the puzzle, but we are mostly unaware of what we don't know in terms of creating the fundamentals from scratch.

What if we had to start all over again? Here is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Here is a short simple version of what I deem to be the hierarchy of needs in descending order, requisite for continued physical existence till tomorrow:

Air
Water
Food
Clothing
Shelter
Energy
Transportation
Communication
Law
Government
Defense

I don't think there is one single answer (yet) to this question, but there are some great compendiums.. Also, older books do a better job of showing how to sustain life in the wild. Some of the books written 200 years ago are the best for that. I personally just keep collecting books and preserving them.. Yes I know that there is better faster knowledge on the net, but I also believe that one day, when the power goes out.. you won't have that option... and books will be your new/old best friend, along with your hunting dog.

Great Question Russell!!

Chris

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#46
In reply to #13

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 12:48 PM

Good work, Chris. My wife keeps asking my why I keep buying books (I'm up around 8,000 now, and I'm quite a bit older than you from the looks of your picture). Up until now my answer has been "to enjoy in my retirement". This gives me another reason. Although, as I've gotten older my "buys" have increased in the subject of History and decreased in Science and Technology.

The subject of recovering civilization if it were lost to some planetary catastrophe is worthwhile to ponder. I will apologize ahead of time if this gets too fringe for readers here, but according to some, there was an advanced civilization (Atlantis -- place it where you will) who knew of their impending doom, stored for safe keeping, what they considered similar records to help instruct a future "recovered" civilization, and it apparently has not helped -- yet.

Apart from feeling a past existence as an American Indian, I admire tribal/native peoples closeness to "life" -- in any country. It is something we have lost with the industrial revolution and "progress" in science and technology. Having been very technologically and scienctifically oriented in the past, I now believe that the planet would have been much better off overall without all of these advances. Life would be, no doubt, harsher, but the world as a living organism would be healthier. The proof that "civilization", as we now define it, isn't really required is the very fact that "uncivilization" inevitably led to what we have. The human mind's inquisitiveness will guarantee a progression from any starting point. If it gets snuffed out completely, then it won't matter any way. Life is a HUGE cycle of this up and down. In Eastern thought this cycle is presented as a Golden Age which deteriorates into a Silver Age, which then slides into a Copper Age and then finally an Iron Age, which it is said we are now living in. Then the Iron Age leads back into a Golden Age, etc. All tied up with the idea of transmigration/reincarnation. The real purpose of life is not to become technologically advanced, but rather to escape this wheel of existence which extends into what some think of as spiritual realms, but are in fact just finer vibrational levels of Mind -- truly Spiritual realms quite above and beyond -- a whole other subject not suited for these forums.

Suffice it to say, I don't worry about preserving our current "civilization". There is a controlling, unseen power that manifests all we can see or know and the "busy work" of mind, of which science and technology are just facets, will always be around in this cycle.

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#55
In reply to #46

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 1:34 PM

very interesting. thank you knowledgeable friend.

There are many who subscribe to the notion that the Great Pyramid and subsequent rise of civilization in Egypt was a direct result of the transmission of knowledge from Atlantis. (also noted is the legend that the artifacts and library are buried on that site in subterranian caves)

If one takes the point of view that the universe, and everything in it is matter/energy, then those finer vibrational levels you speak of are simply an insufficiently explored energies. (I won't say unexamined, as I know that there have been some fairly comprehensive studies done, and documented, just ignored.. not PC.) I've never understood why science in general would not be more open minded about this field. it is after all, a mystery at the core of our existence, and inside our own minds.

Cayce (et al) informed us about the existence of an Akashic record, which surrounds the planet, and contains the combined knowledge of all that has ever transpired on earth, but one needs access to their psychic mind to access it.

I dont' believe that there is a controlling mind, other than US. I certainly don't believe that God would Control, as that would break the fundamental rule of heaven: Golden Rule - don't remove choice from others. manifest maybe, control, maybe only that which we don't. Only the shadow knows....

Chris

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#75
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 5:39 PM

i believe the great pryamid is a marker beacon... navigational device..

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#77
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 5:44 PM

I won't argue the Great Pyramid

But I was watching the other night, and looking at the "signs" on the high desert of ?Chile?Peru? they wanted to discuss the lines in the desert as navigational aids.

Flew across the universe, can't find the way back across the desert?

Some folks are dim.

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#81
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 10:54 PM

you are smooth...

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#85
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/12/2009 1:10 AM

on the plane just the other night?...tell me sir, did the plane land on the ils or use the ils to find the airport?

that Peruvian runnway...what if at the time it was in use it was the only dry land ?and can you conceive of a vessel in distress and finds this planet?..with the most recent thread , what if this is the remnants of this very story?

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#186
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/14/2009 4:41 PM

Yes, perhaps they forgot to leave us a history - which we haven't packed yet either.

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#16

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 2:24 AM

One conceivable answer is that perhaps it would be better if Homo sapiens should reinvent civilization without going through old mistakes. New ones could be less destructive...

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#21
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 3:56 AM

Knowing the answers beforehand may help in that area.

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#22

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 4:57 AM

The Bible

Mark's Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers

ISBN

0071428674 / 9780071428675 http://www.mhprofessional.com/product.php?isbn=0071428674 http://www.engineershandbook.com/ Bowles, Foundation analysis and design Fang, Foundation Engineering Handbook Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology The Chemical Engineers Bible - Watson H.E.

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#24

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 8:01 AM

Hi all,

Just back home from Mexico where I've been for 1,5 months and now for 10 days of Health Department recommended (obligatory) home rest. I hope swine flu doesn't go trough e-mail...

I think the question is important as well as the answers as they give a global vision of our own mind.

I agree with most of books already cited. Anyway, my two cents are in the form of "Knowledge" rather than specific book titles:

  • A selection of philosophical texts→ Maybe will allow to make it better this time
  • Basic physics, chemistry and maths→ They will allow to develop all further discoveries and inventions.
  • A short description with schemes/drawings/photographs of few selected items to guide people to use the above (an airplane, a microscope, a chemical reaction, a computer...)

Kind regards

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#25

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 8:24 AM

I know we're talking books, but I'd love to have a seed bank. Short of that, a book that contains lists where food crops are native to, and how to grow them.

A book on boat making, and how to sail.

A book on understanding women.

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#27
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 8:35 AM

Hi Brickie,
GA...but you had to spoil it with that last impossible one

The seed bank and book on plants is great. A book on fungi too would be handy.
Del

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#28
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 8:53 AM

In particular, a book on where to find, how to grow, and, how to malt barley.

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#26

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 8:33 AM

Dick and Jane would be one of my choices, since everything worthwhile I know, I learned in Grammar School.

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#50
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 1:11 PM

GA. That brings up an important point: All these books everyone mentions require an ability to read.

Perhaps some pictographic depiction of the human body, with reference symbols (words), that would be easily identifiable, and useful (e.g.: a broken bone and how to set it), would be the best primer.

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#53
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 1:18 PM

Ah, health - good snag!

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#59
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 2:58 PM

Yes, I thought about the importance of health knowledge. But more importantly, using that universal need as an intentional "Rosetta stone", to unlock all of the other books.

If we are talking bout getting blasted back to the stone ages, reading will be long gone. Probably most linguistics as well.

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#30

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 9:06 AM

There will be one big problem: easy to access metals except iron will no longer exist.

So either a pure (neo)-lithic culture will be existing or iron-making and forming can be maintained.

Iron ores are found on many places - good enough and some replenished by nature continuously.

Iron smelting and steel making is requiring some knowledge but not too much.

Some local groups are working on ancient technology to gain experiences. Some have success at the first try some will need considerably longer.

It takes near 8 weeks 4 men to collect the iron-ore in our vicinity (if without a car), it takes 4 men 3 days to erect the furnace and the prepare the charcoal.

Necessary additives (quartz or chalk) are nearby.

Then 1 day firing and maybe 1 to 5 Kg of mixture of iron and steel.

To be refined by iterated reworking - learn to be a blacksmith will help.

RHABE

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#34
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 11:02 AM

The stone age is highly under-rated

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#60
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 3:00 PM

Except we are already over our life expectancy?

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#48
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 1:03 PM

You've overlooked the prospect of materials currently considered salvage and stocked as recyclables

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#31

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 9:14 AM

There seems to be a missing element in this question...If, say, civilization as we have come to know it and love it, is destroyed or brought to its knees by some appropriate apocalyptic event (either sourced internally or externally), then it has obviously failed the survival test, and one must ask, is it worth reviving in the first place? If it has failed once, then, rebuilt on the same model, one can expect it to fail again at some future point.

So, let us assume that we would prefer to rebuild the "new, improved" version. Now we have to start talking about value systems, and if we allow for conflicting value systems in our new design, are we not sowing the seeds of our own destruction once again?

Assuming individuals with appropriate skills for wilderness, subsistence survival have in fact survived, are they going to have the time or the inclination to read the books you preserve? It is highly unlikely that one is going to pull out one's copy of the Boy Scout Field Book (the older copy, late 50's version) to consult when one is confronted with a hungry lion or attacking wolf pack...

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#32
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 9:39 AM

tigers 1 settler 0

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#35
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 11:05 AM

There is no land mamal which hasn't been stopped with a bow and arrow.
(And flint arrow heads cut better than steel)
Del

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#76
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 5:40 PM

even if it takes 20 or so ...

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#43
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 12:25 PM

GA for your (and my) minority point of view. Jule Verne wrote about several experts finding themselves marooned on an empty island. They use prior knowledge to reconstruct a civilization (nitroglycerin included...)

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#49
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 1:06 PM

Shame on you forgetting the be prepared lesson before venturing about

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#33

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 9:42 AM

First, I guess, it should be this. Because practical knowledge would be more valuable than anything else...

The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency: The Classic Guide for Realists and Dreamers

http://www.amazon.com/New-Complete-Book-Self-Sufficiency-Realists/dp/0751364428/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242049127&sr=1-1

After that would come "strength of materials" books and "structural engineering" books, for we would be dealing with buildings and structures as shelters for some time. Then again, a book on how to construct measurement devices and tools would be essential

But if you want my perspective; I would say any book that dives into human psychology, for apparently we have to learn it better before we start building anything else

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#39
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 12:07 PM

LOL - I was away having a cup of coffee, honest !

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#41
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 12:18 PM

Heh, this indeed proves that the book is a true classic Some of the information inside leaves me thinking "How the hell am I supposed to do this?" but someone else would probably know.

And it's a major plus that it's hardcover, that way it would survive the harshness of the wasteland (If only guys in Fallout 3 had a copy )

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#36

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 11:19 AM

Why not just hire McGivver?

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#37
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 11:22 AM

He needs duct tape and elastic bands to operate properly. He might not be very useful with rocks and metals and wood

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#38

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 12:05 PM

What Books of Engineering and Science would enable the rebuilding as quickly as possible the best of our civilization?

Probably the same ones we can use to re-build the worst. It would be interesting to hear what Gandhi would say of civilization today. He'd probably scream, go home, and say "didn't you listen either?". I'd best leave that angle, it might get a bit heated and off-topic.

I'm with cwarner, in that I don't think we'd have time to read many books. If the collapse is "Apocalyptic Riot", that could mean pandemics or techno-collapse leading to imminent starvation (consider, say, the dependence of food distribution methods on computers). Whatever the scenario, I'm guessing that the intended meaning is chaos/anarchy.

Bricktop mentioned books on where food-crops grow, and how to grow them. Good idea, but it sounds a bit too long term for the given situation. Even if I could hunker down and grow stuff, Mrs K with grinding stone at the ready, I don't think the rioting mass would wait for me to reap the harvest. A book on identifying wild plants/animals that were good to eat would be handy. Self Sufficiency (by john Seymour) is something of a classic. It's foccused on long term plans, but is a good intro read.

Meat would be the most practical source of food - long pork. The rampaging mob will try to kill you to get at your food stocks, so why waste the opportunity. "Alive" might help prepare the mind/stomach.

The volume might be a problem, but a print out of everything on CR4 would be good.

Boy Scout books sound pretty handy (although The SAS Survival Guide spent at lot of time in the bestseller list). I have a rather old looking book called "The Boy's Companion". 1961 I think. Some of the topics are a bit useless, though it's got some great pictures, such as the illustration on how to hold a gun ;

In order to establish good relations with non-Brits, I can offer up this snippet from the said book;

DRIBBLING

Unfortunately most boys make too much of dribbling. To hold the ball and dribble just to show how clever you are is foolish, and it is a very slow way to beat a man; a well-placed pass is much more speedy.

The real use of dribbling is to enable you to progress with the ball to a position from which you can either pass to a colleague who is well placed, or perhaps you can shoot for goal yourself. Secondly, by dribbling, you can hold the ball—scarcely moving at all—till one of your team runs into an open space, when you will release the ball to him. But—it is worth repeating—to dribble just to show how clever you are is mere folly.

The most proficient dribblers in any team are usually the inside forwards; this is obviously just as it should be, for they are normally the men who manoeuvre for position and make openings.

For defenders to dribble in their own goal area is not only risky – it is sheer stupidity. Do not be guilty of such practice.

The language is just so funny I had to post it ! My excuse is that it emphasises the need for teamwork. Best stop here, it looks like I'm dribbling too much

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#44
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 12:29 PM

"I don't think the rioting mass would wait for me to reap the harvest."

I agree, however this aspect of a major catastrophe goes well beyond the OP. Certainly, one's immediate survival would be of main concern. So, I view this question to mean what knowledge would we want after things settle down, and it's time to start rebuilding.

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#61
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 3:09 PM

God point - on looking again, the word "Rebuilding" is prominent. I'll scurry back and GA the seed post.

Provision of food would have to be the cornerstone of rebuilding. Without the knowledge of how to do that in a manner that saved time, we'd never move beyond basic needs. A good reference book might be one on how the early American pioneers moved Westward, somehow managing to set up homesteads. Being a Brit, my knowledge on that is limited to various snippets from TV film and documentary. The reality looks a long way from some of the more fanciful Hollywood romance.

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#187
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/14/2009 4:52 PM

Wild plants can be dangerous, but there are no inedible animals - unappetizing maybe

The Boys Companion was excellent!

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#192
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/15/2009 3:45 AM

Wild plants can be dangerous

Some can be identified by the smell (or colour + gills for shrooms). Sap is another indicator. That's also true of the good ones, and also applies to animals. I'd want to roast a slathering Komodo pretty good before I'd touched it.

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#194
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/15/2009 8:25 AM

Umm, the "animals eat it" test is right out - they eat all kinds of things we can't.

The experience I've had is that for every edible plant, there is at least one nearly identical poisonous one. Wild carrot being an example - above ground looks like baby's breath, the safe one has a tinier black dot in the center, the poisonous one doesn't.

Familiarity is really the only safety - and most won't have it. What we all need is a country granny to run to.

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#199
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/15/2009 11:30 AM

I was thinking more along the lines of colouration being an indicator for animals (frogs etc), but yes, an animal eating a plant doesn't mean the plant is safe. Some plants can be treated to make them edible. Knowing which tubers to eat would be handy (carbohydrate), things like rushes. Then there's knowing which bits to eat at various times of year (like bracken).

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#201
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/15/2009 11:36 AM

Or as you say - how to prepare

Poke being a green that must be boiled twice with the first fluid thrown out

And I only throw out the "animals eat it" as a common wife's tale (bad name to begin with)

Flip side - from my survival instructor:

eat a tiny bit today, monitor for numb lips, disorientation, bowel response,

If zero - eat a bit more tomorrow

repeat

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#202
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/15/2009 11:38 AM

And I should post this as Guest to avoid recrimination, but we are talking survival mode:

there are handy protein sources running madly about in every town and city with the advantage they come when called

Spot and Fluffy

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#206
In reply to #202

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/15/2009 11:49 AM

"there are handy protein sources running madly about in every town..."- before you mentioned the names, my mind was taking me off toward the Solient Green solution...

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#207
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/15/2009 11:50 AM

I have a good recipe book for those and Im prepared to use it!

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#210
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/15/2009 12:57 PM

And I was afraid I was being shocking!

And anyone remember "Its a cookbook!"?

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#211
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/15/2009 1:25 PM

"To Serve Man"

It's, It's, it's,....A COOKBOOK!

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#212
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/15/2009 1:28 PM

We have a WINNER!

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#214
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/15/2009 1:58 PM

Canibalism would be my absolute last choice, but to really survive any thing, it has to be kept in the tool box, just at the bottom of it. on the other hand starving city folk not having any survival skills, will turn to it freightening quickly. So. cal. would go thru all its food w/o resupply in a week or two, in a survival situation its the millions of paniced people that are the survivalists #1 problem. Air, water, food , shelter are realy not a problem given a little preparation, its holding on to them, and the resource literature. True survival requires months or years training in several forms of self defence.

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#215
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/15/2009 2:12 PM

Or first strike offense - sad but better odds

But like being captured - it is the first 48 hours that really count

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#220
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/16/2009 8:11 AM

I lived up north around Cottonwood, Jerome, Sedona 20 or so years ago.. I seem to remember that those areas had independant sources of water & would be likely targets of the marauding hordes LOL.

These days I'm hoping most of the LA basin, can't manage to get over the Grapevine [moutains], or at least get stuck in bakersfield.

The bay area people would probably head north get stoned & be rendered harmless.

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#224
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/16/2009 10:13 AM

>>These days I'm hoping most of the LA basin, can't manage to get over the Grapevine [moutains], or at least get stuck in bakersfield.

Last man out could always dump tacks on the roads

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#225
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/16/2009 10:24 AM

tv adds: we grow the best pot in the world

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#227
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/16/2009 12:12 PM

More misleading advertising...ever hear of Panama Red?

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#228
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/16/2009 12:37 PM

truth in advertizing..? never heard of that...

...don't know if the pot clubs number their samples like that...

p.s... i live in the suburbs not on a retreat growing pot for the state...

..... so my skills as a farmer wouldn't be needed...happy to help in any way i can, but not much of a knowledge base...

pss.. when my father was dieing from multi internal organ cancer..i was happy to have hospice provide temporary relief of his pain, how ever it was obtained...

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#230
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/16/2009 6:04 PM

The best is probably grown inside using stolen electricity..

I'm far more concerned with copper pirates [tweekers]

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#213
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/15/2009 1:37 PM

tastes like pork....its the new white meat.....

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#40

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 12:17 PM

A few years ago, I read a book (and, if I remember rightly, there was a subsequent movie) called "No Blade of Grass". It basically described the scenario under discussion here, and explored the skills and knowledge necessary for survival under such circumstances. I do not believe any of the characters were concerned with reading, or willing to carry books on their trek from London to Scotland...A very good read, but probably useless when the collapse comes.

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#51
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 1:17 PM

available as a torrent download here (1970)

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#58
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 2:39 PM

Thanks for the link-it's been awhile since I read it, and since I lost my book collection to mildew while sailing the tropics in a survival mode, I would like to replace it. It is well worth another read...

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#45

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 12:37 PM

Having lived a portion of both sides of this question... there are one hell of a lot of people in this country (the US) who never forgot these skills, don't live in cities, and largely don't live on this economy - so mad skills in basic blacksmithing might be tradeable for the food you will need eventually.

Iron and steel will be plentiful, but will need repurposing.

Handloading equipment and supplies will work for the first few years, but Del is correct that it is easier to learn a bow than assemble the materials for firearms.

I would highly recommend the Foxfire series of books.

Someone mentioned the Way things Work, most excellent.

Whiskey making is still alive and well in the backwoods, but a good beer will be appreciated.

And I can assure you - you will have plenty of time to read once you kill off the interweb and the TV (or telly). So don't throw out those books, storytelling is still a valued skill.

So I guess the answers depend on how long and how deep, but rural Arkansas to rural Georgia still run subsistance farming off the economy. Grow an accent or bring trade goods until they can train you to be useful.

I'd be willing to bet that in rural about-anywhere you will find the old skills alive and well.

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#54
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 1:25 PM

A few years ago while waiting for food to be prepared I listened to a man in his eighties describe the descriptions of how things work his grandfather had given to him.

Including the recollection of the the grandfather having canoed from Minneapolis, MN to Des Moines, IA through shallow water lakes.

A great resource of applied science is passing slowly without notice.

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#62
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 3:10 PM

WAY TO GO MR. Edignan!! I have been dilegently reading and waiting for someone to say "Foxfire Books". For those who are not blessed with being Southerners it is a series of books that were written by a highschool class in the mountains of North Georgia back in the '70s. They are based on interviews with the old timers that were still alive at that time. The books, I think that there are 6 or 7 of them, cover everything from harvesting wild honey to building a log cabin and, this is the tricky part, a chimney for said cabin. They are a survivalists dream.

The amount of knowledge that we lose in one generation is staggering. I can butcher hogs, cows and wild game. Replace shocks on cars along with fan belts and hoses and repair flats on cars and bikes. My son who is according to him smarter than me and according to his wife better looking than me and according to his mom is nicer than me can't do any of the above. He never had to do any of that when he was growing up. I am the son of a share-cropper and I am fairly confident that if I were in Georgia or one of the other deep south states, or a similiar weather enviroment (reasonable weather is crucial) elsewhere on this globe, I could survive for a tad bit longer than maybe my neighbors could.

However; with that said, I think you should all hunt up an early '70s (?) British movie called "No Blade of Grass". It will make you realize that you cannot survive on your own. There is also a book out there that I don't know the name of that I read in one of those Reader's Digest condensed books back in the '70's. Yeah, I know I am dating myself, but the book is about a small group of friends that are having a wine tasting in the cellar of a French castle when something happens and destroys civilization. They then endure killing starving people from the City (most people can't do this) that are eating there garden vegetables raw; fighting off gangs of mauraders and dealing with the problem of "going forth and multiplying" when there were only three women for about a dozen men. BTW, the leader, who happened to be the owner of the castle, died from what they suspected to be appendicitis.

Interesting topic and a great discussion; but, I hope I never need to find out the answers.

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#78
In reply to #62

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 6:30 PM

I second that! I too have been looking for Foxfire, not wanting to just jump in and repeat. There are 12 volumes, http://www.foxfire.org/thefoxfirebooks.aspx all full of useful information.

I'm going to assume that we wouldn't be completely tool-less in this scenario. While there would be no utilities, I would say that the ability to scavenge the necessary hand tools (axes, saws, etc...) would still be there. These basic tools would suffice until technology rose from the ashes.

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#56

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 2:10 PM

Eating and Healing: Traditional Food as Medicine. - Binghamton, New York : Haworth Press

Pieroni, A.; Price, L.L.; Vandebroek, I. (2005)
Welcome to Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine

"Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places" by Steve Brill and Evelyn Dean. Hearst Books

"A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and Central North America" by Lee Peterson and Roger Tory Peterson (Houghton Mifflin

"The Wild Food Gourmet" by Anne Gardon, Firefly

The Handy Foraging Companion and Hedgerow Herbal from 'Judy of the Woods'.

Foraging New England: Finding, Identifying, and Preparing Edible Wild Foods and Medicinal Plants from Maine to Connecticut By Tom Seymour Edition: illustrated Published by Globe Pequot, 2002 ISBN 0762709545, 9780762709540 208 pages WFS Aide-Memoire to Edible Wild Plants [Northern Temperate]
WFS Backpackers' Wild Food Pocket Cookbook
R K Philp 'The Family Save-All' [1861]
Agnes Catlow 'Popular Field Botany' [1852]
The Essential Backpacker's Wild Food Cookbook
[ISBN 0 9544158 3 3].
100 pages / wire bound
Essential Survival Greens
Book / CD-ROM set.
[ISBN 0 9544158 5 X]
80 pages / wire bound The Essential Rabbit, Venison & Pheasant Cookbook
[ISBN 0 9544158 6 8]
94 pages / wire bound

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#57
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 2:38 PM

The Art & Science of Dumpster Diving is well written and surprisingly full of good ideas.

Also, if you are looking for free digital old books and stuff, www.archive.org is an interesting resource.

Chris

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#63
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 3:10 PM

Reading is a productive exercise when my stomach is full

If all systems tank I'll be staying away from metro areas until long after the dust settles

http://www.primitivism.com/self-reliance.htm

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#64
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 3:12 PM

Good Link! Thanks!

And I keep writing Foxfire like anyone else knows - so here

Glad to see they kept going, I quit reading after FF5 or so. (recently updated for faith healing!)

I think it difficult to answer the question comprehensively without some consideration given to what your current talents are, what your locations is, what you can contribute ('cause going it alone is HARD), how you survive the first 48 hrs, 48 days, then consider 48 months. Hell, how you plan would depend on even time of year.

Am I off track?

Or maybe that is more engineering than we wanted to throw at this.

And take Shakespeare. As perceptive about the human condition without the contentiousness of religion.oops

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#66
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Re: What Reading List Would Enable the ReBuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 3:27 PM

Thanks!

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#65

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the Rebuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 3:16 PM

You are right now within 3 generations of the total collapse of civilization as you know it. That collapse will be the result of War, Pestilence, Famine and Death that will reduce a population who neglects the basic dignity of Man. It has a much lower probability of occurring as a result of an extra-terrestrial impact. You still have a short time now in which to push it back for another generation or two, but this will ultimately be the cause of our demise. Once you allow the destruction to begin, there will be no stopping it until it has run its full course.

Isaac Asimov posed his solution by setting up the "encyclopedists" in the Foundation books to ensure the survival of key technologies, but without addressing the need to respect the dignity of the "common man" all your efforts will be futile and will only lead to replaying this failed scenario. Reference has been made to indications that there have been highly developed civilizations in Earth's past that have been destroyed by some cataclysmic event.

Science will return as a response to our need for food, water, shelter, and medicine, it does not need to be "preserved". What is most critically needed is a record of our failure as a species to control our natural tendency to violence and selfishness. Why are we more ready to spend large sums on a war against a starving population in the Mid East than on a far cheaper irrigation project that would allow them to support themselves? This is a far more critical need for the survivors to address as they begin rebuilding. I respond to e-mail to oertg@aol.com within a day or two.

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#67

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the Rebuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 3:45 PM

I gotta stay away from conversations like this I enjoy 'em too much.

I watched a friend with only the rudiments of education repair an engine block on an old Massey Ferguson with JB weld one time, while explaining to me how lazy he had gotten as he used to make a similar product himself rather than rely on "store-bought".

Then we fabricated a crude carburetor out of a tin can, some piping, and bits from the garage floor. Not a good carb, but enough to see if the engine would run. Took me years to realize it was an actual venturi effect fuel metering device. Don't know what you cannot do.

But I strongly suspect the first generation will fight like hell to just survive, the second will be proficient at it, the third will thrive, but they will be illiterate. We will want to restore, they will find it the ramblings of old men. Strength, hunting skills, many things may be valued - but it won't be the heaps the cities become in the meantime. Or the technology.

Civilization has to be beaten into people. Constantly.

I just finished Roddy Doyle's "Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha" (way cheerier than "Angela's Ashes") on my flight last night, and he does a lovely job of making you remember the social (?) organization of a child of ten.

Like entropy and our machines, civilization is a constant process, not a result - the day you quit maintaining it you get Lord of the Flies.

P.S. The average city only has three days of "supplies" in the way of groceries - but that presumes the inhabitants keep expending it at the normal rate. They won't.

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#68
In reply to #67

Re: What Reading List Would Enable the Rebuilding of Civilization?

05/11/2009 3:48 PM

thats excellent.. dont' hold back. You see things pretty clearly.

GA.

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