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This page was spawned by a discussion of survivalism in the Lounge, which turned into a list of skills the Horde could contribute to a post-apocalyptic community.  rq collected the relevant posts, with assistance from Portia and Socio-Gen, and made the table.   More formatting may occur later on.

The beginningEdit

Dec 11 2012

[Lounge #387]

251. rq 12 December 2012 at 2:29 pm (UTC -6)

Going off-topic, but here’s a question – why, on all those end-of-the-world survivalist shows,
the people shown preparing for the end of the world are always middle-aged or older, and
white? (By ‘always’ I mean ‘every time I have accidentally caught one of those shows from
the corner of my eye’.) I mean, they all have canned goods, and Eisenhower dollars, and they
go around foraging and buying guns. It just seems so… odd. Especially the guy with home-
made arrowheads with which he can trade once his money runs out. Like… what?

252. Dalillama, Schmott Guy 12 December 2012 at 2:33 pm (UTC -6)

rq

„ on all those end-of-the-world survivalist shows, the people shown preparing for the end of
the world are always middle-aged or older, and white?”

Because that’s who does that kind of shit, basically. The vast, vast majority of survivalists
are white, and there’s a strong bias towards men, with many of the women involved doing
so largely because they are involved with controlling men who are survivalists. There are
exceptions, of course, but that really is the survivalist demographic.

253. AJ Milne 12 December 2012 at 2:35 pm (UTC -6)

… re survivalist older white males:

… because most of the rest of the world is too busy trying to survive as far as the
apocalypse?

254. cicely (Possibly Too-Easily Amused) 12 December 2012 at 2:37 pm (UTC -6)

  • eyeing tangerines*

rq: I can haz sum? Plz?

255. Dalillama, Schmott Guy 12 December 2012 at 2:39 pm (UTC -6)

Posted too soon:

If you want my half-formed speculation on why it is that that’s who does the survivalist
thing, I think it has a lot to do with the ‘rugged individualist’ myth, one that’s always most
popular with people who started out ahead and think they got there on their own, combined
with the terror of loss of privilege that seems to obsess people who deny they have any.
See, in post-apocalypse land, they’ll have the guns to defend themselves from the hordes
of brown people (and in some cases the ‘wrong kind’ of whites) who will inevitably try to
steal their stuff when there aren’t any police to intimidate them into compliance. Then

they’ll show all of us weak liberals how real men live, in the ‘state of nature’ where it’s ‘dog
eat dog’ and ‘kill or be killed.’ Meanwhile, the people who realize that if you cooperate and
work together you can get a lot more done will be busy rebuilding society elsewhere, and
occasionally having to band together to suppress heavily armed survivalist bandits. The
novel version of The Postman explores this mindset and the ramifications of it quite well.

256. Beatrice 12 December 2012 at 2:41 pm (UTC -6)

AJ Milne took the words off my keyboard. I wanted to write: “Because they are the ones
with enough money to waste time with that kind of shit”

Preparing for the apocalypse: Unless it’s the kind of apocalypse that destroys the nature as
we know it instead of just must of the human part of it, get yourself a farm. Better than gold.
You can have a yard full of buried gold and you’d still be fucked when there’s no bread (or
flour or running water).

259. rq 12 December 2012 at 2:45 pm (UTC -6)

Dalillama

That’s the impression I get… Are they all libertarians, too? Because my Friend the
Libertarian would definitely fit in with them (even though I’m pretty sure he’d call them
crazy – EVEN THOUGH he’s stockpiling gold, just in case…). So basically kind of like old,
American sci-fi, with Lone Hero saving the Entire World because he was Smart Enough to
have a gun. I think I recently read an Algis Budrys novel along those lines – and was shocked
by its assumed, unquestioning patriarchy/misogyny.

I liked The Postman, the novel. Wasn’t too hot on the movie, though – I’d been expecting
the slower, more philosophical approach of the book, rather than the packed action of Kevin
Costner.

260. Beatrice 12 December 2012 at 2:47 pm (UTC -6)

Dalillama,

Hmmm. Makes sense. I haven’t seen many survivalist shows, but ‘rugged individualist’ would
definitely describe those I have well.

261. rq 12 December 2012 at 2:47 pm (UTC -6)

Beatrice

Which is exactly why, even though I don’t always like it there, I’m extremely grateful for
Husband’s family farm – because, if absolutely necessary, it can be converted into a serious
source of sustenance for quite a few people. (Like, if we both lose our jobs and can’t pay the
bills in the city or something.)

262. Beatrice 12 December 2012 at 2:53 pm (UTC -6)

„he’s stockpiling gold, just in case…”

See? See?

I don’t understand why people do that, relating to apocalypse (well, as much as preparing
for the apocalypse makes sense ever). Sure, it will help for a bit. But prices of gold will fall
quickly and soon he’ll be selling his grandmother’s earrings for a piece of bread. If he even
finds someone to buy. I know people are greedy and some will buy gold for some future
times when civilization recuperates, but what if it’s some seriously bad shit that struck us?
You gold might be worthless for decades.

263. cicely (Possibly Too-Easily Amused) 12 December 2012 at 3:06 pm (UTC -6)

You gold might be worthless for decades.

But it’s so yellow! And shiny!

264. The Mellow Monkey: Caerie 12 December 2012 at 3:08 pm (UTC -6)

The whole survivalist/apocalypse thing is really a colonialist fantasy when you get right down
to it.

A man who would have been otherwise ordinary and unremarkable in his normal life is
transported to a situation where he can shoot people with impunity. The majority of the
people he’s in competition with have already died somehow, usually by disease or by a
metaphorical disease (such as, say, zombies). Now he can take the stuff of the dead and kill
the living who get in his way, which is something he wouldn’t be able to do in his ordinary
life, since ordinarily he’d have to treat people like human beings instead of obstacles to
survival. Now he has an excuse to dehumanize and plunder at will.

No real surprise that survivalist fantasies are so popular with white men, really.

265. Dalillama, Schmott Guy 12 December 2012 at 3:08 pm (UTC -6)

rq,Beatrice

They’re not all Libertarians, but a lot of them are various flavors of that. There’s also
various flavors of outright white supremacist, although there’s a lot of overlap in practical
terms. Most of them share the Libertarian reverence for gold as the One True Currency
and repository of Genuine Value. I think this has something to do with a pathological fear
that inflation=Weimar Germany, and therefore we need a totally non-inflationary currency
(which gold isn’t necessarily, but they don’t seem to realize that). You are quite correct, of
course, that after the apocalypse food, seed, tools, etc. would be literally worth more than
all the gold on earth in any meaningful sense of worth, which is why people who stockpile
that sort of thing would be either better off or easy prey for survivalists who stockpiled guns
instead, depending. You do find people who stockpile heirloom seeds, keep urban livestock,

and move out to farms to live ‘off the grid’ or talk longingly about same but those are
mostly ‘back to the land’ hippie types, who would usually react to questions about ‘after the
apocalypse’ with some flavor of ‘we’re in the apocalypse, hadn’t you noticed?’ (in reference
to climate change, pollution, rampant corporate power etc). Granted, they’re also usually
white, but the gender balance is much better, and they’re usually not actively bigoted.

266. Beatrice

You do find people who stockpile heirloom seeds, keep urban livestock, and move out
to farms to live ‘off the grid’ or talk longingly about same but those are mostly ‘back to
the land’ hippie types, who would usually react to questions about ‘after the apocalypse’
with some flavor of ‘we’re in the apocalypse, hadn’t you noticed?’ (in reference to climate
change, pollution, rampant corporate power etc). Granted, they’re also usually white, but
the gender balance is much better, and they’re usually not actively bigoted.

  • dreams of that Pharyngula commune*

We would even have a pretty good stand on inclusiveness and anti-bigotry.

267. dianne 12 December 2012 at 3:27 pm (UTC -6)

Probably best to start stocking up on print reference books as well. Never know whether the
internet will survive or not, although it is designed to survive a nuclear war. Nonetheless,
if I’m going to move onto the Pharyngula commune to fight zombies I’d like to have
some reference materials that tell me how to purify penicillin from mold, digitalis from
foxglove, etc. I wonder if SC will object to using pigs and cattle for insulin sources or if we
should include an incubator for growing insulin producing bacteria as part of the survival
equipment. Also, does anyone actually know how to farm? I understand that moving onto
“the land” with a plan to farm with no idea of how to farm is a quick way to starve to death…

268. rq 12 December 2012 at 3:30 pm (UTC -6)

Beatrice, Dalillama, Caerie

I’ve always been confused about stockpiling gold for the apocalypse, because as (I believe)
Pocahontas once said, you can’t eat it. As you said, Dalillama, I’m pretty sure it would lose
value rather quickly, for much more useful items.

It all makes sense if you look at it as a survivalist fantasy. Including all the killing and stealing
and general ignorance of the rules of polite society.

Incidentally, my Friend the Libertarian isn’t stockpiling gold for the apocalypse; he’s
stockpiling it for the return to the gold standard. Also, he has recently turned to the paleo
diet as a source of health and vitality, so we told him that when we buy a large property, he
can come live in a cave and fish in the pond (only with teeth or home-made hooks/spears)
and we’ll charge people money to come see the live caveman in action. I doubt his gold will
do much good in that situation, but it’s an amusing thought.

12 December 2012 at 3:12 pm (UTC -6)

And yes, a Pharyngula commune would be one to out-commune them all, I think. And what
with the diverse types of professions, educations, abilities and general knowledge, I’m pretty
sure it would out-last them all, too. Out-smart – definitely.

270. Beatrice 12 December 2012 at 3:34 pm (UTC -6)

dianne,

Surely someone here knows how to farm. Right?

I can find my way around a vegetable garden. I could probably deal with fruit trees too.

Better make sure we have reference books on all these things too!

271. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries 12 December 2012 at 3:37 pm (UTC -6)

I know a little about farming. Not all of my knowledge is super vegan-friendly, though : /

272. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken 12 December 2012 at 3:40 pm (UTC -6)

„Surely someone here knows how to farm. Right?”

MEAT WARNING!

I can slaughter pigs and make scrapple. And I have helped make bladder sausage, pork
sausage, blood sausage, blood pudding, and cured ham.

273. Improbable Joe 12 December 2012 at 3:43 pm (UTC -6)

I can SHOOT THINGS! Also people, if it comes to it.

274. AJ Milne 12 December 2012 at 3:44 pm (UTC -6)

… also re survivalist white males:

There’s a section in Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature where he describes the US
as essentially two or more nations, the notion being that many of the white settlers who
settled the south and west of the US as being from a different cultural background than
those in the northeast, more from rural areas of western Europe–and many of the emigrants
the elements of that culture least accustomed to/comfortable with urbanization/less violent
styles of living–his whole thesis being in the urban areas, longer habits of urban living had
established more cooperative/communal, less violent/individualist ways of thinking and
living…

… all this being very high-level, and talking half out of my butt because it’s half-remembered,
tho’ I do intend eventually to read it through again and think it through a bit more…

… but I would say at least: the observation that started this off (in this thread) does seem to
say there’s something outlier about that culture (or cultures), here, too, and which broadly
fits that whole ‘me ‘n my guns against the world’ attitude. And that he’s at least noticing the
same thing, whether or not his notion as to why really holds up.

Oh, also: for what it’s worth, I’m probably at least half from that culture, too, depending
a bit on where you draw the lines, and grew up in a place–rural white Ontario–where
probably most people were. And I do kinda like post-apocalyptic fiction. That whole fantasy
of somehow you’ll wind up the one with the shotgun standing off the ravening horde of
zombies, it does have this strange appeal. Or did in my adolescence, at least. And running
around in the forests with homemade bows ‘n arrows and so on was also kinda standard, for
my onetime peer group.

Disclaimer: this anecdote does not constitute data. And geez, did I mention I should be
working?

(/Slaps own hand.)

275. rq 12 December 2012 at 3:44 pm (UTC -6)

dianne

I have a rough idea of how to farm (better than none?). I know how to plant potatoes, at
any rate. And Husband knows how to kill a pig (for all you meat-eaters). And I can grow
tomatoes, but at this latitude, that’s a bit of a hit-or-miss without a greenhouse. Here’s the
thing, though – print reference books, definitely. But what about e-readers? Technically,
if you have a solar battery/figure out how to make one, you can keep small technologies
alive… No? (This is something I’ve thought about, when people say all society will fall apart
due to lack of an electrical grid blablabla.)

Also, I know how to keep chickens and (a bit) about how to train horses (just in case). We’re
worse off when it comes to fixing things or building things.

276. rq 12 December 2012 at 3:48 pm (UTC -6)

Oh, fruit trees. I can do fruit trees. And preserves (pickles of various kinds (tomatoes, onions,
etc.)). And berries. But NO MUSHROOMS. I’m scared of mushrooms, all except chanterelles.
So someone else needs to get on that.

I can shoot, too (did in university).

277. The Mellow Monkey: Caerie 12 December 2012 at 3:48 pm (UTC -6)

I don’t do traditional farming, since that isn’t terribly practical when you only have a small
piece of land you’re developing. We practice biointensive agriculture to provide enough
produce for ourselves and improve the soil.

We sort of already are a commune here.

278. rq 12 December 2012 at 3:51 pm (UTC -6)

For what it’s worth, though, if preserves, then – how to get vinegar/salt/sugar? Rather key
ingredients.

I remember having a bow and arrows when I was little, too. It was a lot of fun. Did better
with the slingshot, though – my older brother had figured out this triple-brown-elastic way
with a denim cup (?) that had amazing range. Just a warning, though, for all the practice,
I have terrible, terrible aim. My shooting should only be used as a way to scare others off,
rather than actual food acquisition. AJ, go back to work. :P

279. Beatrice 12 December 2012 at 3:53 pm (UTC -6)

I can’t recognize mushrooms either, but I can make all sorts of preserves.

280. dianne 12 December 2012 at 3:57 pm (UTC -6)

I have a general idea of how to repair damage done by farm implements and/or animals.
Especially if the right reference books are available. That’ll have to be my contribution to the
commune. Farming…um…well, I have a couple of broccoli plants in the back yard that aren’t
dead yet. Does that count as experience?

281. The Mellow Monkey: Caerie 12 December 2012 at 3:57 pm (UTC -6)

„For what it’s worth, though, if preserves, then – how to get vinegar/salt/sugar?”

Sugar would be time and resource intensive, but not impossible to produce yourself. Honey
would be a much more straightforward sweetener to produce.

Salt, obviously, is trickier. That’s going to depend heavily on where in the world you are, if
it’s just plain impossible to get anything you didn’t make yourself.

Vinegar is the easiest one of all. Give us something to ferment and we can make vinegar in
no time.

282. Beatrice 12 December 2012 at 4:00 pm (UTC -6)

Oh yeah, I have this year’s apple vinegar in the kitchen corner right now. It’s best after two
years.

283. Beatrice 12 December 2012 at 4:01 pm (UTC -6)

Of my father’s making, not mine. But I would have no problem repeating the process; as
Caerie says, it’s really easy.

284. Dalillama, Schmott Guy 12 December 2012 at 4:03 pm (UTC -6)

„The self-sufficient life and how to live it” is a wonderful general primer on that sort of
thing, and contains a bibliograhy as well, for more recommended reading. Also biointensive
agriculture, as someone above pointed out. There are some low-tech aquaponic techniques,
and others that we can use now but might not be able to maintain after the apocalypse. For
sugar, sugar beets can be grown in most climates that are even semi-temperate, but salt is
an issue. So’s iodine, come to think.

285. Beatrice 12 December 2012 at 4:04 pm (UTC -6)

Are we affirming some sort of stereotype right now?

Men can kill stuff, and we are talking about preserves and how to feed everyone.

287. dianne 12 December 2012 at 4:08 pm (UTC -6)

So the Pharyngula commune should be some place close to a coast, for salt and iodine.
Fortunately, as the polar ice caps melt, that shouldn’t be a problem.

[some evo-psych jokes from Ogvorbis about pink mushrooms]

290. rq 12 December 2012 at 4:11 pm (UTC -6)

Well, I did mention I can shoot, too. Just have really bad aim. I’m ok with raw meat and
raw fish, though. I have a photo of myself standing in a pile of freshly caught Australian
salmon and my bachelor’s thesis required three decomposed pigs, so I’m not particularly
squeamish. :) I’m ok with an axe and firewood and starting fires, too.

Sugar-beets used to be an industry in Latvia until re-nationalization killed it. I’m pretty sure I
could look into that (honey, though, is a lot easier).

Also, linen and wool (clothing, anyone?): my mum can work a loom and I can always learn,
but I’m ok with manual weaving (wide traditional belts and the like). Can’t knit worth crap,
though. Crocheting, while a budding hobby, seems to be marginally better. But I know we
have knitters/crocheters among us. Making yarn would be a bit more problematic.

Anyone know how to weave rope?

[more evo-psych jokes]

[more jokes about red mushrooms and their purpose in a man’s life]

295. The Mellow Monkey: Caerie 12 December 2012 at 4:16 pm (UTC -6)

My partner is a good general animal wrangler and started with sheep, so keeping wool
would be easy enough. Delicious homegrown eggs and pony rides, too. Yay!

297. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven 12 December 2012 at 4:20 pm (UTC -6)

I have had some moderate success with growing a few different kinds of vegetables, and can
direct/assist the building of Things, maybe. O.o

[more jokes about red mushrooms with white spots and what some people think of them]

301. dianne 12 December 2012 at 4:24 pm (UTC -6)

If honey (and therefore bee hives) are under consideration, we’d better have some means
of producing epinephrine. Maybe the manly men can bring me the adrenal glands of the
mammoths they’ve killed. Ok, fine, I’ll extract it myself. (Goes off mumbling about men and
their squeamishness.)

Also, does anyone know how to build and/or maintain a wind or water mill? We’ll need it for
electricity and grinding grain…

302. Beatrice 12 December 2012 at 4:25 pm (UTC -6)

rq,

Oh, I misunderstood that. Yeah, I’m ok with handling raw meat and wish too. I’m usually the
one to do the fish and squid cleaning because mum finds it icky.

304. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries 12 December 2012 at 4:28 pm (UTC -6)

I can also shoot things. I will leave the dealing with said shot things to rq.

[another joke about why not to go pick mushrooms with rq, esp. if male)

308. The Mellow Monkey: Caerie 12 December 2012 at 4:34 pm (UTC -6)

„Also, does anyone know how to build and/or maintain a wind or water mill? We’ll need it
for electricity and grinding grain…”

Sadly, I do not. But once we manage to actually grind the grain, I have sourdough cultures to
keep us in fresh bread just fine. And we can’t forget the brewing either, of course.

309. Beatrice 12 December 2012 at 4:35 pm (UTC -6)

Portia,

Maybe just rq after all. I haven’t exactly had a chance to deal with a freshly killed animal. It
usually passes at least some cleaning process before it comes to me.

310. rq 12 December 2012 at 4:36 pm (UTC -6)

dianne

That’s a good point. What about insulin for diabetics?

+++

Speaking of water mills and boats. Anyone know how to build a boat? I have a rough idea,
but it’s so rough, it wouldn’t build a boat. And no, I don’t know how to build a water/wind
mill, but could probably maintain one, if given a chance. (There’s an ethnographic open-
air museum nearby, and I could go study the mechanism. I think the principle isn’t all that
complicated.)

311. Beatrice 12 December 2012 at 4:38 pm (UTC -6)

rq,

„I read that as you ‘wish to deal with raw meat’. A weird pre-dilection, but whatever floats
your boat.”

I should really go to bed if my sentences are starting to gain that sort of weird meanings.

312. carlie 12 December 2012 at 4:39 pm (UTC -6)

I live near brine aquifers, and I’ve read Mark Kurlansky’s Salt. Just tell me when to start
building the mine shafts and evaporation troughs.

313. rq 12 December 2012 at 4:40 pm (UTC -6)

Brewing! Yes. Very good. The apocalypse is starting to look better and better. *rubbing
hands together* When can we get started?

314. rq 12 December 2012 at 4:43 pm (UTC -6)

Yay for carlie! The light is visible, and we have salt. Hooray!

315. Beatrice 12 December 2012 at 4:44 pm (UTC -6)

rq,

„The apocalypse is starting to look better and better. *rubbing hands together* When can
we get started?”

It’s all around you, man. Didn’t you notice? *puffs on something hand-rolled and blows a
smoke ring*

316. Improbable Joe 12 December 2012 at 4:45 pm (UTC -6)

I can build a wind or water mill… in a pinch, I can build damn near anything. And I’m not just
saying that because I’ll never be called upon to prove it. :) I could probably make a canoe.

If someone has the forethought to stockpile books, I can follow directions really well.

317. Beatrice 12 December 2012 at 4:48 pm (UTC -6)

We can start any time you wish, rq. I wouldn’t mind a Pharyngula commune, as long as I can
occasionally wander off without anyone bothering me.

318. rq 12 December 2012 at 4:50 pm (UTC -6)

Beatrice

If it’s all around us, WHY NO COMMUNE? :(

Improbable Joe

What about directions being given from memory (as in, Well, there was this thing that looks
like this, and it went kind of liiiike this and connected to that bit right there – no, not that
one, that one – and then…)? Because if no books, then that’s all that’s left.

Alternatively, I could just start stockpiling books of all kinds…

319. rq 12 December 2012 at 4:52 pm (UTC -6)

Beatrice

I have a feeling that a lot of us would be wandering off randomly with nary an explanation. I
don’t know if that’s a good way to build a community (did Beatrice go for a walk, or was she
eaten by a bear?), but I’m definitely with you there. We’d be a new type of commune – the
rarely-together, scattered commune for individualists.

321. Improbable Joe 12 December 2012 at 4:57 pm (UTC -6)

rq,

If you can explain the principle involved, I can probably work out the details. For instance,
wouldn’t a water-powered mill be a water wheel with a geared end on the axle, that
turns a stone against another stone to grind stuff? Because me and a small team of folks
could probably build a very basic one over a long weekend, especially if we have salvaged
materials to start with.

323. Beatrice 12 December 2012 at 4:59 pm (UTC -6)

This is a lovely conversation, but I’m tired. Good night, folks. Don’t let the bear eat anyone.

325. Dalillama, Schmott Guy 12 December 2012 at 5:03 pm (UTC -6)

I know in principle how to build wind and water mills. Solar powered stirling engines too.
And if you’ve got any of those, automated looms, spindles, knitting machines, and sewing
machines are all perfectly doable. I don’t want a commune, though. It’s thinking to small. I
want the Pharyngula ARCOLOGY!!!!

327. Improbable Joe 12 December 2012 at 5:07 pm (UTC -6)

If you want privacy, I envision a whole lot of fences… good fences make good neighbors, and
protect from predators! :)

329. rq 12 December 2012 at 5:12 pm (UTC -6)

Improbable Joe

That would probably work, and yes, the principle isn’t all that difficult (as far as I know).
Materials would be more of an issue (how much wood, proportions/size, stones), so a lot
would probably have to be scavenged.

Mill-stones might be tough. Don’t know about where you are, but they make them pretty
massive here, and there aren’t too many left in the country-side. Used to be a mill in every

country/parish, but those have long since gone to ruin, and rocks have been scavenged for
decorative purposes.

A steady stream of water would be more of an issue, I think – to avoid spring flooding and
to have a regular, even flow would be key.

Dalillama

With that kind of thinking, Pharyngulites will be ruling the world in no time after the
apocalypse. Looking forward to it already!

330. rq 12 December 2012 at 5:14 pm (UTC -6)

Improbable Joe re: fences

For me, it’s not so much the privacy/always separate issue, but more of a chance just to
wander off and not feel fenced in (haha). And return at my own leisure. I do like my privacy,
though, but too many fences is inhibiting (to me). As predator deterrent – definitely.

+++

332. carlie 12 December 2012 at 5:24 pm (UTC -6)

Oh wait, given all the Brownian (YOU WILL ALWAYS BE BROWNIAN TO ME) and Louis queues
and writhing masses and Parlors and such, who’s in charge of getting all the birth control? Or
since it’s all teh ebil ghey, are we good?

333. The Mellow Monkey: Caerie 12 December 2012 at 5:27 pm (UTC -6)

Well, I’m good without birth control, but someday I wouldn’t mind a sperm bank.

334. opposablethumbs 12 December 2012 at 5:28 pm (UTC -6)

Oh, and for the Pharyngula commune I’ll see if I can get one of my brothers to come who
keeps (or has sometimes kept) bees, and he and his partner both know plants. One’s a fixer-
of-almost-anything, and another knows pharmacology and another knows renewable energy
tech. Me I got nothing much, but I’m going to see if you let me in anyway. And hey, the kids
are decent musicians, they can join the Amazing Pharyngula Ensemble ’cause music will be
important too to help keep us all sane (ish).

Good night Horde.

[evo-psych joke about women and skirts]

349. Dalillama, Schmott Guy 12 December 2012 at 6:13 pm (UTC -6)

@commune

Insulin can be refined from sheep, and I think epinephrine frompigs. For both, though, I’m
pretty sure that there are bacterial cultures that grow kem these days; we should see about
getting some. For b/c, there’s always good old fashioned sheepgut condomawes.

350. Matt Penfold 12 December 2012 at 6:21 pm (UTC -6)

„Insulin can be refined from sheep, and I think epinephrine frompigs.”

Historically insulin was produced from cattle and pigs, but these the overwhelming majority
of insulin is synthetic human insulin. There is still a small amount of bovine and porcine
insulin produced, but human insulin is the norm.

353. dianne 12 December 2012 at 6:51 pm (UTC -6)

„who’s in charge of getting all the birth control?”

Well, if there are sheep, we can make sheep intestine condoms and I’m pretty sure I could
purify estrogen and progesterone given the right reference materials. And can probably
do a safe surgical abortion. Especially if we’ve got a still to produce some reasonable
quality alcohol for sterilization of the instruments. Also, vasectomies aren’t too hard to do.
Reversals now, reversals could be a problem…

355. dianne 12 December 2012 at 6:53 pm (UTC -6)

Of course, that’s assuming that the people in charge of farming are producing enough food
so that we’re not all infertile from starvation anyway.

357. Rey Fox 12 December 2012 at 6:54 pm (UTC -6)

I’m an almost-graduate of wildlife biology (nongame), who sometimes draws and takes
photos. I’m going to be pretty much useless when the shit hits the fan.

358. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ 12 December 2012 at 6:56 pm (UTC -6)

carlie:

WHOA!

This shoop enjoys being around you all, but will not consent to giving up any intestines…

(strong/cite)

360. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven 12 December 2012 at 7:03 pm (UTC -6)

„Also, does anyone know how to build and/or maintain a wind or water mill? We’ll need it
for electricity and grinding grain…”

I can *design* one. Borrow a carpenter and we’re all set :D

362. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries 12 December 2012 at 7:05 pm (UTC -6)

dianne, I’m very glad that you are on the birth control issue. Count me in for the hormonal
stuff.

I’ve been trying to think of what skills I have, but if the judicial system has collapsed
in our scenario, then my profession is moot. So, my hobbies: painting…not so helpful.
Candymaking…less than useful. Wittling? Maybe? I have always been a decent shot with a
firearm or bow though, so there’s that. I can keep the horses away from cicely. And eat all
the peas to spare the pea-haters. Oh, and I’m ok with cooking over a fire if need be.

363. Dalillama, Schmott Guy 12 December 2012 at 7:06 pm (UTC -6)

Ii was pretty sure that hormoal b/c could be refined fromlivestock too, in extremis. I’m
pretty sure that one could make gengeneered bacteria that produce prestrogens awell.

366. Dalillama, Schmott Guy 12 December 2012 at 7:18 pm (UTC -6)

Portia:we’ll need someone to help write the bylaws. We’re rebuilding civilization, can’t do
that w/o laws.

368. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries 12 December 2012 at 7:21 pm (UTC -6)

Laws! I love writing laws! I studied government and legislation throughout my academic
career, so I’m your gal for that. Thanks for making me feel useful : )

369. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ 12 December 2012 at 7:21 pm (UTC -6)

Dalillama:

We can use Libertarian laws, no?

ducks::

Portia:

„I’ve been trying to think of what skills I have, but if the judicial system has collapsed in our
scenario, then my profession is moot.”

We still need someone to mediate disputes.

370. dianne 12 December 2012 at 7:23 pm (UTC -6)

Hmm…if we’re doing hormonal birth control, better get the instructions for making heparin
from pig guts too. Just in case. Also we’ll need to be some place where we can grow willows
because aspirin is a good all purpose drug to have around.

374. AJ Milne 12 December 2012 at 7:27 pm (UTC -6)

Someone really should do a post-apocalyptic skills survey questionnaire thingy…

And, obviously, provide hard copy printouts. Since you’ll need the results in some relatively
low-tech medium, after the collapse of the electrical grid…

Me, I’m afraid most of my active skillset is pretty dependent on having a functional electrical
grid. And working semiconductor fabs…

Also decent espresso bars, honestly.

I dunno. I just can’t think of a lot of apocalyptic scenarios in which the primary challenge
to the few, desperate survivors somehow turns out mostly to be algorithmic analysis… But
if that happens, and I’m still alive and not buried beneath too much rubble at the outset, I
guess you probably want to try to dig me out.

375. dianne 12 December 2012 at 7:28 pm (UTC -6)

Pink? Everything will be written in pink at the Pharyngula Post-Apocalypse Commune? Not
brown…as in written in the dried blood of our enemies? Just as well. AR would have a fit at
the biohazard anyway.

378. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ 12 December 2012 at 7:37 pm (UTC -6)

dianne:

Yes. All shall be in pink.

If you have a problem with pink, you can write in OFFpink.

[Tony’s discussion of pink]

381. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries 12 December 2012 at 7:40 pm (UTC -6)

I dunno, dried blood has a dull red to it that could be a vaguely pink color.

382. cicely (Possibly Too-Easily Amused) 12 December 2012 at 7:40 pm (UTC -6)

Anyone know how to weave rope?

I can, if pressed, spin with a drop spindle. The Husband is a damned good drop-spinner,
has house-building experience (formerly was a house-builder), at one time had done the
research into how to make a Gutenberg style printing press, and is just generally handy.

I also card-weave, and have a Big Booke of Looms around here, somewhere. I’m reasonably
sure that I could, at least, set up a warp weighted loom (since I looked into it for SCA
purposes), though I no longer have the ability to stand in front of it to use it. If I re-apply
myself to it, I’m sure I can get my hand back in with the net-making.

And I’m a fair hand at making liqueurs.

Oh, yes, and we own a goodish-sized number and variety of leather-working tools.

385. dianne 12 December 2012 at 7:45 pm (UTC -6)

Skills chartEdit

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AvtXKOMUojGXdDd5R0NLQ05xTkdWVDdGTFBNdU9ZU2c&output=html

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