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Guest Post: Ready For The Apocalypse?

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by John Aziz of Azizonomics blog,

I am not really a doomer. But I do think that societies and individuals that do not prepare for the worst (and hope for the best) are needlessly endangering themselves. Tail risk events happen. An MIT study earlier this year predicted that the global economy would collapse by 2030.

A new national survey by National Geographic and Kelton Research finds some interesting results:

Which cataclysmic movies do Americans worry might come true?

7% of Americans think the Planet of the Apes might come true? Really? 30% of Americans think that the events of Roland Emmerich’s 2012 might occur?

And how prepared do Americans think they are for such events?

But in reality — in terms of what people have actually accomplished — few people seem ready for anything:

9% of people have alternative power sources? 21% have made some attempt to grow their own food? Only 43% have a spare supply of drinking water?

Not prepared at all.

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Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:38 | 3024839 oddball
oddball's picture

Where is the gold?

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:05 | 3024966 ZeroHour
ZeroHour's picture

I'm in need of 60 feet of bridge.  Don't want to lose that gold trying to ford the river.

Woof. Woof.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 07:06 | 3026144 theprofromdover
theprofromdover's picture

enough with them negative thoughts Moriarty

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 07:18 | 3026148 Cosimo de Medici
Cosimo de Medici's picture

Nor "Lifeboat" with Tallulah Bankhead.  With a name like hers, one might have expected she would be the Patron Saint of Zerohedge.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:13 | 3024727 harami
harami's picture

Because Americans think "It could never happen here" and the kicker is even after experiencing a natural disaster most people still don't plan. 

The recent round of Colorado wildfires that threatened all of Colorado Springs proved even if you're prepared mother nature can still take your whole house.  Know your neighbors and have a strong community or all the preperation in the world on your end can still, literally, go up in smoke.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:14 | 3024734 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The Day after Tomorrow is the right genre, but making a movie about a drought and the collapse of the food suppy ain't that interesting.... Note that in TDAT that the real fun started after the movie ended....

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:16 | 3024735 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

We are all just three meals away from choas.

<No problemo. Food comes from supermarkets silly.>

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:17 | 3024747 Karlus
Karlus's picture

Here here. This is the issue, its not guns or anything else. When Kroger dies, you die.

Google "Sure-Pak" and get nice with some MREs.

Remember, you dont need to outrun the bear, you just need to outrun the slower campers

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:26 | 3024775 Tom Servo
Tom Servo's picture

Sure Pak MREs are better than nothing.  You have to get the near authentic military grade ones though...


Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:42 | 3024865 JohnG
JohnG's picture

You can get them on ebay, they are expensive.  Not really "legal" to sell, but it's not enforced.  MREStar is about the best value.

I've eaten waaaaay too many Meals Rejected by Etheopians though.  Only as a very last resort.  I'd really rather choke down a Datrex bar.  Tastes better, doesn't make you want to barf, and no intestinal problems, smell better (MRE's suck), can carry many more of them.....so many advantages.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 18:06 | 3025167 pods
pods's picture

So how are the "four fingers of death?"


Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:26 | 3024776 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

You need to outlive the bear...  outrunning the bear is simply praying for an intervening miracle.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 21:14 | 3025616 Seer
Seer's picture

No, you just have to out-run one person that's close by.  Hint: always go hiking with someone who is slower than you...

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:22 | 3024766 knukles
Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:29 | 3024792 imbrbing
imbrbing's picture

or one empty unfillable gas tank, like what happened with sandy

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:51 | 3024903 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Unfillable gas tank?

*head asplodes*

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:24 | 3025031 RichardP
RichardP's picture

I think he meant there was no gas to put into it - therefore, unfillable.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 18:28 | 3025250 aerojet
aerojet's picture

There was plenty of gas around in all those washed up boats, you just had to be a little clever to get to it.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:16 | 3024743 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Has anyone considered the possibility that some people do not prepare for a"post apocalyptic world" because they simply do not want to live in such a place and thus, would rather just die and be done with it?

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:19 | 3024754 Spacemoose
Spacemoose's picture

those people do not have children... 

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:22 | 3024767 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

And precisely what kind of life would children have in such a world?

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:39 | 3024843 Spacemoose
Spacemoose's picture

and you are obviously not a parent.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:44 | 3024870 JohnG
JohnG's picture

That Catch-22 is some bitch, eh?

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:14 | 3024995 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

As an avowed prepper - I can say that actively confronting what it would take to survive a global supply chain break-down is quite depressing.  Essentially, you need to become a homesteader - which is just too much for most folks to wrestle with mentally and emotionally.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:17 | 3025008 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

Yep. Just like freedom, liberty, responsibility, it's just too damn hard for people today. Oh well, can't say it won't be interestin.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 18:52 | 3025305 css1971
css1971's picture

Only if there is no local trade.

Might be worth thinking ways to encourage local trade.

Honestly though. It's only money. It's a concept, if it breaks down another will replace it.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 19:32 | 3025413 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

I am convinced that localization will be the way of the future.  For now I'm content to not have everybody looking for their 40 acres.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 21:36 | 3025654 Seer
Seer's picture

Resources are going to be WAY more scarce.  And as things break down it'll only get worse.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:43 | 3024867 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Hopefully, one free of Stalinist file clerks.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:07 | 3024972 Spacemoose
Spacemoose's picture

also, sorry i'm wordy but i'm curious as to whether others have thoughts with respect to the below:

things zh'ers believe

to assign probabilities to the future of gold we must look at the history of gold.

to assign probabilities to the future of fiat we must look at the history of fiat.

to assign probabilities to the future of "democracy" we must look at the history of democracy.

now, it seems to me that the same intellectual disipline is not being applied when examining societal collapse.

to assign probabilities to the future state of society after collapse, we must look at the history of societal collapse.

what does history tell us of the time line of collapses? what are the historical antecedants of rapid collapse? a proper analysis suitable for personal planning must ask some questions. for instance, how often and for how long does the "roving band" or "golden horde" scenario occur and what does a typical collapse look like?

IANAH (i am not a historian and i'm not at all certain of my conclusions) but it seems to me that:

1. there is a natural feedback mechanism whereby, as society descends into chaos, calls go out for a strongman. these calls are almost always granted (ceasar and hitler come to mind). thus, in most cases, descent into chaos is stopped by authoritarian rule.

2. starvation and poverty or competition for power and resources are often accompanied by an increase in inter-ethnic violence but rarely intra-ethnic violence. (lebanon, yugoslavia, almost all of africa). where intra-ethnic violence occurs, it is almost always inter-cultural (northern ireland).

3. intra-ethnic violence, when it does occur, is most often conducted in a large scale and well organized manner (first world war, american civil war).

4. chaotic intra-ethnic violence most often occurs when there is a wide economic gap between opposing forces and when the numbers of those in the "lower" classes reach a critical ratio (vis a vis the upper class) (french revolution, russian revolution).

5. during a severe crisis, imposed by external events, human beings show a remarkable propensity to self organize and co-operate, even when from differing ethnic and cultural backgrounds. humans are biologically hard wired to co-operate (for obvious reasons, natural selection has not favored non-cooperative humans [although many still exist today as truck drivers -- just kidding]).

6. it seems to be a rare occurance, that members of the same ethic and cultural group kill other members of the same ethic and cultural group in a mad max scenario. perhaps someone with a greater knowledge of history than i could help me here. what historical antecedants exist for mad max scenarios?

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:24 | 3025032 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Start with J. Tainter. (The Collapse of Complex Societies).  He goes into excruciating detail on many of these points.

For me, the big question is whether a global collapse becomes more analagous to the collapse of an isolated group like the Easter Islanders - because in a true global collapse there are no "outsiders" who are experiencing stability to moderate the effects.

While history informs, you will also need to assess whether the best analogy for our current predicament is the fall of Rome or, instead, one of the global mass extinctions (or both concurrently).

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:30 | 3025057 Spacemoose
Spacemoose's picture

thanks citxmex.  it looks very interesting (although pricey at $40).  i've added it to my amazon wish list.  maybe santa will bring it.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:42 | 3025100 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Be warned - it is an "academic text" in the worst possible sense - eg extremely dry, overstated, and redundant - but it is a very interesting and well supported read, nonetheless.

PS If you PM me, I'll see if I can get you my loaner copy from the last person I forwarded it to.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 23:27 | 3025840 sullymandias
sullymandias's picture

Collapse by Jared Diamond is decent.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 23:35 | 3027447 imbrbing
imbrbing's picture

I have a question, we have collapse of societies documented and detailed, but what about global collapses, uncharted territory.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:14 | 3024998 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

Terrible. Except they may learn to be self-sufficient and responsible, and develop survial skills and conservation skills. Othere than that, just terrible.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:32 | 3025067 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

They'll also spend more time out doors, more time thinking about solutions to problems, and more time performing labor that results in real and sustainable economic growth. But only if they can first learn how to live without 500 channels of cable TV and iTunes downloads. Honestly, I am not confident.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 21:42 | 3025667 Seer
Seer's picture

"sustainable economic growth"


Have we not learned anything?

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:23 | 3025027 Hi Ho Silver
Hi Ho Silver's picture

The same kind of life children enjoyed for thousands of years prior to the last two centuries.


And there will be a lot less competition for resources after 75% perish due to starvation within the first 3-6 months.

Embrace natural selection. Let's clean the gene pool.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:45 | 3025085 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Just to be clear, there would be nothing natural about the process. We might end up with a lot of really weak, diseased, mentally deranged rich fuckers making up the balance of the species while all of the people with natural talent, survival skills and relevant racial memories are forced to perish.

Doesn't bode well for continuity of the species, actually. Without sensible poor people threatening to kill them, the idle rich will likely end up blasting each other into steaming ashes with nuclear weapons in a close fight over the last of the gold stores.

Maybe a small tribe of Abos living in the outback of Australia will pick up the slack. Hard to say. If it comes to that I hope they make some early choices to keep this sort of crap from happening again in another eight thousand years.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 21:45 | 3025672 Seer
Seer's picture

Who is left in the gene pool isn't going to be the natural selection process that you may have in mind.  TPTB have had more to prepare with (courtesy of ripping actual workers off).

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 18:47 | 3025270 css1971
css1971's picture

What do you think the world looked like for the last 4 billion years? Pretty shitty till Apple invented the iPhone eh?

Some perspective. You have an unbroken 3 billion year history of children behind you up to this point in time.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:34 | 3024815 harami
harami's picture

If those people found God and learned of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ they would have hope and would understand that even in the bleakest of circumstances life is still worth living, that everyone has worth, that people aren't just a collective to be sacrificed at the whim of the elite.

Satan is real and he's working hard to lead the children of men down the path of destruction with him.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:54 | 3024912 walküre
walküre's picture

I love Jesus too and I'm gonna ask him one day, when I see him (God willing) .. why he didn't cure stupid. He cured about everything else.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:33 | 3025075 Hi Ho Silver
Hi Ho Silver's picture

Stupid is a choice. You don't cure a choice.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 18:17 | 3025202 walküre
walküre's picture

If you mean being ignorant is a choice, I agree with you.

Some people are born stupid and they can't think for themselves - ever. They make mistakes and we have pity on them. I guess they fall under the wide spectrum of poor and hapless souls that God has mercy on by default?

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 18:30 | 3025255 css1971
css1971's picture

It's sadder than that. People are made stupid by their parents & the people around them.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 20:45 | 3025553 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

If He had cured stupid there wouldn't have been anyone stupid enough to go to church.  Who would feed the preachers?

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:58 | 3024933 Ms. Erable
Ms. Erable's picture

Everyone has worth? Justify Jon Corzine.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:28 | 3025045 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Why, he massively reinforced my belief that the world is run by the mafia. As an added bonus, when I tell people the story of MFG, they no longer argue with me about this fact.

That my friends, is value.

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