(see, I was right all along)
There is a natural human tendency, especially when you get older, to see things going to shit, and to extrapolate to total calamity and disaster.
This does not mean that every naysayer is always wrong, if I look at my own life and start counting up specific predictions that I made, often contrary to what everyone else was saying too, a surprising, almost astonishing, number of them came to pass.
I’m not talking trivial stuff either, multimillion pound objects that fail spectacularly, people maimed and killed, that order of stuff.
This doesn’t mean I have the sight, or that I am smarter than anyone else, so why was I right, when they were all wrong.
If I sit here and analyse these instances, the all had something in common, the thing could be a chaotic system like sea state, or weather, or design stresses in composites, or ageing in dam structures, or an extended undocumented working life of a machine.
These are all different, what the instances all had in common was that in every case, the bod in charge, and the entire army of worshippers, all stated categorically that they had taken all these chaotic things into account.
I took one look at them, shook my head, and said I wasn’t happy, too many possible variables eg the proverbial seven year wave that no allowances had been made for, there was simply no way that the level of confidence expressed by those in charge was justifiable.
Now, I’m not talking about “perfect storm” scenarios, of which arguably Fukishima was one, though that itself exemplifies extreme scenarios of Murphy’s Law, it was more a case of “perfect forecasting” being claimed, we know this ship won’t take Storm Force 9 seas on the open ocean, but we ain’t ever gonna be out in anything stronger than a Gale Force 7, so no biggie.
The other thing all these incidents had in common was this, up until this point, all these people, their experience hadn’t strayed far off tried and tested paths, sure, as time passed each project in their career paralleled the tried and tested methods, and a greater distance from the tried and tested path that the last iteration, but they had never really taken a walk into the wilderness as it were.
They all genuinely felt that their faith in their own calculations was entirely justified, and their attitude to me was that I was just a hater, or just jealous, or just wrong and wouldn’t admit or, or just not as smart and qualified as them.
After the event, if I was a pariah before, now I am about as welcome as the ghost of Jimmy Saville in a kindergarten… I made a “lucky guess”… or something…
No, I was fucking right you cunt.
Flight MH17, we’ll know the truth about the same time we know the truth about 9/11, or the USS Liberty, or anything else where the event itself has been subsumed to the mileage that can be got out of that event.
They are after all, trivial events, on the scale of human fatalities.
On the other hand, events like the Arizona droughts and water table, New Orleans, flu pandemics as of 1918, or a reversal of the earth’s magnetic poles, these things are on a grander scale, and no matter how much mileage you try to make out of them, there is enough empirical real world evidence out there that you can start to draw a picture.
In the movie Convoy the character Rubber Duck said something along the lines of “I’m not leading them, I just happen to be out in front” and this is also the danger of labelling all doom-sayers as being of the same cloth and the same church.
Sure, lots of them are singing the same song, and it is fun to take the piss out of the end of the world is night types when the sun rises on them the day after they predicted the rapture.
But that isn’t all of them, no Sir.
That’s like saying all Australians are convicts, whereas the truth is lots of people didn’t just *choose* to go there, they made a huge effort to go there, I personally think it is one of the big mistakes my folks made in the sixties, coming back to the UK instead of emigrating to Oz, to the then brand new place called Cairns.
I mean, WTF, “preppers” are doom-sayers, but speaking personally I fail to see the logic, if you believe things are gonna get so bad you need to be a prepper, well, it’s like the movies with the haunted house, and the ghost says get the fuck out or I’ll eat you soul, so the assholes move in…. you know, if things are going to get that bad, get the fuck out first.
Or, at the very least, be Rubber Duck, out in front, just you and what you can carry.
Over this weekend, I have “done” three laptops, where “done” = wiping them and putting Win7 on them, it’s boot into BIOS, make some changes, pop in usb stick, let batch script run, come back later and do some input, come back later and do some more, 5 mins + 5 mins + 5 mins for each one, while sat here drinking coffee, smoking, scratching my balls.
At basic, that is 3 x days living wage, subsistence level, I just earned, to me, that is being a prepper, not storing up for the zombie apocalypse, but getting so you have fuck all and can live on fuck all, and walk away with fuck all at a moment’s notice.
There will always be someone who needs something, and as long as they have something to trade for what they need….
One of the questions on OKCupid is “In a certain light, would nuclear war be exciting”, my answer is of course, no, it fucking would not, and there is the thing, for all the many, and they are many and serious, faults that society and civilisation has today, got to be said, it’s still pretty cushy, if you can drag yourself away from comparing yourself with the Joneses, so it is not with glee that I look upon the prospect of a collapse or reset or WW3.
Sure, the tactic is to be able to survive better than anyone else, but again, like those I talked about at the beginning of all this, I have wandered off that particular path before, I took one look at it, shook my head, said I wasn’t happy, too many variables.
I’m still here, so clearly I survived each time, but I’m not fool enough to think that any of that is to to how good or how well I took every possible chaotic factor into account, if anything, it’s the opposite, I didn’t mean nonchalantly against the machine about to fly apart, thinking it was perfectly safe.
When I saw chaotic events, I became chaotic myself, no established patterns or routines, I was like a dog with a 60 second attention span and a dim long term memory for the abstract, hell, to this day people still say I shovel my food down, and it is true, 5 minutes from picking up and plate (my one meal of the day) to emptying it is a leisurely meal for me…. it’s not that I can’t or haven’t done the 8pm to 1 am extended meal in the restaurant, I just gravitate towards the former.
I’m not cynical, I am experienced, we have far too many cunts, with far too much control and influence, all getting to that point far enough from the beaten path where they are exceeding their abilities, and venturing into the areas where chaotic systems take the upper hand, something they all have NO experience of.
I wish it were not so, but it is.
I wish is was a world where I could be a fantasy warrior, able to snap his fingers and choose amongst twenty luscious teen girls to warm my bed each night, but I don’t buy that.
I wish it was not a world where nobody gives a fuck about anyone else, and my survival is my immediate utility to them, I have to be useful enough to trade something with, and for whatever reasons, not worth stealing from… easier pickings elsewhere.
It’s a world where, quite literally, a guy who thought he was in control was completely unaware of the fact that I was contemplating his death, for the utility his wife could offer me once he was out of the picture, and it would have been so easy, and his life worth so little, but the utility she offered me, it was insufficient to outweigh his life… you know… I’ll burn more energy catching that food than I will get from eating it, better sniff around some more…. I bugged out and laid low off the radar, and two weeks later I was outta that country, literally with the clothes on my back and fuck all else.
Heard much later, he didn’t make it.
Twenty years have passed and now that country is back in the shitter, except it’s worse this time.