Episode-625- Keeping Your Wits When Others are Losing Their’s

Photo Credit to astanhope - Click To See Why it is Perfect for Today's Show

Today we will talk at least a little bit about the current disasters in Japan but only as a frame of reference.  For instance right now people are rushing to buy Geiger counters and potassium iodide supplements and many are paying a premium to get them NOW before they can’t get one at all.

Such actions are the actions of scared and more importantly clueless people, not an empowered population who understands the current threat to our nation, or lack thereof.

The reality is most people in the modern world have lost touch with an ancient survival component that is built into our mental and physical wiring.  When the component emerges and is not fully understood it leads to a cycle of poor decisions that make bad situations worse.

Join me today as we discuss…

  • The initial extreme, normalcy bias
  • The emergence of the predator/prey instinct we have tried to deny
  • The second extreme, overcompensation
  • The third extreme, hyper-competitiveness
  • The fourth extreme, paranoia
  • The fifth extreme, depression
  • The sixth extreme, regret
  • Breaking or staying out of the cycle
  • Past disasters and possible disasters and what they teach us
  • Why you always must ask questions before you act

Additional Resources for Today’s Show

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

37 Responses to Episode-625- Keeping Your Wits When Others are Losing Their’s

  1. I’ve got a friend who’ve I’ve tried to encourage into some preps for quite some time, and they joined with us in ordering some food packing supplies recently, only to back out. Yesterday, I’ve got all sorts of contact talking to me about the things they want to do to store water, food, fuel, etc.
    Clearly, they are reacting to the situation in Japan, and knee-jerking their way around. I don’t want to blow them off now, but I also don’t want to help them feed a panic-based reaction to some remote disaster.

    Just one example of what Jack’s talking about in today’s show.

    • Modern Survival

      @KAM, perhaps make em a deal, listen to this episode and then you will work with them. Self serving I know but if I didn’t believe it would help I wouldn’t suggest it.

      • @Jack,

        That’s not a bad idea. Maybe I’ll just suggest listening to this without telling them why, and let them come to the realization by listening to a 3rd party (you). A soft approach.

    • mark connelly

      For all preppers there is normally an event that tips them over the edge to start prepping, for some the events in japan will open their eyes to the fact that civilisation is fragile! as long as they start prepping! good luck to them

  2. I think this applies to this broadcasting.

    “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”-Yoda

  3. Loved the show today – some sanity in the goofiness we’re all seeing out there. And it’s not just Geiger counters and iodine pills. The show prompted me to go poke around online to see what was going on, and it appears the ‘natural’ health community has jumped on the bandwagon – the top site that came up for ‘homeopathic remedy for radiation’ had crashed because their allowed bandwidth had been exceeded, and my local health food store is posting FB comments about how to deal with the potential with supplements and kelp. They must be getting a tonne of questions, because they’re not usually people who are promoters of this sort of thing. Fascinating show, Jack. Thank you.

  4. Sooo… is it wrong of me to be looking forward to 2013, when I can buy garage loads of preps cheaply from the 2012 crowd? I’m not hoping for those folks to get burned, but like you said, it’s human nature that some folks will do the overcompensation thing. I’m not immune myself, but if I buy stuff in a hurry it’s always things that were on my list anyway… and I’ve learned enough from your podcast and the community not to be sucked into paying “hurricane prices”.
    Thanks for the insights on the differences between “hoarding” and “prepping”. I think I had let some family make me feel guilty for stocking up using the “hoarder” label on me.
    Keep up the good work!

  5. My coworkers have found the whole prepper/politically-aware part of my personality to be somewhat off-putting so I stopped bringing it up; like my Dad says “the more you try to make someone love you, the more you push them away.” I just handed everyone an AOCS copper round and called it a day.

    Then after the tsunami hit one of my coworkers began asking questions about preparedness etc. I could tell the events in Japan triggered this and motivated by fear more than anything; we’ve all been there right?

    I pointed her to one of your shows about simple preparedness, it helped me get sorted out and I’m sure others will find it useful to spread the gospel of level-headed prepping: http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/episode-483-20-simple-steps-to-basic-preparedness

  6. what is the real reason people get bread in a snow storm im down south so we don’t get to much snow hear

    • @outdoorwolf
      Snow in large quantities can reduce your travel distance and ability for days or weeks , depending on the situation. It is somewhat like having no gasoline and a broken leg.

      radar
      in
      Wisconsin

  7. Hey Jack – just wanted to say thank you for the plug! Rich and I LOVE you and Dorothy, we love the show, the forum, and the people who support everything you do!

  8. Check out this graphic and decide if it’s time to panic in the US or not.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/media/inline/weather-japan-radiation-united-states_1.jpg

    I’d say a degree of real concern is warranted!

  9. Spaghetti and Sauce

    Hi Jack, great show today. Could I ask what your source is for the 8 second half life of the material venting out of the Fukushima reactor is please?

  10. mark connelly

    Hi Jack
    I have to say you are way off the mark with your analysis of this situation. You need to quit analysing and start moving into action!. The Radiation from japan which is coming to the west coast needs to be taken seriously. There were 60,000 spent fuel rods stored in these buildings, those are the things you see flying through the air in the second explosion. The reactors are open, FACT. Look at the fallout map of Chernobyl, the fallout went all over the norther hemisphere. Its coming even if you dont belive it.

    • Modern Survival

      @mark connelly, TURN OFF ALEX JONES! Seriously before you worry about some gas venting with a very short half life go see how much radiation was released by us detonating nuclear bombs on US soil in the 50s and 60s.

      You freak out if you want to, don’t expect me to or to advocate that others do. I will also ask you in about a month when nothing has really happened (other than to those literally at ground zero) what will people like you say then?

      • mark connelly

        you do what ever you want pal, i am not running around like a headless chicken. What i am saying is this is a viable threat and needs to be trated as such! Preventitive action can be taken, if i am wrong GREAT, If i am right my thiroid will be saturated with non radiated iodine. Have a look at the chernobyl fallout maps, it went right round the world!!

        • Modern Survival

          @mark connelly, so I am all ears and my mind is open, EXACTLY what are you DOING to take preventative action? Not saying, not thinking but DOING and how does it make you safer?

        • mark connelly

          i am monitoring the weather, the wind drirection, monitoring a country wide radiation detector website, the first sign of fallout reaching here i will be taking iodine rich supplements to block irradiated iodine from entering my thiroid. In future i would concider not eating fish from the pacific, or drinking milk from radiation areas. I am talkig from experiance i lived through Chernobyl, my wife had thiroid cancer, local farmers in my country are paid compensation from russia even today.

        • Modern Survival

          Let me save you some time on monitoring the weather, the general flow driven by the jet stream is west to east from Japan so some particles are coming. Your map has said what it has said since day one and what it will continue to say UNLESS there is another disaster much closer to home, NOTHING.

          On the fish there are probably far more contaminants in ocean fish today than what will be contributed by this event. Mercury alone is probably far more toxic in ocean fish than any radiation elevation. Do you not know how many tests detonating active nuclear bombs the US conducted on Pacific islands in the past? I am talking mushroom cloud, full bore nuclear bombs. I agree on not drinking Japanese milk for a while but hell where in the US do you find Japanese milk anyway? The BGH in the milk in the US is probably more harmful than a cow’s from Tokyo anyway.

          Sorry to hear about your wife but if she got Thyroid cancer from Chernobyl I guarantee you she was a HELL OF A LOT CLOSER to Chernobyl than anyone on US soil (including the Aleutians or Hawaii).

          Basically Mark you really aren’t doing much other than worrying.

      • At this point, the Japanese have few other options except to resort to the nerve-rattling game of “wait and see.” They will be paying close attention to medical statistics over the next five years –not months, but years– to see if there are any regional spikes or noteworthy trends in certain forms of cancer and certain birth defect.

        Not an enviable position to be in, especially when it comes to your newborn children.

        As a side note, it has been observed by the more scholarly end of the whole comic book movement that in the super-hero comics written by Western writers (usually Americans), the causes behind any given super-hero’s super-powers get “explained” USUALLY via one of two scenarios. Either a) that super-hero was born into a normal, every day family of two normal, every day parents, but he is somehow a fluke of nature. Or b) he is the child of either space aliens or some other alternate-from-humans race. But comics written by Japanese writers more frequently offer up explanations for super-powers as being due to a horrible accident that befell a previously normal human being. This cultural bias observed by comic scholars where Japanese writers lean more heavily toward a catastrophic accident being the cause of super-power bestowment has been attributed to the legacy of many years of radiation-induced birth defects in Japan that happened after the close of World War II. Even the first great Japanese monster film, Godzilla from 1954, not only had a scientist who was a radiation victim with a grossly deformed face, but the origins of the monster in the title role were likewise attributed to the radiation in the ocean that was left behind by nuclear testing. I mention all this only because it points to how heavily the dark shadow of the disfigured victims of atomic bombs impacted their culture after WWII and beyond. I can only imagine how the VERY old people of Japan might by fretting right now. Perhaps it will all prove to be nothing, but I suspect the dept of fear the Japanese are experiencing right now over all of this is beyond the ken of most Americans. As a woman, I would dearly hate to be a pregnant resident of Japan at this time.

    • Modern Survival

      Also please read this http://read.bi/hHfMQd

      And this http://bit.ly/ekTR5w

  11. RE: “Normalcy Bias”

    Jack, check out a related phenomenon called “pathological optimism.”

    http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=apa.044.0723a

    .

  12. Obama getting elected was simply a good excuse to get that Saiga 12 I wanted. Probably would have bought it even if McCain won.

    I did buy 5000+ rounds of ammo in the next year but virtually all of that was bought for and used for taking several advanced carbine and handgun training classes…

  13. David McNair

    Jack, I found Potassium Iodine for $6 per 180 tablets and also for $450 per 14 tablets. crazy people out there

  14. Jack .. psychologists do the “talking” (perform psychotherapy) and psychiatrists hand out the pills.. and they aren’t all a bunch of know-nothing quacks. I am a couple credits short of a bachelors thanks to the Community College of the Air Force; so I couldn’t consider myself “school educated” like those people with their PHDs.. However, my wife is a psychologist and she worked her ass off learning her trade.. I have to respect how much time and dedication she put into her career field; people go into those fields because they truly are compassionate. I interpreted you to mostly discount the whole career field which I found odd.

    Anyways; not my favorite show but I love the post cast. I’ve only been listening to the last 200 or so now my favorites being the listener shows. thanks for the hard work and keep it up! I like hearing about your BOL (homestead now…)

  15. Inthego Prime

    this video explains the Japan reactor problems. With the press would watch it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bcrLiATLq0

  16. SteveandTracyinKy

    I really loved this show. I have always kinda felt the feeling but never knew what it was. I am just glad I had the fore thought to not over-react. Thanks Jack for another great episode.

  17. I love most of your shows but I must say I was disturbed by you telling people they are idiots for buying potassium iodide. I can appreciate that you are attempting to educate people as to the realities of the situation to quell unnecessary panic but even if the reactors never melted down in Japan it would be wise to stock up on potassium iodide. Paying 100 bucks for one pack of iosat may seem excessive but that is a pittance to protect your family and the price you pay for waiting until the last second. You should be preaching for people to ALWAYS be ready for such an occurence and not condemning them for taking action (late as it may be). I work right near NY city and everyday I prepare for a suitcase nuke or some other such disaster. We should seek to achieve a heightened state of awareness at all times. Always tell yourself that the worst will occur and you will be ready if it does. I’m not taking my iodine tablets or even losing any sleep over the events but if a news flash came over that said all 4 reactors just blew sky high then I am ready….

    • Modern Survival

      @mike m,

      Buying iodide doesn’t make you an idiot, buying it now doesn’t make you an idiot buying a 14 dollar bottle for 100 dollars right now because you are freaked out about Japan does make you an idiot. Sorry but true!

      Now we have all been idiots at times, including myself. We all do dumb things at times usually for dumb reasons.

      Your point about having iodide anyway is valid, as I said on the air I have it in our kits. Always have and always will but for those who never have and still don’t buying it all of the sudden due to something that IS NOT GOING TO HARM US is foolish, the people that need it now are in or close to Japan.

      This is a perfect example or hording vs. prepping. Smart people prep, fools horde and a fool and his money are soon parted.

      • I am presently assisting a local Potassium Iodide distributor (one of the largest in the nation, apparently) in their efforts to fulfill the insane number of orders they have received in the past week or so. They had to stop taking orders because they were just coming in too, too fast; >20-orders-per-minute fast. There are occasional calls from customers who dare to blame this company for the customers’ own short-sightedness – actually attempting to lay blame on the company for the customers’ lack of prepping (saying things like, “If my children die from radiation poisoning, it will be YOUR fault!”) Truly these people are living simultaneously in the Second, Third and Fourth extremes you described in the show today.

        “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part!”

  18. Jack,

    Good coverage of a good subject. I’ll preface my story & remarks with a quick bio. I’ve been a prepper for more than 40 years and I’m a degreed engineer. A little over a decade ago I was working, like many engineers on the mitigation of the Y2K code issues found in many pieces of software of that era. The fact is that most of these bugs were really only a nuisance and in general would not have any detrimental effects, so I personally wasn’t at all concerned with midnight Dec 31, 1999. Because of all of the Y2K hype, there was an opportunity for a prepper to meet people, see items, and make purchases that would have been less convenient in other times.

    Thus begins my story of what I call re-normalcy bias.

    I was at a preparedness expo back in 1996 standing at the table of a vendor who was selling the early Baygen radios. For those not familiar, it was one of the original wind-up radios that stored energy in a clock type spring, which in turn ran a small generator to power the radio. There was a line at the table stretching back perhaps 25 or 30 deep, of people lined up to pay $160 for this simple radio. Nice radio, but severely overpriced. One of the folks in the line asked me if I had gotten my radio yet, and I told him I didn’t see the point. He told me in all sincerity that he thought all of the power would go out and that only battery, solar, or manual crank radios would work in the long run.

    I asked if he really believed all of the power would go off and nothing computer controlled would still work, and he insisted that it was going to happen. I then asked him a simple yet perplexing question, “If all of the power goes off, then what will you listen to, since none of the radio stations will be on the air?” He looked rather ill, sputtered for a second, and then got back in line, attempting to do his best to ignore me. His new normal was TEOTWAWKI and nothing as simple as logic was going to dissuade him. I BTW did purchase a newer version of the radio which still works fine, several years later for about $30.

    One other point on the folks running out to purchase all of those supplies before a snowstorm or other predicted event. A fellow prepping friend coined the term French Toast People, because it seems that no matter the upcoming event, they always seem to stock up on Bread, Milk, and Eggs.

    • Modern Survival

      @OhioPrepper, great story to illustrate exactly the mentality I was talking about. I also love the term “French Toast People” and might have to use it in the future.

  19. Great show Jack … It’s crazy how many people are over reacting to the radiation. Over here on the west coast of the Canada, some people are going nuts just because the a tiny amount of radiation from Japan is being detected. Health authorities are having to release statements for people NOT to take potassium iodide unless instructed to by a doctor … which I guess means there must be a bunch people already chewing down the stuff.

  20. endure2survive

    Another good show, Jack. This entire event showed me just how much I’ve matured as a prepper since the Swine Flu two years ago. Yep, I went out and bought bottles of hand sanitizer and N95 masks last time. While it’s true I already had KIO3 in my preps, instead of keeping it to myself or listing it on e-bay, I contacted my friends in Japan and offered to Fed-Ex them over. They weren’t interested, but the fact that I looked at the real risks and responded rationally was good to see.

    Regarding the show, one thing it got me thinking about was the Kubler-Ross model of grieving. After a loss we pass through five stages: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Perhaps one way of looking at the response to an event like this is to see that what it’s doing is taking away people’s illusions that they live in a safe world that they control. Once that loss is experienced, they begin the stages; initially in disbelief and denial, then anger, but ultimately get into bargaining. “If I buy this potassium iodide now, I can have back my illusion that I have control of the world around me again.”

    Just a thought. As soon as you got to depression, the light clicked on that this might be another way to look at it. Obviously the pseudo-science of psychology (yes, it’s what my degree is in) often goes too far when it tries to definitively say X causes Y or Y always applies after X occurs, but analysis like yours can help explain some of our behaviors and possible motivations.

  21. Listening to some older shows today…

    This show reminds me of the blizzard of February 2010. It is also an example of what a jackass prepper I can be at times!

    I grew up outside of Rochester, NY where we could expect REAL snow storms every winter. Growing up, it was not uncommon for snowstorms to create banks that literally reached up to the roof of our homes.

    In fact we would take our sleds up to the roof of our houses and sled down them! We had an ice storm once that was so horrible that we were without power for almost 2 weeks. They estimated that over 50% of ALL trees in the area were destroyed. Trails in the area to THIS DAY have the signs of this devastation all around them. It took over 10 years to clear some of the trails out from fallen trees etc. Mountain biking really sucked on trails that used to be awesome for a very long time.

    Fast forward 10 years and I am living in Pittsburgh, PA where the winters are very mild in comparison. We are in a pocket where you can travel 2 hours in any direction and deal with massive snow dumps, only to return to 50 and 60 degree temperatures where we may have received a dusting of snow.

    We get storms from time to time, but I never saw anything remotely close to the normal winters I grew up with.

    However, whenever the news calls for a snowfall the grocery stores end up BONE DRY. With ONE INCH of snowfall you see retards in Jeeps and their 4WD SUV’s stuck on a FLAT road that has just been plowed because they have no idea what to do (I am TOTALLY SERIOUS). There have been times where I drove my jeep on the sidewalks just to get around some jackass-clown who was “stuck” in his SUV in the middle of a hill (probably had no idea how to shift into 4WD).

    People SERIOUSLY PANIC around here with any bit of snow.

    Because the winters here are so lame I did not even own a SNOW SHOVEL. I usually get through the winter kicking the snow off my steps with my feet and sprinkling some salt on the steps and I have been fine for years.

    Now when I woke up that fine February morning to see my Jeep buried up above the wheel wells in SNOW I about crapped myself!

    As far as food, water, back up heat, battery operated entertainment (get your head out of the gutter) and likewise I was fine. I could stay locked in my house for a month without the need for worry so I really didn’t care about the storm.

    However, my friends called me wanting to go sledding that day and since I was the only one out of the group with a 4WD truck they wanted me to come get everyone.

    I just figured I’d throw the Jeep in 4WD and gun it and get out of my parking space even though my entire street was more than waist deep in snow. I found out very quickly this wasn’t going to happen. Well, I could have forced the Jeep out but I would have smashed up the idiots cars who parked up on my ass right behind me and 3 inches from my front bumper to do so.

    I tried digging out the jeep with a FLYING SAUCER SLED, which I felt would work if I wanted to sit there doing this for the next 5 hours but instead went back into the house and called my friends giving up.

    I waited in my house for 4 or 5 days until the jackasses came to plow my street finally and then went out for the first time to look for a snow shovel.

    I went to over 25 stores that day looking for a snow shovel and everyone told me I was an idiot for even asking if they had one! EVERY SINGLE SNOW SHOVEL in the entire city of Pittsburgh was gone.

    On a whim I looked on Craigslist for a snow shovel expecting to see them listed for $500 each. I recall during a huge blizzard back home growing up where the only people who could get anywhere were those with snowmobiles. The local grocery store decided to jack up their prices 10x the normal price for essentials like milk to take advantage of the situation (the town put them out of business HARD in less than a year as a result of that crap by boycotting them after the fact).

    Anyhow, I found ONE AD on craigslist for a snow shovel and pounced on it. The lady told me she had bought the last snow shovel in a local hardware store and then her husband came home with a brand new snow blower. She decided to list it for what she bought it for to see if she could help someone out in my situation.

    I was the first one to respond to the ad, and 20 minutes later when I arrived to pick up the shovel she told me that she received over 100 responses to her ad.

    I SERIOUSLY contemplated listing my newly acquired snow shovel on craigslist for $300 to see what would happen but since I actually NEEDED one at this point just decided to be thankful for finding one (also, I am not THAT much of a dick).

    The moral of the story is that in the event of a disaster or even a MILDLY stressful situation, any supplies you will need to get through the situation are NOT going to be available. Stores were telling me that since it was February they would not even BE ABLE to get snow shovels back in stock until the NEXT WINTER. This is because of the “just-in-time” shipping principle where warehouses only keep items in stock based on their normal outflows and do not stockpile ANYTHING.

    Stores actually lost an ASSLOAD of money by NOT having snow shovels in stock or having access to them in the end, but warehouse space is precious and bean counters hate seeing unsold inventory on the books.

    Since I bought my snow shovel I have really not needed to use it much at all, but it is nice to have anyway.