Episode-1412- Listener Feedback for 8-25-14 — 45 Comments

  1. I would be vigilant about op sec. I would keep most of my supplies hidden is small caches around my property. Of course, it depends on the security situation around my region. I would break the #10 cans into small meals, and hide them. Also I would make my property look abandon and burned out. Look weak but be strong.

  2. Hell, from the time I was 7 or 8 years old I spent virtually all day, every day not incarcerated (in school) either in out the barn or the woods BY MYSELF. Anything to get away from my parents. Somehow I survived, must be a miracle. (Heavy sarcasm)

  3. Multiple caches of your supplies was shown in a classic old black and white movie, way ahead of it’s time, titled: “Panic in the Year Zero”. The father of the family was a Jack Spirko type in 1962 surviving in the wild using his wits while the hordes leave LA with the mushroom cloud overhead.
    While on a fishing trip, Harry Baldwin (Ray Milland) and his family hear an explosion and realize that Los Angeles has been leveled by a nuclear attack. Looters and killers are everywhere. Escaping to the hills with his family, he sets about the business of surviving in a world where, he knows, the old ideals of humanity will be first casualties. Not one to give up, he holds up a store for supplies and hides the family in a cave.

  4. Conflicted Monday: Be subtle in your consumption. Avoid cooking smells or lights at night. Stand in line for food like everyone else. Might be a good chance to recruit someone like a doctor or engineer. If the neighbors are desperate, increase security or move. Keep your head down and plow ahead.

  5. When I was 10 I would get home from school, siphon gas out of my dad’s El Camino, dump it in my little Yamaha, and head off into the hills until the sun went down. Every day of the week. There was a bunch of us that all rode together, but there was no cell phones. When someone got hurt, one of us would have to ride back to our house for help. Never once do I remember anybody ever suggesting that maybe we not be allowed to ride. Nowdays, kids aren’t even allowed to play in the front yard, much less down the street or at the park. I really feel bad for my boys. Even if I let tehm out to play, there are no other kids out playing. If they want to play with friends, we have to make Play Dates. We live in Bizzaro World!

  6. Blend in with the crowd – scavenge as well. When you find something share it with those that need it. Grow a garden and share. Don’t look all fat and happy – this would be a good time to go on a diet!

  7. Conflicted Monday: help my neighbors, recruit, equip, and instruct them to produce and harvest more. Real preparedness and self-sufficiency can’t be hidden in a cache or basement. Maybe I’m less plump after six months, or maybe I’m dead, but I’d rather be dead than have my neighbors’ death on my hands while doing nothing, and none of us would get through this alone.

  8. Thoughts on your point of visualizing the impact of a ~30% economic downturn in Liberia et al., vs. a ~30% economic downturn here: I did some work in Liberia in 2009 and 2010, in Lofa County (the epicenter of the outbreak). I probably know (however passingly) some people that died. Anyway… keep in mind that, for many families in rural West Africa, they are almost totally removed from fluctuations in national or global economy as they operate almost completely within a subsistence and barter economy. Their houses are often constructed of local wood, mud, and reeds. They have local communal food reserves, rice fields, edo, goat herding, chickens, orange, banana, mango, papaya, etc etc. Many are, for lack of a better term, “prepared” in place, but are/were in no way prepared for wars (in the past) or plagues (in the present). Non-existant sanitation, minimal education, panic, and paranoia are driving well-“prepared” families from their fertile lands to live as destitute refugees (just as happened during the Liberian Civil War). The lack of preparedness in one area can negate preparations elsewhere. Inversely, the industrialized West is generally very well prepared for wars and plagues, but with increasing and short-sighted reliance upon a complex, energy-intensive food supply network could very easily come undone with a comparatively minor economic downturn of even 1/3 that size. Nothing revolutionary for TSP listeners, just some thoughts.

  9. Two unsupervised children almost drowed this summer just in my apt complex. Bulling and vandalism also seem to happen frequently. Two girls where missing for a few hours the other weekend as well, saw large groups of people looking for them.

    • Jeeze, if you think it should be illegal to leave a kid free to play unsupervised, I don’t know what to say!

      Some places suck ass, you don’t let kids run unsupervised there. No one is suggesting you let your kids play in the gang ridden streets of Newark.

  10. Thanks for the update on the butternuts, I’ll make sure to ask the companies I’m thinking about ordering from whether their trees suffer from the canker.

    I’m probably going to hold off on the chestnuts for a little while. While I live in zone 3a we usually get a heavy snow cover early in the winter that helps protect trees. However, our summers are cool which may be a problem for nuts. Even if I don’t get any nuts butternut and chestnut are decent timber crops, and I’ve got a lot of room to experiment on.

  11. Nothing to do with anything you said on your podcast. but what happens when you live through LOVE! Think about a life that way….. don’t have a religion. But believe In hirer power/god. have you ever stopped to think if what you talk about puts people, “in a state of fear” I know i sound like a religouse nut, but trust me far from it!!!! just saying what I think. But what do i know??? I am drunk!!!!!

  12. I just took my boy today to his first day of kindergarten, and I wonder if I’ve made a mistake. Previously we decided to have him attend for just this school year figuring at least kindergarten has some benefit, seeing as there is still some focus on creativity and encouragement of personal growth. Well it occurs to me now that maybe I was relating too much of my own experience and memories of kindergarten, and that today’s kindergarten may not be the same one that I remember from more than 3 decades ago. Aside from the issues discussed in today’s podcast, I noticed one of the first things the school personnel emphasized to my boy is he needs to remember his “number”. Each kid is assigned a personal school number which is used for a variety of school functions. Now granted this is not nearly on the level of a teacher calling the cops on a kid writing a story about shooting a dinosaur (really WTF is up with that?… I used to doodle spaceship and stick-figure battles in class all the damn time and I was the furthest thing from a violent problem student). But anyway, I found it to be a little telling and disturbing that his “number” seemed to be as important to them as his name. The teachers were pleasant and I’m trying not to let my opinions of the current education system lead to pre-judging or making too many negative assumptions of the school, but just that one thing is giving me reservations. He’s just frickin’ 5 years old… his personal development of his identity and sense of self shouldn’t be so closely tied to an assigned number.

    Anyway if there’s one thing I am glad about, it’s that I convinced my wife to only sign him up for half-time. In Denver half-time kindergarten is part of the standard, and full-time costs extra. How much extra? Full price is about $2790 for the school year. I paid less than that for a full years’ tuition at a state COLLEGE in the late 90’s! Sure we can afford it, but is that anywhere close to a fair value for the second half of a day of KINDERGARTEN? Even the 2nd lowest subsidized tuition is at $810 for the year, which is still absurd (here’s the link for those who want to see for themselves… ). Anyway we may change our minds and pull him out even from the half-day program. The public schooling that is “free” isn’t worth it if we see them teaching him things that will hold him back later in life.

    – Nick

  13. Re: Evolution of education / Minerva Project

    I agree that this is more a ‘tool’ as opposed to something inherently good or bad, and as with a gun or a car it all boils down to the intent and motivations of the person wielding the tool. What does concern me in particular about this method is how well it may lend itself to being used to reinforce false dichotomies, i.e. the instructor intentionally leading the discussions between limited choices designed to promote a narrow and easily manipulated way of thinking. Essentially it could be a more targeted and powerful method of the programming the people already get from the media and government.

    – Nick

    • Well said Nick. I was and am still excited about the possible changes in our education system for the better. It had not occurred to me that someone could take this and pervert it so fast. It has barely gotten its feet of the ground. I think it’s great online education is becoming a more viable option. But we definitely still need to be careful and research these things.

  14. Not sure where to communicate this observation/criticism most effectively (since email volume seems to be an issue for Jack) so I will post here.

    Being a big proponent of not only critical thinking, but also the practice of good grammar, logic and rhetoric, I find it most aggravating about Jack’s unfair characterization of contrary positions. Surely Jack you know about the Straw Man fallacy, where one commits a logical fallacy by substituting someone’s actual position with a distorted, exaggerated or unfairly characterized position. I am sure you believe the positions you put forward (such as for teachers, republicans, democrats, over protective parents, just to name a few) are properly representative of real life people and arguments. You may even be able to provide actual quotes as background. I’m not trying to nitpick every instance here.

    What I take issue with is the tone of voice you adopt when advancing contrary arguments. I think this is the worst kind of Straw Man fallacy because with a simple tone you immediately characterize an argument as “dumb”, “arrogant”, “flippant”, “absurd”, “ludicrous”, etc. You may say this to be merely an issue of personal style, and I would normally agree, if not for your insistence that everyone adhere to the practice of good critical thinking, grammar, logic and rhetoric. Surely, you cannot properly argue that the blatant and intentional use of a logical fallacy when engaging in reasoned debate flies in the face of good logic and rhetoric.

    You may have good arguments, that is not what I am taking issue with. Please tone down the “dumb ass” or “arrogant elite” or “evil empire” voices. We are all adults capable of thinking for ourselves and evaluating a good or bad argument when we hear them on their own merits.


    • @Mike, yes time is a limit so I briefly scanned your comment. Basically I don’t care that you don’t like the tone at times. This is what I have done for 6 years, I have no intention of changing what made TSP the success it is because some don’t like it.

      “If you try to please everyone, your ass will be soaking wet.”

    • Fair enough: your show, your way. However, don’t then turn around and characterize yourself as a practitioner of good logic, reason and rhetoric (which you do all the time). Success (or power or money) does not give anyone license to abandon logic – surely you can agree to that.

      • You have a right to your opinion of me, you have no fing right under God’s sun to tell me how the F to characterize myself. Your assertion that you do, just demonstrated who fails to be a good practitioner of logic and reason.

      • Once again, I seem to have run into the Jack-is-never-wrong wall (butternut canker notwithstanding). I guess your critiques are the only valid ones left out there? If you don’t like to hear negative feedback, then why do you solicit feedback at all?

        • Again all I objected to was you TELLING ME what I was permitted to say about myself. No one has any right to tell another person how to think, what to do, what to think of themselves so long as that person is not harming anyone.

          We call that logic Mike. I flatly don’t have time for bullshit like this.

  15. First, the piece on outlawing unsupervised play really struck a nerve with me. I grew up playing all day in the woods unsupervised with a couple of the neighbor kids from the time I was about 7. My daughter is now 7 and I encourage her to play unsupervised as well. Any time she complains about being bored I tell her to go find something to do (that doesn’t involve electronics), that it isn’t my job to entertain her and if she’s bored it’s her own damned fault.

    We have a 1.5 – 2 acre woodlot next to our house that butts up against a major 2-lane road. I encourage her to explore it frequently, and she always has a good time when she does. But I had to talk with her about not going over the crest of the hill where it descends to the major road — not because I was afraid of her running into traffic or being abducted (my daughter has way more sense than that). Rather, my concern was that someone might see a kid playing there unsupervised, call the cops, and we would have to deal with CPS after that. I actually had to explain to my daughter how some people thought that it was child endangerment to let her play outside without direct supervision, and that the cops could take her away to another house if the wrong person spotted her playing along the edge of the woodlot and called it in. BTW — I also explained to her how insane all of this is, and that just because we need to be aware of these kinds of things doesn’t mean that they’re the least bit right.

  16. Second, I’d like to weigh in on the educational piece you did (the first one). One major problem I have with that setup is that it does NOT allow the opportunity to daydream. Everything I’ve experienced and read about other people who have made scientific discoveries in history is the role that daydreaming plays. I know that some of my greatest insights in permaculture design on my own property, for example, come when I’m engaged in some other task where I can just let my mind wander.

    Daydreaming is often where the “magic” happens — and when we try to squeeze that out, it’s another nail in the coffin of creativity and independent thought.

    • Yea I agree I see this for like a learning boot camp environment or something like that. As I said it may be highly useful for some things but I could not tolerate it for a full course let alone a multi year degree.

      I think the subject would be a big part of it too.

      Frankly the magic would be you might take only two classes a day like this or even one and learn more than a “full schedule”.

    • I also have great memories of “running wild” after school. Some times I would walk miles (maybe 5) from my house after school with my bb gun and my dogs. Sometimes I was with friends, sometimes I was alone. I knew to be home about 7 for dinner. I was only late a few times and did get in trouble if there was not a good reason.

      I’m trying to walk a fine line with my boys. I do think it is a more dangerous world today but maybe I’m just a little more risk adverse. I let my 8 year old go about 1 miles away on his own but do go looking for him if he is late.

  17. Typical Saturday morning when I was growing up at eight years old (47 now). I would grab the .22 Marlin 60 and 100 rds of ammo, a sandwich, jump the fence and head to the creek until dark. I’d take my little brother, and sometimes meet a friend or two. We would explore for miles down the creek over multiple property lines and shoot targets and occasional frog and snake. Good times!

  18. I was wondering about your discussion about libertarian ideas and crowd-funding models. I’m wondering about the practicality of the idea of having to make funding decisions about every minor event happening in my area, let alone the major ones confronting the country as a whole. I don’t know about you, but I’m busy enough simply keeping up with the items in my sphere of control, forget about the items in my sphere of interest. Having attending a few local council meetings, and also a number of parent volunteer meetings for my kids school, there is an incredible amount of decisions made about funding. Some of these could be swept away as “wasteful”, but there are so many that cannot.

    Politicians and bureaucrats, love them/hate them/indifferent, do a huge amount of logistical work to just “keep the lights on” that honestly I don’t think most of us have time for or the knowledge to make a real, informed and reasoned decision on. There is a real, qualitative difference between being an informed and active citizen, and being able to provide valuable decisions in the public sphere.

    How many of us can honestly say that we can make an informed decisions regarding the amount of appropriate funding required to, say, repair a highway bridge. If the response is “there are engineer reports that will tell us that”, then who can honestly say that they have the time and expertise to verify those reports? If we don’t we are simply replacing one set of “experts” with another set of “experts” and the model seems to fall apart.

    • @Mike, people pay attention to what they care about, right?

      Okay and politicians spend 80-90% of OUR money on shit we either don’t want or don’t care about, right?

      So if we don’t pay attention to that 80-90% it gets no funding and it doesn’t happen right?

      And most libertarians are for a 80-90% reduction in government right?

      Will the nation do it, hell no. Would it work, well again if people would be self governing it would work quite well. It would be voluntary government.

      The government would have to gain both consent and funding from the governed for all that it did, every single thing. Further funding and consent could be revoked at any time.

      Of course you and any other productive human doesn’t have time to pay attention to all the bullshit these assholes do, that is how the system is set up.

      We always here about roads and schools being something we can’t do with out government. Do you think you can pay attention to those two things? Say that and BASIC law enforcement.

      There would quickly be no budget to put people in jail for pot for instance. Even those that think it is the devil would likely not part with their money to lock up someone for eating Twinkies and playing tetras. Or so few would there wouldn’t be enough to make it happen.

      In those instances they get a tax refund. Just like kickstarter, your initiative failed to fund, here is your money back.

      You are absolutely correct a government of this size could not run on crowd funding, that indeed is the point.

    • Understood. Yes, I agree that with an 80-90% reduction in government, this may be a possibility. However, if we are wanting to transfer all of the items of importance in our lives (that currently is largely administered by a government of some sort) to our own individual control, does that not increase the complexity of our own lives by a massive amount? Like I said, I don’t know about you, but I barely have enough time and resources for what I do now, let alone what I would then be responsible for. “People pay attention to what they care about”. I agree, but I fear that this scenario would simply mean that “I care about those things I can pay attention to”.

      • Yep fear that is the enemy of liberty!

        Does it increase the complexity of my life if I have to worry about seeing to most of my own needs in some way personally?

        Actually no, it decreases the complexity. Why? If I have to explain you are likely not yet ready for the answers.

        I’ll start with this though, how much time do you think an average business person spends a year fing around with taxes and tax filings?

        What do I need the G-Man for? Roads, I conceded that. Basic law enforcement? Again I conceded that. This system will handle that.

        Garbage? – Nope I have a private company.

        Water? – Nope I have a well.

        Sewer? – Nope I run a gray water and septic system of my own.

        Food? – I eat almost nothing from the subsidized system, there would be more choices without the subsidies for me.

        What do you want the government to do for you? That is your question.

        What do you want the government to stop doing to you? That is my question.

        • Just playing devil’s advocate:

          Garbage? How do you know the company is disposing of the garbage in a responsible manner consistent with your ethics? Sure, your initial consultation with choosing the company may be good at first, but how do you know they aren’t bold-faced lying to you? I just don’t see how you, personally, are going to be able to make sure your money is being spent to meet your requirements. Sure, if you requirement is “they pick up my garbage”, then it is pretty easy. If you, however, want that garbage disposed of in a responsible manner, and you want them to provide their workers with safe conditions (if that is important to you), how can you be sure that is happening?

          I guess my problem is with removing government oversight: having a public entity to make sure private companies are held accountable. You may argue that contract law takes care of that problem, but contract law is not invoked until there is a breach of that contract. Who is to know when the breach occurs? Are we now going to hire private investigators to make sure all of our interests are being properly met?

          And that’s just the garbage… 🙂

        • It goes back to personal responsibility. By the time I am done composting, recycling, etc. there is so little left it doesn’t matter much. What I though away won’t harm the earth, if they bury it under a garden feeding an orphanage, it won’t hurt a thing.

          Anything really toxic, I take personal responsibility for. Though so little of it comes up it isn’t a big deal. These are things like old PC monitors, etc.

          You are worried about what someone does with your toxic waste, I just do all I can to produce as little as possible. My solution relies on me, yours on others, see how that works. It is quite logical, LOL.

      • Mike,
        I’ve heard your argument a million times. That argument is predicated on the belief, the ‘promise’ that governments would actually be as responsible with your money and liberties as they claim. This is historically untrue. Just ask yourself, ‘how accountable are governments making private corporations right now?’ The answer is, not very much, and this under a system that supposedly values individual liberty and safety.

        Remember when Hurricane Katrina happened? BP came in and sealed off the coast oil spill area so as to deny any prying eyes from the disaster zone. They had their own private security overseeing what should have been a national disaster area with proper government response and cleanup. BP kicked citizens out of the area and even had several reporters arrested for interfering with their operations. Now, where was the EPA then? Hell, where were the local police? Putting BP in charge of an oil spill after a hurricane is like putting Jeffrey Dahmer in charge of an outdoor BBQ grill. You just don’t do it. But yet, that’s exactly what happened. Why? Because they’re oil executives and you’re not. PUBLIC-PRIVATE-PARTNERSHIP. Do some research on it, it’ll blow your mind.

        Here’s another example. After the Enron debacle, when a few fat pigeons got sent to the slaughterhouse, when all those whistleblowers were saying that insider trading was going on everywhere, where was the SEC? The FTC? What happened to those extensive investigations into Wall-Street insider trading? Quiet as a mouse fart.

        There’s lots of examples of how our money and rights are being stripped away from us in ever increasing amounts, yet people like you still claim that any breach of that system would result in catastrophe and total chaos. Friend, we live in chaos right now. The difference is, our chaos is being managed for us to justify the ORDER that follows that chaos. Don’t let someone else wag your dog.

  19. Minor point on the hard cider portion of the show:

    I would recommend using the StarSan sanitizer on your caps. Just dump ’em in a bowl with a small batch of the stuff and let them sit while you get your bottles set out or whatever. When you boil them, you run the risk of messing up the polymer seal.

    Probably okay either way, but the star san is easier and I believe more reliable. Last thing I want when opening a bottle of my brew is to pour out flat, contaminated gunk.

  20. Jack,
    The idea of “passing a law so you can do something” is called positive law. Competitive philosophies to positive law are natural law and man-made law.

  21. When I was around 9 or 10 we lived near a coastal river. I Canoed up the river a few times in the winter. There was places where the river had ice and I had to have one foot outside the canoe like I had read about in outdoor books. I camped out on the ground with no tent where there was about an inch of snow and freezing temperatures.

    Another time myself and another kid camped near the mouth of the river in some sand dunes. While carrying the canoe on my head I stepped on a small piece of wood that had a nail in it and the nail stuck in my foot. We just found a guy who was out there on the beach and he took me to get some help. It wasn’t really a big deal.

    I wasn’t much older when I saved up my paper route money and went on a trip with a camp out to British Columbia with a bunch of other kids and a few adults and we back packed way back up in the woods with pretty heavy packs and stayed there for a couple of weeks.

    • No, as I told Patrick from MT Knives who I just talked to about it on email, “the chicken on my grill concerns me more right now than that”.