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Mon Feb 6, 2012, 10:08 PM

"Disaster Preppers"

There's a new 2012 "disaster" show on TV. It's called "Disaster Preppers." It's about how various people prepare for disaster. One of the families is concerned about a "Coronal Mass Ejection" that will lead to all the nuke plants melting down. They have set up an impressive self-sustaining food source. Another family is paranoid about financial collapse and the dollar being worthless. Their goal is to survive at home for 4-6 months. Their goal is to be prepared for a year.

I wonder how much of this disaster madness is out there. Why would these people tell the world about their preperations if the world will eat them alive in a real disaster?

Anyway, the videos are here:





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Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Disaster Preppers" (Original post)
Renew Deal Feb 2012 OP
NRaleighLiberal Feb 2012 #1
Renew Deal Feb 2012 #2
txlibdem Mar 2012 #22
Joe Shlabotnik Feb 2012 #3
silverweb Feb 2012 #4
Curmudgeoness Feb 2012 #5
Renew Deal Feb 2012 #6
Curmudgeoness Feb 2012 #7
xmas74 Feb 2012 #15
Curmudgeoness Feb 2012 #17
jwirr Feb 2012 #8
silverweb Feb 2012 #10
Robb Feb 2012 #9
Kolesar Feb 2012 #14
uppityperson Feb 2012 #11
malakai2 Feb 2012 #12
xmas74 Feb 2012 #16
dimbear Feb 2012 #13
xmas74 Feb 2012 #18
RKP5637 Feb 2012 #20
MADem Feb 2012 #19
nickinSTL Mar 2012 #21
Starboard Tack Mar 2012 #23
nickinSTL Mar 2012 #27
Mojorabbit Apr 2012 #40
txlibdem Mar 2012 #24
Renew Deal Mar 2012 #25
txlibdem Mar 2012 #26
GliderGuider Apr 2012 #28
txlibdem Apr 2012 #29
GliderGuider Apr 2012 #32
txlibdem Apr 2012 #33
GliderGuider Apr 2012 #34
GliderGuider Apr 2012 #35
txlibdem Apr 2012 #36
txlibdem Apr 2012 #30
Fumesucker Apr 2012 #31
eqfan592 Apr 2012 #37
Renew Deal Apr 2012 #38
eqfan592 Apr 2012 #39

Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 10:33 PM

1. whew....misread it as "Disaster Peppers"

like these

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 10:39 PM

2. Good thing we bought all those gas masks!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 06:47 AM

22. Yum! And thanks for propagating native plants

Mono culture is the scourge of the Earth. I love it when a fellow gardener grows heirloom varieties.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 12:11 AM

3. I just stumbled across a few clips last night.

Some of the stuff is pretty interesting, ingenious and innovative. But I couldn't help feeling a bit awkward for the family with the bug-out plan. They seem most likely to be either taken down by the ATF one day, or most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse, ala The Walking Dead.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 03:18 PM

4. Interesting stuff.

[font color="navy" face="Verdana"]That first family with the water collection system/aquaponics/chickens setup has me green with envy. That's something I'd love to do -- not for fear of disaster but just to be organic, self sufficient, and more-or-less "off the grid," even in an urban environment. It also makes perfect sense that green living = disaster resilience.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 07:44 PM

5. Although it is not a bad idea to become more self-sufficient,

the reasons for these peoples' motivations is downright scary. OK, so I can survive the end of the world for a year---then what? That is if it works, and if other survivors don't find me and take all that I have. I figure being in the same boat as the rest of the world is preferable.

But you gotta envy their ingenuity and resolve!

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 09:49 PM

6. That will give you time to find other survivors and begin your survivor colony

And soon after begin repopulating the planet.

I don't think any individual can prepare enough to survive a massive event like a nuclear war, massive meteor strike, etc, but what do I know.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 09:55 PM

7. Personally, I don't want to survive those things.

I remember a made for TV movie years ago---I think it was called The Day After or something like that. It was about a nuclear war. The people at ground zero just vaporized. After watching that, I have always hoped I am at ground zero.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 02:48 PM

15. I am at Ground Zero.

The towns they talk about in The Day After-I live in one of them. I live in one of the towns they say is destroyed instantly. I recognize all the little towns they talk about in that show. And I know it'll be ten times worse than anything they showed.

For me, it's almost a sense of comfort. I know that I won't have a Morning After and I'm fine with it.

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Response to xmas74 (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 03:02 PM

17. When that came out, I lived in Houston.

I figured with all the refineries and chemical plants, we would be toast. And you are right, that was good to know.

Now, I am in a small town in the Rust Belt that has nothing---and I don't expect anyone to waste effort on us. Too bad.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 10:49 PM

8. My family used to think I was crazy because I was warning them to prepare for disaster while

continuing their lives. Today with my son in law unemployed, the wages of the rest of they family not enough to live on and the rising food prices they are thinking differently. We are not doomsdayers but we are doing everything we can to be prepared. Fortunately even though they thought I was crazy they listened and we are very close to being able to keep the home etc. because they have a small farm situation backing them up.

Now what I really want to know is where do I watch this program?

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Response to jwirr (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 02:46 PM

10. Here:

[font color="navy" face="Verdana"]You may not be able to watch the show live unless you can get it on your TV, but National Geographic has video on its website and a YouTube channel.

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/

ihttp://www.youtube.com/user/nationalgeographic?ob=

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 06:46 PM

9. Oddly reassuring. This is the kind of kookiness that can drive industry.

I kid not, I know two currently successful solar energy guys from my old neighborhood who got started selling off-the-grid to Y2K survivalists from NYC and LA in the Colorado hinterland.

Worked out a lot of bugs, so to speak, and now both run respectable and well-established companies, installers with a lot of experience etc.

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Response to Robb (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 11:59 AM

14. Success, then!

I like it.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 10:46 PM

11. People have been doing this since WW2, cold war. Good to have emergency supplies on hand, but

there has always been the problem of not being able to provide everything if the environment goes poof

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 11:42 PM

12. Simple disaster prep

1. Watch Disaster Preppers on TV, take note of locations
2. Purchase firearm and learn to use it
3. Await disaster
4. Appropriate stash from preppers

Sure there is value in some of this in everyday life, in preparation for small disasters, and the like. Societal collapse? Nuclear war? Cute little monkey carries fatal hemorrhagic fever into your town? Zombies come to eat your brains? Not so good. A fixed location doesn't help much unless you have a functioning government to protect you.

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Response to malakai2 (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 02:50 PM

16. Some of the families have decent arsenals

and do regular training with their weapons. A few are large enough to be considered small militias.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 07:58 PM

13. I notice my area has just been added to California's volcano watch.

To be prepared I intend to buy some marshmallows.

Part of life in a geothermal field.

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Response to dimbear (Reply #13)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 03:32 PM

18. I'm in a nuclear strike zone,

tornadoes and floods aren't out of the ordinary, and within the danger/damage zone if New Madrid ever gives us another 7+, which is inevitable.

Such is life, don't you think?

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Response to dimbear (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 23, 2012, 05:12 PM

20. If there's a Yellowstone super volcano, most of us will be eating marshmallows

right along with you. Bring some extras, please!

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2012, 02:40 PM

19. I figure I'll just head for the Twinkie factory, a la Griffin family....nt

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Sat Mar 10, 2012, 10:15 PM

21. my wife and some of our friends have gotten into "prepping"

I think our friends are rather nuts about it, and my wife even takes it further than I think is necessary, but...

She views it something like this:

1. Prepare first for the most likely scenario.
2. Have enough stuff easily available to get through a 3-day power outage or similar short-term event
3. Prepare for a longer, say 2-week power outage or similar event (we've had a couple of storms in this area in the past few years that have actually resulted in some areas being without power for as much as 2 weeks, so this is still very much within the realm of possibility)
4. Have enough food stored for 6 months. This is where I think she's maybe going a little overboard. Here she's thinking of something at least on the order of the Katrina disaster, though we wouldn't have a hurricane/flood around here - we could have an earthquake or major tornado. We could have major flooding of the Mississippi, as well, which wouldn't affect our home, but would have a major impact on the area.

However, I have a hard time imagining we'd actually need 6 months of stuff.


Our friends are apparently buying guns and stockpiling for a minimum 6 months of food...

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Response to nickinSTL (Reply #21)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 08:37 PM

23. Sounds like they're going a tad OTT

What are they prepping for? Armageddon. a natural disaster, an alien invasion, Cards lose the WS, or any and all of the above?
I've been through a number of disasters, both natural and man made, including earthquakes, Katrina and the LA riots, but 6 months!?!? Hard to imagine 6 months hunkered down in STL.
I'm too old to start shooting people over food. Whatever I've got I'll gladly share.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #23)

Sun Mar 18, 2012, 04:54 PM

27. apparently, the 6 months

is for a possible breakdown in society due to an oil-related crash, economic crash, etc.

Enough to keep you going until a garden can be planted, etc, I guess.

Another point they made was that if I lost my job, we'd have 6 months of food we wouldn't have to pay for, which...for me, is the most reasonable thing to plan for for that length of time. We would be royally screwed if I lost my job and couldn't find another pretty much immediately.

I have a little $ saved, but it wouldn't last long, and I have some prescription costs that would be enormous without insurance.

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Response to nickinSTL (Reply #27)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 12:56 AM

40. I keep six months in my pantry of short and long storage items.

I don't see a thing wrong with it. People used to put up food as a way of life. My grandmother certainly did
I find it has saved money esp for the short term items as groceries have really gone up.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Tue Mar 13, 2012, 09:12 AM

24. Surviving a disaster without sufficient breeding numbers is worthless

You would need at least 10,000 people in your shelter in order to have sufficient genetic diversity to avoid inbreeding. Anything less is just a temporary fix.

But I do agree that we should have a disaster scenario in place with several groups of 10,000 or more. I just think we should be putting them in space cities (look up the work of Gerard K. O'Neil).

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Response to txlibdem (Reply #24)

Tue Mar 13, 2012, 09:15 AM

25. I think the purpose is to survive long enough to find other people

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #25)

Tue Mar 13, 2012, 03:08 PM

26. thousands of other people?

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Response to txlibdem (Reply #26)

Sun Apr 1, 2012, 05:24 PM

28. Depends on the disaster, yes?

 

In many scenarios there would still be far too many people left...

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #28)

Mon Apr 2, 2012, 08:14 AM

29. Far too many people left?

I honestly hope that you are messing with us here on DU. If that is your true opinion then I feel sorry for you.

In World War II there were situations when prisoners had to be shot and one person had to make the decision over who lives and who dies. Do you fancy yourself in that position?

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Response to txlibdem (Reply #29)

Mon Apr 2, 2012, 09:04 AM

32. You have to ask yourself, "Too many for what, exactly?"

 

Last edited Mon Apr 2, 2012, 02:26 PM - Edit history (2)

The short answer is, "Too many for long-term sustainability."

The longer version is this:

I think that the sustainable limit of human population on the planet over the long haul (like the next 10,000 years) is no more than one billion people. There are some sudden natural disasters could bring the population down to that, but unless it's something on the scale of a major asteroid impact or Toba II most of them are unlikely to be quite that effective.

As I'm sure I've said before, I don't think human population is going to be reduced to that level through any decision-making process on the part of other people, let alone me. My bet is on disruptions to the food supply brought about by a convergence of oil depletion, climate change, soil and water exhaustion, the death of the oceans and a global economic depression. If that happens, then pandemics due to a breakdown of health care systems around the world as a consequence of the ensuing rupture of civil society become a high probability.

IMO there is a better-than-minuscule chance that these initial effects will converge over the next (very) few decades, resulting in a century-long reduction in human population back to a stable level below one billion. I think this is a possibility because I think it's in fact already in its very early stages (not the population reduction, but the rest of it).

This is why I've decided to get fully involved in the permaculture movement, to help give the people at the bottom of this crumbling pyramid scheme of a civilization (like me) some slim chance that they won't be crushed.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #32)

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 03:14 PM

33. Scale back to a billion people?

That'll make the Skull & Bones Society's day, sure, but I don't think this is what's going to happen.

You say:
"My bet is on disruptions to the food supply brought about by a convergence of oil depletion, climate change, soil and water exhaustion, the death of the oceans and a global economic depression. If that happens, then pandemics due to a breakdown of health care systems around the world as a consequence of the ensuing rupture of civil society become a high probability."

Apparently you've never heard of hydroponics and Vertical Farms or Urban Farms. We don't need to farm in the dirt any more. Dirt farming wastes 70% of the fresh water resources of the world. Hydroponic growing takes 5% of the water needed for dirt farming. Oil depletion will be a serious issue but we can grow crops without oil if we have Vertical Farms in or near our cities and some Urban Farming to round out the supply of food.

Your thinking is based on how we do things today: the most wasteful and inefficient methods are used in almost every industry.

The world could easily support a population of 20 Billion people all living an American (or at least European) lifestyle with every modern convenience; each with access to the finest schools, clean water and air, enough nutritious food, freedoms and the ability to instantly communicate at will to any human they wish. All we have to do is manage resources better and end our wasteful current system.

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Response to txlibdem (Reply #33)

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 04:29 PM

34. Are there any downsides to this utopia of yours?

 

Last edited Thu Apr 5, 2012, 07:09 AM - Edit history (2)

How do you manage the consolidation of wealth that is currently immiserating most of the planet, even in the presence of technology unimaginable 100 years ago? How do you ensure the just and equitable distribution of these magical fruits? Right now the fruits of our labour flow to the 1%. How do you propose that more technology will solve that?

What makes your future any different from today, rather than just bigger in terms of both ambrosia and gangrene?

In Aldous Huxley's "Island" he dreamed a perfect world as well. It's not technology that has kept us from moving towards it. I rather think you're missing an enormous piece of the puzzle. More technology has not kept us from encroaching on the natural world - or even slowed the process down. It has simply made it possible for the 1% to turn the natural world into waste faster, so as to maximize its Net Present Value for their own benefit.

We can have all the electronic bells and whistles we want, but until we solve the fundamental problem of human nature and culture, we're far better off shooting for sustainability and resilience at the grass roots than polishing the sorcerer's mirror to a brighter gleam.

I rather suspect we're going to keep getting bigger for a while, but it's not bigger I'm after, it's better. I have no doubt that you also want a better world, but I don't think you're going to achieve that just with more gizmos. This is all just my personal opinion at the moment, but time will tell.

On edit: I'm going to leave the contents of this reply intact, but I'm adding another just below that has a radically different tone.

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Response to txlibdem (Reply #33)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 07:09 AM

35. I've finally made peace with your view of the future. I'm sorry I've argued about it so much.

 

Last edited Thu Apr 5, 2012, 08:40 AM - Edit history (1)

I realized last night that we live in a world of seven billion people, each of whom has a vision of what a "better future" looks like. Those visions vary radically, and the future that actually emerges will be the result of a dynamic interplay between all of them. If my vision were to be right, then seven billion minus one visions would have to be wrong. That's not likely - the likely outcome is that seven billion visions will all be wrong in some ways and right in others.

What's important, it seems to me, is that we all keep working towards the sort of betterments we feel the world needs. You value continued development - especially of technology, while I value moving to a smaller-scale future with more emphasis on emotional connections. So be it. The future will inevitably disappoint and enthrall both of us, so there's no point in me trying to thwart your work in pursuing avenues that are important to you.

Another thought that occurred to me is that our belief systems are the canvas on which we paint our picture of the future, using our values as brushes and our dreams as paint. Our values and expectations come from our experience, which is a complex mix of growth and wounding. If we have a choice, it probably makes sense to promote visions for change that are grounded in personal growth, and bypass those that spring from psychological wounds. This thought came from a realization that my some of my own previous projections of the future were the result of various hurts I'd suffered in the past. As I heal those wounds, it becomes easier to espouse positive, opening change, rather than defensive, self-protective change.

Best of luck, and I undertake not to cast further aspersions on your view of a better future.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #35)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 04:44 AM

36. This is a reply to both posts

Your two posts have given me hope that even two people who see the future so radically differently can agree on many things.

I, too, hate the oligopoly of the 1% and their wanton destruction and waste all in the name of more profits for them (and none for us).

My vision of the future is one in which the billions of people finally say 'enough' and stop participating in the little game the 1% have rigged for us all. I foresee massive strikes in every developed and developing nation demanding a more equitable share of the Earth's resources and an end to the use of money for any purpose; as well as the corruption that always comes from the money system.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #28)

Mon Apr 2, 2012, 08:31 AM

30. Ten thousand is the minimum breeding population

In order to avoid inbreeding.

So your shelter would have to house over 10,000 people or you just hope that you find several thousand people wandering around, in good health, of breeding age, and willing to do what is necessary.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Mon Apr 2, 2012, 08:38 AM

31. A coronal mass ejection is a distinct possibility..

It won't melt down nuclear reactors but it could play absolute havoc with the power and communications grids.

The last such was the Carrington Event in 1859.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859

On September 1–2, 1859, the largest recorded geomagnetic storm occurred. Aurorae were seen around the world, most notably over the Caribbean; also noteworthy were those over the Rocky Mountains that were so bright that their glow awoke gold miners, who began preparing breakfast because they thought it was morning. People who happened to be awake in the northeastern US could read a newspaper by the aurora's light.
Telegraph systems all over Europe and North America failed, in some cases even shocking telegraph operators. Telegraph pylons threw sparks and telegraph paper spontaneously caught fire. Some telegraph systems appeared to continue to send and receive messages despite having been disconnected from their power supplies.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/tag/carrington-event/

The Earth has a roughly 12 percent chance of experiencing an enormous megaflare erupting from the sun in the next decade. This event could potentially cause trillions of dollars’ worth of damage and take up to a decade to recover from.

Such an extreme event is considered to be relatively rare. The last gigantic solar storm, known as the Carrington Event, occurred more than 150 years ago and was the most powerful such event in recorded history.

That a rival to this event might have a greater than 10 percent chance of happening in the next 10 years was surprising to space physicist Pete Riley, senior scientist at Predictive Science in San Diego, California, who published the estimate in Space Weather on Feb. 23.

“Even if it’s off by a factor of two, that’s a much larger number than I thought,” he said.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/03/110302-solar-flares-sun-storms-earth-danger-carrington-event-science/

But the big fear is what might happen to the electrical grid, since power surges caused by solar particles could blow out giant transformers. Such transformers can take a long time to replace, especially if hundreds are destroyed at once, said Baker, who is a co-author of a National Research Council report on solar-storm risks.

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory's Cliver agrees: "They don't have a lot of these on the shelf," he said.

The eastern half of the U.S. is particularly vulnerable, because the power infrastructure is highly interconnected, so failures could easily cascade like chains of dominoes.

"Imagine large cities without power for a week, a month, or a year," Baker said. "The losses could be $1 to $2 trillion, and the effects could be felt for years."

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 07:25 PM

37. To be honest, anything that moves people to be more self sufficient is a good thing IMHO.

Even you can't imagine a reason for prepping doesn't mean there isn't one. Too many are ready to dismiss folks who prep as kooks when the simple fact is that there are lessons to be learned from these people when it comes to self sufficiency.

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Response to eqfan592 (Reply #37)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 09:35 PM

38. You're right that anything that moves people is good.

And I don't really have an issue with the skills these people have developed. But if you listen to them talk, they are paranoid and scared. They are worried about things that are very unlikely. I think that in some cases they have already stopped living life by manically preparing for the "end."

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #38)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 02:55 PM

39. That is taking it too far, I agree.

I think hoping for the best but preparing for the worst is a fairly solid mindset, but you can't get consumed by it. One still has to live life, otherwise whats the point of surviving anyway?

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