Monday, January 21, 2008

King of Spades Part IV, Rats in a Box


The next concept in this population dynamics series I'd like to relate came to me, while I was over at David Pollard's very interesting site, "How to Change the World". Pollard described the situation we're all in, as like rats in a very large box, that continued to populate as more and more food was introduced into the box. Indeed, any population will expand as long as there's food to support it. But what happens if this food was reduced by 10% or 50% suddenly? Maybe the rats could get by on the 10% reduction and their population would stabilize in adjustment. They would be adapting to the new environment inside the box. However, a sudden 50% reduction of food and it's quite likely we'd have a problem with this environment, as there would not be enough time to adapt to such a reduction. It's very likely the rats would become cannibalistic, mutate and or die-off. Perhaps, some could manage to get out of the box?!

Likening our population to those of the rats and the box as our society, it only stands to reason that one would better off to leave this society than likely go down with it, if there was a sudden crash. However, one would be taking his chances of adapting to the new environment outside the box or die trying to adapt. If one could, wouldn't it be wise to try to adapt to this new environment, before a crisis arises? Well, of course it would be! This is easier said than done, I can promise you that. For some, it's altogether impossible because they would not have the time to adjust to it and yet for others, they wouldn't be able to adapt even if they had the time to do so.
An example of this might be: Winter can be very hard on the deer herd here in Northern Michigan and annual "die-offs" are a normal occurance. During the summer months, of the deer that come to our yard we supplement their diet with corn, (these are deer who are getting outside the box as opposed the deer who are not getting the supplement, as those stuck in the box). When winter comes the entire herd, (representing the total population both those that diets were supplemented and those not), goes to yard in the swamp together (inside the box) where again corn will be supplemented to their diet to prevent starvation. Most the deer that were supplemented corn in their diet through the summer are more likely to survive because they could adapt and digest the corn. While many of the others who didn't have corn in the summer, died with corn in their stomachs, they couldn't digest it, or adapt to it.

This is not an easy concept to comprehend. One personality over at BNB had no problem following this concept, that was Whatmeworry. Whatmeworry, in my opinion, was by far the brightest person on the posts, however very radical. This "little old lady", who was living at some compound in the middle of the Arizona desert, ( I was gullible enough to believe this at the time), prided herself by having piles of whole and cracked corn. When I told her, I'd rather be sitting on a pile of Big Mac's and that at least I could digest this, she became very upset. Being a genius doesn't make you always right, doesn't enable you to digest corn in this matter and doesn't ensure that you'll be able to adapt or survive, period. I had insulted her intelligence and everyone would pay dearly for it! However, she did agree completely with this concept and even expressed sorrow for those who couldn't grasp or accept it. Again, we both viewed a very sudden collapse of society, that once die-off began in earnest, it'd have a life of it's own and there was no way of stopping it. Not only did we view the die-off as an event but a thing, a monster if you will. That the only chance of survival was to completely get out of the way of it.

Another person who didn't like where I was going with this was Kentar. I was suggesting that perhaps the only way out of this collapse was to leave civilization or anyplace you might find transmission lines, behind. As you might recall Kentar viewed collapse as coming ever so slowly, not a event but a series of declines. Kentar questioned that although this might be an option for someone with the experience that I have, it wouldn't realistically be an option for just about anyone else there on the board. Of course, I had to agree with this and even offered that someone of my experience couldn't last long or go very far, without the help of others. However, at this time Kentar, did agree that this might be the only approach,(leaving civilization behind), if the lights should go out for good suddenly, but thought this wasn't very likely.

Under the lights are out for good scenario, it's much better looking inside the box from the outside, than inside the box looking out!


WENDY BANDURSKI-MILLER (nee Callard) said...

well that was an interesting look at the die off issue.....

(you should send this to Roberto) lol

i love the way your mind works.... i see real boundary breaking. kinda rare.

yooper said...

Ha! ha! Wendy, you're the first brave enough to respond! Doesn't this really put die-off into perspective?

Thanks, yooper

yooper said...

Ha! I don't think Roberto would "get it", let alone EVER accept it...........Just can't, not in his "make-up"...