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Thread: Reinvention

  1. #31
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    From post # 9:
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Trained just enough in wilderness survival to, er, survive, but no experience with living off the land at the beginning.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  2. #32
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    Would the Disaster allow some preparation beforehand to preserve knowledge? Think packing foundational STEM textbooks, how-to books on "primitive" skills (everything from animal and plant-based glue-making to animal traps to basket weaving to kayak building), books on useful philosophy (e.g. the different types of reasoning, how logic works, scientific method, healthy ways of coping with bad situations, etc.) and so on in waterproof containers and caching them in a cave to ride it out.
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    From post # 9:
    Did you see Tom Hanks in Castaway?

    He barely survived - and lost about 60 pounds.

    I mean, it's a movie, but I think that's the right idea. Without an infrastructure of skills to live off the land, you just can't get enough calories to sustain yourself.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Did you see Tom Hanks in Castaway?

    He barely survived - and lost about 60 pounds.

    I mean, it's a movie, but I think that's the right idea. Without an infrastructure of skills to live off the land, you just can't get enough calories to sustain yourself.
    But I just said they DID have those skills. Just lacked experience in the field.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    OK. Start with a group of 1000 fairly well educated, American college grads, around 25-35. A mix of majors, ethnicity, etc. Trained just enough in wilderness survival to, er, survive, but no experience with living off the land at the beginning. Drop them in the woods.
    I stick with it takes them approximately the same amount of time to get back to Neolithic technology as it did the first time. I don't see why it would go any faster. The knowledge they do have will be so different than the knowledge of neolithic technology, that it will be essentially worthless.

    Though I also take your starting conditions as a little self-contradictory: trained in wilderness survival, but no experience living off the landing. Isn't "wilderness survival" and "living off the land" kind of the same thing? Or is it the lack of experience; they have "book learning" of survival training, but no experience?
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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    OK but that's not what the OP is about.

    In this experiment we follow the unlikely path where some do survive, and branch out from there. That's the premise.
    I get that, but I'm saying I think the premise is unrealistic,a nd like Swift, maybe a little self-contradictory. If this were in a story, that would hammer my suspension of disbelief really hard. Trying to have whatever happens after that be "realistic" wouldn't matter to me any more, because I'll have already decided the story is unrealistic. (Which doesn't necessarily mean that it's a terrible story, just that the plot won't seem like something that could really happen.)

    As Swift and others have suggested, there's not really any such thing as a "book-learning" version of wilderness survival without hard experience. Wilderness can be unforgiving. Now, you could change the premise a little to make survival more believable. For example, instead of a thousand random college students with no equipment, it's a thousand people attending a "backpackers and wilderness survivalists expo" with most of their gear (so they can show it off to each other). But then those details also change the likelihood of passing down interesting information over a bunch of generations.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  7. #37
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    So, it depends on the disaster and the lucky circumstances to survive. If its an impact with huge floods, fires and sea level rise then being on a mountain or a boat is your start. If its some disease it’s isolation like being on a polar station. If it’s nuclear war, similar but with radiation hazards, you have to total destruction to take you straight back to basics. If they can survive there must be something left to work with, you get the wild west gang land scenario, or farmers versus raiders. Family groups of hunter gatherers requires the lanscape to exist so there will be other spread out groups, just like what happened during the last ice age, cave dwelling, but many small survival groups spread out. The generations question depends on the climate after this catastrophe. Therefore you must find one to get started, it’s not enough to assume a random pop reduction, the details are everything.
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Though I also take your starting conditions as a little self-contradictory: trained in wilderness survival, but no experience living off the landing. Isn't "wilderness survival" and "living off the land" kind of the same thing? Or is it the lack of experience; they have "book learning" of survival training, but no experience?
    Yes, book learning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    I get that, but I'm saying I think the premise is unrealistic,a nd like Swift, maybe a little self-contradictory. If this were in a story, that would hammer my suspension of disbelief really hard. Trying to have whatever happens after that be "realistic" wouldn't matter to me any more, because I'll have already decided the story is unrealistic. (Which doesn't necessarily mean that it's a terrible story, just that the plot won't seem like something that could really happen.)
    The premise of the die off is fantasy based, I'm not concerned with that particular part being realistic. Only in not totally throwing out verisimilitude. Maybe I'm overthinking it.

    As Swift and others have suggested, there's not really any such thing as a "book-learning" version of wilderness survival without hard experience. Wilderness can be unforgiving.
    I would say there is a big chasm between knowing something from a book, and being totally ignorant of it. At least the initial population would have a guideline for survival skills, instead of none at all.

    But see below:

    Now, you could change the premise a little to make survival more believable. For example, instead of a thousand random college students with no equipment, it's a thousand people attending a "backpackers and wilderness survivalists expo" with most of their gear (so they can show it off to each other). But then those details also change the likelihood of passing down interesting information over a bunch of generations.
    I think that could work. My premise is reworkable here. And I needed to rewrite some parts of it anyway.


    I get kind of caught up in one storyline and hate to alter it, but that's not going to result in good writing. I need to be more flexible.


    Because of this, I can be kind of a butthead when it comes to story suggestions. OCD and autism, but I'm on a new dosage of meds now that might make me less uptight. I apologize to anyone I snapped at here or in other writing threads. Hopefully I will be more open to suggestions in the future.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  9. #39
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    It sounds like you want the answer to be "less time than the first time the human species reached neolithic levels". So like Grey suggests, I think you might wish to modify your starting conditions so as to achieve that. I like Grey's idea of a wilderness school - they certainly exist; in fact some friends of mine attended one (I think it was a week long program). I remember them talking about one of the skills they learned was how to tan animal skins, using the materials at hand (I think one was the animal's bodily fluids). I have been on programs where the subject was wild, edible plants. I've seen other ones about natural medicines.

    Maybe something like this: Outdoor Education major.
    If you study outdoor education, you’ll prepare for work teaching and guiding activities in parks, camps, and other outdoor settings. You’ll investigate how groups work, learn counseling techniques, and take courses in environmental studies. You’ll also build skills in leadership, wilderness survival, first aid, and activities like rock climbing, ropes courses, and kayaking.
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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    7 I remember them talking about one of the skills they learned was how to tan animal skins, using the materials at hand (I think one was the animal's bodily fluids).
    Brains! Braaaains!
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  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    But I just said they DID have those skills. Just lacked experience in the field.
    You said they had just enough skills to survive, but no experience living off the land.

    Without those skills, they'd be living hand-to-mouth every single day - scratching for grubs to survive is a long stretch from bringing down a deer every week to eat and make clothes.

    I'm not trying to dissuade you, I just think that your story might want to tweak the variables so they didn't literally start bare-assed.

    Does you population have young or old? Unless every one in the group is at peak health, they're going to be saddled with bringing in extra food for those who can't hunt. In an established culture, those who stay home have a host of skills that benefit the tribe - skills that ultimately result in more calories for more people in less time, so every individual doesn't have to immediately eat every tidbit they scrounge out of the dirt, just to stay alive.

    In other words:

    It takes a village to feed a village.
    Last edited by DaveC426913; 2018-Sep-14 at 11:12 PM.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    You said they had just enough skills to survive, but no experience living off the land.

    Without those skills, they'd be living hand-to-mouth every single day - scratching for grubs to survive is a long stretch from bringing down a deer every week to eat and make clothes.

    I'm not trying to dissuade you, I just think that your story might want to tweak the variables so they didn't literally start bare-assed.

    Does you population have young or old? Unless every one in the group is at peak health, they're going to be saddled with bringing in extra food for those who can't hunt. In an established culture, those who stay home have a host of skills that benefit the tribe - skills that ultimately result in more calories for more people in less time, so every individual doesn't have to immediately eat every tidbit they scrounge out of the dirt, just to stay alive.

    In other words:

    It takes a village to feed a village.
    The population I want to work with has already been hunter gatherers for 20 generations. They're where the story starts. I just wanted to know what they retained.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  13. #43
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    If you haven't already, you might want to look into what's known about native Indian tribes of the Amazon which have had minimal contact with the outside world. Apparently some of them are primarily wandering hunter-gatherers with only minimal agriculture.
    Selden

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    The population I want to work with has already been hunter gatherers for 20 generations. They're where the story starts. I just wanted to know what they retained.
    I guess I missed that part.

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    Usually, gathering is a more important food source than hunting. While most animals are edible, many wild animals will carry a significant parasite load of internal parasites.

    Assuming that basic survival skills are present, I suspect if you drop a few dozen naked modern humans into pristine wilderness, they're going to move to settled agriculture very quickly. Even the most rabid survivalist is a product of a culture based on settled agriculture. How people manage depends on where they're dropped, too.
    Last edited by swampyankee; 2018-Sep-15 at 03:50 PM.

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  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Usually, gathering is a more important food source than hunting. While most animals are edible, many wild animals will carry a significant parasite load of internal parasites.

    Assuming that basic survival skills are present, I suspect if you drop a few dozen naked modern humans into pristine wilderness, they're going to move to settled agriculture very quickly. Even the most rabid survivalist is a product of a culture based on settled agriculture. How people manage depends on where they're dropped, too.
    They didn't have that option in the original storyline.

    But it doesn't matter. I'm working on coming up with a few alterations to the scenario.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  17. #47
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    How people manage depends on where they're dropped, too.
    Indeed. Looking at myself, I think I'd do better somewhere where I can catch fish, rather than in the Woods. It just seems easier for me to create makeshift fishtraps than rabbit traps, using only what you find in nature.

  18. #48
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    Here is a piece you may find interesting: https://isogg.org/wiki/How_long_is_a...ides_an_answer

    20 generations could be as long as 700 years. That is a long time to be a hunter gather.

    In some cases, such as Japan, the climb to neolithic was scrambled. They had pottery before agriculture. I would think that most modern humans would have a tendency to do the same, being familiar with clay from toddlerhood. That gives you containers, waterproof shelters (tiles), maybe bricks and something to write on. People who have clayworking abilities will find that ability enhanced by living near the water. Ground shells make better clays for working.

    The obvious problem is, clay makes a great writing surface, but is horrible to transport. Heavy and fragile. If a tribe did engage in the habit of writing, they may have two or more season storehouses of writing, say summer and winter or rainy and dry. Nothing would be easily portable so they leave it for next year. To me, that sounds like school and summer school.
    Solfe

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Indeed. Looking at myself, I think I'd do better somewhere where I can catch fish, rather than in the Woods. It just seems easier for me to create makeshift fishtraps than rabbit traps, using only what you find in nature.
    I agree. Fish are not as smart as rabbits. But they are just as nutritious - and more plentiful.

  20. #50
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    About writing, I wrote this earlier, but a group of 1,000 will have no need for writing. Writing was primarily developed for record keeping (taxation) and then became used for distance communication. But a small group like that would communicate orally.


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  21. #51
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    Also, sorry if I am repeating previous questions, but what is the climate like, and do they share the world with large predators? One key issue I think is whether they maintained the management of fire. I suppose that they would, but itís hard to be certain.


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  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    One key issue I think is whether they maintained the management of fire. I suppose that they would, but it’s hard to be certain.
    I would think domestication of fire would be something almost any such group would retain. It's one of the most basic things you'd learn if you have any wilderness survival training at all, and it's arguably the single most useful tool we have.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  23. #53
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    Considering that humanity probably lived as hunter-gatherers for tens of millennia, and some still do, the upper limit is “forever.”

    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



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