Thursday, November 18, 2010

Surviving with Limited Technology

In our everyday lives we have become very dependent upon technology. Many times that technology is based primarily on providing instantly for our needs. We flip a switch when we need light, turn a knob or press a button to cook our food or turn a key to start the motor for our means of transportation. We instantly have solved our problem and need look no further for a solution. The problem is solved and we move on the next item on our agenda. Surviving without technology will be a lot harder than most people can imagine.

We often seek ways to limit our dependence on technology by substituting even more technology and not less. A prime example of this is solar power. This is a great way to limit your dependence on the grid and give you a little more freedom and independence but it is still replacing one form of technology with another. If you don’t think so, try building a solar cell or a battery from scratch. You can probably make a hoe but you would probably have a difficult time making a tiller. Providing of course you could find the fuel to power it. No matter what form it takes, technology is woven into the very fabric of our society and our existence. The level or limits of the technology available will simply make our lives easier or a whole lot harder than we can imagine.

It’s easier to cook our food, travel from one place to another quickly and easily or communicate with others no matter where they are located. Technology makes our lives much simpler and easier but it is in the absence of technology where we will have the real problem. The materials and skills needed to replicate much of our technology are well beyond those of the average person.

In the true absence of technology, our lives will become much harder. Your options for obtaining the minimum needs for your survival will become severely limited and be dependent upon your skills and abilities. At some level, we will always require a certain amount of technology to survive. With limited technology, your survival will depend upon the level of technology that you can live with and how much you can live without.

Remember, it’s a lot easier to make a candle than it is to build a flashlight.

Staying above the water line!



Ken said...

...only piece of "technology" i would truly miss is the 'net...yeah,it would be tough,but i would make it...i would make it just to spite the folks that say,"you'll never make it without(insert gadget of choice,here)"...

Scott said...

I have to agree with Ken. loosing the net would drive me nuts also. Overall loosing out technology say overnight would make it very nasty, especially in the cities, they do not work without power, it is not a place I would want to be.

Anonymous said...

Pick and choose what to use post-SHTF. Generators and refrigerators will be impractical for most. A small solar system (PV) would power a radio and a couple of lights every night sustainably

Riverwalker said...

To: Ken

As a resource for news and information, the loss of the net would have a profound effect on most people.

Any long term loss of power would affect everyone.

Thanks Ken.


Riverwalker said...

To: Scott

Most any city or small town would be devasted by any long term loss of municipal lights, no power and no water would almost assuredly create a lot of panic.

Thanks Scott.


Riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 9:36

While most any type of solar or wind powered energy would be somewhat more sustainable, it would be hard to maintain without replacement parts or items (batteries, etc.).

Any serious loss in the rate of transportation of goods would create a nightmare due to the current methods used to calculate inventory storage for most goods.

Thanks anon.


Machinist said...

Actually I have made many batteries, both storage and wet cells. I cast the lead electrodes from old wire sheathing and used home made sulfuric acid. The wet cells used copper and zinc strips with different acids. Pickle juice actually gave me 20% better output than the weak sulfuric acids I could make. I was only a teenager and access to some of the more "interesting" chemicals was limited. I had to make my own nitric acid as well, though I learned of better sources later.

Machinist said...

Electricity from solar power is a temporary and limited resource without technology but solar energy can be used simply and cheaply. A solar heater can heat water for domestic purposes and a solar still can be made from a sheet of clear plastic and distill clean water from any liquid water or moist vegetation. A solar stove can cook or do other useful jobs needing high heat. The energy is still there, we just need to go lower tech in harnessing it.

Machinist said...

I would miss flush toilets.

A lot!

And my PC, more than the internet itself. Games, music, movies. NO OPERA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

riverwalker said...

To: Machinist

Excellent point about going low tech.
There are a number of ways to that could be used to create power but would need to match the amount of technology that would be sustainable.

Thanks Machinist.


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