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It's not "technology" in the sense of being a set of skills which can be learned as much as it is a set of "reference" books which I thought worth collecting. They are all related to the World Depression of the 1920s through 1930.
Most americans think of the Great Depression as an Americna phenomenon fostered probably by so many books and movies about that period like The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby. What a lot of people don't realize or know but don't really think much about is that there was a worldwide depression in that period. It affected the entire world though the magnitude of that affect varied from country to country. In far less developed and industrialized countries the effecst were less severe since their economies were not as dependant on foreign trade as most industrialized countries.
In Germany that Depression, exacerbated by the terms of the 1918 Armistice which ended WWI, brought about the rise of National Socialism and Hitler.
The inchoate Soviet Union actually benefitted from the Great Depression since it displaced a wide range of skilled workers in the already industrialized West who, desperate for work, were easy for the Soviey Union to hire to assist in building a modern industrial state.
In the West, particularly after the horrors of WWI, the demands for relief and assistance to the growing number of poor and unemployed led to military budgets being slashed far beyond what many saw as reasonable. That ultimatley put the West in a position of weakness relative to the resurgent military power of Germany a decade and a half later. That weakness fed the mood for appeasement which many feel fueled the actual outbreak of war.
Few of those considerations mattered to those directly affected by the Depression however; farmers who lost their farms, industrial workers who lost jobs, etc. In the Grapes of Wrath the story centers around the Oakies, a vast swarm of people who lost their farms due to the double calamity of the Depression and the Dust Bowl drought which wiped out much of the farming in the south central region of the U.S.
Most modern books on the Great Depression focus on either the political/financial factors which caused and lengthened the Depression or else on the direct affect on individuals. So either a Macro or a Micro level.
This collection is a variety of perspectives written at the beginning of and during the Depression itself. They provide a look at what people observed around them while in the midst of or the early stages of the Depression.
Some of them are optimistic not knowing that the Depression would continue for almost 20 years. Some are pessimistic and call for revolution, as occurred in Germany and a bit earlier in Russia. I left the books directly advocating Socialism because during the 1900s and even today the reflex among many to any crisis is to call for Socialism as a solution.
Sadly we have a hundred years of evidence that Socialism is probably one of the worst forms of government ever devised by the minds of man. Everywhere it has been tried it has resulted in at best a totalitarian state where the individual is a mere cog in the government machine and at worst some of the worst horrors of mass murder that surpass anything that went before. Remember that Hitler was a Socialist as was Stalin and Mao. Oddly while we often cite Hitler as one of the worst mass murderers in history, Stalin and Mao far exceeded Hitlers accomplishments and make him look like something of a bumbling amateur. Hitler killed 12 million according to the most commons estimates. Stalin and Mao between them killed something 60-100 million depending on which estimates you accept. Even the loweest estimates make Hitler's efforts seem puny by comparison.
That is not intended in any sense to trivialize what Hitler did. It is to make the point that those who repeatedly cite Hitler as an example of a cruel dictator need to read a litle further into the real world consequences of Socialism.
Today in Venezuela we see a slow motion collapse of a Socialist state. Fortunately that country has not descended in the mass murder of other Socialist regimes perhaps becasue of the visibility provided by the internet. So the books on the false attraction of Socialism during a Depression are worth looking through if for no other reason than to be aware of the arguments used since they have not changed in 100 years.
The other books provide a set of snapshots from various points of view as to what a Depression actually looks like from the inside.
In this day and age with the entire world's financial systems far more intertwined than they were in 1918 a worldwide Depression would have devastating effects far beyond what happened in the 1920s and 1930s. It's worth having some knowledge of what the early stages of wide spread world Depression looks like and how people respond to it.
1. Been crazy busy at work with new top priority projects pushing current top priority projects to the side which had already pushed other top priority projects to the side and so on.
2. and I've been repairing, refurbishing, restocking and reviewing things around home in terms of self sufficiency in case of social and economic turmoil and disruption as well as keeping a a close eye on current national events.
I believe (though I certainly hope and pray I'm wrong) that we have already passed the point beyond which political compromise was still possible and the two "sides" of the political system could draw back and restore the political system.
The two primary ideologies in the U.S. have become so opposed, so extreme and so mutually exclusive that compromise no longer really has any meaning and the political process no longer functions in any effective fashion.
We now see elected officials in the U.S. and many of their supporters openly promoting and inciting violence against people with whom they disagree. These same individuals have defended past violence against other elected officials and appointees blaming the victims for "provoking" the violence directed against them. Many elected officials of both ideologies refuse to speak out and condemn this behavior thus tacitly condoning it.
In essence these individuals, their supporters and those who implicitly condone the behavior have abandoned the political process and decided that if they cannot achieve their goals through the political system they will achieve them through violence and intimidation (which is simply the implied threat of violence).
I really don't care what anyone's ideology is but when you advocate seizing power through violence you abrogate all legitimacy and respectability. Once you venture down that path you have committed yourself to either total victory or ignominious defeat. There is no longer a middle ground.
The last step that legitimizes open violence is when individuals are demonized and labeled in ways that justify violence against them such as calling them and their supporters "Nazis".
After all Nazis are evil and who could be opposed to killing Nazis? Those who protest such behavior are clearly defending Nazis and must therefore be Nazis themselves.
The various media systems in the U.S., with few exceptions, have taken sides and actively defend and promote those whose ideology they support and demonize those they see as enemies. When the media itself repeats, promotes and defends the labeling of ideological opponents in ways that demonize them they have become complicit in the incitement. But then a mob carrying out ideological and political violence in the streets is prime time gold for ratings so it's a win-win for the media.
Add in the demands to not enforce laws which one group or another disapproves and the increasing number of judges at all levels who ignore, dismiss or refuse to enforce laws with which they ideologically disagree and you have an incresing erosion of the very Rule of Law which makes a country a viable and functional entity.
The opposite of the Rule of Law is Anarchy which is Heavenly if You are the top dog but pretty much Hell if you are not.
Within the Federal Government itself there is a sizeable number of people in the Judicial, Legislative, Executive branches and many Federal Agencies who openly obstruct, refuse to enforce or ignore existing laws in direct violation of their oaths of office and Federal Law. Members of the government itself are undermining the Rule of Law with demonstradely zero consequences.
What we're looking at then is the very real possibility, some would say likelihood or inevitability, of an open Civil War breaking out again in the U.S. except this time the boundaries are ideological ones and not state lines.
Anyone unfamiliar with the reality of Civil War should read about Vietnam, the Spanish Civil War, Russia in the years after the Revolution, our own Civil War whose effects we still feel today, the innumerable wars in Africa and the Balkan Wars after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Civil wars are the most brutal, barbaric, cruel and vicious kinds of wars. They make the atrocities of WWII and WWII pale by comparison.
The Survivor Library has always been oriented towards rebuilding after a majopr castrophic event like a Solar EMP but much of the material is just as applicable to developing self sufficiency during a long period of social and economic disruption when the benefits of the industrial and technological infrastructure are not readily available.
So while the U.S. has not actually stepped irretrievably across the boundary into open Civil War it appears to be marching determinedly towards that line with no one seemingly making any real effort to avert it.
So take some time to review your own level of self sufficiency and what it will require to achieve that or as close to it as you can.
Stay safe friends.
p.s. Working on the Machinery's Reference Series Volumes 1-141 and hope to have thgem online within the next week to 10 days as a new Category.
THE IRONY OF MODERN COMMUNICATIONS
Overheard a conversation this morning while working on a PC in the office.
Seems one of the folks working here has had frustrations communicating with a family member since that family member gets all their email on their phone and the ones she sends get buried among all the work emails or even get dumped to a spam folder.
So to get around the problems with modern instant communications she has started writing letters... on paper... and mailing them in an envelope which the family member gets a day or two later.
Letters being a novelty her messages always get read.
NEW CATEGORY ADDED - HYPNOTISM
I've just added the new Hypnotism Category I have been working on. I put in the Medical grouping so the Index name is Medical-Hypnotism.
A lot of the books in the group are related to using Hypnotism in the medical field in place of anesthetic. That makes sense since many of them are dated in the 18040s to 1850s when there were not generally available and widely used anesthetics. Why there was a surge of interest int he subject in the late 1890 and early 1900s (well before the First World War) have no idea since anesthetics had become commonplace by then.
A lot of the books hearken to the early days when the entire subject was referred to as Animal Magnetism or as Mesmerism. Obviously the theoretical basis for the effect in many of the earlier books is silly by today's standards at the time it was heralded as a sensational breakthrough.
I retained a number of the older "theoretical" books not because the theoretical material is of much use but they included at least some material on How-To and so I felt they were worth keeping in the collection.
When I was in the Psychology field many years ago I remember reading a lot of mixed material about Hypnosis. They ranged from the position that Hypnosis was a valuable tool through opinions that it was not much more than a parlor trick and the entire gamut of positions in between those two.
I don't offer any strong opinion either way. Even today there is a wide range of opinions as to it's legitimacy and it's therapeutic use.
There are practitioners using it to treat a variety of conditions though mostly in the behavioral area such as weight loss or smoking cessation. Whether it is still used in the medical field at all I can't say.
There have been a number of requests for the Category. It's one of the more often requested so here it is finally.
Whether it is actually a viable tool in a world rebuilding from a collapse when there is a dearth of medical knowledge and skill I can't say.
But the fact that I can't definitively rule it out and state categorically that it is of no use means I'm including it.
Who knows... hopefully folks trying to rebuild a functional infrastructure will be facing the need for weight loss sooner rather than later.
Hypnosis might help with weight loss. I doubt it will help with lack of food...
A NOTE ON PRIVACY
Considering the insanity going on in much of the Tech world at places like Google and Facebook regarding Privacy, your personal information and so on I thought I'd drop a note on that issue as it relates to the Library.
I don't track who uses the Library and no registration of other information is required in order to use the site or download the files. I don't record any information about anyone except when someone orders a copy of the library. Paypal records your shipping information so I know where to ship it and your email address so that I can send you a tracking number.
The website itself doesn't record any information that I know of though I assume that if you use the contact form it stores the email address though I'm honestly not sure about that.
If you create a Login it stores whatever information you provide during the registration process but no Registration of Login is required to use any part of the site.
However, regardless of what information it DOES store I don't make any use of it or have any plans to make use of it, am honestly not even sure where it's stored (though I assume it's in the MySQL database) and I have no particular interest in finding it.
So for folks who wish to use the Library anonymously and/or through a VPN... feel free.
While I don't have the Hypnotism Category ready to add yet it's coming along and should be ready within the next couple of weeks. But in the meantime I ran across this article this morning and thought I'd go ahead and post it since it is related.
Hypnotism is one of those subjects that periodically appears, is talked about a lot then disappears again for a while. When you see the Category after it's added you'll see that there is a rash of books in the decade or so around 1840 to the 1850. There's another surge of them in the early 1890s and then a bit in the first decade of 1900.
I remember a lot of discussion about the subject when i was young though I couldn't tell you the except period. Now it's possibly reappearing as a "rediscovered" medical tool.
Not being in the medical field I can't really provide an opinion one way or the other on it's usefulness as a medical tool. However the sheer volume of material on it suggests that it has been and apparently continues to be of interest to the medical profession.
IN THE PIPELINE
To give you some idea of the additions coming in the not too distant future, here are some of the Categories I'm working on getting cleaned up and added. Not sure which ones will be first or second or in what order I'll add them.
It depends a lot on the time I have available. Sometimes it depends on the mood I'm in when I sit down to work on a Category then a different Category I saw when I sat down piques my interest or curiosity and I move over and work on that one instead.
Sometimes I start working on cleaning up volumes and end up getting totally immersed in reading one or another of the books. But then if I wasn't actually interested in what's IN many of the these books I wouldn't bother collecting them.
Some Categories I'm still doing searches on to add more to them while others already have more than enough.
But the Current List includes:
- Chambers Encyclopedia (15 Books)
- Falconry (20 books)
- World History (30 books)
- Merchant Marine (28 Books)
- Sculpture (59 books)
- Wheat (46 Books)
- Civics (155 Books)
- Hypnotism (88 Books)
There are a number of others I am still fleshing out and will continue on until I believe there is sufficient coverage of the subject such as Political Science, Beets, Rice, Peanuts Philosophy, Geology and a bunch of others.
But that will give you an idea of what's in the pipeline.
LARGE TRANSFORMER PRODUCTION
It's almost become routine to see articles and stories abut the vulnerability of the U.S. to an EMP. Sometimes I don't even bother posting a link to them because they have become ubiquitous these days.
But.... here's another article about our vulnerability and the various aspects of such an event.
I particularly like the stark facts he points out that:
- We have around 2000 large transformers in our electrical grid
- There are not large transformer manufacturers in the U.S.
- The world's large transformer production capacity is about 200 per year
So bottom line is if the U.S. suffers an EMP that destroys the large transformers in the grid it will take over 10 years of normal production to replace them. Let's be generous and say they double production so that it only takes 5 years.... the majority of the United States without electrical power for 50 years.
Of course that overlooks one salient factor.
That assumes the countries in which large transformers are manufactured survive and EMP and that the supply chains upon which they rely also survive.
That pretty much means that replacement of those transformers would only happen in the case of a Nuclear EMP attack on the U.S. that spares the rest of the world. In the case of a Solar EMP which affects the entire world the countries which manufacture large transformers will be dealing with their own survival... not worrying about the fate of the U.S. power grid.
So it comes back once again to the issue of a low probability/high consequence events and political leadership simply ignoring those dangers which do not directly produce votes and increase election chances.
From one of the Library Patrons:
Here's a Resilio Sync key to the library contents as they were when the site went down! (~170GB in total)
Read only: BLO3TJGGNXRMCRO3ZDPKXLTPRSAGD356P
I set up a sync of these on one of my servers, so they should have share speeds of 20-50 MB/s.
Feel free to post it on the site
FARMING-GRAPES-WINE-RAISINS CATEGORY ADDED
I've added a new Category this morning named Farming-Grapes_Wine_Raisins.
As you might guess it's about growing Grapes, making Wine and Raisins though the section on Raisins is only a couple books.
Raisins aren't really that difficult to make honestly. Take some grapes, dehydrate or dry them out... VOILA... Raisins.
Wine on the other hand is one of those skills that I tried long ago and realized it would take a lot of work, a lot of practice and a lot of time to master. That's one of those things that I'd rather barter for in exchange for woodworking, carpentry or honey.
My experience with grapes is pretty well limited to a few scraggly grapes vines we've planted in the yard. A few of them are doing fairly well this year but time will tell.
Why Grapes and Wine? In a post-Collapse world who has time for luxuries like Wine anyway or grapes for the table or for jam and jelly?
That is a product of our modern sensibilities and isolation from Nature.
In movies you always see the Romans and Greeks and Medieval Europeans drinking wine constantly.
THERE WAS A REASON.
The folks in older times drank Wine and Beer not because they were alcoholics or because they were looking for a good time. They did it because watered down wine was SAFE TO DRINK.
Clean water that won't make you sick or kill you is one of the most precious commodities on Earth and one we in the West take for granted. In most parts of the non-industrialized world clean water is scarce and hard to get.
The Roman Legions carried wine with them when they went to war. Not for pleasure but to add to local water for drinking so they didn't get sick.
While they may not have understood the underlying causes such as parasites and bacteria that we understand today they did understand that drinking water straight from the source was more likely than not to make you ill or kill you, especially when travelling (or invading another country).
So Wine becomes something a lot more important than simply an alcoholic beverage that makes you drunk and silly. When mixed with water from a natural source the alcohol purifies the water making it much safer to drink.
And Raisins? Grapes don't store well unless you convert them into wine, jelly or jam. Raisins however store quite well as long as they are kept dry. Raisins are nutritious just as Grapes are and they concentrate the sugar in the Grapes so that a handful of Raisins contains a lot more sugar than a handful of Grapes. In modern times that's considered BAD but in a post-collapse world that would actually be quite Good.
In a world rebuilding it's infrastructure the survivors Primary goal each day is going to be to consume enough calories to survive, work and maintain their health until a robust and resilient food production, storage and distribution system is built and food becomes easily available to everyone.
In an early post-Collapse world the questions about diet will not be does this have more or less antioxidants or omega-3 fatty acids than that other choice but simply "Does it have enough calories to keep me alive?".
So to paraphrase Rod Serling "Submitted for your approval.... Farming-Grapes, Wine and Raisins.".
p.s. The bad links in Scientific American Series 2 have been fixed.
Okay the Horses Index which contained Home Economics has been fixed and now has plenty of Horse stuff.
Hey!! Cutting and Pasting is hard work....
Should have the Scientific American Series 2 Index updated later today
p.s. The Scientific American Series 2 has been updated
I think I have all the static pages (like About and Faqs) and internal links rebuilt and working now. While for those of you familiar with the Library these are redundant, since you already know all this stuff or don't care, for new folks they can be helpful.
Only other task in the rebuild for now is to get the rest fo the Scientific American Series 2 books put back into it's Category Index since that one got messed up. Should have that restored and tested later today or tomorrow.
Then I can get back to adding some stuff that's been piling up.
I now have all of the old static pages like Storing the Library back online though I haven't set up the links to them. I'll get that done this weekend.
The Library Indexes are up and running again. I've even redirected all of the old index links to the new ones. Did a little bit of cleanup in the order since some of the indexes had gotten a bit out of order.
Renamed a couple in the Main Index but they are cosmetic changes.
Bottom line is that the files are once again accessible and can be downloaded through the Main Index and then the Category indexes.
That is, after all, the whole point of the site.... the Books. Everything else is secondary.
I still have some cleanup to do. Somehow I lost the full list of the Scientific American Series 2 book titles in my spreadsheet. It's not too difficult to recreate it and they should be back in the Index by tomorrow.
I'll have a Contact Form back up shortly which hopefully will work better than the Wordpress one. Never did get that thing working correctly.
There are a few of the Articles from the old site I'll copy over and recreate on here but only a few.
With a little luck everything ill be back online and working fully within a couple days. Once the new site is fully functional I'll start working on some of the enhancements I've been wanting to add.