Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Microstory 973: Survival

This slot was originally scheduled for Healthcare (When It Works) but since I know very little about countries and regions where it works, it didn’t seem appropriate. All I know is that Usonia isn’t one of them, but that’s all I’ll say about it, other than mentioning the fact that Obamacare saves lives. Instead, I’m going to take this opportunity to admit that I’m a survivalist. The only differences between me and the doomsday preppers you see on television is that I’m smart enough to not advertise all my secret plans to the world, and also I don’t have any. Some preppers have the money to build or commission bunkers. Others have purchased luxury space in old missile silos; dumping tons of money into something they probably won’t ever need. The less wealthy kind of prepper just squirrels away food and resources as they can, and reinforces their homes as much as possible. These tend to rely on their firepower, because they believe profoundly in gun ownership, so they would be spending money on them either way. I’m not any of these things; I really just come up with end-of-the-world stories, and have trouble distinguishing them from reality, which is true of all my stories. And that reality is that the end of the world probably wouldn’t happen all of the sudden. Yeah, maybe a supervolcano will erupt without warning, or an asteroid will decimate these lands. It’s an interesting thought experiment. Assuming you survive the initial event, what would you do next? Are you a series regular on this post-apocalypse series, or just zombie fodder? The most likely scenarios, however, will involve a slow-burn of destruction. Hell, we might be heading towards the end of civilization right now, and not know it. King Dumpster is certainly doing his level best to make that happen. Just like the truth behind most holidays, no single day will mark the end. Institutions will slowly erode. People will stop having faith in their leadership, and the market will drop steadily as fear replaces hope. Before the nuclear missiles fly off to enemy countries, sanctions and bad trade deals will create extreme tension amongst once-friends. Allies will leverage each other for control, until there’s nothing left to control but a big pile of crap. Sure, maybe the bombs will drop on everyone, but the most likely outcome is that people will just give up on life. Governments won’t be able to survive anymore. Ineffective factions will attempt to take their place, but a lack of vision, and no sustainable distribution of resources will just make things worse. Infrastructure will fall, and no matter how deep you dig into the ground, your life will have no meaning. You’ll live on down there, but nothing will get better, so if you’ve already had children, it’s best that they don’t. I’m fascinated by disaster scenarios, but those stories only ever end one of two ways. Either everyone dies, or the cataclysm gives rise to a societal phoenix. They usually ignore the possibility that we’ll trudge on long after any arbitrary defining moment, until our descendants suffer diminishing returns. So I guess what I really love isn’t survival, but civilization. I love the world, so let’s do everything we can to protect it, and make it better.

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