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Author Topic: NY Times article about preppers  (Read 1899 times)

Offline Joe_Nobody

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NY Times article about preppers
« on: November 21, 2012, 04:21:26 PM »
I read this article and thought it was pretty even handed given the source.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/magazine/how-to-survive-societal-collapse-in-suburbia.html?pagewanted=all&_r=4&

But then, I scrolled down to read the dozens of comments. I don't normally get upset by this sort of thing, but many of these comments were just completely off the reservation.

I would advise people not to read the comments if they don't want to be put in a bad mood.

Offline Garandman

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Re: NY Times article about preppers
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 04:40:46 PM »
I find it extremely odd that the NYT interviewed someone from Colorado about preparedness after Hurricane Sandy. There are plenty of people on Long Island, in coastal New Jersey, and NYC that weathered that storm without any stress at all. And of course plenty who have something to learn.

As this quote indicates:
Quote
Sun Ovens limped along, critically wounded. “I refinanced my home three different times just to eat,” Munsen says.
NY'ers aren't the only ones who guess wrong sometimes - and survive.


Offline Nicodemus

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Re: NY Times article about preppers
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2012, 05:26:11 PM »
That wasn't a bad article at all. I was pleasantly surprised.

Indeed, a lot of the commentary was infuriating and it seemed as though half of those who chose to post didn't read the article or at least failed to comprehend the viewpoint it attempted to show. However, there were still a few responses that made me happy to read them.


Offline ttubravesrock

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Re: NY Times article about preppers
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 06:29:24 PM »
That's a pretty good article. The picture is pretty neat too.

The comments section was amazing. If I already had a NYT login, I probably would have felt the urge to respond to a whole bunch of them.

Offline Canadian Prepper

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Re: NY Times article about preppers
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 10:13:45 PM »
That seemed a pretty decent article.

I think that beyond the talk of surivalists as extremists that there's a level of polarization across America that's often subtler than the stereotype. Between all the discussions on various forums about how to keep BOBs from looking too paramilitary, when and where it's proper to wear camoflauge, or even whether it's safe to talk of one's emergency preparations, I think that there are a lot of reasonable people with deeply held political views, beliefs and serious survival preparations who are very cautious about how and to whom they open up to.

It's difficult to hold back the frustration that comes from reading the comments from those posters who obviously hail from bigger cities on the east coast and dismiss survivalism as some retrograde middle American phenomenon, or seem to point to the size of other people's families as the cause of hurricanes! If only they were the one's who'd hold back speaking their minds........

Offline Joe_Nobody

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Re: NY Times article about preppers
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2012, 05:41:02 AM »
I think those comments consolidate much of the irony involved in both our political situation and preparing:

We are often critiqued for being secretive, yet who wants to expose themselves to the hate and judgement shown in those comments?
People who have a progressive political core often preach a social-minded agenda, yet many of those comments could hardly be described as inclusive.
The same crowd believes in tolerance, yet read the jabs and punches thrown because the guy is a little overweight or has six kids.

I also found it interesting how many people stated they wouldn't want to survive in a world where they had to protect themselves against their neighbors. I may be able to last a little longer than I thought given the ammo I have in stock... ;D

Offline cbowseriii

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Re: NY Times article about preppers
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2012, 10:59:45 AM »
Reading it now....I love comments on stories (especially yahoo news) some of them are quite funny. The rest are just politcal nonsense.
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Offline thefuzz1290

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Re: NY Times article about preppers
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2012, 10:49:51 PM »
Surprisingly nice article by NYT. I don't have a homestead, cabin, or trailer in the mountains, but I try to prepare the best I can. Articles like this make me more comfortable going to someone and telling them about preparedness. Hell, my wife even mentioned that we should have some extra food and water on hand (though she doesn't know I've been prepping a little bit).

Offline cptd

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Re: NY Times article about preppers
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2012, 12:00:55 AM »
Not a bad article I suppose. I understand the comments, as I think there is a portion of the so-called "prepper community" that you could peg as extremists, depending on how you define "extremist". It's sort of a loaded term that we throw around pretty casually these days, so much so that it doesn't have much meaning anymore. What is extreme to you? To me?

I do think, having read through some sites like this one, that a lot of preppers have some very peculiar ideas, mostly when it comes to tactical situations, which can probably be chalked up to lack of real tactical experience. There are, I think, a lot of romantic ideas in the community about survival and about one's individual preparedness, and even a sense of smug superiority that does make itself abundantly clear in posts like the one by Heavy G about the "wussification of the American male." People pick up on these attitudes and they contribute to the perceptions that are out there about the prepper community.

Then the "prepper community" wonders why the average american joe or jane thinks we're a bunch of weirdos. Really- when we go out namecalling (another favorite activity of the prepper community. Ever heard the word "sheeple" before?) and we wonder why we're brushed off as a lunatic fringe movement.

It's just food for thought. Remember that the way we present ourselves - out in our neighborhoods, in our workplaces, in schools, and on this forum - affects people's attitudes toward us.

Offline Thomas Johnson

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Re: NY Times article about preppers
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2012, 04:30:07 AM »
They should have interviewed one of the preppers in NY who actually fared much better after the hurricane due to his prepping and even had the hearth to share his "electricity, food and internet" with some of his neighbors.. People who a negative towards preppers should be ashamed of themselves! Preppers are actually doing the country a favor in a lot of ways and the message of prepping is a lifesaving one! Prepping is ALL about saving lives!
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Offline flippydidit

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Re: NY Times article about preppers
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2012, 05:12:55 AM »
I also found it interesting how many people stated they wouldn't want to survive in a world where they had to protect themselves against their neighbors. I may be able to last a little longer than I thought given the ammo I have in stock... ;D

+1 Joe_Nobody

I've heard many people make that statement (or one like it).  My brother in law stated that if we face a catastrophe with rioting/collapse/etc. he would, "stand on his front porch and just watch it all burn".  This is coming from a man with a wife and four small children (yes, I'm working with adjusting his attitude constantly).

Cptd,

It's difficult to not take an "us or them" perspective when that is what it boils down to.  A large percentage of "them" don't want to hear our message, enjoy mocking our community, and are in fact "sheeple".  That's not to say that some cannot be "converted", but to welcome everyone open-armed regardless of their venom spewing hatred is naive.  It's also dangerous.  I've never advocated a "smug superiority" over those who haven't prepared or refuse to prepare.  But I will identify people by their actions and their deeds.  Failing to do so is to divorce yourself from reality.  I think we both want to look for the positive in others, but I'm going to continue identifying people by their merits and not gloss it over.

In my books a "wuss" is a "wuss" and "sheeple" are "sheeple".  I'm not saying that everyone needs to be ok with blood covering their arms up to their elbows from processing an elk.  I'm saying that if you refuse to do things for yourself, I won't be there to help you (no matter the task), and that no one should expect me to based on their version of morality.

Maybe I'm a little "extreme" in that I actually don't care what others think of myself or family.  I don't care if my opinions, plans or deeds are ridiculed by the masses.  They are largely irrelevant to any of my plans or goals.  They can call me "mean" or "selfish", or any number of other jabs, slurs or insults.  So what?  They don't matter to me or my beliefs.  I don't base my self esteem or confidence on the approval of others.  I'm not required to, nor do I desire it.  We all get to choose to disagree.  Welcome to America brother!   ;)

I do agree with you that there is an over abundance of bad, and I mean really BAD information circulating in the prepper community with regard to tactics or strategy.  The idea that an attrition based defense is plausible is outright dangerous.  I also think that is where you and I part ways on some of this issue.  That's ok.  We don't have to agree.  I'm ok with that.  You've brought up a lot of interesting points, and I hope to hear more of them.
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Offline otowner98

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Re: NY Times article about preppers
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2012, 08:54:40 AM »
That was a pretty good article - especially considering the source.  Comments were very interesting.  Very clear divide in this country.  Too bad it isn't purely geographic, or we could just go our separate ways. 
My favorite though was the one who asked why we need guns when so many other, more civilized countries did not.  The Poster's list started with SWITZERLAND!  - "Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt".
People with guns but no food will discover that people with food have guns too.

Offline Oil Lady

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Re: NY Times article about preppers
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2012, 11:04:41 AM »
That wasn't a bad article at all. I was pleasantly surprised.

Indeed, a lot of the commentary was infuriating and it seemed as though half of those who chose to post didn't read the article or at least failed to comprehend the viewpoint it attempted to show. However, there were still a few responses that made me happy to read them.

This.

Comments are now "closed" for that NYT article. But I notice that Dr. Bones and Nurse Any were able to get a plug in with an excellent comment just a few hours before comments were shut down.
"This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind." -- self-made billionaire Richard Rainwater in his business analysis of Peak Oil, "The Rainwater Prophecy," Fortune magazine, Dec 26, 2005

"This is an emergency far worse than World War I and World War II put together." -- CEO of Virgin Airlines, Sir Richard Branson on Peak Oil in CNN's investigative report "We Were Warned: Out of Gas" June 2007/May 2008 03:05

"We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier." --Steely Dan 1983

"... it doesn’t really matter who is removing your civil liberties, whether it is being done by a democratic government, a kleptocracy, a dictatorship or even the green police. When your civil rights are gone, they’re gone, and you really are in trouble, no matter how good the cause." --UK journalist Anthony Harrington, "Peak Oil and Collapse Scenarios," QFinance, September, 2011

Our parents used to say, "Don't worry, the government will take care of it."
And now our kids say, "Don't worry, the government will take care of us."

No food shall be grown that Monsanto does not own. (It all started with the disastrous 1980 SCOTUS ruling on Diamond v Chakrabarty. Petition your Congressman to revoke all patents on living things.)

"The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself." FDR 1937

The Tin Foil Hat Song by the League of Lady Conspiracists

Offline cptd

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Re: NY Times article about preppers
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2012, 11:54:15 AM »
+1 Joe_Nobody

I've heard many people make that statement (or one like it).  My brother in law stated that if we face a catastrophe with rioting/collapse/etc. he would, "stand on his front porch and just watch it all burn".  This is coming from a man with a wife and four small children (yes, I'm working with adjusting his attitude constantly).

Cptd,

It's difficult to not take an "us or them" perspective when that is what it boils down to.  A large percentage of "them" don't want to hear our message, enjoy mocking our community, and are in fact "sheeple".  That's not to say that some cannot be "converted", but to welcome everyone open-armed regardless of their venom spewing hatred is naive.  It's also dangerous.  I've never advocated a "smug superiority" over those who haven't prepared or refuse to prepare.  But I will identify people by their actions and their deeds.  Failing to do so is to divorce yourself from reality.  I think we both want to look for the positive in others, but I'm going to continue identifying people by their merits and not gloss it over.

In my books a "wuss" is a "wuss" and "sheeple" are "sheeple".  I'm not saying that everyone needs to be ok with blood covering their arms up to their elbows from processing an elk.  I'm saying that if you refuse to do things for yourself, I won't be there to help you (no matter the task), and that no one should expect me to based on their version of morality.

Maybe I'm a little "extreme" in that I actually don't care what others think of myself or family.  I don't care if my opinions, plans or deeds are ridiculed by the masses.  They are largely irrelevant to any of my plans or goals.  They can call me "mean" or "selfish", or any number of other jabs, slurs or insults.  So what?  They don't matter to me or my beliefs.  I don't base my self esteem or confidence on the approval of others.  I'm not required to, nor do I desire it.  We all get to choose to disagree.  Welcome to America brother!   ;)

I do agree with you that there is an over abundance of bad, and I mean really BAD information circulating in the prepper community with regard to tactics or strategy.  The idea that an attrition based defense is plausible is outright dangerous.  I also think that is where you and I part ways on some of this issue.  That's ok.  We don't have to agree.  I'm ok with that.  You've brought up a lot of interesting points, and I hope to hear more of them.

Whatever. I stand by my assessment that namecalling (sheeple, etc.) doesn't improve your survivability, all it does is puff up your ego. It rates somewhere between 4th and 6th grade on the maturity scale and has nothing to do with your likelihood of surviving a disaster.

None of us really know how any coming disaster is going to unfold and we would all do well to eat a slice of humble pie from time to time and realize that we are not better than other people. The plain fact of the matter is that no matter how hard you prep for something, you can always be caught flat-footed and off-guard, and your best laid plans can be made worthless. None of us have magic oracle in our backyard that grants us perfect foresight.

I mean, seriously. In the year 2001 I was an infantry rifle platoon leader in the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. That summer we did extensive field time training to jump into the jungle in Columbia to fight the FARC, which was seen at the time as an imminent threat to our security. I sat with the other officers of the brigade and listened to weekly intel briefs on the movements and activities of the extremists in the Balkan peninsula. How to identify the home-made landminest they were using there.

Nobody, and I mean nobody, was gearing up for a fight in Afghanistan, but, you know, that's where we ended up a short while later. Of course we all see it in hindsight, but at the time it was not on anybody's mind.

The lesson history teaches us over and over again is that you can try to predict what will happen but you will probably be wrong. Sure, there are a lot of prophets out there who think they know - I would argue that they've just found ways to make a buck by selling a book or a video or something.

I've been to a few places where society has broken down to some degree or other, and it never looks the same or happens the same. And no one is ever totally prepared for it.

I think that engaging in namecalling and so forth (wuss, or whatever) is a pointless exercise that does not reinforce your survivability, is probably unmerited, and only serves to further marginalize the survival movement. And I stand by that opinion.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: NY Times article about preppers
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2012, 01:29:16 AM »
I stand by my assessment that namecalling (sheeple, etc.) doesn't improve your survivability, all it does is puff up your ego. It rates somewhere between 4th and 6th grade on the maturity scale and has nothing to do with your likelihood of surviving a disaster.

None of us really know how any coming disaster is going to unfold and we would all do well to eat a slice of humble pie from time to time and realize that we are not better than other people. The plain fact of the matter is that no matter how hard you prep for something, you can always be caught flat-footed and off-guard, and your best laid plans can be made worthless. None of us have magic oracle in our backyard that grants us perfect foresight.


For all the preppers out there calling the rest of society sheeple, if you're following the standard survivalist/prepper mythology spouted by the prophets/salesmen of doom, do you ever worry that you might be merely sheeple of the survivalist flock?  Just because the traditional sheeple are being led astray doesn't mean those of the survivalist variety are immune to being wrong as well.
In times of change learners inherit the earth and the learned find themselves equipped for a world that no longer exists.   Eric Hoffer

Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.  Voltaire

Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

Offline Oil Lady

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Re: NY Times article about preppers
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2012, 07:50:27 AM »
I think name-calling in general is never a productive thing to do.

Dumbocrats.

Rethuglicans.

It alienates people.

"This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind." -- self-made billionaire Richard Rainwater in his business analysis of Peak Oil, "The Rainwater Prophecy," Fortune magazine, Dec 26, 2005

"This is an emergency far worse than World War I and World War II put together." -- CEO of Virgin Airlines, Sir Richard Branson on Peak Oil in CNN's investigative report "We Were Warned: Out of Gas" June 2007/May 2008 03:05

"We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier." --Steely Dan 1983

"... it doesn’t really matter who is removing your civil liberties, whether it is being done by a democratic government, a kleptocracy, a dictatorship or even the green police. When your civil rights are gone, they’re gone, and you really are in trouble, no matter how good the cause." --UK journalist Anthony Harrington, "Peak Oil and Collapse Scenarios," QFinance, September, 2011

Our parents used to say, "Don't worry, the government will take care of it."
And now our kids say, "Don't worry, the government will take care of us."

No food shall be grown that Monsanto does not own. (It all started with the disastrous 1980 SCOTUS ruling on Diamond v Chakrabarty. Petition your Congressman to revoke all patents on living things.)

"The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself." FDR 1937

The Tin Foil Hat Song by the League of Lady Conspiracists

Offline flippydidit

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Re: NY Times article about preppers
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2012, 08:00:44 AM »
I'm cool with the name calling.  Poopy-doody pants!

Just kidding.  My belief is that the "name calling" is an attempt at labeling groups for the sake of brevity.  Traditionally we didn't have certain segments of the population.  As their numbers grow, and if they haven't self-identified, then others will naturally label them with identifying monikers.  It's a matter of making a term more conversationally useful in most cases and not necessarily a slur.  However, if it makes everyone uncomfortable, I'll stop calling them sheeple.  How about "microwave Americans"?
Nate
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"One of these centuries, the brutes, private or public, who believe that they can rule their betters by force, will learn the lesson of what happens when brute force encounters mind and force."
— Ragnar Danneskjöld, from Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)