Author Topic: Randomness  (Read 9736 times)

Offline archer

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Randomness
« on: December 05, 2008, 05:45:33 PM »
Ok, this is something that has been bouncing around my head for a long time. I'm not sure it's something to consider, so give me your thoughts.

People for the most part are creatures of habit. We tend to do the same things every day: drive the same way to work, park in the same place, leave at the same time, etc. This is easier for the mind to do. The mind goes into auto-pilot. This is one step below situational awareness. You can be alert, but following the same route day after day leads to complacency.

But that is dangerous. If someone is watching you they can easily makes plans taking into account your nice and dependable pattern. It also does not give you experience with areas outside your normal routine. This limits what options you have if SHTF.

You should vary your routines. Take a different route, park in a different place. Explore on your way, see what alternatives routes you can find. Explore the areas you travel though, be more familiar with them. Get a feel for the areas in 'normal time'.

If you stop every morning for a cup of 'Wake up', go to a different store. Vary where and what you eat for lunch (if you can).

Add some randomness to your life. Learn and explore. And become less of an easy target.



Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2008, 06:05:54 PM »
Good post. +1

It's true we are creatures of habit.  I believe you said the rest pretty well, thanks for the reminder.

Offline 19kilo

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2008, 07:27:06 PM »
Very true.  I take many different routes to work when I am my truck.  But when a ride my bike, I pretty much take the same way through the ghetto.  When the snow melts I will start switching it up.  Other than that, there is no real routine.

Maybe dropping the older kid off at school.  but that is three blocks away.

Offline archer

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2008, 04:43:42 PM »
Also work on your mind... Look at others things in your day that you do the same way every day... Flex your mind, change your patterns, keep changing them, get your mind trained not to settle into the same old routines...
It especially drives your spouse crazy....

Offline TXChikk

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2008, 05:59:26 PM »
I work @ home. Most weeks I don't leave the house for 3-4 days. Do I go stir crazy? Yes. Routine? What the heck is that?

On a serious note I agree with the concept of mixing things up a bit but I hardly do anything outside the house during the week so when I do emerge into daylight I suppose that is already a bit of randomness....cuz nobody knows when I'm coming out!

Offline swanson

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2008, 03:24:02 PM »
Archer,

+1 Great post.

Routines and habits are killers.

If you can't avoid routines, you are right- turn up the gain on your situational awareness and peer into your environment with "new" eyes.

I guarantee you, someone else is paying attention, even if you are not.



I have an original copy of this WW2 poster hanging in my den to remind me...



It pays to be a bit "paranoid"; the enemy never sleeps.

Offline edhand

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2008, 04:35:43 PM »
Not to be contrarian, as I think it's a great thing to think about, but also be aware that not behaving like everyone else can also draw attention to yourself.  It is possible to be too random.  For example, imagine you live on a street where everyone is stuck in a routine but you.  It's possible that people will notice that you vary your coming and going, etc., and that this will make you a topic of conversation: "Gee, he leaves at all hours, never going the same direction.  I wonder what he does."  When everyone has a predictable pattern, and you don't, you may draw attention by that lack of conformity.

Does that make sense?

Ed

Offline archer

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2008, 05:28:33 PM »
That does make sense Ed... And it's a valid point...
How far can your neighbors see you when you leave the home? I expect that varying your departure time 30 minutes either way would not be to suspicious.

Offline creuzerm

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2008, 09:28:57 PM »
When in college, I walked from campus to the bank where I worked at 4am in the morning.

I had noticed a guy sitting in a building entrance a couple of days in a row. Then he was on my side of the street one morning. Luckily I spotted him 2 blocks down the road, as he wasn't in his usual spot which was visible to me. His feet where sticking out of a doorway on my side.

I made an early right turn.

After that, I took to walking different routes each day.

It was probably nothing. He probably was on the other side of the street because the wind was different that day. He was just trying to stay in the lee side of the buildings.  But it completely weirded me out.

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2008, 09:44:14 PM »
Intuition can go a long way towards keeping one's ass out of the proverbial sling as well.  Never discount the "bad feeling".

Offline archer

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2009, 11:23:05 AM »
Yes... Keep aware of those 'bad feelings' or feelings that something is just not right and increase your personal alert level.

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2009, 01:19:00 PM »
What's that called?  Your "lizard brain"?  Or something to that effect.  It's your deep-seeded sense of survival.  Definitely, do NOT discount that feeling of "something's wrong here".

Offline archer

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2009, 04:06:00 PM »
Yes, you are right Tactical Badger, it's called the "lizard brain" or Amygdala. Listen to it!!! Millions of years of evolution have tuned it! We've just forgotten how to listen to it.

Offline BerserkerPrime

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2009, 04:52:22 PM »
The 1st rule of Force Protection is 'Never Set A Pattern'....................


Prime Berserker

Offline javaguy

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2009, 09:40:46 AM »
I work @ home. Most weeks I don't leave the house for 3-4 days. Do I go stir crazy? Yes. Routine? What the heck is that?

On a serious note I agree with the concept of mixing things up a bit but I hardly do anything outside the house during the week so when I do emerge into daylight I suppose that is already a bit of randomness....cuz nobody knows when I'm coming out!


My situation exactly - the work-at-home often involves working at all hours - drives my wife crazy because I lack a routine.

I have thought of this too - not to be paranoid, but when we leave we often turn off most the lights in the house and leave the porch lite on.  This is a dead giveaway to any BG watching the premises..  A better pattern would be to mix up which light(s) we leave on when we're away from home.   Slightly off topic, the need to mix things up applies to many things - a retired LEO friend was telling me that he'd have his dept. practicing with the handgun in all kinds of different ways, to fire it upside down, weak-handed, in-the-dark, reloading entirely with one-hand, etc.  Another friend exercises in many different ways, hike/bike/climb/soccer/lift - variety keeps it interesting and opens the mind in new directions


Offline archer

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2009, 12:27:43 AM »
My situation exactly - the work-at-home often involves working at all hours - drives my wife crazy because I lack a routine.

I have thought of this too - not to be paranoid, but when we leave we often turn off most the lights in the house and leave the porch lite on.  This is a dead giveaway to any BG watching the premises..  A better pattern would be to mix up which light(s) we leave on when we're away from home.   Slightly off topic, the need to mix things up applies to many things - a retired LEO friend was telling me that he'd have his dept. practicing with the handgun in all kinds of different ways, to fire it upside down, weak-handed, in-the-dark, reloading entirely with one-hand, etc.  Another friend exercises in many different ways, hike/bike/climb/soccer/lift - variety keeps it interesting and opens the mind in new directions


Very good points javaguy, throw randomness into any repetitive daily task. Stretch your mind, break habits that are not adaptable.

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2010, 08:31:22 PM »
I can't believe I missed this old thread.
Good stuff here.
Back before my retirement I rode my bike 30 miles each way to work.
If the weather was bad, I stayed on the freeway as it was best maintained. But anytime the weather would allow, I would use back roads and side streets.
I used Google Earth to learn every possible route and every way to access it. Lots of times the freeways around Cincinnati grind to a complete stop in the afternoons. Its handy if you can pop off the freeway and go around the traffic.
Also its a relaxing way to tone down your mind as you transition from work to family. For me, freeways that are running smooth put me to sleep. And freeways filled with idiots make me want to yank people from their cars and beat them senseless. (not the good example we Quakers wish to display) But a side track using roads I'm not as familiar with would calm my mind and would allow me to be "Dad" when I got home and not "the grumpy old ogre".
:hare:

Offline Steaker

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2010, 10:35:47 PM »
Great subject;  I am too easy of a target.  I need to plan better.

Offline ozarked

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2010, 10:59:35 PM »
Back in the 70's, when terrorism gained international notice, one of the countermeasures taught to high-threat targets was to do just what Archer suggests:  vary one's travel time, route, daily routine, etc.  Subsequent debriefings of captured terrorists documented cases where they switched or abandoned targets due to the lack of established patterns.  "Randomness" works.  Good post, Archer. 

Offline Uncle Bob (he ain’t right)

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2010, 05:11:35 AM »
Not to be contrarian, as I think it's a great thing to think about, but also be aware that not behaving like everyone else can also draw attention to yourself.  It is possible to be too random.  For example, imagine you live on a street where everyone is stuck in a routine but you.  It's possible that people will notice that you vary your coming and going, etc., and that this will make you a topic of conversation: "Gee, he leaves at all hours, never going the same direction.  I wonder what he does."  When everyone has a predictable pattern, and you don't, you may draw attention by that lack of conformity.

Does that make sense?

Ed

I think that would a good thing. The people you are worrying about don't matter. It may be their gossip that deters a criminal. It's the one watching that notices and moves on to another target you were/are interested in. 

Offline archer

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2010, 09:13:14 AM »
for a BG, someone who is not set into a daily pattern is a wild card, who knows when they will pop up?  Most likely at the worst time (for the BG). Also makes staking a place out more difficult.

We like to joke in my household that a burglar would have a hard time with my house, at any one time, someone in my house is almost always awake. Or I am sleeping on the couch, on the futon, on the floor, in a chair, in a kids room, or maybe even in my own bed!

Offline BerserkerPrime

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2010, 03:04:48 AM »
The 1st rule of Force Procection (us in this case) is NEVER set a pattern. 

+1 Archer. 

Offline grog

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2010, 08:50:16 AM »
Variation of times, routes and even vehicles can help to reduce being a target. In most locations there are going to be common points that should be looked at. Example, is there a bridge or a tunnel that most of the traffic goes over or through every day?

In some cases it can not be avoided. This is where if possible and I suggest this only if you can do it, is to have other vehicles to use.

Also be alert to folks in your area, get to know who "belongs" and who does not. This will help to reduce being observed, if you can spot the 'outsider' first and get attention brought to them.

The other night we had some folks who were not from the neighbor hood and did not 'belong', Using the NON emergency phone number we were able to get the local PD to perform a "courtesy" drive by.  Amazing how soon there were no longer unknown folks hanging around.

The use of Neighborhood watch may be a good idea as well.

Thanks for the great post and good replies to a serious topic.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2010, 01:59:01 PM »
Interesting thread -- thanks for reviving it, Hare.

...it's called the "lizard brain" or Amygdala. Listen to it!!! Millions of years of evolution have tuned it! We've just forgotten how to listen to it.

Yeah -- now, if we can just keep our lizard and human brains both running at the same time, that would be ideal.  I know I've done a number of stupid things just because it was a sunny day with chirping birds and my lizard brain was basking on a warm rock.

The 1st rule of Force Protection is 'Never Set A Pattern'....................

The 1st rule of Force Procection (us in this case) is NEVER set a pattern. 

I think I see a pattern developing here.  ;D

Offline Orionblade

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2010, 10:31:21 PM »
Ok, this is something that has been bouncing around my head for a long time. I'm not sure it's something to consider, so give me your thoughts.

People for the most part are creatures of habit. We tend to do the same things every day: drive the same way to work, park in the same place, leave at the same time, etc. This is easier for the mind to do. The mind goes into auto-pilot. This is one step below situational awareness. You can be alert, but following the same route day after day leads to complacency.

But that is dangerous. If someone is watching you they can easily makes plans taking into account your nice and dependable pattern. It also does not give you experience with areas outside your normal routine. This limits what options you have if SHTF.

You should vary your routines. Take a different route, park in a different place. Explore on your way, see what alternatives routes you can find. Explore the areas you travel though, be more familiar with them. Get a feel for the areas in 'normal time'.

If you stop every morning for a cup of 'Wake up', go to a different store. Vary where and what you eat for lunch (if you can).

Add some randomness to your life. Learn and explore. And become less of an easy target.


Nice points - there's some research that's been done from rats to humans that suggests that simple steps like varying routes, etc, leads to enhanced problem solving abilities. It's not that it makes you smarter, per se, but you can get to a solution quicker because of preserved synapses, etc. etc. etc.

Same idea as taking a new language every once in a while.

+1

Offline Dawgus

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Re: Randomness
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2010, 04:32:43 AM »
I've learned every possible route around here to get anywhere I go for many reasons. We live on a main 4 lane route, and there are accidents quite often north of us, (ALWAYS someone making a left across 2 lanes and a turn lane to get to fast food!), so if I get towards that area I can turn off and take backroads to get me back to the xway. Some days I take these routes just because I want something different, and sometimes it's to see what the condition of the small side roads are. The small village I sometimes cut through is notorious for not keeping up on road maintenance, and I have seen car swallowing potholes on tiny 25mph streets. I make a mental note of that every time-don't go this way. Some days I take a different route just because I want a change of scenery and not hit 4 stoplights and stare at fast food places and gas stations. I've made sure I know where every gas station is along all my different routes as well. I like the randomness, and I like knowing that I have several ways out in case I need it. More times than I can remember, knowing alternative routes has saved me from sitting in traffic from an accident, or avoiding lights that are out due to a power outage. I *NEVER* trust other drivers to know how to treat a stoplight that isn't working,ever.
 At home, we're very routine as things always need done around here. Animals need fed, eggs need gathered, produce needs picked,etc. I like keeping routines at home, simply because things get done faster than if I mix up things, and I tend to pay more attention to detail. I check the neighbors and things to the south when I feed the rabbits, add to the compost, or gather greens. I check to the west when I work in the garden, to the north when I walk TO the garden or grapevines, and to the north when I get mail or check berries. Even though it's always the same routines, I'm always on alert for anything out of the ordinary. I have no concern over neighbors since I have known everyone around for nearly 11 years and not one has raised any flags other than the few random kids.