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(AlterNet)   Hippie decides to go "off the grid," live sustainably on an island, all that shiat. Ten years later he wonders, "WTF am I doing?"   (alternet.org) divider line 209
    More: Obvious, Bill McKibben, industrial society, University of Victoria, power lines, Vancouver Island, islands  
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24279 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Jan 2014 at 12:30 AM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-14 12:04:13 AM
A whole lotta this.
 
2014-01-14 12:09:04 AM
I tried to read the entire article. I really did.
 
2014-01-14 12:12:23 AM
Many of my guy friends like to spend hours drunkenly debating what they'd do in the event of a zombie apocalypse or the collapse of civilization. Most of the time they come up with elaborate schemes, create a ranking hierarchy and argue over who should adopt which role in their post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Mostly I just watch and listen (they've relegated my role to baby-maker and cook) and think to myself that, if shiat got real, all of them, myself included, would probably be dead in a month.

We're so dependent on modern technology that we just can't go back at this point.
 
2014-01-14 12:16:02 AM
"WTF am I doing?"

The same question a wage-slave cubical monkey asks himself daily.
 
2014-01-14 12:18:01 AM
Every time you eat a steak, a hippie has a crisis moment questioning his entire reason for existence.
 
2014-01-14 12:22:51 AM
"Can the actions of a few people trying to live self-sufficiently in the woods truly make the world a better place?"

No, but if they can convince enough people too, maybe.
 
2014-01-14 12:31:40 AM

miss diminutive: Many of my guy friends like to spend hours drunkenly debating what they'd do in the event of a zombie apocalypse or the collapse of civilization. Most of the time they come up with elaborate schemes, create a ranking hierarchy and argue over who should adopt which role in their post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Mostly I just watch and listen (they've relegated my role to baby-maker and cook) and think to myself that, if shiat got real, all of them, myself included, would probably be dead in a month.

We're so dependent on modern technology that we just can't go back at this point.


My male friends do the same, and my response is similar to yours when it gets to me. I know fully well how entirely I rely on the conveniences of modern society, and yes, I'd be farked without it.

As would about 90% of the civilized world, I'd bet.
 
2014-01-14 12:32:56 AM

miss diminutive: Many of my guy friends like to spend hours drunkenly debating what they'd do in the event of a zombie apocalypse or the collapse of civilization. Most of the time they come up with elaborate schemes, create a ranking hierarchy and argue over who should adopt which role in their post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Mostly I just watch and listen (they've relegated my role to baby-maker and cook) and think to myself that, if shiat got real, all of them, myself included, would probably be dead in a month.

We're so dependent on modern technology that we just can't go back at this point.


There's a reason why my bugout bag has a netbook with requisite solar panels to power it loaded with every engineering textbook I've ever owned in .pdf format, horticultural texts, chemistry and metallurgical texts, and medical textbooks. I'm also really good at tutoring and teaching. That's the only way humanity survives, we have to maintain our technical capabilities.

A shotgun would probably be a good idea too.....
 
2014-01-14 12:35:19 AM
you people don't know how hard it is for me to not grab my fishing pole, a knife, and just take off into the hills.

I struggle daily
 
2014-01-14 12:35:36 AM

meat0918: "Can the actions of a few people trying to live self-sufficiently in the woods truly make the world a better place?"

No, but if they can convince enough people too, maybe.


and all they need to do it is the resources to buy a 40 acre forested island.
 
2014-01-14 12:35:43 AM

Sgygus: "WTF am I doing?"
The same question a wage-slave cubical monkey asks himself daily.


Pretty much the same question as "What is the meaning of life?" So i guess you can ask that question anywhere you like. And if you ever get an answer, please let us all know.
 
2014-01-14 12:37:06 AM

miss diminutive: Many of my guy friends like to spend hours drunkenly debating what they'd do in the event of a zombie apocalypse or the collapse of civilization. Most of the time they come up with elaborate schemes, create a ranking hierarchy and argue over who should adopt which role in their post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Mostly I just watch and listen (they've relegated my role to baby-maker and cook) and think to myself that, if shiat got real, all of them, myself included, would probably be dead in a month.

We're so dependent on modern technology that we just can't go back at this point.


Without modern bathroom facilities, I'd prefer death.
 
2014-01-14 12:37:31 AM
shiat, I got hobos who wander across my yard who been "off the grid" for longer than this fruitcake. Don't biatch as much either.
 
2014-01-14 12:38:10 AM
He's still faring better to those idiots who read Into The Wild and decide to try to rough it in Alaska.
Apparently, they forgot how that book ended.
 
2014-01-14 12:41:36 AM

miss diminutive: Many of my guy friends like to spend hours drunkenly debating what they'd do in the event of a zombie apocalypse or the collapse of civilization. Most of the time they come up with elaborate schemes, create a ranking hierarchy and argue over who should adopt which role in their post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Mostly I just watch and listen (they've relegated my role to baby-maker and cook) and think to myself that, if shiat got real, all of them, myself included, would probably be dead in a month.



Funny.  Without water you're dead in 3 to 5 days.  So.. there's that
 
2014-01-14 12:43:01 AM

miss diminutive: Many of my guy friends like to spend hours drunkenly debating what they'd do in the event of a zombie apocalypse or the collapse of civilization. Most of the time they come up with elaborate schemes, create a ranking hierarchy and argue over who should adopt which role in their post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Mostly I just watch and listen (they've relegated my role to baby-maker and cook) and think to myself that, if shiat got real, all of them, myself included, would probably be dead in a month.

We're so dependent on modern technology that we just can't go back at this point.


And we'd never have to.  We have an entire humanity's worth of evolved engineering and organizational knowledge and skill to fall back on...it would take a cataclysm where only the uneducated and children survived to return us to a primitive state.
 
2014-01-14 12:44:20 AM
There are still hippies?
 
2014-01-14 12:44:31 AM
It's quoting Goof Troop, bit it fits:

"I don't want to 'get away from it all'. I LIKE 'it all'".
 
2014-01-14 12:47:11 AM
What is best in life ?
 
2014-01-14 12:48:03 AM

miss diminutive: Many of my guy friends like to spend hours drunkenly debating what they'd do in the event of a zombie apocalypse or the collapse of civilization. Most of the time they come up with elaborate schemes, create a ranking hierarchy and argue over who should adopt which role in their post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Mostly I just watch and listen (they've relegated my role to baby-maker and cook) and think to myself that, if shiat got real, all of them, myself included, would probably be dead in a month.


Your guy friends kinda sound like assholes.

I wonder if it ever occurred to this guy that he's probably using up more resources by living on an island and shipping handmade tools around the world than he would if he just lived in a city apartment.
 
2014-01-14 12:49:28 AM
Translation:  being a hippie is great...when it's convenient.
 
2014-01-14 12:51:07 AM

meat0918: "Can the actions of a few people trying to live self-sufficiently in the woods truly make the world a better place?"

No, but if they can convince enough people too, maybe.


Going off to live in the woods isn't sustainable on the macro scale.  There's a reason society evolved from hunter/gatherer to fixed agricultural communities. It's just more efficient to have certain people specialize in certain tasks and for everyone to bring their skills and contributions to the table than it is for everyone to try to do everything independently on a smaller scale.  Plus, there's only so much virgin temperate woodland to go around.

The better course would be for people to embrace the idea of living more sustainably in the communities we have now, and make the small changes today that will prevent us from having to make drastic changes in the future.

Recycling, landscaping with native plants that don't require additional water or pesticides, supporting local food producers instead of buying produce shipped from 3,000 miles away, etc, are all things we can do as individuals that if done en masse would make a big difference.

Changes will need to be made at the government and corporate level as well, like replacing coal power plants with clean solar, wind, and nuclear, building new buildings to be energy efficient with greenspace or solar panels along the roof, stop trying to drill in the Alaskan wilderness, stop fracking, impose greater fuel efficiency and emissions standards on heavy cargo ships, put political pressure on China and other rapidly industrializing nations to do things in a greener way, etc.

With some minor changes our current way of life would be sustainable in the long term.  The trick is getting people to realize that minor changes now are worth it to avoid drastic changes being forced on us in the future.
 
2014-01-14 12:52:03 AM
Im a Techno Hippy,  Do I win ?
 
2014-01-14 12:53:55 AM
Self sufficiency is a trap. There's a reason people move to the city. Even this guy isn't self sufficient, he doesn't smelt ore or weave fabric. He's just living a simpler life.
 
2014-01-14 12:54:59 AM

Duke_leto_Atredes: What is best in life ?


To ride burros upon the prepackaged frozen meals of your enemies
 
2014-01-14 12:55:36 AM
I'm getting ready to do the same thing, but I'm not doing it to save the world.  I'm doing it because it's so much fun, and such a satisfying way to live.  Got the 44 acres of forest and meadow, got the cabin, got the tractor, got an income from outside work that lets me stay on the farm.

All you cubicle monkeys enjoy your enslavement.
 
2014-01-14 12:57:27 AM

Irving Maimway: Every time you eat a steak, a hippie has a crisis moment questioning his entire reason for existence.


My hippie parents butchered a variety of animals at home. The steers were sent off to the professionals though.

I was very blasé about internal organs as a child.
 
2014-01-14 12:58:22 AM
he bought 40 acres of forested land

fark that guy.
 
2014-01-14 01:01:14 AM
I've watched 2 or 3 episodes each of Survivor Man, Dual Survival, Man Vs Wild and Naked and Afraid. I'd be fine I'm sure.

Kidding.

Started out as a boy scout hiking the Sierra's, moved into deep back country camping. Learned to hunt and fish as well as forage. Learned to make rope, bows, arrows and all sorts of things. Learned to do a lot of things I will hopefully never need. I will be passing that knowledge onto my daughter. If that type of a skill set dies off, pretty sure we are all farked if the shiat ever does hit the fan.

/Currently hoping I get the job I interviewed for today.
//It's farming certain.. ah.. herb's you could say.
 
2014-01-14 01:01:45 AM

FunkOut: Irving Maimway: Every time you eat a steak, a hippie has a crisis moment questioning his entire reason for existence.

My hippie parents butchered a variety of animals at home. The steers were sent off to the professionals though.

I was very blasé about internal organs as a child.


Those animals kept eating their pot?
 
2014-01-14 01:01:59 AM

miss diminutive: Many of my guy friends like to spend hours drunkenly debating what they'd do in the event of a zombie apocalypse or the collapse of civilization. Most of the time they come up with elaborate schemes, create a ranking hierarchy and argue over who should adopt which role in their post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Mostly I just watch and listen (they've relegated my role to baby-maker and cook) and think to myself that, if shiat got real, all of them, myself included, would probably be dead in a month.

We're so dependent on modern technology that we just can't go back at this point.


I grew up in the Appalachians in the 60's on a small family farm, electricity was a luxury we couldn't afford until I was 8 years old, we had a big wood fueled cook stove with a water warmer on the side in the kitchen and a smaller one in the main bedroom, in the winter we all slept in the main bedroom for warmth. People nowadays don't realize just how much work it takes to survive in a low tech society, most envision themselves as lord protectors or some post apocalyptic Mad Max, the reality is the vast majority would either die or end up staring at the south end of a north bound plow mule for the rest of their lives.


/for a fairly decent view of how civilization might fare if stripped of its tech read S.M. Stirlings "Dies the Fire", the book is mediocre at best but his description of hordes of starving city dwellers stripping stores, nearby farms and eventually turning cannibal are too close to reality for my comfort, not to mention the environmental impact of millions of rotting corpses, freed farm and zoo animals struggling to find a balance, etc.
 
2014-01-14 01:04:00 AM

miss diminutive: Many of my guy friends like to spend hours drunkenly debating what they'd do in the event of a zombie apocalypse or the collapse of civilization. Most of the time they come up with elaborate schemes, create a ranking hierarchy and argue over who should adopt which role in their post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Mostly I just watch and listen (they've relegated my role to baby-maker and cook) and think to myself that, if shiat got real, all of them, myself included, would probably be dead in a month.

We're so dependent on modern technology that we just can't go back at this point.


You have to make it up as you go. That's what makes it fun. Planning is for poseurs.

/dead inside a week
 
2014-01-14 01:05:54 AM

miss diminutive: Many of my guy friends like to spend hours drunkenly debating what they'd do in the event of a zombie apocalypse or the collapse of civilization. Most of the time they come up with elaborate schemes, create a ranking hierarchy and argue over who should adopt which role in their post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Mostly I just watch and listen (they've relegated my role to baby-maker and cook) and think to myself that, if shiat got real, all of them, myself included, would probably be dead in a month.

We're so dependent on modern technology that we just can't go back at this point.


No, the problem is that the new world would be ruled by those who possess the greatest skills at living off the land, and most college kids would rather commit suicide than prostrate themselves before a literal Duck Dynasty. The only comfort for them would be knowing that phony outdoor experts like Sarah Palin would be the first to drop, dying of exhaustion after a few days of stupidly roaming the aisles of their local Walmart, wondering why the stock crews are taking so long to refill the shelves.
 
2014-01-14 01:06:51 AM
iq_in_binary: ... with every engineering textbook I've ever owned in .pdf format, horticultural texts, chemistry and metallurgical texts, and medical textbooks....


Which is fine until you can't recharge...

On the other hand, I have a large library full of dead-paper versions, much to the chagrin of my partner. Not exactly portable, though...
 
2014-01-14 01:07:27 AM

Duke_leto_Atredes: What is best in life ?


Crush enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women.
 
2014-01-14 01:07:51 AM
OK I'll admit I only read the first page but he's "living off the grid" on Denman Island, BC.
The same island that has.....

It's own website : http://www.denmanisland.com/
It's own choclatier: http://www.denmanislandchocolate.com/
Ferry service: http://www.bcferries.com/schedules/northern/vidi-current.php
Arts festival: http://denmanislandwritersfestival.com/
And fire dept.: http://www.denmanfire.ca/

Go live somewhere more like this http://www.privateislandsonline.com/islands/lizzies-cove-island then call me.
 
2014-01-14 01:08:28 AM

miss diminutive: Many of my guy friends like to spend hours drunkenly debating what they'd do in the event of a zombie apocalypse or the collapse of civilization. Most of the time they come up with elaborate schemes, create a ranking hierarchy and argue over who should adopt which role in their post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Mostly I just watch and listen (they've relegated my role to baby-maker and cook) and think to myself that, if shiat got real, all of them, myself included, would probably be dead in a month.

We're so dependent on modern technology that we just can't go back at this point.


If modern tech failed - electricity, we'd revert to 19th century baseline tech pretty quickly, imo.

I'd do the hunting and cooking.
 
2014-01-14 01:08:53 AM

calufrax: iq_in_binary: ... with every engineering textbook I've ever owned in .pdf format, horticultural texts, chemistry and metallurgical texts, and medical textbooks....


Which is fine until you can't recharge...

On the other hand, I have a large library full of dead-paper versions, much to the chagrin of my partner. Not exactly portable, though...


Bud, your profile says you are in Australia. Trust me, we are all surprised you aren't dead already. Pretty sure you win this thread.
 
2014-01-14 01:10:05 AM

hitmanric: OK I'll admit I only read the first page but he's "living off the grid" on Denman Island, BC.
The same island that has.....

It's own website : http://www.denmanisland.com/
It's own choclatier: http://www.denmanislandchocolate.com/
Ferry service: http://www.bcferries.com/schedules/northern/vidi-current.php
Arts festival: http://denmanislandwritersfestival.com/
And fire dept.: http://www.denmanfire.ca/

Go live somewhere more like this http://www.privateislandsonline.com/islands/lizzies-cove-island then call me.


That is funny.
 
2014-01-14 01:11:24 AM

NateAsbestos: miss diminutive: Many of my guy friends like to spend hours drunkenly debating what they'd do in the event of a zombie apocalypse or the collapse of civilization. Most of the time they come up with elaborate schemes, create a ranking hierarchy and argue over who should adopt which role in their post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Mostly I just watch and listen (they've relegated my role to baby-maker and cook) and think to myself that, if shiat got real, all of them, myself included, would probably be dead in a month.

We're so dependent on modern technology that we just can't go back at this point.

My male friends do the same, and my response is similar to yours when it gets to me. I know fully well how entirely I rely on the conveniences of modern society, and yes, I'd be farked without it.

As would about 90% of the civilized world, I'd bet.


Marry an Eagle Scout. They KNOW how to survive in the woods.

/eagle scout. Lol
 
2014-01-14 01:11:50 AM

knobmaker: All you cubicle monkeys enjoy your enslavement.


And we hope you enjoy... whatever it is you get out of living like that. It'd drive me crazy.
 
2014-01-14 01:11:57 AM
"Sustainable" is just a word that really means "You probably can't afford it."
 
2014-01-14 01:12:47 AM

calufrax: iq_in_binary: ... with every engineering textbook I've ever owned in .pdf format, horticultural texts, chemistry and metallurgical texts, and medical textbooks....


Which is fine until you can't recharge...

On the other hand, I have a large library full of dead-paper versions, much to the chagrin of my partner. Not exactly portable, though...


I take it you glossed over the solar panel bit.  Me, I have all my survival tips etched in stone.
 
2014-01-14 01:13:27 AM

LargeCanine: miss diminutive: Many of my guy friends like to spend hours drunkenly debating what they'd do in the event of a zombie apocalypse or the collapse of civilization. Most of the time they come up with elaborate schemes, create a ranking hierarchy and argue over who should adopt which role in their post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Mostly I just watch and listen (they've relegated my role to baby-maker and cook) and think to myself that, if shiat got real, all of them, myself included, would probably be dead in a month.

We're so dependent on modern technology that we just can't go back at this point.

If modern tech failed - electricity, we'd revert to 19th century baseline tech pretty quickly, imo.

I'd do the hunting and cooking.


I'm always ticked off when 'there is no technology!!! electricity is not working!?' premises do away with guns. Guns existed without all this modern technology for hundreds of years.  Sure it'd take a while to transition back but the technology is hardly lost.   I think what would be harder is transition from modern farming techniques to more basic- no more non-growing farmers, no more 'monopoly' crops for a while.

I'm sure I'd die or grow very, very poor. I have no domestic skills that translate well to hardy life. I mean I can cook but with modern
conveniences; I'd probably poison myself first. I cannot sew or craft anything and my botany skills are nonexistent.  

I'm good with animals so possibly animal husbandry?
 
2014-01-14 01:13:38 AM
...and a girlfriend he's no longer with ...

No kidding?

I bet she wised up within a few weeks.
 
2014-01-14 01:13:55 AM

LargeCanine: miss diminutive: Many of my guy friends like to spend hours drunkenly debating what they'd do in the event of a zombie apocalypse or the collapse of civilization. Most of the time they come up with elaborate schemes, create a ranking hierarchy and argue over who should adopt which role in their post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Mostly I just watch and listen (they've relegated my role to baby-maker and cook) and think to myself that, if shiat got real, all of them, myself included, would probably be dead in a month.

We're so dependent on modern technology that we just can't go back at this point.

If modern tech failed - electricity, we'd revert to 19th century baseline tech pretty quickly, imo.

I'd do the hunting and cooking.


There would be a few days or weeks of pillaging, though.

I'd do... Masonry? I'm an architect, but, I'm really more used to restoration projects, and small housing projects using brick & mortar, I still don't have much experience with projects with lots of glass & steel.
 
2014-01-14 01:15:09 AM

Gunther: I wonder if it ever occurred to this guy that he's probably using up more resources by living on an island and shipping handmade tools around the world than he would if he just lived in a city apartment.


Why would that have occurred to him? It's ridiculous on its face. Living in a city apartment and making handmade tools would require far more resources than making them in the country.
 
2014-01-14 01:16:40 AM
hb0mb:

Without modern bathroom facilities, I'd prefer death.

This. I don't even camp. Maybe in a luxury motor home, I'd consider it. But probably not. Some days it takes all I got to rip the wrapper off food. I'd never survive if I had to hunt, skin, -- and God forbid -- cook it. Or raise it. Yuck. I love napping and am allergic to pretty much the entire outdoors. When theapocalypse hits, MMM is down for the count.
 
2014-01-14 01:17:47 AM

Carousel Beast: ...and a girlfriend he's no longer with ...

No kidding?

I bet she wised up within a few weeks.


Definitely less than a month.
 
2014-01-14 01:18:31 AM

CygnusDarius: If modern tech failed - electricity, we'd revert to 19th century baseline tech pretty quickly, imo.

I'd do the hunting and cooking.

There would be a few days or weeks of pillaging, though.

I'd do... Masonry? I'm an architect, but, I'm really more used to restoration projects, and small housing projects using brick & mortar, I still don't have much experience with projects with lots of glass & steel.


Just as well. Good glass is hard without electricity. You can pretty much kiss aluminum goodbye, too.
 
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