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Subject: Are you better suited to survive than your ancestors were? rss

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Mike Bourgeois
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Can you change a tire? Can you start a fire without matches... hell can you start one with them? Do you know how competently use a firearm? Do you know how to plant a garden? Can you recite poetry of others... can you make up your own and entertain people around you?

I often wonder if we're not getting so complacent in our world that we are losing the skills that we need to truely survive life.

How many of you geeks out there have skills that apply not just to navigating the trinket laden world we live in now but also apply to the real world outside of it. I realize that I don't have many skills that might come useful in an accident and it makes me think I oughta start getting something under my belt other than being able to navigate a rulebook for a tough wargame.

What are your thoughts on this please.
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除名山 蔵芽戸
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I can give coordinates and have a helicopter land within 10 yards of me.
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Richard S
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I suppose that, like our ancestors, we have adapted to the environment we live in. But if you want to fuel debate about specific skills, here is the popular mechanics article on 25 Skills Every Man Should Know.

It's pretty scattershot in my personal opinion.

EDIT: As for the specific questions:

I can change a tire, start a fire with matches and in some situations without, shoot a bow not a gun, plant and tend a garden, and recite the poetry of others (my own sucks).
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Mike Bourgeois
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KSensei wrote:
I can give coordinates and have a helicopter land within 10 yards of me.


Very useful... what if you're in a wooded area and the helicopter can't see you much less land... can you navigate yourself to an area that would allow helicopter access?
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Ooh! And I can do the "Modified Stationary Panic" instead of a "Full Bore Linear Panic."
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Jeff Wiles
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KSensei wrote:
Ooh! And I can do the "Modified Stationary Panic" instead of a "Full Bore Linear Panic."


"Moist" or "Dry"?
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Mark Casiglio
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I can ride my bike with no handlebars.
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My ancestors died and I haven't. I think I win.
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Mike Adams
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mbourgeois wrote:
Can you change a tire? Can you start a fire without matches... hell can you start one with them? Do you know how competently use a firearm? Do you know how to plant a garden? Can you recite poetry of others... can you make up your own and entertain people around you?


Those are just skills for surviving. What about thriving?

Rather than just changing a tire, can you rebuild your engine, or design one from scratch? Can you not only start a fire, but set it up properly and control it to do what you want it to do so it's something useful? If you can use a firearm, can you hunt and then know what to do with an animal that you shot afterwards? Do you know how to preserve what you grow in your garden so it's useful all year long rather than just the short time when it ripens? Do you actually know people who care to hear any poetry, let alone yours?

That said, surviving in the modern world is different than it was for our ancestors because the world is different. But I believe that any and all skills are useful.
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Hell, I'm an Eagle Scout. For those of you keeping score at home, an Eagle Scout is spandex and a cape away from being a superhero. So stand the fuck back!
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joebelanger wrote:
Hell, I'm an Eagle Scout. For those of you keeping score at home, an Eagle Scout is spandex and a cape away from being a superhero. So stand the fuck back!


I'll be a pro-wrestler soon enough, so I'll have the spandex part covered, we can be like a team or something.
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Jim Cote
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Individual skills are less important than societal skills now. Specialization has led to modern living. We depend on each other for everything. Granted, this has made us less able to survive on our own, but together we are more able to survive. And if we can overcome our violent and religious inclinations, it all just might work.
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Mike Bourgeois
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Mike A wrote:
mbourgeois wrote:
Can you change a tire? Can you start a fire without matches... hell can you start one with them? Do you know how competently use a firearm? Do you know how to plant a garden? Can you recite poetry of others... can you make up your own and entertain people around you?


Those are just skills for surviving. What about thriving?

Rather than just changing a tire, can you rebuild your engine, or design one from scratch? Can you not only start a fire, but set it up properly and control it to do what you want it to do so it's something useful? If you can use a firearm, can you hunt and then know what to do with an animal that you shot afterwards? Do you know how to preserve what you grow in your garden so it's useful all year long rather than just the short time when it ripens? Do you actually know people who care to hear any poetry, let alone yours?

That said, surviving in the modern world is different than it was for our ancestors because the world is different. But I believe that any and all skills are useful.


It's great that we adapted but what I'm saying is in the event of an emergency... does it really matter that you can navigate the web or change the router in your computer. If you can go back to the basics and surive... forget thrive because you have to make it through the emergency first. And when the batteries on your Ipod have died and you're jonesing for something to occupy your mind hearing a ditty about flexible young maid from Poughkeepskie will be time well spent. laugh
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I cleverly arranged to be born in a time and place where it wasn't necessary to start a fire, use a firearm, or plant a garden. Let's face it, it's not a question of what your skills are, it's more what you environment is that determines your survival rate.
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Mike Bourgeois
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quozl wrote:
My ancestors died and I haven't. I think I win.


Quozl, i'd like to refute what you've just said but I can't... but I still don't think I'll say you win... instead I'm sending you to the back of the line for the human race. So there.
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Joe Gola
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I can:

• dance the dance of the seven veils
• clean and lubricate my own catapult
• stand up next to a mountain, chop it down with the edge of my hand
• goose a dowager undetected
• churn butter
• sing the national anthem
• milk an unwilling goat
• successfully navigate the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
• sneak up on an Irishman
• tie a half-hitch knot
• whisper through a tube
• confuse the enemy with smoke and mirrors
• pop a wheelie on a ten-speed
• tell the difference between a sparrow and a bulrush
• explain how a block-and-tackle works
• say "where is the bathroom?" in forty-seven languages
• make a playing card appear out of thin air
• open a beer bottle with a table knife
• mend galoshes
• draw Tippy Turtle
• woo a debutante
• open a coconut
• belch the alphabet
• run three times around Troy, enraging Achilles
• drink a sexton under the table
• do my own taxes
• knock the sunlight off a housefly's back with a bow and arrow at thirty yards

Yeah, I think I got it covered.
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Mark Casiglio
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Gola wrote:
I can:

• tie a half-hitch knot


If it's a hitch, then it's not a knot. I'm just sayin'.
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Ken H.
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mbourgeois wrote:
KSensei wrote:
I can give coordinates and have a helicopter land within 10 yards of me.


Very useful... what if you're in a wooded area and the helicopter can't see you much less land... can you navigate yourself to an area that would allow helicopter access?


Even if it can't land, calling the helicopter has got to be more useful than reciting poetry. Why is that on the list?
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Mike Adams
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Csigs wrote:
Gola wrote:
I can:

• tie a half-hitch knot


If it's a hitch, then it's not a knot. I'm just sayin'.


You deserve a lashing for that bit of pedantry.
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True Blue Jon
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Csigs wrote:
Gola wrote:
I can:

• tie a half-hitch knot


If it's a hitch, then it's not a knot. I'm just sayin'.


But it's only a half-hitch!
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The physical brain size of human beings has been progressively shrinking since the Cro-Magnon. We are stupider and more dependent on technology. We are still barbaric, only more so, with the level of barbarism increasing and, at best, being hidden by a thin veneer. The Romans created the greatest architecture the world has yet seen and they lacked Zero and relied solely on manpower. Progress is a myth; there is no such thing as progress, except in limited systems and only for short periods of time.

My own theory of human history relates to the physical aging of the human being. Early on we were vulnerable and uncertain if we would survive, with the odds being greatly turned against us. As we grew we learned and discovered things, creating language to express what we learned. By the Bronze Age we were all confident bravado and obsessed with faith -- in ways only teenagers can be. Then we matured and had a few setbacks. Now we as a species have reached the point of being reliant on technology in the same ways an old man needs his cane. Soon we will either die as a species or be transformed into something else. It is just the nature of things.
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True Blue Jon
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mbourgeois wrote:
quozl wrote:
My ancestors died and I haven't. I think I win.


Quozl, i'd like to refute what you've just said but I can't... but I still don't think I'll say you win... instead I'm sending you to the back of the line for the human race. So there.


About face!
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Mark Casiglio
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Mike A wrote:
Csigs wrote:
Gola wrote:
I can:

• tie a half-hitch knot


If it's a hitch, then it's not a knot. I'm just sayin'.


You deserve a lashing for that bit of pedantry.


I just knew someone would bight at that remark.
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Steve Wagner
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Gola wrote:
I can:
• say "where is the bathroom?" in forty-seven languages


I think holding my crotch and jumping around can be understood by most cultures.
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