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BlueWolf
21st Aug 2010, 03:56
Now that the movie reels have arrived on the steamer from the old country, we're getting to see the first series of the remake of "The Survivors". I remember the first version from the seventies and am both pleased and disappointed that the new offering seems to remain fairly true to the original (apart from the obvious adjustments to suit the modern demographic, of course :p).

But it got me to thinking; how close would it be to the truth? The veneer of civilisation is painted very thinly over the needs of human survival, and with most of it gone, it strikes me that very worst of human nature would come to the fore very quickly. Murder, rape, theft, slavery, etc, along of course with the very best, co-operation, fellowship, sacrifice, and so on.

Obviously, for the survivors of any calamity which wiped out 98 or 99% of humanity, the first few years would be easier in some ways and harder in others; an abundance of food, fuel, alcohol, drugs etc, tempered of course by a lack of any medical or infrastructural systems.

But after those first few years - two to five maybe - what then? When the canned and dried food is gone or perished, when the fuel is used up or contaminated with water, when the painkillers and antibiotics have run out or gone off, when the survivors find themselves without vehicles or generators or morphine or water purification tablets....what happens? How would you survive, and what sort of world and society would you make and leave for your children and theirs?

I mean I can hunt animals, but once the ammunition is gone, that's going to be a lot more difficult. I can skin and gut and butcher, though I'm not particularly good at any of those things, and although I know how to cure a hide without modern chemicals in a theoretical sense, I've never done so.
I can grow vegetables, not so well as Senior, from whom I never learned as much as I should, but well enough to survive; but when the metal tools are worn away, what do I work the land with?
I have used a forge, once, a long time ago, but although I once learned about the process of iron smelting - in a classroom, at that - I have absolutely no idea how one recognises iron ore, and as for mining coal and limestone, well, I'm lost. I have done some blasting in limestone quarries, but how do we make explosives out of base materials once existing supplies are used up?

I know a bit of first aid, but only a bit, and most of that depends on having certain modern medical supplies on hand.

What do the survivors do when someone has toothache, or a broken leg, or a difficult childbirth? How about an accident or a fire? When the last of the batteries have gone flat, how do they make light?

Personally I think modern society has become so distanced and so divorced from the basics of survival that humanity would devolve back to the stone age by the end of the third generation, if not sooner.

Thoughts?

Gentleman Jim
21st Aug 2010, 04:30
But you have knowledge. Even a little bit on many subjects, and that gives you a 5000 years start on the Stone Age People. The 'third generation', should still be being taught all the knowledge you have, and whilst you may not be able to farm very well, within 10 years you would likely be pretty good. You know how to purify water. You know the basics, the crude basics of how to generate some form of electrical current. It would not be too long before you became a dab hand with a bow and arrow, or succeeded in designing some really good animal traps based on those you have seen in the movies or documentaries. You may feel now that compared to the world around your knowledge base is small, but in the situation you describe, the basic ideas and skills you have would see you a long way. The one thing you would have to help you quickly master the skills that you know you would need would be time. Lots of it, as there would be no 'work', just the need for food, shelter, warmth and clothing. The people whose skill sets are currently helping the world progress may be in trouble. The young computer geek who builds amazing programs or websites or designs computer based communication tools may find the need for his skill sets lacking somewhat in the aftermath of any global holocaust.

Hell most on here have enough knowledge to start flying again even if it is in un-powered situations. Compared to any Stone Agers out there, your knowledge would have you the equivalent of Imhotep, Archimedes or leonardo. It would just be tough and physical that's all.

Gainesy
21st Aug 2010, 11:48
The modern remake has far fewer episodes, but seeing as they're crap compared to the original series, this is not a bad thing.

SASless
21st Aug 2010, 22:45
We are scavengers first...gatherers second....and hunters third.....if enough of us survive long enough to be able to have excesses of sustinence...we begin the cycle all over again. Hopefully the next bunch will get it right.

If not....Earth becomes one tremendous wildlife refuge.