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Specialization versus comprehensive preparation TheTexasHammer Disaster Preparedness General Discussion 14 01-07-2011 08:21 PM

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Old 05-16-2015, 10:54 PM
LindaLou LindaLou is offline
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No theories here, just what happened with my "group."

Some years ago, 2 family members and I decided to start prepping food, water, fuel. Each of us chose which topic interested us most. The idea agreed upon was that we would do research on our particular topic and present the information to the other two. (We were each prepping in our own homes).

Well, I researched my topic to the best of my ability at that time but the other two group members didn't do diddly squat with their chosen topics. But, they tried to soft soap me into doing their research: "Oh, you did such a good job that we think you should do all the research."

On the down side, like the Little Red Hen, I had to do all the research such as I could at the time. And, like Little Red Hen, I did not share the fruits of my efforts with those who put forth no effort of their own,

On the up side, I learned a lot about the character of the family members I had thought were really interested in being part of a team.

So, a little while later I was transferred and now keep my preps private.

I wish that the team approach to learning prep topics had worked out.
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:14 PM
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It would appear that we all kind of actually agree on this. A person should have at least a basic understanding of as much as humanly possible, but for a group to be effective it's best if each individual has one thing they're exceptional at.
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:05 AM
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I also suspect that LindaLou's experience is not unique.

Putting together any sort of group, (even a band,) eventually exposes members to small group politics, differing levels of commitment, lives getting busy and changes occurring in terms of both relationships and locations, etc.

The military deals with these issues using coercion. The military does not care if your level of commitment dwindles, or if your attitude sucks, or if some change in your life occurs. They'll give you a chit to talk to the Chaplain and tell you to show up for work or they'll throw you in jail and take away your rank and pay.

The problem with most groups is there is no mechanism to maintain group cohesion or enforce expectations, so things inevitably fall apart.

It's one major reason I've avoided groups - despite the fact that groups are the most efficient and effective modes for communal survival.

There are many stories on this forum very similar to LindaLou's.....
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Old 05-17-2015, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaLou View Post
No theories here, just what happened with my "group."

Some years ago, 2 family members and I decided to start prepping food, water, fuel. Each of us chose which topic interested us most. The idea agreed upon was that we would do research on our particular topic and present the information to the other two. (We were each prepping in our own homes).

Well, I researched my topic to the best of my ability at that time but the other two group members didn't do diddly squat with their chosen topics. But, they tried to soft soap me into doing their research: "Oh, you did such a good job that we think you should do all the research."

On the down side, like the Little Red Hen, I had to do all the research such as I could at the time. And, like Little Red Hen, I did not share the fruits of my efforts with those who put forth no effort of their own,

On the up side, I learned a lot about the character of the family members I had thought were really interested in being part of a team.

So, a little while later I was transferred and now keep my preps private.

I wish that the team approach to learning prep topics had worked out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grotius View Post
I also suspect that LindaLou's experience is not unique.

Putting together any sort of group, (even a band,) eventually exposes members to small group politics, differing levels of commitment, lives getting busy and changes occurring in terms of both relationships and locations, etc.

The military deals with these issues using coercion. The military does not care if your level of commitment dwindles, or if your attitude sucks, or if some change in your life occurs. They'll give you a chit to talk to the Chaplain and tell you to show up for work or they'll throw you in jail and take away your rank and pay.

The problem with most groups is there is no mechanism to maintain group cohesion or enforce expectations, so things inevitably fall apart.

It's one major reason I've avoided groups - despite the fact that groups are the most efficient and effective modes for communal survival.

There are many stories on this forum very similar to LindaLou's.....
Lindalou's experience is not unusual. In fact, it's common place. However, Grotius just named the key to it. "no mechanism to maintain group cohesion or enforce expectations".
But this statement is not true "so things inevitably fall apart". Not every time, though it is likely without the group cohesion part.

There are a few people on these boards that I've spoken to that are aware of how our group is formed up. It's worked for us, and still continues to work.

The short off it is, investing in each other is required. When a new member was brought on board, The group as a whole invested in that member. Education, a move if necessary, property improvements, training, and other things. This after they were properly vetted.
Goals are important as well. if there is no common goal, one or the other person will insert one that won't likely be accepted by all. That's a death nail for group cohesion. Without that common goal, a group is doomed.
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Old 05-17-2015, 11:37 AM
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I joined a community garden several months back and like LindaLou, it is not working out. Most of the people at the garden have only been gardening for a couple years tops and are all into the latest fad they see online. I have tried most of these fads over the years and I can give an honest evaluation from experience in local conditions, but no one wants to listen to an old man that has been gardening for almost 40 years, what could I possible know?

The last straw was yesterday, they had a "work day" at the garden which I couldn't go to because of a BD party and when asked what each person had gotten done at the garden, someone was proud that she pulled up MY peas and planted green beans.

The sad thing is, the peas were still producing for probably another month and even then I was going to plant cucumbers and let the peas shade them while any peas left on the vines dried for seed for next year. AHRGGG.
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:54 PM
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A thought occurred to me. There are so many possible threats out there, that seem to require in depth research and special educational background, that no 1 human could possibly hope to gain enough background knowledge to wade through all of the conflicting reports and arrive at true knowledge of the subject matter. Whether we are talking about EMPs, aliens, Sandy Hook, Chem trails, GMOs, diseases, vaccines, weapons, bee colony collapse, spying, plots to control world finances, disarm citizens, take over the world, etc... the list is daunting to say the least. (Just the list is probable a page or more long.

And in the rare instance of someone actually getting it all figured out in a particular area, they can't hope to convince enough others of the pure truth that they have finally arrived at, to benefit society.

The vast majority of people do not have the educational background and the thousands of hours needed to fully research any of these kind of topics. (or perhaps even have access to the information which may be withheld from public access).

Government divides itself into specialties, and (when functioning for the overall good of those it represents), appoints people with the right education and experience to dedicate their lives to the understanding and policy making for each of the many areas that impact our lives.

Given the considerable size of the membership here, perhaps certain individuals with reasonable backgrounds for each area of investigation, could voluntarily be arranged in a similar manner and take the responsibility for informing the board of the truth in their area of expertise and concentration, as best they can determine. The basis involving a considerable amount of trust. I see that already seems to happen naturally anyway in certain topic areas. usually 2 to 4 people with obvious stand-out backgrounds on a topic tend to emerge and be recognized as such

I don't know if anyone has the kind of time to commit, but just throwing it out as an idea. I know that people with doctorate degrees in Physics, biology, medicine, engineering, economics etc are already probably working at 110% for their chosen vocation (and being well paid to do so). But trying to make sense of all of these areas of discussion as a single individual is just a recipe for burn-out. A noble but impossible quest.

And when attempts at sharing bits of knowledge happen spontaneously, often result in a heated debate between someone who has figured out some truth and someone else who wishes to prevent others from knowing that truth, or simply has a different and less informed opinion. leaving the masses almost as uninformed as when they started. (Assuming there is an actual right answer and correct understanding. Usually there is a truth. And knowing that truth is important. Everyone knowing that truth. Not just the 1 person that arrived at it.

If nothing else, typing this post has made me appreciate the importance of trust in our government. Somehow, government needs to re-earn that trust and the people need to give that trust and verify that that trust has been properly placed, much as Reagan said.
It is true that no one person can be the leading expert on everything at the same time. It's like we tell our children: "You can grow up to be anything you want to be," as opposed to "You can grow up to be everything you want to be.

There are, however, some ways of dealing with the growing need for specialization:

1) Stay out of the city. I can build a house from scratch in the country with no collaboration from anyone. I can build one in the suburbs after knocking heads with the building inspectors and such. But in the city? Holy hopping snot, Batman, you'd be crazy to try to satisfy all by yourself every code and ordinance and regulation and setback, specifically because the city's rules are a result of the natural complexification of stacking millions of people on top of each other and devising Rube Goldberg-like devices to handle issues which, in the country, resolve themselves.

2) Learn the basics. The basic laws of physics, chemistry, biology, finance, human nature, etc., are immutable. If you learn them, then you will be able to give a "test of reasonableness" to whatever you are told. It will allow you to spot scams, incompetence, and ignorance in our ever-complexifying world. If you have to rely on others, you might as well be able to discern who to rely on.

3) Most stuff can be figured out. It may take time, but if you have the time, it may do, in lieu of expertise.

4) Most complex things are not truly necessary. Between alternatives, and going without, you might not actually need a specialist to solve a problem. For example: human waste sanitation. Maybe you don't have the background and reference material to engineer a septic system to modern standards, but if you have the expertise necessary to top and surround a cess pile with deciduous ramial chipped wood debris to institute a mycoremediation system, the need for a specialist in modern septic syctems is eliminated.
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:00 PM
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Speaking of specialization, my grade school teachers agreed that I was "special." Does that count?
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Old 05-17-2015, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Grotius View Post
I also suspect that LindaLou's experience is not unique.

Putting together any sort of group, (even a band,) eventually exposes members to small group politics, differing levels of commitment, lives getting busy and changes occurring in terms of both relationships and locations, etc.

The military deals with these issues using coercion. The military does not care if your level of commitment dwindles, or if your attitude sucks, or if some change in your life occurs. They'll give you a chit to talk to the Chaplain and tell you to show up for work or they'll throw you in jail and take away your rank and pay.

The problem with most groups is there is no mechanism to maintain group cohesion or enforce expectations, so things inevitably fall apart.

It's one major reason I've avoided groups - despite the fact that groups are the most efficient and effective modes for communal survival.

There are many stories on this forum very similar to LindaLou's.....
I've actually managed to avoid this pitfall. The trick is family isn't usually the best people to work with, because they're obligated to care about you, they don't neccessarily like you or even want to be around you. My group is made of my closest friends, people who've chosen to be in my life fro more than a decade and have always had my back. We share interests, philosophical, and world views. It seems to work and everyone wants to do their part.
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