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TEOTWAWKI = The End Of The World As We Know It.

Today, I've been thinking about the term and about what it means. First, on a technical note, the world is always changing in some way: Someone or some country is getting richer or poorer each second, we're all growing older, the planet is changing, different people are dying and being born, etc. So "the world as we know it" is always "ending" and being replaced by something new. TEOTWAWKI happens every day, every second.

Of course, I know everyone is going to say: "Yeah, but that's not what we mean when we say it." But what exactly do we mean? What real-world events count as "TEOTWAWKI" and which do not?

I think we would all agree that certain scenarios involving a permanent, very negative, and major change to the daily lives of the vast majority of humans would count as TEOTWAWKI. This includes:
-Earthly life is eradicated or nearly eradicated by a celestial event, like a gamma ray burst or large meteoroid hitting the planet.
-Runaway climate change makes the planet uninhabitable or nearly so to humans.
-All-out nuclear war kills billions and causes crippling ecological and economic damage.
-Intelligent machines kill off or enslave the human race.
-Aliens kill off or enslave the human race.
-An extremely oppressive and cruel human government takes over the planet, destroying democracy forever.
-Profound economic collapse leaves the vast majority of people poor by our standards, with no hope of recovery.
-A disease wipes out much of the human race and forces disruptive, expensive lifestyle changes upon the survivors in order to stay healthy (think Twelve Monkeys).

But what about other disasters that, while major, won't significantly alter the daily lives of most humans for the worse?

For instance, let's say al Qaeda simultaneously detonates nukes in NYC, DC and LA. TEOTWAWKI, right? Well, how big of a deal is it if you're living in a suburb of Minneapolis, or out on a farm in Arkansas, or outside the U.S. in some other developed country? Sure, it's tragic and shocking, and the disasters are going to lead to more warfare and probably higher taxes and more inconvenience at airport security, but can it really be said that TEOTWAWKI happened for you, or for the vast majority of humans?

So my first question is, at what scale must a disaster be in order to qualify as TEOTWAWKI?

Now, let's examine another scenario. Say a deadly global pandemic hits this winter. Millions across the world die in the first month and scientists aren't sure if they can find a cure. Hysteria grips much of the population. Schools, workplaces and businesses shut down to slow the spread. People avoid public gatherings and take to wearing protective gear. Rates of violence and suicide increase. Some take the pandemic to be a sign of the End.

However, after about a year, a cure is found. The Obama administration is praised for its highly efficient development and distribution of the vaccine at designated sites across the world. In the end, tens of millions of people are dead, and hundreds of billions of dollars in expenses are incurred, but the world picks up the pieces and carries on. After all, 99.5% of humanity survived, and 90% of global GDP was unaffected. Within a few years, the world is back to normal.

My second question is this: During that year in which the disease was spreading with little hope for a cure and society was falling apart, could it be said that TEOTWAWKI had happened? Or can a state of TEOTWAWKI only be declared if it is absolutely certain that the negative state of affairs will be permanent?

With these questions in mind, which of these disasters count as TEOTWAWKI and which don't?
-Limited nuclear war (other 80% of the country is fine)
-U.S. losing a conventional war to another country on overseas battlefield
-Gradual loss of U.S. global influence and leadership
-Peak Oil
-Temporary period of major civil unrest and/or loss of freedom in the U.S. followed by a restoration of previous ways.
-Frying of most electronics, communications and power grids thanks to EMP or solar flare--damage isn't fully repaired for years
-Steady economic decline leads to Depression-era unemployment and lots of people working [email protected] jobs. Many people still have decent jobs, however.
-Sudden economic crash produces a couple years of misery followed by a recovery.
-Major race/ethnic/political rioting occurs across the U.S., blanketing large areas in lawlessness for days or weeks before authorities regain control.

I hope this is something interesting for everyone to think about.
 

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ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒ&
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EMP, yellowstone eruption, massive meteor impact, coronal mass ejection, wide spread nuclear war, running out of oil, global economic collapse causing overnight cessation of government services, another ice age, zombie plague, global plague on a scale as large or larger than the Black Death, displacement of the earth's crust. That kind of stuff.
 

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EMP, yellowstone eruption, massive meteor impact, coronal mass ejection, wide spread nuclear war, running out of oil, global economic collapse causing overnight cessation of government services, another ice age, zombie plague, global plague on a scale as large or larger than the Black Death, displacement of the earth's crust. That kind of stuff.
What he said.
 

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It is what it is
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TEOTWAWKI represents the removal of the thin veneer of society and civil cohesion that we expect to have available when we wake each morning.

Example attributes would be famine, isolation, no central government, no currency, and individual focus on survival activities.

These are survivable and even thrivable scenarios, and I think are the primary focus of discussion topics on boards like this one.

This is different than a ELE (Extinction Level Event) that movies such as The Road, 2012 and Knowing present. Pretty much you are SOL in this cases.
 

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I am Defendor
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If we were to lose our major shipping ports LA, SF, NY, CH, etc. especially all at once life as we know it would end.
People in the rural areas that don't spend any time in the large cities think that the city is somehow barriered off and unnneeded. Well In the LA basin we have more train tack than most single european countries, we also have all those train tracks connected to one of the largest shipping ports in the world. All that stuff everyone loves to buy at the department store marked made in china is funneled through places like LA. The produce you eat in the winter time that comes from Chile and other places below the Equator comes thru LA. Gasoline, oil, concrete, asphault, plastic, steel, raw material in general all comes from these large unneeded cities.
Losing one of them would be a big hit the this country but all of them at once would put the rest of the country back into the stone age.
Think of all the products we no longer make in this country, and think of where they come from.
 

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If we were to lose our major shipping ports LA, SF, NY, CH, etc. especially all at once life as we know it would end.
People in the rural areas that don't spend any time in the large cities think that the city is somehow barriered off and unnneeded. Well In the LA basin we have more train tack than most single european countries, we also have all those train tracks connected to one of the largest shipping ports in the world. All that stuff everyone loves to buy at the department store marked made in china is funneled through places like LA. The produce you eat in the winter time that comes from Chile and other places below the Equator comes thru LA. Gasoline, oil, concrete, asphault, plastic, steel, raw material in general all comes from these large unneeded cities.
Losing one of them would be a big hit the this country but all of them at once would put the rest of the country back into the stone age.
Think of all the products we no longer make in this country, and think of where they come from.
Losing one of the uneeded cities would sure put the hurt on the other uneeded cities, alright. Those rural folks who are not dependant on all that stuff might not even notice unless they were watching the news.

I'm a city dweller myself. I don't want to see the cities destroyed entirely. Just depopulated about 90%. If that happened, we wouldn't be so dependant on other countries to feed us and send us oil in the first place.
 

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I am Defendor
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I lived in the country, one thing you need is propane or skell gas. using wood sounds good, and if you live or if there is a part of the country with enough forest to sustain the population even in the rural areas outside of alaska is debatable.
Plus without electricity you are pretty much sunk. Your well uses an electric pump, there are probably some people that still have an old hand pump but don't forget also the water table is much lower now.
In the country if you well doesn't work you can melt snow, drill the pond to get some water.
This all sounds good until it is -20 and the power is out and you need water.
The conviences don't work without electricity, so forced air heat is gone. the stove might work on just gas but once you use up all your gas and gasoline in the generator you are sunk.
The last time I looked all these major ports is where Petrolium is processed so unless you can distill petrolium you need one of the big cities to do it for you.

Without the big cities you would literlally find yourself fairly quick living in the 1800's.
If you think you want to try it go ahead. I have been through several blizzards growing up in Illinios in the country and it is not as pleasant as many people think.
 

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1209
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The day we automatically reach for a light switch or water faucet, catch ourselves - glad no one was there to see, and start adding up how long it's been since either worked it will be a clue. The time we will be counting up from - "the die-off/war/event/invasion/global shift/whatever" - that thing will have been the end of the world as we know it.

Then we light a candle or a clay lamp, and pour some well water out of a bottle or jug, wash our faces, and go wake up the fire from last night's coals to make some breakfast.
 

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I am Defendor
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I don't count only major events because a bunch of small events in the wrong order can be just as bad, maybe even worse. Mostly every one reacts when something major happens, but when you get little ones they don't. Then before they know it they are stew. The old boiling a frog idea.
It's true, if you look at many of the most civilization ending "Events" it was not one big event it is several small ones.
The other thing is a large event tends to be isolated, only a few have irraticated everything.
 

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TEOTWAWKI represents the removal of the thin veneer of society and civil cohesion that we expect to have available when we wake each morning.

Example attributes would be famine, isolation, no central government, no currency, and individual focus on survival activities.

These are survivable and even thrivable scenarios, and I think are the primary focus of discussion topics on boards like this one.

This is different than a ELE (Extinction Level Event) that movies such as The Road, 2012 and Knowing present. Pretty much you are SOL in this cases.
Each of us has our own idea of what it means to us.

For me, it is a complete break down of social civil order with no hope of recovery in the short term (say 10 or so years).

We (as a social order) can survive losing a few cities to a bombs
We can survive massive earth quakes
We can survive a comet stike (unless it is huge)

What we can not survive is a fall of the economic montary system.

What we can not survive is a continued flow of the same type of people being send to represent us in congress.

later
wayne
 

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I am Defendor
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Each of us has our own idea of what it means to us.

For me, it is a complete break down of social civil order with no hope of recovery in the short term (say 10 or so years).

We (as a social order) can survive losing a few cities to a bombs
We can survive massive earth quakes
We can survive a comet stike (unless it is huge)

What we can not survive is a fall of the economic montary system.

What we can not survive is a continued flow of the same type of people being send to represent us in congress.

later
wayne
You have a coupe of good points.
We can survive a single hit of any of the above, but long term chronic entropy we may not survive
 

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I am Defendor
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Palin for president is one of my nightmares! If countries break down to Somalia like! Its trouble!
Why is she running for president in Norway?
I am confused why would our choice of president be any of your concern?
We don't care about what communist chairmen your communist leaders pick to be chairman or what ever he's called.

I am not a great fan of Sarah but she could not do worse than Obama.
 
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