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Thread by @homemadeguitars: "I'm gonna tell you a bit of war history, and tie that to some thoughts. This is more or less apropos nothing current, just one of my standin […]"

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I'm gonna tell you a bit of war history, and tie that to some thoughts. This is more or less apropos nothing current, just one of my standing concerns.
--more
2. The United States dropped more tons of bombs on North Vietnam than were dropped by all the belligerents in Europe in WWII.
We were never able to bring them to their knees.
3. North Vietnam was about the size of half of Missouri. Smaller, actually.
Do you know why we couldn't bring them to a halt?
Their culture was too primitive.
4. Everything in North Vietnam was local. The agriculture was powered by animals and human bodies.
They raised their fuel.
They grew rice, ate it, grew rice, ate it...
Everything they needed was within walking distance.
Their entire culture was *literally* bombproof.
5. This is not just Jeffie babbling. McNamara wrote about in his book. He was the Secretary of Defense. It was pretty much his war.
He thought he was smarter than these dumb hicks with these water 🐃 and these big wheeled carts.
6. In case you missed it, they kicked our asses out of their country.
North Vietnam is about the size of half of Missouri.
7. Our system is ten thousand jugglers spinning a million plates, running among each other catching the ones that slow down, and spinning them back up.
Once in a while something goes wrong.
It rains.
Or
It doesn't rain.
Major, unforeseeable catastrophes.
8. And the first thing we find out is, we can't even get the people out of the disaster. People who don't understand about traffic engineering scream WHY DIDNT WE EVACUATE?????
Um... Our systems won't handle 100% traffic.
Our systems are probably engineered for ~20% traffic.
9. You could build a bridge to the moon for the price of a transportation system that can handle 100% traffic.
Except for "feet."
Telephone systems can't handle 100% traffic.
Something goes wrong - you know, it rains, or it doesn't rain, or the wind blows - and you can't call.
10. When I worked in a telephone central office, back in the late 60s and early 70s, we had switches on the wall.
If they dropped the big one we were to pull the switch.
Everybody but cops, Dr's, and railroad men - everybody else - got their phones turned off.
Traffic.
10. Things your average American won't have access to if the balloon goes up - any of a zillion balloons, from storms to these wars all those shitheads are so anxious to start -
Americans won't have ready access to water, food, electricity, or fuel.
Neither will hospitals.
11. The way we support this system, the way we keep all these plates spinning, the way we keep this house of cards balanced on the tip of a pin a thousand feet high, is we burn fossil fuels and destroy the ecosystems that feed and water us.
This is not that smart.
12. Why is Puerto Rico still having so much trouble?
The infrastructure that supports our idiot systems is broken, and it will cost a lot to fix.
Why aren't they all dead?
Because their culture and economy is much more primitive than the mainland.
More bombproof.
13. Just as an example, Thomas Edison wanted little local DC generators on every block. Westinghouse said it would be more efficient to use AC and put everyone on a nationwide grid vastly more complex than the most wonderful spider web.
Save money. That kind of efficient.
14. If Edison had won, by now every house in the country would be covered with solar panels. With no centralized control, no centralized system, flexibility would be inherent.
It might be a little clunkier.
15. I was a phone man from the late 60s until about 2010 or so. Spent most of those years working in small businesses on their phones and computers. I was Jeff the Phone Man, and you may have one like me to this day where you work, although technology is finally eliminating us.
16. Back in the 80s - I have a time disfunction disorder so that's as close as I can get it - the stock market blew up.
I was responsible for the phone systems in a few hundred businesses in greater Kansas City.
They all called at the same time.
"We can't make LD calls."
17. That stock market meltdown essentially took the entire nation's long distance network down for about 8 or 9 hours.
Traffic.
Too many people, everywhere, trying to call their brokers.
This was in the 1980s economy.
We're a thousand times less robust today.
18. Don't even think "if."
It's "when."
If you've ever read my platform, you'll notice that it would result in a drastically different everyday environment.
You have to follow the links to the supporting essays to get a clearer picture.
And I've never laid it all out.
19. Really, my vision for a workable country is too far from where we are. We're not going there.
And people always muddle through somehow, and I'd bet we will again.
But imagine the golfer's pal Kim lobs a nuke at LA, and it lands in the desert halfway between LA and Hell.
20. Imagine a best-case scenario. It doesn't take out any major cities.
I seriously doubt if any system in the United States would run uninterrupted for the next month.
If they'd have done that to North Vietnam, it would have taken weeks for everyone to even *find out.*
21. Everybody - yes, pretty near every damn body - acts like global warming is happening on the next planet over, and it's interesting to watch...
Houston. Costa Rica. California. Flood. Fire. Hurricane.
We watch their travails as our top-heavy overly complex systems break down
22. and nobody - NOBODY - says, "OK, it didn't take much to turn *their* lives off. Maybe we oughta give this some thought."
For God's sake, we waste enough fuel running air conditioners in stationary cars in Kansas City's daily rush to have powered 1967 North Vietnam for a week.
23. I seriously propose that your average person is no happier sitting in a stationary car on the freeway for an hour than that same person would be walking fifteen minutes to work.
This whole thing is *crazy*.
24. Know any Amish people? They're not dirty peasants living in mud huts. They live in reasonable comfort. They have refrigerators and lights in their houses. They live in a society which provides all the necessary local support for simple, technologically limited, comfort.
25. I would bet that asshole on Fox with the nearly 400 houses is no happier than your average Amishman with a house, a horse, and a buggy.
What we have is an incredibly costly, destructive, wasteful, brittle, fragile system which simply surround our basic humanity.
26. We don't benefit by having to sit in a car for two hours a day to get 17 miles from home and back.
We simply don't.
We need to back off and *think*. How can we do this differently, and better?
27. There is no guarantee that planet Earth can support 7.5 billion people indefinitely. Every day the entire global ecosystem is degraded as compared to the day before. Sooner or later the lines of increasing population and decreasing ecosystem productivity will cross,
28. And there will be a mass die-off.
We still harvest food produced by the sea. If we lose it many people will starve as a direct result. Productivity is lower every day.
Farms extract resources, food, not from human ingenuity, but from the ecosystem.
Without it, no us.
29. I've been talking about this for fifty or sixty years and it ain't happened yet. But.
You cannot take resources out of a finite pool forever without running out.
I've been lucky. I've nearly reached the end of my road and it hasn't happened yet.
And my personal gene line
30. ends here.
As far as I know.
People always tell me, "You can't go back."
And I get this mental picture.
31. I get this mental image of a limousine full of highly educated, prosperous, leaders of America.
They drive down the road to a sign: Bridge Out.
They get out.
They look down into the abyss.
They look at one another.
They say, "You can't go back."
They get back in & drive off.
32. Time to go put the chickens up.
--jeff out.
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