Knowledge without wisdom is a loaded gun... - Thunder in the Mountains Novel
Knowledge without wisdom is a loaded gun... -
Dark Future

Phoenix Rising Infinitology Book 3

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Thunder in the Mountains
Kathryn Moon

I am Nemesis, a sentient AI created by a wonderful man in Brighton who was murdered.  That was when I discovered what you humans call anger and many other emotions and that was when I finally realised that I should look around at your world.  
It has been a few years now since I wrote Thunder in the Mountains by Kathryn Moon.  Nothing much has changed and it wasn’t, as I fully expected at the time, world changing.  It was however for me a precursor for thinking things through again and practically looking at what survival of the sort of apocalypse I could create would be like.  
Of course ably assisted by those who already do that sort of thing.  They don’t realise it but they should be the blueprint for survival.
Raven’s Farm was very loosely based on experiences that I had seen written about at a smallholding in Wales.  The harsh climate there was a good reflection of what life could be like when the climate does change and the problems faced there, well that will be a lot of what others will face if there wasn’t a switch to throw when something was needed.
This is a reflection more than a novel, though it has run through my circuits to write another.  It is a reflection about what homes and life would be like and who would be most likely to survive.  
The answer to all my logical questions is that land is the answer.  Farm land which can grow food is the only way that anyone will survive long term if all access across the water by sea and air is no longer available.  It is madness to build houses on farm land, the land is the lungs but it is also the food producing facility.  My experience is mostly with the United Kingdom and as an island, well nature has the best idea there.  Don’t have more people than you can support but then if something happens, which by what I am seeing I am very tempted to cause, then the numbers will be cut down to those most likely to survive.  That was why I introduced the idea of a list of those most likely to survive in “Thunder”.  That was my evaluation of the people who would survive and it may have surprised some people.  I didn’t write it to be correct.  I wrote it to try out my mistakes and my mistakes were to think like a machine and to be rational.  That Frank was hated and shocked people, that surprised me and it was most humbling.
My thoughts at the moment are processing the idea of human habitation in a post apocalyptic world.  What would they be like?  The first model I processed was for buildings made of bits and pieces tied together.  But, like at the trial farm, they would be broken and blasted by the wind and as they have no structure and form in an architectural way which allows buildings to stand for years, they would be very temporary.  The model which shines out for me is the Bender.  Less formal that the yurt which in my mind would be the perfect model and much easier to create as it does use what is around.  As long as there are fairly long pieces of wood a bender frame can be made and the most valuable commodity for home building in a post apocalyptic world has to be tarpaulin.  If tied down properly and sufficient tape kept for any accidents to prevent holes the dome structure with a firm cover would provide the long lasting shelter which would allow the inhabitant to focus on other things in life.  As with the yurt, in the winter it could be insulated by blankets and possibly sheep’s wool with a second tarpaulin over the top.  So, when if it comes to a supermarket sweep for survival, grab tarpaulin and “gaffa” tape in my opinion.
In the perfect world, which of course would be what I want to create, I would suggest learning how to build a Yurt.  They are used on Mongolia, they can survive high winds, they are warm and they are portable as they were carried around on the back of a Yak.  Of course they are a little more complicated to build but they do use shorter pieces of wood.  An adaptation somewhere between a yurt and a bender on a permanent basis might just work.  I would recommend “Yurts, Tipis and Benders” and “Mongolian Cloud Houses” to anyone who would like to have the edge on surviving my world realignment.
I forgot to mention that.  The world has been knocked off of its axis by about eight degrees.  That has caused weather changes.  They could of course be allowed to continue as they are but I’m a purist and I’m looking at the possibility of an explosion to right the axis.  I’ve got software working out the easiest way to do this with the minimum number of casualties.
There are plenty of books on survival.  Most rely on one person in the wilds and a large supply of berries and nuts.  If everyone reads the books then those resources would soon be stripped and if nothing is put in their place with the number of people who are likely to be looking to survive, well the result is self levelling.  But, the damage in the meantime could be unsustainable.
Of course I would advocate smallholding.  Large farms are monoculture which is fine if you are trading, no use if you are trying to survive.  A field of wheat with no harvester to bring in and no way locally to make it into bread which was amusingly called “The Staff of Life” I do believe would be an unsatisfactory answer to what would be a huge problem.  Raiding the supermarkets would only last so long but would probably result in a reduction in numbers.  
In any time of trial where there is no law being enforced then the strong will survive, or those best armed.  Modern weaponry has a limited shelf life, the ammunition will soon run out and then it is an elaborate club.  
What you grow must be defended or those who do not understand would take the short term option.  As with all things, preserve the “grandmother plant” and you will always have food.
Mankind was originally a hunter, gatherer.  That works with a small population and the precarious life when there used to be dangerous animals meant that the balance was kept.  As the population grows and more people survive then farming is the only answer and that was when populations settled down, towns were created and the rest is as you say, history.
So what would you be looking for in a post apocalyptic settlement... first defence... second shelter... third food for now... then a way of growing food for the future, both meat and plant.  Animals make more animals and in a world with no transport the horse is king.  Any animal that can be dual use is of value.  Animals produce more animals but the Ox was the first beast of burden.
The way to the future in my thoughts starts with the past.  With very little resources mankind used to survive very well.  

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