Episode 5 – Bylaws

I haven’t commented on the last couple of episodes because I didn’t see anything that applied to preparedness or survivalism. The last couple of episodes mostly had drama themes.

One of the characters in this episode used the phrase “Frontier Justice.” I guess that’s harsher than the way we do it in our modern, civilised system with brutal murderers being able to lay on a table in an air conditioned room and fall asleep.

Let’s say this economic time bomb we’re dealing with goes off tomorrow and we begin a full power descent into chaos with food riots, looting, civil unrest on an uprecedented scale. Think Rodney King to the nth power. Small sub-communities should form made up of a couple, maybe three neighborhoods. Security would be mainly an amped up version of Neighborhood Watch.

How do you handle justice in this situation? The community might be forced to banish someone or execute them. These are not easy decisions. They should tear at your gut. And the community is diminished by having to make them.

Pray for wisdom, because you’ll need it.

Terra Nova – Episode 2 Instinct

Terra-Nova-TV-Series-2 300The colonists have started survival training but they’re not going far enough with it. These are sheeple from our future who’ve been transported to the dinosaurs. They’re still relying on stuff…gadgets…tech. In survival training we need to understand fire, not just the fact that we need fire or that it can save our lives but that it’s sacred and alive. We need to know that it can both sustain life and end it.

I’d have felt better had I seen the characters using a bow or hand drill. The fact that their training begins with some sort of electronic lighters tells me that they’re still counting on having their stuff with them to get them through whatever. We have to understand that we may find ourselves having to survive with nothing but whatever we can find around us. We might not have a knife or rope and may have to make both of those. Survival might require breaking off branches and being lucky enough to find one straight enough to create a hand drill. Thoughts like “I wish I had this or that” are not going to be helpful. Stone-age thinking is what needs to be at the forefront. All our modern culture is little more than layers piled atop that of our lithic ancestors. What if something causes those layers to dissolve?

To consider the layering, for fire we have to have friction, something to ignite and something to burn. Then we start fashioning the tools to give us the heat and finding stuff to ignite and burn. As we evolve this process we start to pre-cut things to keep on hand. Later we come up with fancy things like butane lighters and bricks made of sawdust and wax which again we have to keep on hand. So at the end we’re relying on stuff and systems of support to provide for our lives and the survivalist gets ridiculed for always asking, what if those things suddenly aren’t there?

I hope the show includes more scenes of survival training. We’ll have to see.

Terra Nova – Episode 1 Genesis

Terra-Nova 300I finally got around to watching the pilot. Well done. I’m hooked. I really like the fact that they cast Stephen Lang who played the Colonel Quaritch in Avatar. I guess this is a chance for the tough guy in charge character to redeem himself a bit. I was skeptical at first because this seemed like a SyFy channel Original about a space colony landing on a Jurassic Park planet. Maybe it is to some extent. But I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt for the first few seasons until the perpetual chase gets tiresome.

The type of survival depicted in this series differs quite a bit from Falling Skies. Instead of a decimated present we’ve got people going back to a time millions of years before humans to make a fresh start. They didn’t spend a lot of time dissecting all the environmental issues that made their present-day Earth the horror shown in this episode. So we go through the portal and land amongst some very hungry dinosaurs. The colony is setup in stages and all the necessary tech goes to the new time. The people I’ve observed so far are as dependent on their technology as we are today. Granted there appear to be a few Canterbury/Grills/Lundin/Stroud types around but very few. Most people are relying on systems of support from the hospital to everything else. I’m not sure how they’re getting their food yet other than raising animals they brought with them and cultivating crops. I didn’t see any loads of stuff coming through and since people can’t go back I have to wonder if they have a way of communicating any needs to the future.

There are some nice backpacks and other gear. I’ll have to try and identify the brands. I want to see more of a balance between self-reliance and tech. If there is no steady stream of parts and supplies, how are they going to repair equipment? This is a village. There might be a way to set up a wafer fab to produce chips to replace stuff that wears out but that seems a bit anachronistic. We’d have to see what future generations come up with as far as technology goes.

This theme has been played before in science fiction. There was planet Sarpeidon in the 1969 Original Star Trek episode “All Our Yesterdays,” where the sun was going supernova so the inhabitants migrated to the past. There was no colony in that story. The people used a library to choose periods of history in which to live out their lives and they had to be converted by a central computer to be compatible with those times. I don’t believe this series will be pulling any ideas from this Trek episode. It looks more like how an Earth colony on some far flung world would run.

The only incompatibilities between colonists and their environment I see are people who are from our paradigm of else-reliance instead of that of our ancestors which was based on self-reliance. We’ve seen just from the natural disasters that we encounter that under such a setup there will always be those who fail to survive. That does not mean that everyone who has had training and maintained a supply of food and tools will survive. However I believe such people have a better chance at being alive on the other side of whatever comes their way.

I just hope this series can survive the usual suspects that plague everything on the air.