You Might Just Be A Downsider

What is a downsider?

If you think about emergency preparedness even though there is no emergency, you just might be a downsider. If you think it’s rather uncivilized to be rolling around in a luxury sedan while the country is in recession, you just might be a downsider.  If you don’t trust  Iran with nuclear weapons. If you think public bailouts of private failures are a bad idea. If you are on the lookout for Black Swans, you just might be a downsider. If you have solar panels on your house. If you have fresh water stored in your garage. If you own a gasoline powered generator. If you have no fond memories of inflation, you just might be a downsider. If FEMA’s performance after Katrina made you distrustful. If you’d rather learn CPR than wait for help to come. If you have ever been a floor warden at your place of business, you just might be a downsider. If you don’t trust McDonald’s to cook for you. If it bothers you that you can’t fix things that break. If you like watching the Discovery Channel. If you don’t want to be an addict to modern convenience,  you just might be a downsider.

Downsiders are not paranoid. Downsiders simply refuse to be bewildered, helpless or clueless. Downsiders are not excited about the downside, they just want to be cleareyed if such things happen. Downsiders are not hedging against  civilization to cash in on misery. Downsiders are not obsessed with zombies, the Mayan Calendar or the Book of Revelations. Downsiders are not Eloi or Morlocks, but we want to know what the future holds.  Downsiders are interested in being civil under all conditions, of keeping their heads when all about them are losing theirs. Downsiders have intellectual insurance. Downsiders are about figuring out how to live indifferent to fashion. Downsiders are about maintaing personal integrity tested in the worst of times. Downsiders are the enemy of panic.

Come along with us. Explore the potential of life, not completely off the grid, but on the grid that malfunctions.

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19 thoughts on “You Might Just Be A Downsider

  1. M. Report

    Definitely a Downsider here; Acquired the attitude reading science fiction, which has
    a long strong streak of that viewpoint. Probably the best example is Niven and
    Pournelle’s ‘The Mote in God’s Eye’ which provides a blueprint for bulletproofing
    our society against the cycles of history, including the downer coming at us now.

    Reply
      1. Andrew Diseker

        I’d have to strongly recommend “Lucifer’s Hammer” by Niven and Pournelle as well, for how to deal with catastrophic natural disaster. Not that the comet coming close next year has anything to do with it, but the echoes can make your neck hairs stand up a bit. I’d call it a nice “downsider” novel.

  2. Pingback: “You Might Just Be A Downsider” – Yeah, that sounds sorta like me… heh. | Wizwow's World

  3. Wilbur Post

    A downsider might be a person that says “It’s better to have something and not need it than to need something and not have it.” I know I’ve said that at least once.

    Reply
  4. harryschell

    Oh, yah, I am in. Great way to describe the thought process and viewpoint. Sort of like being in the “yellow zone” of alertness all the time, occasionally flickering in and out of “orange”.

    Reply
    1. arleigh

      Taken to the extreme one might assume that an up sider would be the one taking the spare tire out of the car to give it better gas milage.
      And only putting enough gas in the car to deal with the trip at hand saving money.
      Real life is not about being stupid , it is about counting the cost, doing better making a positive differnce.
      Some one that takes the initiative to prepare is intelligent, using forethought anticipating the unexpected ,hoping not to have to use it but confident they will survive ,unlike the empty headed assuming the world owes them rescue, never learning always blaming not taking responsibility for their own existance.

      Reply
  5. Maxamillian

    I like your term “intellectual insurance”. I’ve learned over the years you’ll only use half of everything you ever learn. The problem is you’ll never know which half you’ll need.

    Reply
    1. mdcbowen Post author

      You’re absolutely right. That’s why I’m convinced that a ‘doomstead’ is the wrong approach. Instead we have to figure out how to be social and leverage our numbers with a minimum of panic and paranoia. I think too many folks believe that we’ll go straight to zombies or at least violent crime. But maybe the only difference between a looter and yourself is the go bag scenario you’ve come up with. You never know what people know.

      Reply
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    1. Nakajima Kikka

      You can’t “be prepared” for everything, though. As the old American saying goes: “If you set out to commit the perfect crime, there are 50 ways you can screw it up. If you think of 25 of them, you’re a genius…and you ain’t no genius.”

      Keeping that in mind, what should you prepare for?

      Reply
      1. dishonorablejapes

        I agree. I use the phrase “I’m smart enough to know I ain’t smart enough.”

        Be prepared wasn’t meant as a catch-all, but it is a decent credo to use in approaching whatever situation you can reasonably anticipate.

        Personally, I have a portable power source, clean water, food, ability to procure more, things of bartering value, security, shelter, etc. Health necessities, portable and permenant shelter.

        Paying attention to our vulnerability to disruption in regards to the power grid and clean water is an important one. Food is the next, and security the third. I’m in a massive metropolitan area (Over 12 million souls in a 70 mile radius at peak) and I’m not comfortable with that at all, but with the economic realities we have I’m converting “money” into physical goods of use as fast as I can.

        If I had the option I’d move to Idaho.

        You’ll never have everything you need, as you rightly stated, but it’s possible to hedge a little against catastrophe by living simply or gearing up in advance. Heck, some paracord and the knowledge of how you can use it can get you a long way as long as you’re willing to live simply.

        How about you? What do you think we can prepare for, or even how? (I’m one of those souls that loves others input.)

  8. Pingback: The Downside | Smart Suburban Survival

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