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#1 2023-01-12 13:17:57

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,757

discuss.the-knowledge.org forum

Several years ago, Terraformer persuaded Dr. Lewis Dartnell to admit her to his forum.

With the ID of Cererean, Terraformer persuaded me to visit NewMars, and eventually James Burk solved a problem with the registration system to create an ID.

I've held off on adding Dr. Dartnell's forum to this topic, because it is not directly related to space.

However, recent posts there re-awakened the thought of adding the Knowledge forum to the topic.

There ** is ** an index level in discuss.the-knowledge.org for exploration and settlement of space as a disaster recovery option for humans.

Update 2023/02/08 ... The premise of the Knowledge Forum is that civilization has collapsed.  There is no Internet.  There is no organized anything.

Ham radio communication may persist for a while, but there will be no new equipment.

The issues Dr. Dartnell attempts to address are all related to the collapse of the civilization of human beings on Earth.

(th)

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#2 2023-01-12 13:20:30

tahanson43206
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Re: discuss.the-knowledge.org forum

The post I'd like to offer for NewMars readers is from member Dave Z of Dr. Lewis Dartnell's Knowledge forum.

In Goodnight Oppy, it looked like wind power might be a way to go, especially if you can get the tower to transform (a la transformers) into an hunkered structure during the big, planet sized blows.

Have you heard of Windbelt generators? Light, simple and scalable. Hmm... guess I could do a post, here, on that.

https://www.google.com/search?q=windbel … e&ie=UTF-8

Anyway, there's muh two bits!

This energy collection system looks vaguely familiar, so it may well have appeared in the forum previously.

The quantity of energy produced is small, but it may well be perfect for packing in a backpack and using to recharge cell phones out in the wilderness.

SearchTerm:WindChime power supply

(th)

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#3 2023-01-23 06:56:10

tahanson43206
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Posts: 12,757

Re: discuss.the-knowledge.org forum

Here is another post from member Dave Z about wood heating....

Dave Z wrote:

Low tech, highly efficient Rocket Stoves were developed by Approvecho Research Center to address the problems of open-cookfire health and deforestation issues.

The basic principles (underlying many variations and refinements) works as follows when extended by a thermal mass:

Operation_of_a_j-tube_rocket_mass_heater.gif

J-tube rocket mass heater in operation.

1. Vertically inserted wood burns sideways.
2. High temperature creates strong convective currents in the heat riser.
3. Exhaust gas exits sideways.
4. Heat exchange mass absorbs, stores, and radiates away heat.
5. Final exhaust made of Carbon Dioxide and steam)

Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_mass_heater

The advantages for post-cataclymic survivors include:

  • Reduced fuel to useful heat ratio (requires less fuel)

  • Reduced fuel depletion

  • Improved fuel renewability cycles

  • Reduced fuel effort (cutting, splitting, transport, storage)

  • Reduced fire tending

  • Reduced cooking/heating related time draw (freeing for other purposes)

  • Reduced pollution (smoke, soot)

  • Reduced health threat

Both rocket stoves and thermal mass back ends can be DIYed from natural and/or scavenged materials.

Dave Z

(th)

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#4 2023-02-02 20:10:01

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,757

Re: discuss.the-knowledge.org forum

Dave Z at the Knowledge Forum is back with an update on the concept of a "sacred book of knowledge" ... like a religious text but secular in nature...

http://discuss.the-knowledge.org/viewto … 1990#p3164

A Secularly Sacred Book plus a Human Component
by Dave Z » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:07 am

A Secularly Sacred Book

I favor a Secularly Sacred Book as the medium for The Knowledge.

(th)

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#5 2023-02-07 12:52:38

tahanson43206
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Re: discuss.the-knowledge.org forum

Dave Z of the Knowledge Forum asked for feedback on his blog about preservation of knowledge ...

http://memeplex.blogspot.com/

The opening section I looked at today is about medical care.

It seems to me that the ideas encapsulated there would fit the Mars situation as well as Earth.

(th)

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#6 2023-02-07 17:50:09

kbd512
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Re: discuss.the-knowledge.org forum

If Dave Z wants to "preserve knowledge", then since we already have so many technologies and methods to do that, perhaps a better focus would be on teaching people how to go about rapidly finding knowledge when they need it.  No matter how organized your knowledge storage system, if nobody else knows how to use it, then it's wasted effort.  There was a time when I thought internet sites, including this one, would be tailored to touchscreens, navigated using both touch and voice-activation, and more akin to drill-down data visualizations using icons or GIFs or something visual / auditory to let people know what a topic was about even if they knew little else about it.

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#7 Yesterday 07:57:58

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,757

Re: discuss.the-knowledge.org forum

For kbd512 re #6

Your feedback helps me to realize that I have failed to introduce the Knowledge Forum correctly.  I have attempted to correct my oversight by adding new text to the opening post:

Update 2023/02/08 ... The premise of the Knowledge Forum is that civilization has collapsed.  There is no Internet.  There is no organized anything.

Ham radio communication may persist for a while, but there will be no new equipment.

The issues Dr. Dartnell attempts to address are all related to the collapse of the civilization of human beings on Earth.

The work of Dave Z is related to the challenge of trying to hold onto the knowledge so painfully won by humans over thousands of years.

After the collapse of civilization, the Internet will be dead as a doornail.  Since telephone systems in the United States have been converted to digital networks, there will be no telephone communications.  There will be no manufacture of anything.  After existing equipment reaches end-of-life, that's the end of that entire technology.

The folks in the knowledge forum tend to be a door bunch.  There's not much to cheer about.

(th)

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#8 Yesterday 08:51:10

kbd512
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Re: discuss.the-knowledge.org forum

tahanson43206,

I'd say you still have to figure out how to "preserve the knowledge" using light / CD-ROMs that can be played on projectors.  There's no practical way to do it using books.  The foundational educational stuff needs to be in books or stone tablets if need be, but then you need a more efficient storage medium.  My younger brother has done research work on this problem of digital media / asset preservation, so I might ask him the next time he's available.  That means using something like M-Disc.  Those should last for a century or more.  If there's a way to use them without resorting to electronics, then they're essentially immortal, sort of like records and record players.  Those have already lasted for more than a century, which is how long it actually took to industrialize.  This entire "there will be no manufacture of anything" is silly.  There will be manufacture of something, food and water at the very least, or there will be no humanity left.

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#9 Yesterday 10:15:46

tahanson43206
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Re: discuss.the-knowledge.org forum

For kb512 re #8

You are contributing to a thought process that has been going on for a number of years.   Each insight is helpful, but some more so than others.

Regarding your closing point ... humanity rose from humble beginnings without manufacturing.

It is entirely within the realm of possibility that humanity could put itself back into the state it was before manufacturing (as we know it today) was invented.

Rocks were shaped into useful implements by artisans working by themselves.

Small water craft were fashioned by small teams using available materials and tools made of early metal, but it would be incorrect to call that process "manufacturing".

It may be difficult for humans living in the current age to imagine we might put ourselves so far back that "manufacturing" is no longer socially possible.

Your prediction that the number of humans alive on Earth would decrease, if this scenario comes to pass, seems reasonable to me, but I think it is likely that small pockets of humans will persist, well away from major population locations.

It is that small set of humanity for which Dave Z is trying to imagine techniques for passing knowledge from one generation to the next. 

It seems to me that your post #8 contains some interesting ideas that might be worth considering.

The traditional approach to this problem seems to be to make every effort to preserve such books as may survive whatever causes a major collapse.

If your idea were to be considered seriously, some means of copying the contents of books to the storage media you've described would be needed.

Nothing along those lines exists today, as far as I know.  On the ** other ** hand, there are oceans of information I ** don't ** know, and I would be happy to see information about such systems, if they exist.

(th)

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#10 Yesterday 11:52:00

kbd512
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Re: discuss.the-knowledge.org forum

tahanson43206,

Small water craft were fashioned by small teams using available materials and tools made of early metal, but it would be incorrect to call that process "manufacturing".

It's not "mass manufacturing in a purpose-built factory", if that's what you actually meant, but "artisanal manufacturing", known today as "small business", is how / why America is / was so successful, before and after the industrial revolution.

The British had the "Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield", a singular facility that produced most of their small arms during the transition to mass manufacturing in a purpose-built small arms factory that made most of the small arms during the Victorian Age, like the Martini-Henry and Magazine / Short Magazine Lee-Enfield series of rifles.  America had Colt, Winchester, Remington, Smith & Wesson, and a slew of other much smaller "factories", in addition to some government arsenals like Springfield Armory / Rock Island Arsenal / Watervliet Arsenal.  Colt made some of the first pseudo mass-manufactured machines using pseudo-interchangeable parts.  Eventually, Colt did produce firearms with interchangeable parts, and his business model was "fake it until you make it".  Eventually, his company did "make it", although IIRC Sam Colt never lived to see it.  His wife did, though, and she ran the business after he died.

America has so many examples of so many different firearms now, that "losing" the ability to make them is virtually impossible.  It's so simple that even things never originally intended to be firearms can be made into firearms from plumbing supplies, assuming all the steel and Iron piping in this world doesn't vanish overnight.  Every part of the manufacturing process has been written down and duplicated.  It's also been done by singular individuals who make everything except the base metals.  This means they actually make their own gunpowder from base chemicals, brass / steel / Aluminum cartridge casings, primers, priming compounds, bullets, sealants.  This is all pretty durable machinery with no computers or electronics or batteries involved.  Stray voltage and gunpowder don't mix well.

It may be difficult for humans living in the current age to imagine we might put ourselves so far back that "manufacturing" is no longer socially possible.

Since we were making things in large quantities for the past several thousand years, you'd probably have to take humanity back to a time before they had opposable thumbs.  Beyond that, you can't simply "wish away" all the stuff that's already been built.

If your idea were to be considered seriously, some means of copying the contents of books to the storage media you've described would be needed.

If we store enough books on CD-ROMs and burn enough copies, then no, you don't.  You can revert back to using paper until you re-establish the ability to make new computers and CD-ROM drives.  In point of fact, you can make electro-mechanical daisy wheel printers that use the data stored on the CD-ROMs to print new copies of books.  The process to turn input digital signals into printed characters using IBM Selectric typewriters has been described in quite some detail.  I have an IBM Selectric.  I also own manual typewriters.

I could modify an existing IBM typewriter to print using very simple circuitry that could be duplicated without using what you normally think of as "electronic components", if need be.  I do need Copper wiring / Iron / glass, but there's plenty of that.  It would have to run at higher voltages and it would be less efficient than a modern fully electronic printer, but it would still work.  If we had to have a hamster running on a wheel to power the contraption, then we could still do it.  And no, we wouldn't be mining our own metals to do it, because the metal to do it already exists.  Ink is finely powdered carbon mixed with water or oil, when last I checked, so I think I could even figure out that part of it, but I'll brush up on my ink knowledge later.

If your idea were to be considered seriously, some means of copying the contents of books to the storage media you've described would be needed.

Wrong.  Reversing the process isn't necessary unless everyone has a computer.  Unless all the existing machines magically vanish, then it's safe to say that we can find and even make another one.

Nothing along those lines exists today, as far as I know.  On the ** other ** hand, there are oceans of information I ** don't ** know, and I would be happy to see information about such systems, if they exist.

Systems to copy books without electronics?

Google "mimeograph machine".  IIRC, the original patents go back to 1897.  The machines our school had did not contain any electronics.  Some were hand-operated, so they weren't even electrical.  One of the great benefits of a good memory and sense of history, as well as a little bit of age, is that I remember the world before computerization.

01_mimeograph_4x3.jpg

All this make-believe is fine, and using your imagination is fun, but why not solve an actual current problem here or there?

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#11 Yesterday 13:55:40

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,757

Re: discuss.the-knowledge.org forum

For kbd512 re post #10

I've notified Dave Z you are thinking about the problem posed by Dr. Dartnell.

Your fresh approach may be helpful.  I hope so!  The problem at hand is a global economy that is totally seized up.  No electricity. No ships. No airplanes. No railroads. No automobiles (after gas supplies are exhausted). No Internet.  No automation of any kind.

Your suggestions will (hopefully) generate some interest in the (generally gloomy) prepper community.

(th)

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#12 Yesterday 16:08:54

kbd512
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Re: discuss.the-knowledge.org forum

tahanson43206,

It's a make-believe problem that doesn't exist.  Back in the real world, we have an economy, global or not, we have electricity and running water, we have cars / trucks / trains / planes galore.  We have advanced medical treatment, too.

I sincerely doubt most preppers have ever thought about mass distribution of information.  Many of those people think the Bible is the only book you need.

That said, I know how to make a radio that requires no batteries (and made several of them as a kid, which to my shock actually worked- with the caveat that it requires a really long antenna wire to function; spoiler alert, the battery powered ones are more usable if portability matters at all), so...

I did have to read a book that taught me how to do it, because there was no internet.  Somehow, we managed just fine without the internet.  It was actually a whole series of books (purchased from Radio Shack) now that I think about it, some of which contained advanced math (for a 6-year old).  Radioman A School still taught radio theory and Morse Code when I was there in 1998, but I've no idea what they teach now.

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