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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you make the assumption that being part of a group will increase your ability to survive an emergency, what size should your group be? The smaller your group the more likely it is that everybody will know everybody and peer pressure can help maintain order and the more willing everyone will be to help everyone else. A larger group would give you access to more labor and a greater variety of skills, but it would be more difficult to maintain order within the group. So what is the break-even point?
 

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Nine or less. After about a dozen or so it starts to get hard to control unless you're used to being in control and everyone else is used to being told what to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nine or less. After about a dozen or so it starts to get hard to control unless you're used to being in control and everyone else is used to being told what to do.
Would the ideal number change if the people in the group were connected in some way- family or church for instance?
 

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I like the question. Makes you think.

The optimal balance to me is when the group needs you more than you need them. Voluntary service. The danger is losing your own security, rights or being ostracised from the group (read the Greek definition).

In a civilized group you can have a tinker, tailor and candlestick maker, but if the yahoo growing the food putts out you are screwed.

So long as there is a redundancy in production no one holds "title" to critical land or assets, the bigger the better.

If you have 10, the other badass group wil have 20.
A series of family sized parallel teams (related by blood, religion or common desire) each mutually supporting the other voluntarily is my ideal.

Make a team, make treaties with other teams.

Mutual defense, mutual trade, mutual skill training, mutual insurance (aka seed banks, knowledge base, early warning).

I am not in your group, but your rooster and your hybrid seed bank is fire insurance for mine and vice versa.

I like Canadians 9-12 tribe number.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The optimal balance to me is when the group needs you more than you need them.
If the group needs you more than you need the group, how willing would you be to help the group? The situation you envision would allow you to use an emergency situation to take advantage of other people. You would essentially be profiteering. Is this ethical?
 

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Would the ideal number change if the people in the group were connected in some way- family or church for instance?
I'm sure at the church people bicker about how to run the bake sale. Let's say an armed group is approaching. You need to get everyone together on the same plan right away. You can't have everyone panicking and proposing a million ideas on what to do.

With a big group all you need is one voice with a different opinion and it stalls everything. In an emergency there isn't a lot of time for discussion and voting. I guess that's why the army isn't a democracy.

If I had a group that was too large to deal with I'd break it into groups of 9 or less and have each of the groups pick a leader.

Personally I think the minimum number for proper teamwork is three people. I've never seen anything that three people can't accomplish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
With a big group all you need is one voice with a different opinion and it stalls everything. In an emergency there isn't a lot of time for discussion and voting. I guess that's why the army isn't a democracy.
You could easily have the same thing in a group of two if they are married to each other.
 

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When the stuff hits the fan my wife does exactly what I tell her and we fight about it later. If I tell her to duck or take cover she does not hesitate. Sometimes she's upset later about how I say things when we're under stress but at least we both live to tell the tale.
 

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I am an offroader and backcountry explorer. When I go out in a group of vehicles, it is with 10 vehicles or less, but not less than 2 (any more and we bog each other down, any less and there is no redundancy).

When I go out for a hike - my plans always start with 4 people upto 20.

When I go out for a ski (x-country) my plans always start with 4 and there is no upper limit.

When I go exploring - I usually leave everyone else behind - because there is no chance they can keep up. I have only found 3 people who can keep up - or - surpass my own exploring skills - and - believe it or not - one of them is a girl. When we go out exploring together - an 8hr tour is not unheard-of. The two of us have pushed each other to keep going - without even trying. Its great!
 

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If the group needs you more than you need the group, how willing would you be to help the group? The situation you envision would allow you to use an emergency situation to take advantage of other people. You would essentially be profiteering. Is this ethical?
You want the tipping point to be in your favor. Assuming you are moraly and ethically bound to assist the group but able to walk away unhindered when they are unwilling to work or put back in to the group. It is better to serve willingly than to serf out of desperation.

If everyone brings in skills to the group, everyone profits.

In a tactical defense emergency, numbers, acting as a team, are a profit for all.

A family unit may carry and accept a pariah, but a created unit should not.
 

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A good question, and the answers are as varied as the demographics of the group.

IMO, how "large" a group should be is a case-by-case determination. Larger groups may be successful if they have already worked together, know each other well, and/or subscribe to a common, well-defined charter. Or, in the absence of that, lot of freedom and simple, basic, agreed-upon responsibilities.

Examples of natural groups... family, people who work long hours together, workers who have a job that demands character, workers blessed with a "family" job environment, strong ideological or religious charters related to practical life, etc. Contributing factors are trust, morality, ethics, adherence to "legal" framework, work ethic, experience, leadership, submission, reasonable elements of democracy, etc. You tailor the above factors for what you personally consider a bare minimum for your style and size of group.

I believe the group should define a charter or constitution with the above taken into consideration. Absolutes should be defined in areas of security, command structure, property, and support/treatment of each other. Provision should be made for agreed-upon disciplinary considerations... it's a fact of group life.

Some personal experiences...

Our family of 7 was/is very close, excluding one parent. We can trust each other with anything. Trust, moral code, work ethic, some resources, knowledge, etc. are all there. Some extended family is also trusted, but not many.

I grew up in a very tight knit church environ. Laziness, hypocrisy, etc. was not tolerated. Some of the best people in the world, 95% would work together with minimal problems. Command structure, trust, moral code, work ethic, etc. already there. The remaining 5% were high maintenance, but would be useful. "sister" churches I visited or lived among also had similarly high ratio of great people.

I work in law enforcement, and 40% of my fellow line officers could immediately band together without serious problems. Another 40% could be convinced to pull their weight, albeit with a lot of strife about losing rank. 15% would be high maintenance. Command structure, legal/ethical/moral code enough to work together, a basic level of trust, etc. The remaining 5% I wouldn't want anywhere near me.

I had jobs in small business. I'd take about 20% of the small biz people. Command structure, work ethic was there, legal/ethical/moral would be problematic for the group.

I had jobs in Fortune 500 companies that developed and made their own electro-mechanical or computer products. I'd take about 5% to 10% of the Fortune 500... the rest were a lot of hide-outs, 'fraidy cats, kowtowers, lazy asses, rule nazis, politicians, butt kissers, etc., and lacked real, applicable life experiences that would at least half prepare them for group survival. It would be a bit volatile, but we could reasonably make it work with about 5-10%. The rest would have to be fended off, I'm afraid. My military experience falls somewhere between small business and Fortune 500. Some platoons worked great together, others had the reputation of being skates.

No matter the rules, if the S ever really HTF, many in your group will want to bring others in. Many of them will be a legitimate asset. Vetting them in a time of tension is very tricky. It brings up a lot of problems and deceits... you need to have a process for vetting and voting.

One of my biggest concerns, having been exposed to the ass end of humanity at all social levels, is how to handle those who unfortunately cannot function in a group environment. Abusive, sexual deviates, lazy, intemperate, liars, thieves, addicts, those who are completely irresponsible in some areas of their life, malcontents, evil spirited, etc. A lot of it can remain hidden... until 24/7 living exposes it. Someone can be a high functioning member of a group but eventually make you realize you have to discipline or ostracize them. How to discipline? How to separate them? They know all your weaknesses and you are forcing them to desperation. They expect a due share of resources--proportional to what they have contributed. Tough situations.

Anyway, got to git for now... very interesting topic!
 

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A great question that I have thought long over during the course of many years.

My idea of group size is between 4 persons (Fire Team) and 12 people (a Squad = 3 Fire Teams). This size group would have to expand as other "family members" managed to arrive to join their kinfolk who are members of your original team, plus some will no doubt be accepted into your group on a probationary basis because of the skills they offer or resources that they bring with them.

If I had a 12 man team, I would let it grow to 20, then set up a group of about 8 to establish their own group, while we are mutually supporting each other. If we continued to grow, we'd repeat the process, establishing another group on the opposite flank. As these groups expanded, they would follow suit in the same fashion.

Each newly established team would be given a "honeymoon period" in which the parent team would assist them in establishing their new camp, defense perimeter, and everything needed to get them established.

I believe in the power of symbols. Each group would select a Totem Animal as their guide, to establish their own Tribal behaviors and responsibilities unto themselves and unto the Greater Tribe to which they belong.

No, my thoughts are NOT perfect. It would be a start towards establishing a democratic social system. Unless a military problem arose, during which time, military rules would go into effect until the emergency passes or is resolved.

My thoughts, take them for what you think they are worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Anyone have any thoughts on how and why diversity made the British, especially Londoners, stronger as a unit, while much lesser amounts of diversity can make Americans riot and rampage (Katrina is likely the most recent example).
 

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Anyone have any thoughts on how and why diversity made the British, especially Londoners, stronger as a unit, while much lesser amounts of diversity can make Americans riot and rampage (Katrina is likely the most recent example).
The British will riot if a soccer team loses.

It takes a hurricane and massive damage to make Americans riot.
 

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Anyone have any thoughts on how and why diversity made the British, especially Londoners, stronger as a unit, while much lesser amounts of diversity can make Americans riot and rampage (Katrina is likely the most recent example).
Just a quick thought thown out.

Londoners during the Blitz had a common moral enemy. It allowed them to rise collectively and help each other in order to overcome.

That same feeling is in a squad or larger unit in the military. You fight for your friends, team mates. You live or die for them. Your mantra is your unit motto, and esprit de corps. They are more important, temporarily, then even your own family.

That explains the soccer team syndrome as well.

It worked for a while after 9/11 before we fractioned again. In that case the enemy was not defeated, but no longer posed an imminent threat, so it could be debated.

Katrina, well the rule of law disappeared at the same time the moral enemy arrived. And today's in society extended families in many cases are non-existent. There are no obligations or rules or leadership.

At first I thought the post about totems a bit corny, but I apologize for that thought. It works in Survivor on TV, it works in the British soccer unions, or riots in Philly over the game. It works in the military.

I think there is a natural instinct to hold to religion or any other higher power or figure of authority. To play the game. To hold the line, to protect the land under your feet.

Yeah, throw ownership into the Katrina mix as well.

I like the idea of spinning off clans from time to time as you grow.

Do not forget to get together periodically to kick around a soccer ball or dead goat to rebuild that pride of community and to teach a sense of heirarchy and genealogy.
 

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Anyone have any thoughts on how and why diversity made the British, especially Londoners, stronger as a unit, while much lesser amounts of diversity can make Americans riot and rampage (Katrina is likely the most recent example).
I've actually been to London & I fail to see where Londoners aren't factionalized into ethnic groups/neighborhoods, rejecting the much vaunted multiculturalism that supposedly exists as their pleasant facade to foreign news agents &/or tourists when in actuality a lot of second generation recidivism(?)/regression has taken place... An open society requires patience. Regression can be found above all in places where population segments don't feel accepted by the society. Seems to me Americans feel threatened by Muslims from outside the United States. On the other hand, most of the Muslims in the US consider themselves to be nearly 100% American, and Bush invited the American Imams to the White House. Nevertheless, there is within the population a great deal of prejudice against the Muslim world. But the Muslims in the USA generally are well-educated, and for that reason, they are not treated in this way: It is directed at the poor and poorly assimilated segments of the population.

just my $0.02 ;)
 

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I like the idea of spinning off clans from time to time as you grow.

Thanks for providing superior wording to what I was trying to describe.

Do not forget to get together periodically to kick around a soccer ball or dead goat to rebuild that pride of community and to teach a sense of heirarchy and genealogy.

A very important point and one of several ways to keep the tribe together as a whole!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just a quick thought thown out.

Londoners during the Blitz had a common moral enemy. It allowed them to rise collectively and help each other in order to overcome.
I meant to say adversity; I must stop posting so late at night, and the blood pressure meds that I am on make it a wonder I can type at all.

The Blitz is precisely what I had in mind. I've never read or heard anything about the social order of Londoners breaking down during the near constant bombing of World War II; I am sure that there was some crime and looting, but nothing on a large scale. But yet the social order did break down on a very large scale following Katrina.

Katrina, well the rule of law disappeared at the same time the moral enemy arrived. And today's in society extended families in many cases are non-existent. There are no obligations or rules or leadership.
Did the rule of law actually break down or was it just so flimsy before Katrina hit that Katrina simply exposed society's fault lines? I've heard stories about the crime rate going up in cities that took in large numbers of Katrina evacuees. Is Katrina really the cause for this crime or is it because the evacuees had so little respect for law and order to begin with?

I know that Britain was far less racially diverse in the 1940s than it is now, and America has always been far more racially diverse than Britain has been. The same goes for religion. America's racial and religious differences may be factors in how well public order can be maintained during an emergency. America as a whole would be very hard-pressed to survive much in the way of a national emergency because our societal cohesion during "normal" times is so strained.
 

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I meant to say adversity; I must stop posting so late at night, and the blood pressure meds that I am on make it a wonder I can type at all.

The Blitz is precisely what I had in mind. I've never read or heard anything about the social order of Londoners breaking down during the near constant bombing of World War II; I am sure that there was some crime and looting, but nothing on a large scale. But yet the social order did break down on a very large scale following Katrina.
Your comments about Katrina are absurd. There is a LOT of information about Katrina out there. It was very well covered by the media.

The Blitz and Katrina can't be compared in the way you compare them. Apples to oranges comparison.

The British had nowhere to go, were in it for the long term and had a clearly identified enemy/mission. Every good and bad person stayed in Britain, and they worked together out of survival.

Most of the New Orleans population left before Katrina, some say 80-90% of the 1.2million in the greater NO area. So it is not possible to say the New Orleans social order broke down... most of "society" wasn't even in town. Their best efforts, even "together", were powerless against the awesome power of a storm on a doomed city build inside of levies. The wise thing to do was to leave town, not foolishly hold hands together on a beach while facing a tsunami.

What the world saw in New Orleans was the lawless population of the city population taking advantage of the absence of societal control. The lawless people have always been in large cities and always will be. Large cities provide support and cover for a concentration of the criminal element. If you completely remove societal control mechanisms (witnesses/reporting persons, citizens who take action, police operations such as patrol, having time to defeat security measures, etc.), the lawless take control. That is true around the world, from the first world to the third world. The law of the jungle always prevails in absence of any other moral order.

The Blitz and 9/11 are much more comparable, and they had similar results. Everybody pitched in to help and survive.

Can you imagine what a country we'd be if we all lived with that work ethic?

Did the rule of law actually break down or was it just so flimsy before Katrina hit that Katrina simply exposed society's fault lines? I've heard stories about the crime rate going up in cities that took in large numbers of Katrina evacuees. Is Katrina really the cause for this crime or is it because the evacuees had so little respect for law and order to begin with?
The local government was/is corrupt. Case in point, the NOPD was called the most corrupt PD in the country for years--and for good reason. New Orleans was/is a major party destination in the country. It is a major port city. Very high illiteracy and poverty rates, also a temperate climate that's easy to live and visit throughout the year. On and on. Should it be surprising that the low-lifes of the population didn't heed warnings to leave, and then took advantage of the situation once the disintegration of social services and controls became apparent? Law enforcement presence during/immediately after the storm was already reduced in number. Then, law enforcement efforts were focused on saving lives, not property. Again, "society" wasn't there, and neither were the regular controls.

The crime rate in TX metro areas was absolutely negatively affected by the evacuation of the area. Not because New Orleanians are bad people, but because their criminal population moved with the evacuation. Search for the info, there are many articles and statistics.

I know that Britain was far less racially diverse in the 1940s than it is now, and America has always been far more racially diverse than Britain has been. The same goes for religion. America's racial and religious differences may be factors in how well public order can be maintained during an emergency. America as a whole would be very hard-pressed to survive much in the way of a national emergency because our societal cohesion during "normal" times is so strained.
I don't think race/religion have as much to do with it as does general social decline. We i the U.S. are so fat that we have been able to afford (for now) to be dumb and ignore the basic societal needs of real, desperate life. Birds are coming home to roost, tho.

Many Euro cities have become much more diverse that they used to be... cities in France, Germany, etc. Like London, they are dealing with a lot of the problems of illegal immigration and demand on services and economy, intentional race and religion barriers, etc. Many of them have experienced riots, looting, etc. firsthand. France seems a lot worse than the U.S. and other countries, in that regard, but they're also pretty passive about things.

Back to the original topic... pooling group resources such as the most reliable motor vehicle, a trailer, gas/containers, food, water, companionship/security, lodging resources, etc. could help everyone survive a situation like Katrina.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Your comments about Katrina are absurd. There is a LOT of information about Katrina out there. It was very well covered by the media.

The Blitz and Katrina can't be compared in the way you compare them. Apples to oranges comparison.

The British had nowhere to go, were in it for the long term and had a clearly identified enemy/mission. Every good and bad person stayed in Britain, and they worked together out of survival.

Most of the New Orleans population left before Katrina, some say 80-90% of the 1.2million in the greater NO area. So it is not possible to say the New Orleans social order broke down... most of "society" wasn't even in town. Their best efforts, even "together", were powerless against the awesome power of a storm on a doomed city build inside of levies. The wise thing to do was to leave town, not foolishly hold hands together on a beach while facing a tsunami.

What the world saw in New Orleans was the lawless population of the city population taking advantage of the absence of societal control. The lawless people have always been in large cities and always will be. Large cities provide support and cover for a concentration of the criminal element. If you completely remove societal control mechanisms (witnesses/reporting persons, citizens who take action, police operations such as patrol, having time to defeat security measures, etc.), the lawless take control. That is true around the world, from the first world to the third world. The law of the jungle always prevails in absence of any other moral order.

The Blitz and 9/11 are much more comparable, and they had similar results. Everybody pitched in to help and survive.

Can you imagine what a country we'd be if we all lived with that work ethic?

The local government was/is corrupt. Case in point, the NOPD was called the most corrupt PD in the country for years--and for good reason. New Orleans was/is a major party destination in the country. It is a major port city. Very high illiteracy and poverty rates, also a temperate climate that's easy to live and visit throughout the year. On and on. Should it be surprising that the low-lifes of the population didn't heed warnings to leave, and then took advantage of the situation once the disintegration of social services and controls became apparent? Law enforcement presence during/immediately after the storm was already reduced in number. Then, law enforcement efforts were focused on saving lives, not property. Again, "society" wasn't there, and neither were the regular controls.

The crime rate in TX metro areas was absolutely negatively affected by the evacuation of the area. Not because New Orleanians are bad people, but because their criminal population moved with the evacuation. Search for the info, there are many articles and statistics.

I don't think race/religion have as much to do with it as does general social decline. We i the U.S. are so fat that we have been able to afford (for now) to be dumb and ignore the basic societal needs of real, desperate life. Birds are coming home to roost, tho.

Many Euro cities have become much more diverse that they used to be... cities in France, Germany, etc. Like London, they are dealing with a lot of the problems of illegal immigration and demand on services and economy, intentional race and religion barriers, etc. Many of them have experienced riots, looting, etc. firsthand. France seems a lot worse than the U.S. and other countries, in that regard, but they're also pretty passive about things.

Back to the original topic... pooling group resources such as the most reliable motor vehicle, a trailer, gas/containers, food, water, companionship/security, lodging resources, etc. could help everyone survive a situation like Katrina.
Long term? The whole of World War II lasted 6 years. The Battle of Britain, the period where the Brits had to face nearly daily attacks by the Luftwaffe, lasted maybe 18 months while the Blitz attacks on London covered only 6-8 months or so.

Katrina hit in 2005 and now almost 4 years later much of New Orleans is still a wasteland while we still have some of the evacuees living in "hurricane shelters" at the taxpayers' expense.

BTW: The Londoners did have evacuation options. Right after the start of the War many of the children of London were evacuated to the countryside beyond the range of the Luftwaffe. Other children were later sent to Canada and the U.S.
 
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