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How long to rebuild after nuclear war?


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#18 Kriminal99

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 07:43 PM

Rebuild what? The missle silos?
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#19 SaxonViolence

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:17 PM

Read a Paper by a Sociologist maybe thirty years ago, where she argues that the degree of sophistication a Society can achieve is limited by the number of specialists that it can support.

If there are two societies—one with 10 000 people and the other with 100 000 people,

And they can both support one Scientist/Inventor per 5000 people, all else being equal, the larger society will have more Eureka! Moments and Useful Inventions.

If you can afford a Scientist for every 1735 people, progress can be even more rapid.

Specialists:

We can, in theory, get by without Butchers, Bakers and Candlestick Makers.

Folks in Daniel Boone days made their own.

We can't do without Farmers and Herdsmen (or Hunters and Gatherers—however primitive that you want to make it.)

As I understand it, Societies evolve from Hunter Gatherers (Level One)

To Herdsmen (Level Two A); it is a mild step-down to Horticulturalist (Level Two B )

But Horticulturists are more likely to turn the corner to become Agriculturalists (Level Three)

Agriculturalists plow with draft animals and use buckboard plows to thoroughly turn the soil over. Consequently they begin to have large enough surpluses to support a "Leisure Class"—some of whom dabble in Science and create things like Distillation, Pasteurization, Calculus, Fulminate of Mercury (for early Primers) and other neat stuff.

Agriculturalists need full-time Miners—at least for Metals, Blacksmiths and Gunsmiths.....

And Doctors, Brewers, Weavers, Carpenters, Masons, Glass Blowers and lots of other specialties would be nice, even if not absolutely essential.

Level Four is the Industrial Society.

We know relatively little about Industrial Societies, because there is only the One to study.

It has thoroughly Assimilated all Agricultural Societies and left only a few Level One and Two Societies out in the far-flung wastelands.

But I've often wondered.....

If one started out with a large library and a commitment to advancement—How Large a Population Base, and how many resources would it take to build a Small But Highly Technological Society?

One with a Strong Martial Bent—like the Spartans, but without the Sodomy.....

So that no Barbarian Horde could over-run them.....

Are you familiar with the Term "Doomie"?

Dr Bruce Clayton coined the term for folks who favored surrender to Nuclear War and Set out to deliberately weaken the United States vis-s-vis The Soviet Union.....

So that if Wurst ever came to Wurst, fighting would not be a viable option.

Their primary stratagem was to Exaggerate the effects of Nuclear Weapons every way possible.

These are the folks who brought you the concept of "Overkill".

As Dr Clayton pointed out, sure you could kill everyone on Earth, if you could persuade the World's people to stand around in Circles approximating the population density of downtown Nagasaki.

The Soviet Union is Gone, but Doomies remain.

They want to convince everyone that if Society Collapses, Everyone is Doomed.....

And any sort of Survivalist's type Preparations are Futile, Stupid, Provocative and Gauche.

Read "Orion Shall Rise" by Paul Anderson.

The book is a mild downer, because the Western Alliance ends up having to compromise with the Evil Green Ectopians.

Still, he does a good job of showing a very spent Post Apocalyptic Society pulling itself up by its Bootstraps...

And yes, as Jerry Pournelle often said, The Orion Spaceship is mankind's last best hope of emerging from a Collapse.

http://en.wikipedia....rion_Shall_Rise

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#20 Guest_MacPhee_*

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:18 PM

Isn't nuclear war, what we're all secretly waiting, and longing for?
Such a war, would destroy our present civilisation. Who'd regret that? Don't we all recognise that our civilisation is decadent, and needs a cleansing.

Such a cleansing can be delivered by a full-scale nuclear war. The war will eliminate all the weak. Only the fittest and most intelligent humans will survive. Then Darwinian evolution will get a new chance. The survivors will constitute a breeding-stock - a sound biological base for evolution to operate on.

So that in due course (200,000 AD?) a more advanced version of humanity will take up from where we left off.

Is that an argument for immediate nuclear war?

#21 Aethelwulf

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:22 PM

Hi all,
An interest of mine that I've been discussing in other places is how long would it take to recover from a nuclear war, back to roughly today's level of technology?



Actually it could be argued that humanity might be pushed to the brink of extinction. After all, this isn't just about us. If you wipe off enough ecological systems on the Earth then the food chain may have a domino effect on everything on the face of the planet, except perhaps for the most simplest and basic of life forms.

Edited by Aethelwulf, 14 January 2013 - 01:23 PM.


#22 Guest_MacPhee_*

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:27 PM

Actually it could be argued that humanity might be pushed to the brink of extinction. After all, this isn't just about us. If you wipe off enough ecological systems on the Earth then the food chain may have a domino effect on everything on the face of the planet, except perhaps for the most simplest and basic of life forms.


Even if a nuclear war wrecked the Earth's biosphere, some of us could continue to live in deep underground shelters. These shelters could have libraries, and CD's with recorded music, also images of paintings. And books of science, which would enable us to understand about things.

So we would still have our cultural and scientific heritage. We might be fewer in numbers, but we'd still have all the achievements of our civilisation.

As for the food-chain, we could store massive amounts of canned food. And harvest algae grown in big tanks of water. The water would come from rain, filtered clear of radioactivity by its long passage through layers of earth and rock. Air would be supplied by plants grown in the water. The plants would also provide a refreshing supplement to our diet.

The energy to power all this, would of course come from nuclear reactors.

Couldn't at least 500 people be sustained underground in this manner. Thus ensuring our survival, until we emerge and spread again over the surface of the Earth?

(ack HK, X-127)

#23 Aethelwulf

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:41 PM

Even if a nuclear war wrecked the Earth's biosphere, some of us could continue to live in deep underground shelters. These shelters could have libraries, and CD's with recorded music, also images of paintings. And books of science, which would enable us to understand about things.

So we would still have our cultural and scientific heritage. We might be fewer in numbers, but we'd still have all the achievements of our civilisation.

As for the food-chain, we could store massive amounts of canned food. And harvest algae grown in big tanks of water. The water would come from rain, filtered clear of radioactivity by its long passage through layers of earth and rock. Air would be supplied by plants grown in the water. The plants would also provide a refreshing supplement to our diet.

The energy to power all this, would of course come from nuclear reactors.

Couldn't at least 500 people be sustained underground in this manner. Thus ensuring our survival, until we emerge and spread again over the surface of the Earth?

(ack HK, X-127)



To be realistic about this, I doubt we would be prepared for a nuclear war. No doubt all canned foods and whatnot will be ravaged by those still alive, supermarkets overthrown, mass-production of foods would simultaneously no longer be there to feed the masses... Anywhere not effected by the radiation soon would be, as the radiation is swept to one unaffected place to another (I'd imagine that be quite devastating if there have been many explosions over the Earth). Going underground sounds like a brilliant idea... how deep? How long would it take us to make this in the event of a war? I guess underground bunkers exist, but I doubt me and you will be in the first line of people to get a seat.

Edited by Aethelwulf, 14 January 2013 - 06:47 PM.


#24 Aethelwulf

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:47 PM

To 'one' unaffected place... fixed it.

#25 blamski

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:21 AM

Isn't nuclear war, what we're all secretly waiting, and longing for?
Such a war, would destroy our present civilisation. Who'd regret that? Don't we all recognise that our civilisation is decadent, and needs a cleansing.

Such a cleansing can be delivered by a full-scale nuclear war. The war will eliminate all the weak. Only the fittest and most intelligent humans will survive. Then Darwinian evolution will get a new chance. The survivors will constitute a breeding-stock - a sound biological base for evolution to operate on.

So that in due course (200,000 AD?) a more advanced version of humanity will take up from where we left off.

Is that an argument for immediate nuclear war?


i would guess that very, very few people are secretly longing for nuclear war. i also imagine that not too many, apart from fundamentalists and extremists, would agree that civilisation 'needs cleansing' - it sounds a bit too close to nazism to me for a start.

why do you think that the war will eliminate all the weak and leave the fittest and strongest? high IQ olympic athlete astrophysicists will be just as susceptible to blast damage and radiation as your average pickpocketing junkie tax dodger. the people most likely to survive are the ones with the political or financial influence to get themselves a place in the deep bunkers with all the lovely tinned peas to keep them going for a few years.

so the world would be repopulated by malnourished old men who have been living underground for several years. what kind of gene and knowledge pool is that?

Edited by blamski, 16 January 2013 - 12:02 PM.

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#26 Guest_MacPhee_*

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:26 PM

i would guess that very, very few people are secretly longing for nuclear war. i also imagine that not too many, apart from fundamentalists and extremists, would agree that civilisation 'needs cleansing' - it sounds a bit too close to nazism to me for a start.

why do you think that the war will eliminate all the weak and leave the fittest and strongest? high IQ olympic athlete astrophysicists will be just as susceptible to blast damage and radiation as your average pickpocketing junkie tax dodger. the people most likely to survive are the ones with the political or financial influence to get themselves a place in the deep bunkers with all the lovely tinned peas to keep them going for a few years.

so the world would be repopulated by malnourished old men who have been living underground for several years. what kind of gene and knowledge pool is that?


You make valid points, as always. The survivors might be crafty and sly old men, with bevies of brainless buxom wenches to render gonoidal stimulus.

The prospect of such pleasures, in deep underground shelters, with tinned peas galore! Who can deny the allure? It might make ageing politicians contemplate full-scale thermonuclear war as providing a delightful way to end their days.

But I don't think so. More likely, nuclear war will result from two more widely-based factors:

1. An increasing popular sense that present-day civilisation is unsatisfactory - that it needs a violent shake-up - a revolution
2. The availability of nuclear weapons, which can provide the revolutionary instrument.

Don't you think that there's a kind of feeling in the air, nowadays, that things can't go on as they are. That we need a really big world-transforming
event.

Edited by MacPhee, 16 January 2013 - 03:28 PM.


#27 blamski

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:56 PM

But I don't think so. More likely, nuclear war will result from two more widely-based factors:

1. An increasing popular sense that present-day civilisation is unsatisfactory - that it needs a violent shake-up - a revolution
2. The availability of nuclear weapons, which can provide the revolutionary instrument.

Don't you think that there's a kind of feeling in the air, nowadays, that things can't go on as they are. That we need a really big world-transforming
event.



this would seem to be the general consensus of various fundamentalist terrorist organisations around the world. my personal belief is that genocide on a huge scale would not be the solution for the problems that humankind has made for itself.
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#28 Moontanman

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:16 AM

This post apocalyptic stuff fascinates me, my favorite form of escapist literature,

Posted Image

I'm not sure that a nuclear exchange would necessarily result in as much radiation as some seem to think. one thing to consider is that The nuked cities in Japan were not abandoned and the people continued to live there and those nukes were among the most dirty of nuclear bombs.

Modern nukes are considerably cleaner, I think the climate changes triggered by the fires would be the most devastating part of this scenario.

IMHO rural areas would have a much higher rate of survival, while we as city dwellers aren't usually aware of it there are still many areas where animal power is used over machines and those skill sets would spread out as machines failed. Skill sets for things like canning foods are also still a big part of our culture and would spread out as well.