TED Conversations

simone lizarraga

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Should Americans be Doomsday Preppers or should they just spend their money and time on themselves and live in the moment?

I watched Doomsday Preppers on National Geographic and found it amazing that there is a large percentage of American people spending their money , time and efforts on Prepping for disasters, solar flares, EMP , economic collapse, pandemic illnesses, other post apocolyptic scenarios, some of these people were in their 60's and training physically to fight, use weapons, store food, have bug out bags and other locations to bug out to - is this a realistic plan for the future or should these people spend their money on enjoying life, travelling and retiring in peace?

+4
Share:
progress indicator
  • thumb
    May 18 2013: Take the middle path. Middle path of Buddha.
  • May 18 2013: The question is to what degree? Some preparedness may be cheap and useful. Things do happen to people.
    In my part of Texas we recently had West and tornadoes.Always trying to keep your gas tank half-full is not expensive and can avoid problems.
  • thumb
    May 17 2013: Somewhere in the middle
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      May 18 2013: Yes I agree these shows would want the most extreme for entertainment value, I don't think it is funny to make fun of them, I didn't take it as so whilst watching the show, rather it piqued my interest and made me think about tending to my own decision of wether to Prep or not- I decided to bring the topic up to my family.Of course after those tough times in the States it would make sense to Prep.I actually applaude these people for their efforts and can see they are just trying to survive , infact what I really admired is the people who Prepped for their neighbours and informed others, it was heart warming.I don't make a good debater when I agree with you.. Perhaps my only issue was the animals that were kept as future food stocks, I am vegan and think we can live well without animals and their products...
  • May 19 2013: simone, Thank you

    Back in the day, when I was young, there were from time to time
    men that stood on street corners, holding placards, signs, or banners,
    proclaiming Doom is Near, and other types of Dire Warnings. Some
    had dates when these awful things would occur. They never happened.

    The human mind is a mystery. Take an example of Telemarketing.
    A good telemarketer can get a person on the other end of a phone line,
    (or in today's world) a cell phone, to open his or her wallet and spend
    money (sometimes a great deal of money) for a product or service
    never heard of before the telephone rang. This doesn't work as well
    today as it did before Congress changed the laws, and moved the
    telemarketing off-shore, depriving our nation of over $5 Billion Dollars
    annually. Telemarketing today comes from India with an accent, and
    the $5 Billion Dollars lost to our economy became much more after the
    unemployment benefits and forever-welfare kicked in. Maybe, those
    Doomsday Preppers felt 'economic collapse' was coming. And it did.

    To answer your query.
    This is not a realistic plan for the future.
    But we should take it with a grain of salt.

    I live on the California central coast, near the Pacific Ocean.
    The drums of War being beat by North Korea need be taken seriously.
    Their leader is suggesting they "Make War upon other nation's shores".
    (A tongue-in-cheek response to the policy of the US since 1946).
    They have developed missiles armed with nuclear warheads.
    Their leader was referring to the USA as their target.

    Being a Target is a worry to people living near a 'First Strike Target Area'.
    About 30 miles as the crow flies from Vandenberg's missile base. .
    About 6 miles as the crow flies from the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant.
    If either one had a serious problem of any type, Boom, and bye bye.

    While my opinion is that all governments are led by evil men,
    I have retired here, and will take my chances.
  • May 18 2013: Hi simone lizarraga:)if you said so,it means I really know little about americans:)But recently I am watching"modern family' tv series comes from america,it sounds they aren't:)
  • thumb
    May 18 2013: I love this question! Thank you! (there is no final answer, though :) )
  • May 18 2013: Simone,
    have you read "Flashforward" by Robert J. Sawyer? There was also a series made based on this novel on ABC.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flashforward_%28novel%29
    It deals with a sort of Doomsday, one that everyone in the world caught a glimpse of during a short 'blackout', caused by something unknown. This premise made me ponder the actual Doomsday scenario some people believe to exist. The way in which the book handles the human interpretation of these visions, and the reality of an impending Doomsday, is fascinating to me, and perhaps relevant to your question.

    In the book and series, that day the future was known to everyone. They could literally mark Doomsday on their calendars. Some people try to change their vision of the future, some work hard to ensure their vision of the future comes true. Even though we have never had a global 'blackout' like in the book, I am convinced there are people who believe the world will end. There is then very little anyone else could say to convince them otherwise.
    • thumb
      May 18 2013: wow sounds interesting , I had a read of the link and I will get a copy... It certainly would be interesting if we could know when our last days are... what would you do ??
      • May 18 2013: Simone, that is exactly what I have been asking myself... I don't have an answer yet!
        I read the book, and am now watching the series. I can see why it didn't do well enough for television standards - too confronting!

        Knowing what your future holds - could be a blessing or a curse. Would I make a conscious attempt to make sure that future remained true, or would I hinder it? Depends on what that future was, I suppose. If it were death, there would be little point to hindering it, considering death is in my future no matter when it comes. If it were something I had always dreamed of, would I consider that an extra incentive to make sure that really happened?
        The bottom line is, there is simply no point to either. No matter what you actively do, your future as you create it, will happen anyway.
  • thumb
    May 18 2013: "To live in the moment "
    Does it mean to spend your time and money on yourself?

    To me
    It means your focus should be on the moment .
    The past should not come in your way of happiness and growth except as learning experience.
    The anxiety that what will happen in future should not bog you down to achieve your dreams.
  • thumb
    May 17 2013: To me it seems like a sad way to live, but I could not tell them they can't do it if they want to. Maybe as they prepare, they get skills that they can use in this present world, in other words, as they store food for the catastrophe they imagine, they also learn about how they can better store food in this present, less dramatic world.
    • thumb
      May 18 2013: Yep, thats a great way to look at it... also some of them exercise so it is indeed a good thing.
  • thumb
    May 17 2013: I agree with LaMar that you can get a distorted picture of reality from television shows that are meant to shine a spotlight on the most extreme or sensational. When you say a large proportion of people are spending time or money preparing for disasters, are you including people in disaster-prone areas who keep extra water and canned food in the basement, schools in earthquake prone areas that do the occasional earthquake or emergency drill, people who frequently lose power due to storms keeping a small generator, and those in tsunami-prone areas having an escape route planned?

    Do people in Australia not keep emergency kits or extra water or canned food around in case of an emergency?

    I would guess that a large percentage of Americans do keep first aid kits or extra provisions and so forth on hand and only a tiny minority of people in their sixties who did not already have fighting/weapons skills from their military service spend very much time at all on training and practicing these skills in case of disaster.
    • thumb
      May 18 2013: No I wasn't referring to the usual precautions in fragile areas, if you watch Doomsday Preppers, most do it on a fairly big scale and spend thousands of dollars on it- I am not saying it is a bad thing at all, I guess I was just surprised and would like to know what the general feeling is in other countries. I did check, we do have Aussie Doomsday Preppers, and I agree things like extra water, first aid kits and some food reserves should be standard.
      They do things like get their kids to learn about which plants they can eat, bugs, shooting pistols and how to live off the land... Check it out. It was really interesting...
      • thumb
        May 18 2013: "Most do it on a fairly big scale" is most on that show.

        But in your question you asked about "a large percentage of American people." The American people who make it onto your television are not typical of American people in general or large portions of them.
  • May 20 2013: We should absolutely live in the moment and enjoy life. Travelling the world would be good for people on so many levels. Just to see that people are kind of the same around the world.

    That being said, you should be prepared to take care of yourself for a period of time in the event something happened. For example, power loss, flood, earthquake, etc. The extent that the preppers go might be considered excessive. But, basic food, water, and supplies would be good to have and some basic training, like first aid, would be incredibly valuable for people to have just on a normal level.
  • May 18 2013: Americans "should" continue to live their own lives by deciding for themselves how to spend their money and time.
  • thumb
    May 18 2013: .
    .
    Don’t be "preppers"!
    Be prohibitors!

    To prohibit human's doomsday is easy.
    Just quit invalid (harmful) happiness.

    To quit invalid happiness is easy
    if knowing it can't be detected by our instincts.
    .
    • thumb
      May 18 2013: wow so deep! Did you see Sunset Limited - a movie with Samuel L Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones- basically Tommy tries to toss himself under a train , but is save by Samuel- and then the whole movie is an indepth conversation about ignorance being bliss- but once youre educated and can see the fate of the human race and life isnt worth living- Poor Samual reached deep to try and find any excuse to stop Tommy from leaving the apartment and suiciding... Riveting and thoughtful movie....