Survivalism and Personal Progress: Seeking Synergy in a Paranoid Paradox

The inexorable acceleration of global warming and geopolitical instability contribute to a climate in which a relatively significant investment in disaster management preparation appears to be reasonable, if not required. So just how much “Doomsday” prepping is too much, and how much is simply part of a rational strategy of diversification? Phriends, if you are looking to me for an authoritative answer, I’m sorry to report that you’re barking up the wrong tree. As a guy who has long had an instinctive aesthetic attraction to the apocalyptic, the idea of prepping has appealed to me for several years, but until recently I had only dabbled. After reading Emergency by Neil Straus in approximately 2010, I started storing a bit of food and bottled water, but I soon became concerned that for me, this sort of thing might become a slippery slope of paranoia, potentially leading to a state of perpetual negativity, a Mad Prophet of Doom, bunkered in, waiting for the apocalypse that never comes. A few years later, a little older, and if not wiser, at least a bit less crazy, I find myself able to approach the concept in a more balanced way. Borrowing ideas from the seemingly paradoxical camps of Zen and finance, I have become more comfortable with the reality of uncertainty, and the need for diversification in one’s approach to the future. The experience of becoming a father has caused me to realize that preparing for the future, whether it be apocalyptic or not, is no longer an optional endeavor, and needs to be approached in as rational and strategic a manner as possible. The apparent paradox between living in The Now and taking reasonable actions to increase the probability of a safe and enjoyable future is perhaps a topic for another day, but unless some sort of transcendental collective enlightenment is achieved, the future remains a universal human concern. I make no claim to foresee the future, and while I remain perhaps irrationally optimistic about the potential for human development, there are clearly myriad significant short and medium term large-scale risks which seem only logical to incorporate into one’s assessment of and preparation for the wide array of disparate and unknowable possible future scenarios. Clearly, it is impossible to prepare for everything, and there are certainly innumerable conceivable situations in which there is no possibility of survival, regardless of one’s level of preparation. Even so, a combination of recent history and imagination can serve to inform us of certain broad categories of disaster, many of which can be rendered significantly more survivable given even a moderate amount of sensible preparation. Interestingly, as I begin to take disaster preparation more seriously, I find that I am also approaching other matters of personal, artistic, and professional development in a more effective manner. This subjective and anecdotal experience suggests a thread of speculation that taking matters of fundamental physical survival more consciously into account might create a sort of biologically driven cognitive enhancement, with the potential to be applied to many different areas of life. Progress in these other areas, such as healthcare, community involvement,  sustainable living, economic development, quasi-political organization, interdisciplinary scientifically informed next wave industrial innovation, re-imagination of social contracts and constructs, newly evolutionary art forms, and generalized myth-making might in turn contribute to synergies with one’s disaster preparedness methodology, creating a sort of virtuous spiral, theoretically serving to mitigate violent and disruptive external forces, ultimately clearing and illuminating a path toward a brighter tomorrow.  As a relative newcomer to the Wide World of Prepping, I currently consider myself to be prepared at about a 3 out of 10 (generously), with 1 being a completely pedestrian civilian, and 10 being a fully sustainably bunkered commando. I’d like to get closer to a 7 out of 10 within the next couple of years, taking small incremental steps, without compromising the other priorities in my life, and plans for more favorable possible futures. With this goal in mind, I intend to dedicate an intentionally uncertain percentage of my future posts to exploring a variety of survivalist related topics. Again, to be clear, I am not claiming expertise in the field, but am happy to pass on potentially useful knowledge as I acquire it, and will credit my sources when appropriate. I invite comments with additional ideas or constructive criticism. When I find items that I personally own and find useful, I’ll post Amazon links. Phoenix and I make about a 2% commission if you buy something through our links, and it doesn’t cost you any extra, so we appreciate your consideration. I promise not to promote anything that I don’t actually believe in. It is important to me that prepping not become an isolated and paranoid endeavor, and thus discussing it in a public forum might prove psychologically beneficial. If the Walking Dead has taught us anything, it’s the seemingly paradoxical truth that people are the real threat, but that we all need other people to survive. 

Byron H Diel
AKA Subcommander Dada

Copyright 2017, Byron H Diel, DBA EyeDiel Enterprises 

Recalibration: 2017

For too long, I have struggled for a more coherent and effective strategy with which to approach this blog. At last, after much consternation, the elusive obvious epiphany had at last occurred. Chaos! Quantity over quality! I enjoy writing, and thus, I shall write with greater frequency. Attempting to confine my work on this blog to writings which seemed appropriate to the audience of a science fiction show ostensibly created for children has created an unnecessary bit of writer’s block. Ultimately, I must face the fact that the show is unlikely to be palatable to a conventional “children’s show” audience, and restricting my blogging to a hypothetical audience of this nature is likely to result in something profoundly uninteresting to almost everyone.  The membrane between fact and fantasy has always been semi permeable since the very inception of Phoenix And Phriends. The show is an exaggerated vision of my desire to learn from the Universe, through the specific vehicle of my relationship with my son, to become an effective agent of positive change in the world. The Dada character is earnest and eager, yet bumbling and naive. It had occurred to me to attempt to write these blog posts “in character,” but the specificity of that effort was simply too stifling to the process. It had also occurred to me to assign myself a seemingly relevant topic each week, and post in a predictable, focused, coherent, and we’ll researched manner. This also proved to be untenable at this particular point in my process of being. Instead, I hereby resolve to post frequently, sincerely, and somewhat haphazardly. “The Dada Diaries” has long struck me as having been a rather idiotic title for the blog, chosen on a momentary whim. I will now accept the implication of this misconceived moniker, and simply write in a more stream of consciousness oriented manner, addressing my actual concerns, interests, and desires relating to the so-called “Real World.” I will simply write in the voice of myself, Byron H Diel, a humanoid on the Earth, “Percussionist, Paramedic, Producer,” and father of Phoenix. These are strange, frightening, challenging, and yet deeply interesting and exciting times in which we operate. I make no special claim to the answers of the questions that we face. The journey of my life has been in many ways a rather unusual one, and I do believe that if I properly apply myself, I may be able to provide some sort of contribution to the betterment of humanity, and I believe that I have a responsibility to help as possible with the limited abilities I possess. With this final pre-postmodern post, I will abandon attempts at “meta narrative” and will heretofore attempt a “para narrative,” wandering a path alongside the mystery of existential truth, without the pretension of illusory encapsulation.  Embracing my “Inner Dada,” I will bumble forward, worrying as little as possible whether the ideas presented are fully formed, but blindly trusting that faithful and dutiful service to my Commander will ultimately bring these efforts to a satisfied conclusion. 

Phoenixologica Etsy Store: Grand Opening!

posted in: Entrepeneurship | 0

It has been a long time in coming, but finally the official Phoenix And Phriends Etsy store is open for business. Many more items will be posted soon. We hooe you like it. Episode 2 is nearing completion. More regular updates to this blog will be forthcomming. Thanks for your patience everybody. Its a complicated juggling act here in the Phoenixological Universe, but glacial progress continues to be made.

Mission Statement: Phoenix And Phriends

As we draw ever more near to the release of the pilot episode, I feel compelled to clarify my intentions regarding the future of Phoenix And Phriends, and its surrounding efforts, including this blog. While “The Dada Diaries” will remain a useful forum for the dissemination of news regarding the show itself, that alone will not be enough to provide real value to my hypothetical audience. One element of the plan is to expand into the creation of various sub-categories of content relating to themes presented in, and otherwise relating to the show. These will likely include, but possibly not be limited to the following: parenting, space, science, technology, music, martial arts, education, environmentalism, art and multimedia production, self-improvement, progressive politics and entrepreneurship. For me personally, one of the greatest aspects of creating Phoenix And Phriends has been the ability to combine two of my favorite things, spending time with my son and doing creative work. From the beginning it has been my stated position that even if the audience for show remains relatively limited, as has been the case for all of my previous projects, it will have been well worth the effort. The fun that we are having, and the memories that we are creating together will be something that Phoenix and I can share as long as we live. That having been said, I am unapologetic about my seemingly grandiose vision of the possibility that the show might gain sufficient popularity to become a means of livelihood for Phoenix, myself, and our family. In my view, the best way of accomplishing this is to insure that we provide our audience with content that is substantively educational, socially responsible, and highly entertaining. For our audience members who care enough to dig deeper than the 29 minutes of the show itself, and do things like reading the blog, visiting the soon to be built website, and engaging with us in other ways, I want to find ways of rewarding their efforts by enhancing their lives with truly useful and life enhancing information. This will be an enormous undertaking, to be sure, and one which I eagerly anticipate. In the past I have often struggled with the relationship between art and commerce. Both my progressive values and my sometimes narcissistic creative process have often made me uncomfortable with the concept of actually being financially compensated for creative work. Becoming a father has been a life transforming event, and has caused me to re think many of my methods and motives. I can not expect an audience to reward me for simply attempting to dazzle them with idiosyncrasy. People need art which actually serves to inspire, inform and truly entertain. If Phoenix and I can provide that kind of creation, in a sustainable manner, consistent with the values with which he is being raised, I feel confident that our audience will provide us with the means to continue to grow and truly thrive. Thank you for taking the time to pay attention. We’ll do our best to make it worth your while.