Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

General discussion about learning languages
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Iversen
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby Iversen » Sat May 01, 2021 5:40 am

The Sun might not be our ally - and problems may come long before it turns into a red giant, which won't happen in our lifetime anyway. In 1859 there was a thing called the Carrington Event, where the Sun decided to spew enormous amounts of electrified gas and subatomic particles in our direction, and even at a time where the use of electricity still was limited and instruments and power lines were crude and supposedly rock solid it caused major havoc - for instance the telegraph systems broke down. Quote National Geographic:

First, high-energy sunlight, mostly x-rays and ultraviolet light, ionizes Earth's upper atmosphere, interfering with radio communications. Next comes a radiation storm, potentially dangerous to unprotected astronauts. Finally comes a coronal mass ejection, or CME, a slower moving cloud of charged particles that can take several days to reach Earth's atmosphere. When a CME hits, the solar particles can interact with Earth's magnetic field to produce powerful electromagnetic fluctuations. (...) Of particular concern are disruptions to global positioning systems (GPS), which have become ubiquitous in cell phones, airplanes, and automobiles, (...) In addition, Baker said, satellite communications—also essential to many daily activities—would be at risk from solar storms.(...) But the big fear is what might happen to the electrical grid, since power surges caused by solar particles could blow out giant transformers. Such transformers can take a long time to replace, especially if hundreds are destroyed at once, said Baker, who is a co-author of a National Research Council report on solar-storm risks.

Whoah...

Since I'm quite old and have lived through less electronical times I have collected a lot of language materials (dictionaries, grammars, books in L2s etc.) so my language learning could continue - but in the chaos surrounding a breakdown of the internet and other communication systems I fear that my rent wouldn't arrive on my account, which to boot would become inaccessible so that I couldn't even pay for foods (insofar that the food production could continue without electricity). In such a situation marauding gangs would travel through the country and rob and destroy everything, including my humble abode, and the least of my worries would be that I didn't succeed in buying an Estonian dictionary before the Earth got fried.

And it could happen again - maybe this afternoon....

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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby kelvin921019 » Sat May 01, 2021 7:14 am

I should probably start learning the language of the neighbouring countries by now so that just in case there's a collapse of civilisation I can move around the region for survival.

Just wonder if this is a post subtly urging us to hoard more books now :lol: Even if I'm not going to use it for language learning I can burn them for getting some fire.
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby tungemål » Sat May 01, 2021 9:18 am

PeterMollenburg wrote:Scenario:

The American Dollar has collapsed taking the US economy and all other currencies with it overnight. The world is in a shambles, no, an economic unprecedented hell hole of no quick return, in short our civilisation has been brought to it's knees...

I have never understood the "US dollar collapse threat". If the USD were to collapse, then suddenly everything is cheap for me to order from the US. I'd order loads of things from amazon and other online stores. It would be heaven for me.

In fact, the last year the dollar has "collapsed" 20% in relation to the Norwegian Krone. (but before that the krone had collapsed more than 40%).

But if the electricity and the internet were to disappear I would be in trouble. On the other hand, I would finally have time to read all my books instead of wasting time online. ;)

So what could cause electricity or internet collapse? Terrorism maybe. A controlling dictatorship would shut off or limit the internet, like in North Korea and partially in China. Natural disasters? That could damage key infrastructure but it would probably be rebuilt fast.
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby Cavesa » Sat May 01, 2021 1:30 pm

You're still not asking the real questions.

Will Zombies create their own conlang, or speak just a degrading version of their native language, perhaps progressively worsening as their brains fall apart?

What language will invading aliens speak? Will they require us to learn it, or will it be illegal to learn it, as that language will be only for our new overlords and not to be dirtied by our lips?

Will any language serve as an information protection and secret code, if an evil AI rises to power, or will it have learnt all of them by then? Perhaps we'll suddenly be grateful for languages like Welsh having had little presence on the internet.
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby smallwhite » Sat May 01, 2021 2:28 pm

Life's been hard enough with my iPhone battery health at 75%, and now you're talking about no electricity at all.

I own around 10 paper books but half of them are colouring books and art exhibition catalogues, so I'm gonna be, what, describing what's in the picture in 8 languages for the rest of my life :shock:

Wait - I have 6 library books by my bed. Sorry, Library, I'm keeping them :twisted: So 5 years after The Collapse, I'm going to be an expert in Spanish grammar, German grammar, (elementary) watercolour and people management. Umm...
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby gsbod » Sat May 01, 2021 2:48 pm

Cavesa wrote:Will any language serve as an information protection and secret code, if an evil AI rises to power, or will it have learnt all of them by then? Perhaps we'll suddenly be grateful for languages like Welsh having had little presence on the internet.


But any official government material has to be published, by law, in both English and Welsh, so our evil overlords will not only have a full bilingual corpus to work from, but that corpus will contain all the language needed to rule a country. Frankly, I'm surprised nobody has raised concerns before about these unintended consequences of the Welsh Language Act...
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby Lemus » Sat May 01, 2021 3:03 pm

I once knew someone who worked in the defense industry who advised me if I knew that one day the nukes were going to start flying, the best thing to do would be to pour myself a drink of whatever I'd been saving for a special occasion and head up to the rooftop so I don't miss anything.

He said it would be one hell of a show, and that you really are going to prefer dying in the initial blast to the effects of third degree burns or radiation poisoning.

That has always struck me as eminently practical advice.
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby sillygoose1 » Sat May 01, 2021 3:32 pm

Probably not. I rely just about 100% on the internet and technology after I get through the basics. My audiobook collection, my ebooks, movies, series are all on my PC and tablet. The good thing is that in my current state I would at least be able to survive comfortably in the countries where my languages are spoken if somehow I ended up in one of them.
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby iguanamon » Sat May 01, 2021 3:46 pm

Post Hurricane Maria (September 2017- Category 5), I was without electricity for two and a half months. (As rdearman says, there are ways to generate electricity for personal use without access to public utilities.) I was without wired internet for six months. I had car batteries, solar chargers, and inverters. Even without the electricity network, I kept going. Of course, the rest of the world, outside the Northeast Caribbean continued on.

The premise of PM's discussion topic though, would mean no more imported food. I'd be busy fishing and foraging much of the time. Leisure time would be almost a thing of the past. Leisure travel would no longer be a consideration. No internet means little means of consuming native content. So, I'd finally be able to get through my hundreds of e-books and pdf's on my kindle and tablet, if I were not too tired at the end of the day from fishing and foraging.

Still, it's good for people to think about their dependence on electronics. This doesn't mean you have to dedicate a whole room of your house to a library with paper books, but it does mean that you should be prepared to live somewhat off the grid should the need arise. It's not as expensive or as hard as one may think to be prepared in a small way with a couple of fold-able 100 watt solar panels and a 12 volt battery or three, you can stave off the apocalypse for quite some time- even if you can't run your fridge, ac, or hot water heater.

When you live in the Hurricane zone, you are forced to think about survival without public utilities. Here, our aging power plant can go down at any time, even on a calm, sunny day, and may stay off for hours.
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby Xenops » Sat May 01, 2021 3:53 pm

Lemus wrote:I once knew someone who worked in the defense industry who advised me if I knew that one day the nukes were going to start flying, the best thing to do would be to pour myself a drink of whatever I'd been saving for a special occasion and head up to the rooftop so I don't miss anything.

He said it would be one hell of a show, and that you really are going to prefer dying in the initial blast to the effects of third degree burns or radiation poisoning.

That has always struck me as eminently practical advice.


I’ve told people “I want to die in an explosion, so I would go out with a bang”.
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