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

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

Postby rdearman » Sat May 01, 2021 3:56 pm

Xenops wrote:
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”.

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying."
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby PeterMollenburg » Sun May 02, 2021 12:50 am

Some funny and some interesting posts...

Now, although this thread is somewhat light-hearted, there is also a serious element to this, which iguanamon touched on. It extends beyond language learning, but given it's our common ground here and something I love personally (and many of us do), and that I suspect the situation in our world currently is quite vulnerable, 'being prepared' is actually something I've been contemplating with regards to my life and that of my family's and of course my language learning.

I don't have any solar chargers... yet. I don't have a stockpile of food nor a kindle, nor... well... I'm not prepared, like the majority of humanity, I'd assume.

There's some wisdom in being prepared, even if just a little. I don't know about you, but I'd be left pretty bloody helpless should 'the system go down', paper/plastic/digital money suddenly be worthless and the supermarkets having been raided and empty. I actually do sincerely believe there's a higher chance of such a thing happening in the coming handful of years than has been the case in recent history. I'm not saying I feel it's absolutely going to happen, but given a higher risk (my opinion), being at least a little prepared doesn't hurt, right? And if you don't want to be a little more prepared because you feel at ease and are an apocalypse denier :lol: , at least we'll know who'll be winning the first Super Challenge and several 6 Week Challenges post apocalypse, right? ;)

One day while driving to the supermarket, and perhaps many of us have pondered this too, it just dawned on me that it seemed to be a very vulnerable situation that many of us exist in, living in towns or cities and if needing essentials we rely on the supermarkets, their supply lines, wholesalers, food production and so on to get our hands on the things we need. We always assume those things will be there when we need them. While perfectly understandable, a society of convenience means we have little ability to create our own food. We survive through the organisations and companies that exist around us. We are not independent. We are ants in a big machine and if the machine breaks down we're seemingly helpless. How do you function post apocalypse being de-skilled, lacking survival techniques and being ill-prepared?

So, system down, can you regain your independence and how do your language learning prospects look? I've no food stored, yet I have been building on my paper-based language learning resources. I've got my priorities in order, right? :?
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby David27 » Sun May 02, 2021 1:55 am

No
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby improbablediscussion » Sun May 02, 2021 4:50 am

iguanamon wrote: 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.


I've been keeping an eye on the cost of portable solar panels and battery backups for the past few years, and it's been shocking how much the prices have dropped in that time. Solar panels haven't gone quite low enough for me to justify buying one just yet (we tend more toward shorter blackouts in my area), but I've greatly increased the amount & types of battery backup power I have on hand.

So, for the original question, I'd be able to keep going with the French books currently on my (e-paper-based) e-reader for several months, if not a year. I'd basically be limited to a bunch of public domain Arsène Lupin books and the Count of Monte Cristo, though. I could potentially load some audiobooks onto the e-reader during the short time I could keep my desktop running on backup power, but I'm not sure I'd want to waste the battery power to listen to them in a long term situation. Better to have months of text than a week of audio.

Now, if I can manage to steal a solar panel from a bus stop before anyone else during the collapse, that would be less of problem :D I could even watch some of the random French youtube videos I have backed up to ensure I'll have something to watch when the internet is down. (Down from regular internet problems, I mean, not a disaster. Unless you want to count Comcast itself as a disaster, which would be fair.)

This thread is kind of making me want to increase the number of French books I keep on my e-reader, though. I think I'll head over to Gutenberg...
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby rdearman » Sun May 02, 2021 10:55 am

I don't know if you still can, but you used to be able to download the entire Gutenberg library as a single monolithic zip file.

Edit: got it.

Code: Select all


wget -w 2 -m http://www.gutenberg.org/robot/harvest



Hope you have a good connection, it is 75000+ books.

EDIT 2: That last once had problems (only downloads the robots files, you need the offline cache to download books) The link below downloads all the french language books.

Code: Select all


wget -H -w 2 -m "http://www.gutenberg.org/robot/harvest?filetypes[]=epub.images&langs[]=fr"

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

Postby Beli Tsar » Sun May 02, 2021 2:35 pm

I don't know about myself (I seem to be slow enough at this without the collapse of civilization) but at least my main languages should be fine. I think Latin, Greek, Farsi and Hebrew all have claims to have been through some civilisational collapses of some sort at some point already. Hopefully another one shouldn't cause too much bother.
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby Hash » Sun May 02, 2021 9:51 pm

rdearman wrote:I would be ok. One neighbor who speaks French and Italian, another neighbour who is French and we all have lots of books. On the plus side I could probably learn a little Persian from the 3 Iranian households nearby. :D

I think one of my neighbours is Portuguese also... I will have to look into this. ;)


Where do you live? in a multilingual heaven? Nowadays, most people don't even know who lives next door! (at least in urban areas) and you know that your neighbors have lots of books and the languages they speak!
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sun May 02, 2021 9:57 pm

rdearman wrote:
EDIT 2: That last once had problems (only downloads the robots files, you need the offline cache to download books) The link below downloads all the french language books.

Code: Select all


wget -H -w 2 -m "http://www.gutenberg.org/robot/harvest?filetypes[]=epub.images&langs[]=fr"


My gerbils are undernourished, so downloading took some time:
French (fr): total clock time 2 h 11 m 1 s
Spanish (es): total clock time 28 m 47 s
Greek (el): total clock time 8 min 28 sec, only 224 files.

Thanks for this. :)
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby improbablediscussion » Mon May 03, 2021 2:45 am

rdearman wrote:EDIT 2: That last once had problems (only downloads the robots files, you need the offline cache to download books) The link below downloads all the french language books.

Code: Select all


wget -H -w 2 -m "http://www.gutenberg.org/robot/harvest?filetypes[]=epub.images&langs[]=fr"



Well, there's another 3200+ books for my Calibre library! Only the Jules Verne books and Voyage d'un Habitant de la Lune à Paris à la Fin du XVIIIe Siècle have gone on the e-reader so far, though. The hundreds of 19th century periodicals will remain on my desktop with the rest of the random stuff I'm hoarding.

There's actually a good amount of French language study materials in here, like dictionaries, readers, and such. Probably too outdated for normal purposes, but not a bad thing to have on hand if everything suddenly became inaccessible.
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Re: Language Learning Preppers / Could your language learning survive a civilisation collapse?

Postby rdearman » Mon May 03, 2021 8:54 am

Hash wrote:
rdearman wrote:I would be ok. One neighbor who speaks French and Italian, another neighbour who is French and we all have lots of books. On the plus side I could probably learn a little Persian from the 3 Iranian households nearby. :D

I think one of my neighbours is Portuguese also... I will have to look into this. ;)


Where do you live? in a multilingual heaven? Nowadays, most people don't even know who lives next door! (at least in urban areas) and you know that your neighbors have lots of books and the languages they speak!

I live in a village in the UK, it is pretty common to have people who speak different languages. I live in a cul-de-sac, and we have had street parties, so I know most people. I also know what books they have, because I asked them for any old Italian or French books they are discarding. Also I've swapped a lot of books with them. :)
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