We’re 44 days into the 2nd season of The Colony on Discovery. I have to tell you, it is a GREAT show for figuring out situations to game in your head or with others. Again, don’t watch it for any examples of what to do in a survival situation. You’ll be very disappointed if you do.
On that point, it’s fine to be critical of the Colonists, but why? You know that they’re going to do stupid things every week. There’s a lot to be critical of…but it has some great conversation and scenario starters. In fact, I want to pose a scenario for you to “game” this week.
What if The Colony scenario was real and you found yourself “trapped” with a group like the colonists? As lacking as they are, what if you were stuck with them? How would you convince them to listen to you?
Telling them that they’re stupid every time they do something stupid would get old REALLY quick, but what steps would you take to get them to start acting like a cohesive unit? Besides, as the old saying goes, “You attract more flies with honey than vinegar.”
Think about your neighborhood. If there was an EMP event tonight and you had to rebuild society with the neighbors you have, what would you do with the “useful idiots?” As we saw with people who formed neighborhood mutual aid groups after Katrina, some people just won’t leave and just don’t get in the way.
I’m not talking about the young or elderly…I’m talking about people in the prime of their life who could help, and may even try to, but just end up making things harder.
Unless you’ve got an isolated compound, you’ll have to deal with unfortunate realities like this after a disaster. It’s just life. It’s not like the military where people get weeded out along the way. You’ve got to be prepared to deal with all types after a disaster.
So…let’s get to what happened in this week’s episode.
A helicopter circled the compound repeatedly and dropped a box full of supplies down to the colonists. Unfortunately, it dropped the box from high enough in the air that it broke when it hit the ground. The colonists rushed to it and found that it was full of water and food…in packaging that wasn’t made to sustain impact.
This brings up a couple of points. First, after a disaster, NEVER count on a centralized, bureaucratic entity to provide effective solutions. Second, if you’re a first responder for a centralized bureaucratic entity, try to keep those around you from doing stupid things.
And finally, after a disaster situation, realize that a lot of the first responders that you interact with will be doing what they have to do rather than what they want to do. They usually want to do what is right and what works instead of what their “protocol” tells them they have to do…but they don’t always have the leeway to do what they know is right.
Some of the colonists talked themselves into thinking that they were going to be rescued when the helicopter came instead of getting supplies. False hope is a killer in survival situations. In Vietnam POW camps, the rose-colored-glasses POWs seldom made it. The pessimists didn’t do well either. But the realists with positive attitudes DID make it. They saw the reality of their situation, accepted it, and dealt with it.
One of the things that the helicopter dropped was an iPhone with videos from the colonist’s family members. Jim said something interesting…he said that he was 44 days into the experiment and was forgetting what his old life was like. I was kind of shocked that it took that long.
If you think about a week long camping or beach trip, most people can remember a time when they quickly adapted to a relaxing situation and found it hard to imagine going back to “reality.” When you accept and embrace a situation, you can adapt VERY quickly. We’ve had trips to the beach where we completely forgot about “reality” within a couple of days. And you can adapt to survival situations quickly too.
But if you resist it, fight it, and try to hold on to an old reality, you’ll just end up frustrated and inefficient.
If you find yourself in a survival situation, you really need to embrace it, accept it, and go with it as quickly as possible. It will make you happier, healthier, and more effective.
The Colonists bring up another important survival lesson. They keep saying that their only option is to leave their current area. They think that the grass will be greener ANYWHERE else. I don’t know why. They have no hunting skills, fishing skills, foraging skills, or security skills. Relocating won’t help any of those fundamental problems. It will make them vulnerable while they’re relocating, and they’ll have to get familiar with a completely new area. And they’ll probably think that they need to build a new windmill.
They could get serious about security, they could expand on Tick’s hunting & gathering skills, they could negotiate and collaborate with the other groups, or they could go on the attack and take out one or two other groups until they’re seen as a respectable force.
Michael DID appear to distill alcohol. I’m not sure how they were able to do that legally, and I wish they would have covered that issue more. I make wine and would love to make liquors, but the aggressive treatment by the BATFE has always kept me from distilling. It is a great skill to know for TEOTWAWKI situations, but I want to strongly caution you against doing it before then unless you live in New Zealand or work for a distillery.
More outsiders came into the camp. Two this time. The colonists did a couple of smart things this time. First of all, they didn’t ALL watch the outsiders. Some kept watch in other directions. Second, they identified the two outsiders as scouts and as forewarning of an upcoming attack.
Tick came up with a “security” plan for the upcoming attack. One of the best things that he did, at first glance, was to designate 2 of the colonists as negotiators. I say “at first glance” because at the end of the show a mob of people took the gate down and came into the Colonist’s compound. It looked like superior force would be the only form of negotiating that they’ll understand and their shields and water “cannon” just don’t cut it.
BUT, if it would have been a smaller group of aggressors, having pre-designated negotiators would have been a smart move…especially if they would have had pre-planned gambits, points of compromise, and demands. Negotiating won’t de-escalate every conflict, but every conflict that it does de-escalate is a conflict that you get to walk away from unscathed.
What lessons did you see this week? What do you think about how Tick is handling the group? How about strategies for dealing with “useful idiots?” With people with “rose colored glasses?” How about with eternal pessimists? Share your thoughts and ideas by commenting below.
Also, you should check out the pictures that Shawn sent in of his Ka-Bar USMC knife that he made some GREAT modifications to. You can see the pictures here: secretsofurbansurvival.com/428/ka-bar-usmc-survival-knife-modifications/.