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  • #30645
    Profile photo of Meduseld
    Meduseld
    Survivalist
    member2

    Hi Guys,

    A few friends have been talking along the lines of military intelligence-style scenario planning/assessment, but with regard to social instability in South Africa. Maybe an illustration will make sense: if we lose another 10% of our electricity grid, if we achieve the predicted shortfall of 10% of our budget next year, and if our water system’s current crumble accelerates, if El Nino 2015 ruins crops and food prices soar, if our credit rating is lowered again and interest rates increase or inflation soars and poor people become poorer, and if unemployment reaches 30% (from 25% at present), what will happen in society? Will civil insurrection result? And how soon will it happen?

    We have all drawn up our own quasi-scientific scenarios for a while, but now we are looking for the software to do it properly. Can anyone help with advice on a civil-oriented version of proper war game software?
    Preferably free, preferably able to run on both Windows and Linux. It’s just a hobby and we are new to it, so we probably wouldn’t spend much to begin with; sorry. If we get into it, that would change.
    Those of us who were in the old South African Defence Force are familiar by reputation with the civil stuff which military intelligence used to do; you know “If such-and-such place has a riot, and if so-and-so industry goes on strike, and if X power station gets blown up, then what will be the resultant mood, or threat, or reaction, amongst the militant civilians in Y township, or Z region?” So, the stuff we want definitely exists. Now it is a matter of finding the right thing, even if it is a basic/freeware model to begin with. Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance,

    M.

    #30653
    Profile photo of c
    c
    Newbie
    member7

    This will not help with computer modeling but have you read Dimitri Orlov’s Five Stages of Collapse? He watched the collapse of the USSR. He has five stages of collapse.
    “Stage 1: Financial collapse. Faith in “business as usual” is lost.
    Stage 2: Commercial collapse. Faith that “the market shall provide” is lost.
    Stage 3: Political collapse. Faith that “the government will take care of you” is lost.
    Stage 4: Social collapse. Faith that “your people will take care of you” is lost.
    Stage 5: Cultural collapse. Faith in “the goodness of humanity” is lost.”

    Personally, I have never read any of his books. Just remember he’s a peak-oil guy. (I find peak-oil people a bit tiresome.) He has a very bleak view on the ability of humanity to use creativity to solve problems. Though, Dr Joseph Tainter in the Collapse of Complex Societies believes it is the mundane actions of solving problems that actually brings on collapse. (???)

    Dimitri Orlov on The Five Stages of Collapse

    http://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/p/the-five-stages-of-collapse.html

    Dr Joseph Tainter lecturing on Collapse of Complex Societies

    The one thing I find interesting about Orlov’s theory is that he see social and cultural collapse as an end point. Many collapse visions see social and cultural collapse as something that happens very quickly. In this point, I think he is right. In my opinion, social and cultural collapse is the last thing to happen. For example, a Christian would rather die then give up on their faith is God’s goodness. A good Christian would rather die then stop living by the principles outlined in the 10 commandments. When devote Christians, Moslims or Jews stop believing in the goodness of God, I would say that is the point of cultural collapse.

    Of course, I have no idea what the future will bring. Black swan events by definition, are impossible to predict in advance. Good luck with your modeling.

    #30654
    Profile photo of MountainBiker
    MountainBiker
    Survivalist
    member10

    Meduseld, I don’t have any suggestions as concerns the software you are looking for but I am very interested in your thoughts as you make plans or better position yourself for what you see coming. In many regards SA has become what others of us fear our own futures might hold. Leopard has helped us understand the current conditions in SA and so we are well aware that the trendlines are not moving in the right direction. A question for you though is are there organizations in SA that are doing the very thing you describe? Given the ongoing deterioration, there must be many people trying to plot the trajectory of events and various scenarios so that they can exit when they see the tipping point getting close.

    #30659
    Profile photo of Meduseld
    Meduseld
    Survivalist
    member2

    Oh, there’s no doubt about it, MB. Actuarial scientists must assess all factors when banks plan ahead, surely? Presumably economists do the same. And if they are doing it, then there must be people doing it in the government. I can’t see how Fitch and Moody’s could not be doing their ratings via software which takes into account everything from drought to civil disobedience, and from food supplies to fuel rationing, and every little thing in between, such as whether a power crisis occurs in winter or summer, and whether road maintenance is affecting delivery of raw materials to major exporters upon whom the country is dependent for foreign exchange. Surely they even take into account sunshine levels in order to do a reasoned analysis of… whatever? Otherwise 90% of what they do is hearsay and speculative. I can’t see how it could be anything but comprehensive (the work that “the organisations” to which you refer are doing).

    And that is not to mention that twenty years ago the South African Defence Force Military Intelligence used to do precisely what we have been doing (amateurishly) i.e. “If such-and-such transformer gets blown up, if X townships’s schools burn down, and if Putco Bus Corp. goes on strike, what will be the nature of the threat in Z region (riots, strikes, increased UDF activity, civil disobedience, necklacing of collaborators), what level will it be at, and how imminent is it?” They’d take into account what season of the year it was, whether there were supplementary schools in the neighbourhood, whether it was a high school or primary school whose kids were now on the streets, what would be the knock-on effect, and so on.

    What we have been analysing, as seriously and scientifically as we can, is obviously almost exactly along those lines.
    Between the three leading participants, we have settled on maximums of 1 year (them) and 36 months (me) prior to civil insurrection brought on by utter frustration amongst the poor as a result of general collapse. I take into account non-quantifiable factors such as the very patient temperament which Africans have regarding hardship, and the fact that Africans tend (tend) not to revolt against their “big men”, which is why everyone from Blaise Campaore to Bob Mugabe have hung onto power for endless decades in spite of the awful hardships they have visited on their peoples, which is why my estimate is longer.

    Bear in mind that – amongst a thousand other examples which would throw northern hemisphere/western citizens into a froth if they happened in their countries – we have had three separate power crises in three days (this evening it was announced that Cahora Bassa dam hydroelctric plant cannot run at full capacity any longer until overdue maintenance is done), on top of the nationwide power crises which we have had intermittently since 2007. It is starting to happen quickly, now. There is a very specific, highly-particular, reason why our civil infrastrucure is collapsing, and why it is collapsing right this minute, but my kids are about to arrive after Boy Scouts so I must run. Thanks for your interest.

    #30661
    Profile photo of MountainBiker
    MountainBiker
    Survivalist
    member10

    Meduseld, I am far from an expert in any of this but I like to think I am a logical thinker and someone who can connect the dots. I understand that SA has been home for people of European descent for hundreds of years. You have roots there and that makes it hard to leave, but it seems like it really is time to think about it. The exchange rate may not be good, but if SA collapses altogether the economics of leaving will be even worse and the exit door will likely be a lot more crowded.

    #30662
    Toby C
    Toby C
    Survivalist
    member6

    Not too sure why you feel you need software to do this? Most assessments are going to be spreadsheet based if anything. Remember intelligence is just ‘information that has been subject to assessment and processing’. I would focus on the assessment parts you are doing and not get to hung up on ‘programmers’ helping with the process unless there is an overwhelmingly specific reason to do so (e.g modeling likely human reactions to a fire in a specific building…)

    #30664
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    http://www.syncopation.com/decision-tree-software?gclid=CJGI5fCInsICFcFr7AodUhEAdA

    Meduseld
    I don’t think that what you would like is likely to be on the open market in the exact format you want. Just the topic is going to keep it within government planning only. There is planning software available like Decision Tree software that can help.

    If this / then that.
    It will let you map it all out.

    #30670
    Profile photo of Meduseld
    Meduseld
    Survivalist
    member2

    You know, it is a funny thing, but people like me are more-or-less split down the middle between those who have/are/will/want-to-but-can’t-afford-to leave and those who say “This is my home, my ancestors left their homes for sad reasons once already, and their blood and bones lie spilled and buried here, and not a chance will I let godless people bully me out of this place; I’d really, honestly, rather put up a fight, and perhaps lose it, than run away”. That self-righteousness doesn’t make everything my people did in the past right. We did much wrong. But, on balance, we are coming a distant second in the shame and disgrace competition.

    MB, if you read about the colonisation of South Africa, especially the period between, say, very loosely, 1800 and 1900, you will appreciate that our history makes How The West Was Won look like a Sunday School junior classes’ picnic. I say that with every respect, Mountain Biker. Please don’t get me wrong; I ask you in humility. But how our people established themselves here is in a different league to the colonisations of the USA, S. America, Australia, New Zealand, and so on. I remember watching movies as a kid and thinking “When is the real action going to begin?” because my frame of reference was South Africa. So, we, that is to say some of us, have an unusual ferocity about risking our families’ lives in this mess. This land was not merely bought with blood; it was bought with the blood of proportions of the population which simply cannot be compared to elsewhere. And did we wipe out millions in retribution, to tip the population balance in our favour, as was done elsewhere? No, we provided more electricity, water, and years of life, than any other country in Africa, to our “enemies”. That, notwithstanding the wrongful things we did. Let me admit right now that we were far from perfect. But really, we did a helluva lot better than anyone else, including and especially Africans, for Africans.

    Perhaps we are being unfair on our children, as our ancestors were when they persevered after the massacres of umGungindlovu, Blaauwkrans, and Weenen, but we are stubborn about the justice of this matter.

    There is a matter of profound right and wrong here, and I am staying to sort it out. Finished and klaar, as we say.

    Whew, apologies if I got carried away, but you flicked a switch in me, and the stuff going on here now has many of us very worked up already. It’s cruel, and it has no “greater good” or ends-justify-the-means warrant whatsoever.

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    #30673
    Profile photo of Meduseld
    Meduseld
    Survivalist
    member2

    Apologies for my ignorance, Toby, but perhaps I am using the wrong term. I mean software as in “MS Project”.. as in, you know, you use a (software?) programme to pump in some info about a whole pile of variables, and then see the results at the end.

    Sherbet, no, I certainly don’t see myself compiling anything from scratch. I want the War Game, as it were, already written, then I’ll tweak the variables, and get an answer. I want the one they use at the Pentagon, so to speak, to assess whether 1000 people rioting in Ferguson in wintertime is going to pose a worse threat to national security than 2000 people rioting in (wherever) in summertime.

    Am I making sense? Hope I haven’t confused everyone. Thanks anyway.

    #30676
    Toby C
    Toby C
    Survivalist
    member6

    I am unaware of any unrestricted software that is of use on the decision making cycle. Intelligence processing quite simply relies massively on peoples assessment, not computer based scenarios. Even in ‘red force’ gaming, it requires a significant human element. Most software will be used merely to make a graphical representation of the human assessment, or will be used for compilation of data (e.g spider charts) in order to facilitate assessment. Even the ‘what will happen to Y if X gets compromised’ will come down to debate and discussion instead of computer modelling.

    Hope this helps…

    #30677
    Profile photo of MountainBiker
    MountainBiker
    Survivalist
    member10

    Meduseld, I know enough tidbits of SA’s history to know it is unique in the world, and I must admit I am amazed at the perseverance and tenacity that the European settlers had, against all odds, in carving out a new homeland and building a 1st world economy. You appear to have the same ferocity of spirit that you ancestors had. I hope that when SA descends into civil war that the world comes to your aid. The demographics of the situation are not good. The situation on SA makes the rest of us look like a bunch of whiners when we complain about what we don’t like in our countries. Good luck to you.

    #30678
    Profile photo of Meduseld
    Meduseld
    Survivalist
    member2

    It does help, me, Toby. And a friend of mine has just given me a couple of reasons why I am asking for too much, especially if I think I can get a free version.

    But here is why I am being persistent (apologies in advance for the example, but I can’t think of a better one) :
    I used to work in a short-term projects industry in which we had to have a Risk Assessment done for every project. I ran the projects, so I have held scores of those Disaster Management Consultants’ assessments in my own hands. And, in principle, they are precisely what I want. In principle, but not in practise. They were clumsy Excel spreadsheets written by competent guys, but certainly not statistical scientists, with a matrix combining factors such as:
    Risk of scaffolding collapsing – 1/2/3/4/5
    No. of People Likely to be Beneath Scaffolding – 1/2/3 etc.
    Political Sensitivity of Project – 1/2/3
    Risk of Protests Against Project –
    Risk of Protests Being Violent
    (combine all factors with their relevant weightings and get)
    1. NATURE(S) OF THREAT
    2. THREATS’ LEVELS
    3. LIKELIHOOD OF THREAT BEING REALISED
    4. IMMINENCE OF THREAT

    Let’s call that the Hyundai i10. In principle it is a motor car, but no good for speeds over 80 m.p.h. and hopeless on rough roads. I am absolutely convinced that there must be a Ford Ranger out there. I don’t need a Porsche Cayenne, but I need a better version of the Hyundai i10 – which I have seen with my own eyes. I am certain that Ford Rangers exist. They must do.

    If the Pentagon and S&P can do national risk assessments, and so can my old friend the Disaster Consultant – in his wonky Excel spreadsheets, then there has got to be something in between.

    Thanks for your time and patience. I appreciate it.

    #30679
    Profile photo of Meduseld
    Meduseld
    Survivalist
    member2

    <div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>74 wrote:</div>
    http://www.syncopation.com/decision-tree-software?gclid=CJGI5fCInsICFcFr7AodUhEAdA

    Meduseld<br>
    I don’t think that what you would like is likely to be on the open market in the exact format you want. Just the topic is going to keep it within government planning only. There is planning software available like Decision Tree software that can help.

    If this / then that.<br>
    It will let you map it all out.

    Thanks very much, 74! Will check it out when more awake tomorrow morning.

    #30684
    Toby C
    Toby C
    Survivalist
    member6

    Agreed. I worked in applied professional risk management, security and urban resilience projects amongst other things in the UK, the amount of paperwork and models that crossed my desk (worthless as well as excellent) was mindblowing, ultimately though, the person behind the paperwork was 100% percent the critical factor…

    #30690
    Profile photo of Meduseld
    Meduseld
    Survivalist
    member2

    <div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>MountainBiker wrote:</div>Meduseld, I know enough tidbits of SA’s history to know it is unique in the world, and I must admit I am amazed at the perseverance and tenacity that the European settlers had, against all odds, in carving out a new homeland and building a 1st world economy. You appear to have the same ferocity of spirit that you ancestors had. I hope that when SA descends into civil war that the world comes to your aid. The demographics of the situation are not good. The situation on SA makes the rest of us look like a bunch of whiners when we complain about what we don’t like in our countries. Good luck to you.

    Thank-you for your kind thoughts. We are going to need them before much longer, I think. Let’s see. God knows.

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