Saturday, February 16, 2008

Attention: Skills Needed

In the recent past, valuable skills might have included the following:

  • Score well on standardized tests
  • Look confident in an interview
  • Juggle multiple credit card payments
  • Purchase the latest consumer goods to fit in
  • Find your way through an airport to a flight
  • Avoid getting stabbed in the back at your work

The future will not look much like the recent past. The future will be about adaptation, not to the latest technology, but to rapidly changing economic and social conditions. As with all new skill sets, half of the preparation will be mental. Take a look at the following skills and assess your competency - or your willingness to develop competency:


  • Stay calm in the face of crises
  • Give up your expectations from the past
  • Be willing to do what it takes
  • Look at the future as an opportunity and a challenge
  • Be flexible and adaptable in your thinking


  • Develop new alliances
  • Work together for your own and the common good
  • Assess the intentions of strangers
  • Communicate goals, stratetgies and expectations
  • Be able to live with more people than the current norm
  • Know people who have useful skills
  • Teaching others new skills


  • Maintain the energy to get prepared
  • Maintain flexibility and balance to prevent accidents
  • Build strength to perform needed physical tasks when "oil slaves" are no longer available
  • Build endurance to be able to work long days when needed
  • Obtaining needed nutrition - calories, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals
  • Performing first aid and childbirth


  • Designing an integrated system to increase resilience and reduce work
  • Preparing soil for planting
  • Planting seeds and transplants
  • Mulching
  • Harvesting
  • Composting
  • Protecting crops from weather fluctuation
  • Irrigating
  • Crop rotation
  • Integrated pest management


  • Dehydrating
  • Canning
  • Baking your own bread
  • Cooking for a crowd
  • Root cellaring

Defense & Emergency

  • Presenting a small, unobtrusive or unattractive target
  • Training all members of family for an emergency
  • Having exit plan if evacuation is needed
  • Avoiding dangerous or isolated situations
  • Fortifying your domicile against intruders
  • Recognizing and assessing threats
  • Caring for and shooting a weapon

Home maintenance

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical skills
  • Insulation
  • Roof repair
  • Rainwater cachement
  • Vine shading
  • Solar heating


  • Unmedicated childbirth
  • Breastfeeding
  • Cloth diapering

Craft skills

  • Home brewing
  • Home winemaking
  • Cider making
  • Sewing
  • Re-purposing items

Home economics

Doing all of the following without chemical supplies or electrical appliances:

  • Cleaning floors
  • Cleaning dishes
  • Washing & drying clothes
  • Cooking
Well? Get busy!

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