A proposal for a new mandatory shopping label



Won’t fly with the top-1% who have The Say in the labeling.

Could however, and should, be implemented as an augmented-reality application, along the same lines of other barcode-linked review systems.

I always thought of “apocalypse” as being a profound change in one’s personal perceptions, their everyday frame of reference. The subjectivity of the value of things seems quite obvious, as things go. Never be afraid to tell people what you think things are really worth!

After the apocalypse all devices requiring internet service or a functioning electrical grid will be valued solely according to their bludgeoning utility.


That’s why I keep a Nokia 3310 in the ‘might still be useful’ drawer…


The purse is undervalued. Load it up with can-o-beans and it becomes a formidable blunt force vector.


Yes, apocalypse is from the Greek for “revelation.” It had nothing per se to do with destruction.

I was at a party in 1974 that amply qualified for the term apocalypse, though no one was permanently injured, and no property was significantly damaged. It was the kind of party you still look back on fondly 40 years later.

Damn. You had to be there.


Classic example of Adam Smith’s water/diamond paradox.

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Unless you are able to get your own island with functioning power and wifi. Solar-powered ebook readers with a village server with lots of tech, medical, and agricultural books is an example of a tech that can be rigged up with minimum remaining resources from just the waste that the mishap will leave in its tracks.

Another useful thing, for the security forces of the surviving compounds, is the walkie-talkies or other portable communicators.

Then there are the water pumps…

Your life will be better with electricity, and even a nuclear EMP won’t destroy everything - it can be nasty and annoying and generally destructive but smaller devices without long wires are likely to not be heavily affected.


At least devices without integrated circuits are likely to survive…unshielded those are often rendered inoperable. Back when I had an old Volvo I remember thinking that it was one of the few cars likely to survive EMP because it had points instead of electronic ignition.

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It will be quite similar to a nearby lightning hit result. A lot will depend on what wire had which orientation relative to the blast, how long it was, how shielded it was, essentially a dice throw. The device may live, just the ethernet drivers gone. It may lose power supply, the energy coupled in through the cable but dissipated in the PSU primary without passing through enough to damage, easy to repair. It may be a total kill. It may be intact. Or some chips can be just partially affected, operating parameters shifted/degraded a bit (lower gain, shifted FET characteristics similar to radiation damage, increased reverse leakage in the ESD diodes or elsewhere…, the whole palette of ESD-similar effect; you can consider ESD damage as an EMP-lite).

It will also depend if the thing was powered up at the time of event or not. A pulse too small to cause physical damage on the silicon can still be enough for causing a latchup, and the resulting current then can do the lasting damage. Or some transistors on the totem-pole drivers can open at once and short power to ground, same result. High energy needed to do damage, low energy needed to cause a transient fault that can get the power supply’s energy to do damage.

And there are protective networks for ESD damage both on-chip and sometimes off-chip in the devices. They can provide some degree of protection, a saving throw bonus.

Generally, you have more problems with smaller devices (cars, …) nearby a low-altitude explosion, where distance is the limiting factor and frequencies to couple are high. Think a really bad lightning in some distance. Mid-altitude is not much of a problem in this regard. High-altitude ones then become a Royal Bitch on Steroids, especially at higher latitudes, because of the Earth magnetic field effects; these are the ones that will kill long cables and fry big transformers - you can get the same effect from a bad solar flare, and you can have protective devices on the transformers, but they are a little costly and nobody cares, growl. Such thing can get long cables on fire, see the Kazakhstan effects after related Russian tests, I can look up the link on wikipedia on request.

I did some engineering consulting for survivalist 1%ers and a survival-porn fiction author, they live in their own GI-Joe fantasy world. Try explaining science to die-hard believers in their own Hollywood inspired revenge and ascendancy fantasy narrative.
They imagine that the eventual but certain EMP or Carrington Event will make their hardened compound the new Camelot with them the Arthurian philosopher king.
Fortunately it takes a good two stage thermonuclear device which is had to shrink to the size to fit a missile of exoatmospheric continental real-effect size, a Carrington event is more likely at this point.
Reality is that the electrical system will be screwed but there are safeguards to preserve most of the important and expensive parts, and many components and blow out links can have improvised repairs done to get vital infrastructure energized again.

Things will most likely go the way nobody is prepared for. It usually happens such way.

The W53 warhead from the Titan II missile has yield of 9 megatons. So, it is not so peachy and hard. Depends on the magnitude of the effects, of course.

4 tons, almost 4 meters long, 1.27 meters diameter. Not that big, not that heavy.

A W71 warhead is another contender, with lower yield and different but interesting characteristics.

Which is my primary worry. Politicos are idiots but not SUCH idiots to play pingpong with instant stars.

Multiple experts say it would be pretty bad. What I heard is that the protection for the biggest transformers is somewhat substandard in comparison with what would be really needed, and that their replacement in case more than just a handful fail at once will take unpleasantly long time.

The W53 took the best minds and ample testing to produce. I used to live in the same building as the daughter of a early H-bomb physicist they had many dead ends and surprises like Ivy King Castle Bravo(her mother almost left her father over that yield under-calculation). The W-53 type weapon took the English, French, Soviets, and Chinese many years to perfect and probably trillions of dollars for the US to first research and leak to western NATO allies. According to Ted Taylor it is nearly impossible to build a deliverable h-bomb without testing or a super computer and a large cadre of brilliant physicists working for your cause, the NPT 5 can do it but they were able to do many tests, maaaybe India, and Israel probably could thanks to Soviet immigrant nuclear physicists, supercomputers, and espionage but it is doubtful that they would waste the money in an era of modern inertial guided low CEP delivery vehicles.
I doubt a small actor like the DPRK could pull off a good multi-100Kt EMP device though for nerdly pleasure I keep the TLE of KMS 3-2, their failed satellite which is still in orbit, updated.

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Yeah, but then you’d be stuck living out the rest of your days with a bunch of neo-libertarian douchebags. I’d rather just join one of the cannibal hordes.


Any place with warmth and food will do. They will quickly learn that leaving the tech upkeep to me and getting out of my hair is the best strategy.

Actually, knowledge is the best thing to stock for case of trouble. Everything else will be easier to find or barter, and your own stock won’t deplete. It may also make you more likely to be a valued asset worthy of protection, whoever ends up to be the local warlord.

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exactly, i can just picture their bunker compound not doing a lot of good when under 30 meters of seawater and mel gibson is fighting oil tankers overhead. :slight_smile:

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Or you could end up chained to a metal pipe being forced to cook meth 18 hours a day so that you don’t defect to another local warlord. That’s the problem with being a valuable asset. Just ask Pinkman. :wink:


This is a genius way of mocking rampant consumerism while simultaneously supporting paranoia and rampant prepper consumerism.