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The Lifeboat Analogy

A big ship is safer than a small life boat; therefore, you should only deploy the life boats and leave the big ship if you are pretty sure that it will really sink. Even a big ship in trouble is far more stabile, has more resources, and can better stand a storm, than small life boats.

My viewpoint would be, that we are on a ship that may potentially get in big trouble, but that is still not yet sinking, it is not even really damaged yet. If you leave the ship now, the ship will sail on, leaving you behind, all on your own. The big ship may collide with an iceberg and sink, but it is still far better prepared to sail through a heavy storm than a small life boat.

Let’s keep working the analogy.

“Manning” the lifeboats is at least one step before “deploying” the lifeboats. If and when it becomes clear you should abandon ship, you want to be near or on a lifeboat. The other choice will be standing at the back in the crowd pressing to get a seat on a boat precisely at the moment it becomes clear to everyone that the lifeboats need to deploy and the ship needs to be abandoned. Hope you are a good swimmer!

So for me, “manning” the lifeboat means taking what small, hard earned wealth I possess now and either purchasing some property alone or with others. This property needs to be usable to at least provide subsistence agriculture. Where I live, these kinds of properties are already rising in value faster than other real estate. As a lifeboat it need not ever float completely on its own until the ship crashes and starts going down. If the ship is only listing and struggling, we will still be tethered and floating alongside.

Will this little lifeboat be able to float on its own? That could be the hard test. Waiting until it is desperately needed to float to begin learning how to sail and test its sea worthiness would be an extremely stressful and risky plan in my way of thinking. So my suggestion to anyone else who is planning to have a little boat similar as me, take all the “sailing” lessons you can now with your own agricultural efforts, however big or small. Gather all the hard earned advice you can from the old seafaring salts.

If others take this course of action then maybe, just maybe, my lifeboat tethered together with other lifeboats after the crash might just manage to come through the storm.

What I’m sure about, is that for my family and those close to me, I don’t want to have our only choice to be “swimming lessons”. And waiting for those lessons to begin at the time when we need to be exiting the ship and leaving shark infested waters for the nearest rock or shore.

15 comments to The Lifeboat Analogy

  • mike

    Ahhhh says I, but what about all those survivors in the water eyeing us all up in our life boats, swimming steadfastly towards us with the sole intention of tipping us out and them into the life boats we so careflly obtained? Well says I theres probably room for a good swimmer or two, but what of the rest?…

  • mike

    Look says I… 62 million people swimming in uk waters alone, 20% under 16. 20% pensioners….
    20% disabled… still leaves 40% swimming for your boats… leaves 24 million 800 thousand or so swimming towards your bol… I mean life boat…

  • mike

    I hope youve got enough ammo put by…

  • northern raider

    Erm !! Dont forget that when the big ship does go down its undertow normally pulls any unprepared survivors in the water down with it, even if they are wearing a life preserver.
    The best option is not to sail in stormy weather and watch out for icebergs.

  • northern raider

    Remember the meaning of “Thank god for Southby” in the book Raise the Titanic. Foresight and planning Chaps, forsight and planning.

  • northern raider

    Mike remember that in many cases when a ship was going down huge numbers of passengers were to afraid to leave the sinking ship even if spaces were left in the lifeboats, I reckon millions of sheeple will be to afraid to venture out of the urban conurbations until its way to late.

  • Skean Dhude

    Mike,

    We just row away. The cold will get them in a very short space of time.

    NR,

    We will be clear in our boat. I knew that fact.

    Funny when you mentioned it I remember the phrase but I haven’t read the book for years. Save me reading it again and expand on your comment.

    Well I’ll watch the sheeple from afar and just shake my head. Mine will be with me and the more space the better.

  • northern raider

    “Thank god for Southby”

    It was the American mining engineer trying to get the radioactive material back to the US realised the bad guys stood a good chance of getting him, so he PLANNED AHEAD, and made CONTINGENCY PLANS, and hid the minerals in a false grave in Southby. But everyone else thought Southby was a person who had retrieved the minerals before the Titanic sailed.

  • mike

    I too believe most will stay within there council estate dens feeding off each other for a good while and people we see hopefully should only then be dribs and drabs. I just wanted to put some numbers in the air.
    I think we should all plan for discovery of our bol just in case.
    We should have a plan for just such an occasion. the old saying goes “expect the unexpected” and of course murpheys law applies.
    So if your expecting to be discovered and to have to repel borders, if it happens, well you were expecting it, if not so much the better.I think failiure to plan for zombies or whatever you want to call the unprepared is suicide.

    • northern raider

      I think the probable best tool available for us in the short term to avoid the herds of city sheeple is likely to be mobility. We plan to have various bug out routes, methods of transport, high levels of navigational skills, well reccied BOL’s.The average city sheeple will prolly have less than a full tank of fuel to play with, be ill equipped to walk far, prolly wont have much kit, not have a pre reccied destination, be unfamiliar with the areas outside the city etc. I think a very large number of them will wander the highways until food, fuel and shoes fail, I dont think the average townie will stray far from any tarmaced road.

      So long as we are prepped, provisioned and have our caches and BOLS to access I reckon it will be a game of mobility and waiting.

  • John

    Let me just add for further though.

    Lifeboat Ethics

    First we must acknowledge that each lifeboat is effectively limited in capacity. The land of every nation has a limited carrying capacity. The exact limit is a matter for argument, but the energy crunch is convincing more people every day that we have already exceeded the carrying capacity of the land. We have been living on “capital” —stored petroleum and coal— and soon we must live on income alone.

    Let us look at only one lifeboat ours. The ethical problem is the same for all, and is as follows. Here we sit, say 50 people in a lifeboat. To be generous, let us assume our boat has a capacity of 10 more, making 60. (This, however, is to violate the engineering principle of the “safety factor.” A new plant disease or a bad change in the weather may decimate our population if we don’t preserve some excess capacity as a safety factor.)

    The 50 of us in the lifeboat see a 100 others swimming in the water outside, asking for admission to the boat, or for handouts. How shall we respond to their calls?
    There are several possibilities.

    Adrift in a Moral Sea
    So here we sit, say 50 people in our lifeboat. To be generous, let us assume it has room for 10 more, making a total capacity of 60. Suppose the 50 of us in the lifeboat see 100 others swimming in the water outside, begging for admission to our boat or for handouts. We have several options: we may be tempted to try to live by the Christian ideal of being “our brother’s keeper,” or by the Marxist ideal of “to each according to his needs.” Since the needs of all in the water are the same, and since they can all be seen as “our brothers,” we could take them all into our boat, making a total of 150 in a boat designed for 60. The boat swamps, everyone drowns. Complete justice, complete catastrophe.

    Since the boat has an unused excess capacity of 10 more passengers, we could admit just 10 more to it. But which 10 do we let in? How do we choose? Do we pick the best 10, “first come, first served”? And what do we say to the 90 we exclude? If we do let an extra 10 into our lifeboat, we will have lost our “safety factor,” an engineering principle of critical importance. For example, if we don’t leave room for excess capacity as a safety factor in our country’s agriculture, a new plant disease or a bad change in the weather could have disastrous consequences.

    Suppose we decide to preserve our small safety factor and admit no more to the lifeboat. Our survival is then possible although we shall have to be constantly on guard against boarding parties.

    While this last solution clearly offers the only means of our survival, it is morally abhorrent to many people. Some say they feel guilty about their good luck. My reply is simple: “Get out and yield your place to others.” This may solve the problem of the guilt-ridden person’s conscience, but it does not change the ethics of the lifeboat. The needy person to whom the guilt-ridden person yields his place will not himself feel guilty about his good luck. If he did, he would not climb aboard. The net result of conscience-stricken people giving up their unjustly held seats is the elimination of that sort of conscience from the lifeboat.

    Immigration Creates A Commons
    I come now to the final example of a commons in action, one for which the public is least prepared for rational discussion. The topic is at present enveloped by a great silence which reminds me of a comment made by Sherlock Holmes in A. Conan Doyle’s story “Silver Blaze.” Inspector Gregory had asked, “Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?” To this Holmes responded:
    “To the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime.”
    “The dog did nothing in the nighttime,” said the Inspector.
    “That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.

    By asking himself what would repress the normal barking instinct of a watchdog, Holmes realized that it must be the dog’s recognition of his master as the criminal trespasser. In a similar way we should ask ourselves what repression keeps us from discussing something as important as immigration.

    Curious, but understandable —as one finds out the moment he publicly questions the wisdom of the status quo in immigration. He who does so is promptly charged with isolationism, bigotry, prejudice, ethnocentrism, chauvinism, and selfishness. These are hard accusations to bear. It is pleasanter to talk about other matters, leaving immigration policy to wallow in the cross-currents of special interests that take no account of the good of the whole —or of the interests of posterity.

    For the foreseeable future survival demands that we govern our actions by the ethics of a lifeboat. Posterity will be ill served if we do not.

    But does everyone on earth have an equal right to an equal share of its resources? The spaceship metaphor can be dangerous when used by misguided idealists to justify suicidal policies for sharing our resources through uncontrolled immigration and foreign aid. In their enthusiastic but unrealistic generosity, they confuse the ethics of a spaceship with those of a lifeboat.

    The Tragedy of the Commons
    The fundamental error of spaceship ethics, and the sharing it requires, is that it leads to what I call “the tragedy of the commons.” Under a system of private property, the men who own property recognize their responsibility to care for it, for if they don’t they will eventually suffer. A farmer, for instance, will allow no more cattle in a pasture than its carrying capacity justifies. If he overloads it, erosion sets in, weeds take over, and he loses the use of the pasture.

    If a pasture becomes a commons open to all, the right of each to use it may not be matched by a corresponding responsibility to protect it. Asking everyone to use it with discretion will hardly do, for the considerate herdsman who refrains from overloading the commons suffers more than a selfish one who says his needs are greater. If everyone would restrain himself, all would be well; but it takes only one less than everyone to ruin a system of voluntary restraint. In a crowded world of less than perfect human beings, mutual ruin is inevitable if there are no controls. This is the tragedy of the commons.

    Learning the Hard Way
    What happens if some organizations or countries budget for accidents and others do not? If each country is solely responsible for its own well-being, poorly managed ones will suffer. But they can learn from experience. They may mend their ways, and learn to budget for infrequent but certain emergencies. For example, the weather varies from year to year, and periodic crop failures are certain. A wise and competent government saves out of the production of the good years in anticipation of bad years to come. Joseph taught this policy to Pharaoh in Egypt more than 2,000 years ago. Yet the great majority of the governments in the world today do not follow such a policy. They lack either the wisdom or the competence, or both. Should those nations that do manage to put something aside be forced to come to the rescue each time an emergency occurs among the poor nations?

    “But it isn’t their fault!” Some kind-hearted liberals argue. “How can we blame the poor people who are caught in an emergency? Why must they suffer for the sins of their governments?” The concept of blame is simply not relevant here. The real question is, what are the operational consequences of establishing a world food bank? If it is open to every country every time a need develops, slovenly rulers will not be motivated to take Joseph’s advice. Someone will always come to their aid. Some countries will deposit food in the world food bank, and others will withdraw it. There will be almost no overlap. As a result of such solutions to food shortage emergencies, the poor countries will not learn to mend their ways, and will suffer progressively greater emergencies as their populations grow.

    A world food bank is thus a commons in disguise. People will have more motivation to draw from it than to add to any common store. The less provident and less able will multiply at the expense of the abler and more provident, bringing eventual ruin upon all who share in the commons. Besides, any system of “sharing” that amounts to foreign aid from the rich nations to the poor nations will carry the taint of charity, which will contribute little to the world peace so devoutly desired by those who support the idea of a world food bank.

    The same may be said of the current EURO and world financial crisis and the UK’s contributions to the IMF.

    “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

  • grumpy old man

    do you think we should go to canada maybe someone knows things we don’t ?????

  • mike

    I think your right there NR, pedestrian convoys down the m6…. and round and around the m25.
    I went to check my bol the other day, extreemly muddy, took the wife and nearly lost her in knee deep mud.
    Should have took my bloody chance and run for it!!!

  • Skvez

    All analogies are flawed to some extent but I think this is below average.

    Maritime rule of thumb is that you don’t evacuate your vessel until you are stepping *up* into your lifeboat. But this is perhaps not such good advice for a heavily populated passenger ferry (or country).

    If you’ve ever seen a relief vehicle getting mobbed and stripped of resources you will know why you don’t want to wait to the last minute to bug out. You want to be away while the sheeple are still wondering what the siren means

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