[ExI] we stand on the shoulders of giants

Stephen Van Sickle sjv2006 at gmail.com
Sat Jul 4 06:56:38 UTC 2009

*Assume a few hundred of us proles and our mates and children, with only the
knowledge we currently carry in our heads.

*Something similar to this was discussed several years ago on Usenet under
the title "Earth Abides - What Would You Do?".  Spikes scenario does away
with the scraps of civilization assumed in the earlier thread, but much of
the discussion focused for the need for actual skills, rather than book
learning or salvage, at least for the long term.  To help, I determined the
range of skills for a cross section of the US consisting of 3000 people
randomly chosen.

Of course, Q being a cruel god, he selects the Extropians list where the
breakdown of skills is likely considerably less spread out than below.  And,
of course, they are skilled at a somewhat higher level than "starting from
scratch".  My guess, you might be able to get to a bronze or early iron age
level after a while, but that is about it.

>From old Usenet post:

According to the Statistical Abstract of the United States,
a 1 in 100,000 cross-section (10% of the survivors in the US in our
scenario...a town of slightly less than 3000) would include:

1 architect
15 engineers
   1 chemical (maybe)
   2 civil
   4 electrical & electronic
   2 industrial
   2 or 3 mechanical
3 or 4 natural scientists
   1 chemist
   1 (maybe) biologist
4 or 5 mathematical or computer scientists
5 physicians
1 dentist
14 registered nurses
4 or 5 licensed practical nurses
11 health technologists or technicians
1 or 2 pharmacists
2 or 3 therapists (physical, resp, etc)
maybe 1 physician's assistant
17 health service workers (dental assistants, nurses aides, etc)
6 college and university teachers
34 elementary and secondary teachers
2 librarians
1 economist
1 psychologist
3 members of clergy
6 or 7 lawyers
8 engineering technologists or technicians
2 science technicians
9 other technicians (not medical, engineering, or science)
4 or 5 computer programmers
2 firefighers
6 or 7 police and detectives
6 private security guards
17 vehicle and mobile equipment mechanics
    8 automobile mechanics
7 electrical and electronic equipment repairers
42 construction trades
    11 or 12 carpenters
2 extractive occupations
27 precision production occupations
14 textile, apparel and furnishings machine operators
17 assemblers, fabricators and handworking occupations
22 truck drivers
10 material moving equipment operators
37 farming, forestry and fishing
    14 or 15 farm operators and managers
    11 or 12 farm workers
14 active duty military personnel
13 military reservists
247 veterans of military service
2 or 3 commercial pilots

In addition to this are hobbiest activities:
24% of US households involved in vegetable gardening
10% of US households involved in fruit tree gardening
15% of population over 18, pottery work at least once in last 12 months
    (includes ceramics, jewelry, leatherwork, and metalwork)
28% of population over 18, weaving at least once in last 12 months
    (this seems high to me...maybe include knitting, needlework, etc.?)
47 Boy Scouts
16 Boy Scout leaders
32 Girl Scouts
7  Girls Scout leaders
147 backpackers
465 campers
397 sport fishermen
140 hunters (56 bow hunters)
28 regular woodworkers (2 or 3 days/week)
45 martial artists
257 boaters (36 sail)
2 or 3 private pilots
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20090703/0db937c8/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list