Decoupling from a global train wreck…

Most of us are DEPENDENT on a global network to get through the day.

Unfortunately, this network is tightly coupled.

Tightly coupled?  What the heck is that?

Tightly coupled is a term used by engineers.   It’s a system where the parts are interdependent.

As a result, a change or failure in one part of the system has an immediate impact on the other parts of the system.

In world that’s tightly coupled, a disaster in one part of the world will immediately be felt in another part of the world.   We saw this on a grand scale with the financial disaster in 2008, and we are going to see it again and again in the future.

Here’s an example of tight coupling in practice:


I’ve spent a considerable amount of time over the last decade working on “what if” scenarios for the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA.

One of those scenarios, naturally, was a war with Iran (one of the world’s top oil exporting countries).

A little known conclusion of that scenario analysis was that a war with Iran greatly increased when deep sanctions were applied.

Why?  Simply:

  1. Sanctions disconnect the Iranians from the global economy which soften the impact of a war with them.
  2. Sanctions also accelerate societal and economic decay in Iran, making it highly likely that it would start a conflict.

The reason I’m bringing this up, is that these deep sanctions are now being put in place.

In particular, the EU is about to start a boycott Iranian oil and the Chinese are already looking for alternatives.

This means one thing:  our governments have radically increased the probability of a war with Iran.

Oh joy.

So, what does a war with Iran mean?  I could spend hours on this analysis, but most of that really would not matter to you.  What does matter is that a war with Iran will ripple through the world as energy prices zoom and economies already on the brink crump.

It will be a global train wreck, and through tight coupling, you will be along for the ride.


So, what can you do?  Most of the advice you will get will be hedge your finances.  That’s fine, but that’s only a small part of the solution and clearly insufficient given the exposures involved.

No, what you really need to do is decouple your future from the world’s future.   To find a way to stay connected to the benefits of a huge global economy while eliminating your exposure to its downsides.

The best ways, and likely the only way, to do this is to live in a resilient community.  A community that produces most of what it needs and is not dependent on continuous support from an increasingly unstable global network.

My goal is to help you do that.

This is just one aspect of self-reliance. You'll find more in our 100% free online Self-Reliance Catalog, a carefully curated collection of the best in self-reliance & resilience

The goal of The Self-Reliance Catalog is to help you know better what is worth getting and where and how to do the getting, whether that “thing” is a plant, a tool, a book, or even a design for a home or greenhouse.

Set up your free account here for instant access



Suggested Videos

Self-Reliance is Hard
We Make It Easier

Solutions for Smarter Self-Reliance:

You'll find them in The Self-Reliance Catalog; a carefully curated collection of the best plants, tools, shelters and systems for self-reliance and resilience.

Free Registration

  • gregorylent

    nearly impossible to go beyond the bounds of the collective consciousness

  • scott newell

    Thanks for being in the vanguard on resilient communities.

    • johnrobb

      Thanks Scott. Set this site up to do the research necessary to really move resilience forward.

  • alc

    I’ll tell you an example of tightly-coupled that most of your readership may find more useful. I used to sell stuff on Ebay. I got into too much debt. I became trapped in a rat-race where as soon as the customer checks came in (I was one of the few anti-Paypal holdouts) I was rushing to the bank to deposit ’em, sending most of the money out for bills, etc. I did so much that people couldn’t believe I was a one-man shop. But I had no resiliency. I had no savings. I had no back-up, no “fat” of any type to resort to or live off of. I can see now that if I’d driven a minivan set up to camp in, and maintained maybe a storage unit, my life would have been less efficient, but I’d have failed much more gracefully.

    In 2007, the economy happened. My gross revenue went down by 2/3’s. I couldn’t even cover my bills. The same thing happens when someone is making good money at a job and now has to make it on unemployment insurance, bringing in 1/3 what they used to. Oh yes and no savings because they’re pumping all they can into (unsuccessfully) paying down debt. Death by efficiency. Death by Doing The Right Thing.

    The almost-mandatory period of homelessness followed, and there were times I made $5 all MONTH.

    These days I’m back on my feet but living a much different life, no crazy work hours, in a semi-rural area. You know that weird grandfather who lived through the Depression and saved string? I’m that guy now.

    What I’m trying to say is, Try, if you can, to step down voluntarily. Go for rustic, rural, hand-made, and CHEAP. Get to where you can live on gristle. Then when you get the big economic smack-down, it won’t be nearly as traumatic and may save your life.

  • Noah

    I believe trying to organize a local community group to handle a disaster is at this point, a waste of time. Nobody will join you in being prepared before the need arrises. It may turn into a disaster for you. You may have half the community at your door, asking for help, because they failed to prepare. I think your time and resources should be spent trying to meet your future needs. I have spent some time secretly identifying others that may have items that I may trade, e. g. cattle, hay, manure, wood, fuel, horses, wagons, etc. The people that possess these items will also need many basic items. God Bless you all.

  • -->