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Fighting and Making Fun of Ambiguity

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BEN-NEW's Network
BENjamin-NEWton Challenging Projects Network
by Ben Huot
Academic Non-Fiction E-Books & More Free Stuff

Informational Website

This is an Old School Informational website

General Book Statistics

  • 2,686 pages of unique text written over 20 years
  • average of 1 essay or poem written every week for over 20 years
  • average of 134 pages written every year for over 20 years

Book Statistics by Period

  • 789 pages written from 1998-2007
  • 1,111 pages written from 2008-2011
  • 786 pages written from 2012-2018

This website adheres to the following

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I get no money for this website from any means, not even to pay for this website. I have put a lot of my own personal money into the website, but have not received any funds from outside sources.

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How to Survive Disasters

Beyond the Willamette Valley

"And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number. And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him. And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction. And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands."

--Genesis 41:46-57

Survive Disasters: What to Prepare For

What Kind of Disasters

Every survival list will be different because they are designed for different disasters. You cannot make a kit to survive all possible disasters.

Look at your national or international television or Internet news over the past several years and you will see many of the following in the headlines. Study your local history and past disasters that have happened where you live and work. Study what life was like before electricity and modern plumbing came to your area.

I have focused on the Willamette Valley (in Oregon), so in your preparations you must factor in the variables mentioned below.

Regional Factors

  • geography
  • weather
  • wind patterns
  • soil type
  • access to drinkable water
  • population density
  • distance from military installations
  • amount of land you own
  • crime level
  • population diversity
  • local politics
  • gun laws

Survival Items Most Affected by Regional Factors

  • water storage
  • amount of food on hand
  • seeds
  • clothing
  • personal protection/self defense
  • nuclear radiation protection (applies the same to most US areas except for the area of the Oregon I live in, due to spread of possible targets and wind patterns)

Examples of Major Disasters

vary depend on your location but include:

  • biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological terrorism or foreign country attack;
  • disease outbreaks including avian flue;
  • water born severe storms which are called either: hurricanes, typhoons, tropical storms, cyclonic storms, tropical depressions, or cyclones;
  • earthquakes and volcanic eruptions;
  • global famine;
  • global climate change/global warming with sea level rises affecting most of the population which lives near the sea;
  • running out of natural resources like drinkable water, fertile soil, or oil (which is the basis of modern civilization);
  • space based threats including asteroid or comet impacts, cosmic radiation, pole shift;
  • economic problems like worldwide depressions, hyperinflation;
  • major communications infrastructure breakdown like entire grid power outages or major satellite failure

More Common and Personal or Local Disasters

primarily need financial/related preparation:

  • loss of job or incomes,
  • loss of retirement or investments,
  • loss of transportation,
  • death of family member,
  • diagnosis of serious/chronic illness,
  • house or building fire,

primarily natural/related disasters:

  • local power outage,
  • local flooding,
  • roads blocked due to winter weather,
  • unusually high or low temperatures,
  • getting lost in the wild,

primarily social/related problems

  • riots for various reasons,
  • getting kidnapped or burglarized,
  • going into the wrong neighborhood,
  • stuck in airports or overseas,

primarily medical/related problems

  • exposure to toxic chemicals,
  • getting severely injured due to an accident while alone

Survival Items Most Affected by Disaster Scenario

  • location of gear (on person, car, suitcase/backpack, current residence, doomstead)
  • skills to learn
  • amount of land to own
  • amount of cash on hand
  • fuel
  • electrical power supplies (batteries, generators, solar panels)
  • amount of food on hand
  • personal protection/self defense

Survive Disasters: Answering Objections

Disaster Preparation is a Kind of Insurance

Some people think to prepare for disasters leads to desiring they come true so you are proved right. But most people who prepare do so for the same reasons people buy different kinds of insurance. People buy life insurance, still hoping they will live, medical insurance, still hoping not to get sick, and car and house insurance still hoping to not to lose their possessions.

The Government Will Not Save You

Some people are willing to rely solely on the government to protect and provide for them in case of disasters. Based on my understanding of how the military operates from my own Army enlistment, based on what happened in reports of survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and hearing disaster plans from the local FEMA office, do not expect the government will help you at all and definitely not until 72 hours have passed at the very least.

In most situations when the power goes down (including water and sewer) for a few days, and food is not delivered for a couple days, riots will break out and the response from the police will be to contain you, not to offer you help. If you have to go to a relief center, be prepared for your personal belongings to be stolen, you will not be able to carry anything for personal protection, even kitchen or swiss army knives which you will never get back, and expect to encounter violence from people who may or may not be part of the government.

Prepare Ahead of Time

If you are planning to wait until the last minute, most people will be doing the same and realize that when the trucks stop coming, there is only enough food for everyone stored in local stores to provide for people for 3 days. Within hours of the disaster, everything in every store that could possibly be of use to you will be totally gone. This happens all the time in hurricane country even when people know it is that season and they have been hit in the past, they still wait until the last minute.

Do not count on having access to any sort of power and expect that you will not be able to use credit cards or toilets. Keep cash on hand in addition to your supplies and keep low denominations because local vendors will likely not be able to give change and instead round off items for sale to the nearest dollar.

God Wants You to Be Prepared

Some people also believe that to have faith in God means that they should depend on miracles to survive, but the Bible teaches in Genesis with the living example of the patriarch Joseph, as a leader under the Pharaoh in Egypt, that we should save a little extra each year for the lean years.

Preparation will Vary According to Your Situation

Preparing will involve different things for different people. Some want to live off grid and live off the land with no power. Others will merely have a a few weeks supply of food on hand. There is no one list because everyone's situation is different.

Survive Disasters: Survival Kits

Bug Out Gear

This survival kit, called a Bug Out Bag, is designed for survival for several days and contains everything necessary to get you to your permanent retreat, a place in a rural area where you intend on spending a long emergency situation with your family or group of friends, like a farm or ranch. This should be able to be carried by you on foot, as you have to assume that you will not be able to get gas for your car at the time of the disaster.

Doomstead

A doomstead is your permanent retreat. You want to have a piece of land that one member of your group owns, preferably with a number of acres of land in which to weather out a major disaster. You want to be able to get plenty of fresh water, have good soil, mild weather, a homogeneous population, and have low population density.

What to Stock up On

Save as many open pollinated seeds, plastic sheeting/containers, metal tools, soap, warm clothing, fresh water as possible as these are not easy to come by in disaster situations. The following items are relatively inexpensive now but are worth more than gold in times of disaster.

Seeds are the most important thing to save, because they will provide you food in the future, but the seeds that are in your local stores, although cheaper, are hybrids and you cannot grow plants from the seeds of hybrid plants for the following years. You can find open pollinated seeds online.

Plastic sheeting is useful for many things especially waterproofing and sealing rooms from nuclear/chemical/biological contamination, plastic containers can be used to store food and water. Plastic is not easy to produce without modern technology.

Metal tools are very hard to make without access to lots of energy and/or advanced machinery that is hard to get, expensive, and too heavy to carry.

Soap is essential to staying healthy and can be made fairly easily, but is very toxic and dangerous to make.

Warm clothing is important because even if you have mild weather, the climate throughout the world may change quickly and there will be more extreme storms because of global warming.

Fresh water is essential for life and is not always easy to collect from rainwater, in the midst of a disaster, especially if it happens in a dry area or during the summer.

Learn Valuable Skills

The key to survival is to have the know how to be a useful member of society, where you can provide a critical service, that is in high demand. You need to plan on not having access to power.

Farming would be the best skill as we would need 50 million farmers to feed America without access to modern, oil-based technologies.

You can get books on self defense, medicine, plant identification, water storage, gardening, butchering, preserving food, cooking, tanning leather, leather working, sewing, carpentry, paper making, brewing beer, and blacksmithing through Amazon.com and at your local bookstore.

Resilience

Don't put all your resources into any one thing. Spend some on disaster supplies, save some in cash on hand, save some money in the bank, pay off debts, and lower monthly expenses by canceling unnecessary services.

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Website Card Data

  • Benjamin-Newton Challenging Projects
  • My Umbrella Website
  • Links to My Other Websites by Topic and/or Media Type
  • Short Writings, Photos, Audio, Military, Schizophrenia, Recommended Books, Disaster Survival and Computer Help
  • © Ben Huot 1998
  • www.benjamin-newton.net
Fighting and Making Fun of Ambiguity

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Detailed Notes

Quick Help Remarks

E-Books

All Books are Only in E-Book formats (digital files)

How to Download Files?

On an iPad or iPhone, for PDFs, Double Tap on the Document and choose Open in iBooks, in Upper Right Hand corner. For JPEG or PNG images, on an iPad or iPhone, Touch and Hold for a Second and choose to Save from Pop-up Menu.

On a Desktop or Laptop Computer, the PDFs will Download Automatically after Left Clicking on Link in Web Page, and Right Click on Link in Web Page and choose Save As to save JPEGs or PNGs for Direct Links to Bare Images. On a Desktop or Laptop Computer, for JPEGs or PNGs In a Webpage, Right Click on Image and Choose Save As.

Can't Find Downloaded Files?

Look in Your Downloads or (My) Documents Folder on Desktop or Laptop Computer and iBooks (for PDFs) or Photos (for Images) on an iPad or iPhone.

Want to Ever See this Website Again?

  • Always Reload or Refresh each of my pages, when Returning to any part, of any of my websites, after your first visit, as I Update my websites very frequently (often multiple times a day).
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  • Unfortunately, computers in general and Search engines, in particular, are not as capable, as they seem, which means that my website cannot be reliably found, if you are depending on Google or Bing.
  • No one can get their website reliably featured on Google, for appropriate search terms, no matter how much they pay, or how big a brand they have.
  • Google constantly changes and will never release the criteria they use, to determine who get featured first, on the search results, for a given set of keywords.
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  • Click on the first icon to the left of the address bar on your Apple device, where you add bookmarks, and choose "Add to Home Screen."

Website Compatibility

Software Requirements

My regular websites work well on any Windows, Mac, or Linux laptop or desktop running Chrome or Firefox, a Chromebook, or any Apple device (iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch) that is running iOS 11 or later. If this website does not work on your browser or device, try the simpler/mobile version.

Javascript Settings

My websites work fine without Javascript or plugins enabled, or with ads or scripts blocked (my websites have no third party content or ads nor do they make use of any plugins). To get a simpler version of most of my websites, try "Disabling Javascript". On my website, you won't be abe to adjust the website appearance or have it read aloud, with Javascript disabled.

Consequences

Disabling Javascript will both increase the security of your computer or device and get rid of annoying things like malware, ads, pop-ups, and comment sections. It will also make your computer or device browser run much faster and use many times less of your monthly quota, from your cell phone plan. On the other hand, with many popular sites, you won't be able to use them at all, with this setting, so change it back afterwards.

Downloads Situation

I just found out yesterday that most my downloads (which I have on a different server/service) have been unavailable for 1-3 months, due to a change in credit cards. Although I only owed $2, they decided to cut off my service and not tell me.

The service is completely restored, but I am moving things over as fast as possible to the main site. Things may not be as fast as otherwise, but things will at least be accessible.

The problem with the other service is that they billed monthly, so I was not able to make sure everything was right and pay the bill ahead of time for a year (like I do with all my other services and websites). I will never again depend on a monthly billed service, so this problem should never happen again.

Sorry for the inconvenience. I know how annoying this is, when I run into it on other websites. The lesson is to depend upon as few people as possible, because everyone seems to screw up the most simple things, no matter how reputable the brand is.

Everything is currently available now, but I am being proactive. Everything is finally moved over to my server hosting and I do not depend on or use this service for anything anymore. This will make downloading things slower in places like China, India, South America, and Africa, but this is still better than not being available at all.

Security is a Serious Issue

Celebrating No Ads, for at Least the Last 10 years. I only had ads, for the first few years, when I could not afford to pay for a website, when I started out on Tripod, in 1998. I currently use about 10 ad blockers at once, for my web browser, on both my iPad and iMac. None of these ad blockers interferes with my website display or functionality in any way. I encourage you to use them.

I recommend you use ad blockers and do not feel sorry about it at all, as the online advertisers have forced our hand. You cannot even see content, on many websites, because of the ads. Now there is even malware, that comes with ads, even on legitimate websites, like Forbes.com.

I use no cookies, trackers, ads, analytics, or collect any personal information from users, for any reason. None of my downloads have spyware or adware in any of them. I use a Mac and an iPad, so there should be no viruses or worms in them, either.

At one time, I offered people to buy print versions of my books, at cost, but I have removed this capability, because of no interest. There are currently no things to buy from my website. I am not trying to make any money off my website, or even to pay for its creation and hosting costs. I never thought I would and I never plan to, in the future.

I only use a couple different light utility functions in Javascript, like for loading the CSS file and search. If you ever experience ads on my website or anything annoying like that, they are not from me. If you use a free wifi from Comcast, they unethically may insert ads into sites, that don't have ads, like mine. I will be putting in a major upgrade, that requires a huge amount of work, to block anyone's ability to do that, verry soon.

Do not trust anything you see online. Expect everything to be a scam, unless proven otherwise and give out as little information as possible, no matter what the reason. Anything can be faked. Just because something looks legitimate doesn't mean it is. The future of malware is likely ransomware. Randsomeware is when someone takes control of your data or device and make you pay money to unlock it.

Remember, there will be a more and more scams and security problems, over time. You will need to do things, to increase your security, over the years, to fix new threats. It is very easy to hack computers and very difficult to secure them. Computer security could be much better, if even basic industry standard security practices were followed. The problem is that people are too cheap.

When your information gets stolen, it is usually not from you, but from someone else, who has your information. If you were a hacker, would you target one person's individual computer, that has, at the most, one person's information, when you can attack a big store like Target and get millions of people's private information, at once?

Do whatever you need to protect yourself. Never buy any software from anywhere, except from a curated app store like Apple's. Avoid free software, as many open source software packages now even include malware in them, as well. Uninstall Flash and Java and never install any plugins or any other software needed, to see a website, for any reason.

Avoid accessing websites from within app store apps, not preinstalled by your OS. Avoid giving personal information to social networks or free services, as the never actually delete anything and have poor security. Do not give apps access to any personal information, including contacts or photos.

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Network Overview

Network Introduction

Confused about the world today? Want a simple, direct, and clear explanation? Read my books. My writing is like poetry meets encyclopedia. You will find nothing like this online or in print. All of this writing is available at no cost. I have a steady income and a lot of time, as well as an unusual perspective. This website network and these books are my way of trying to make the world a better place.

There are a lot of other (non-fiction) things I write about, as well, like what it is like to have Schizophrenia, secrets to my website design, and a completely different political and religious point of view. My point of view is partially based on my experience enlisted in the military and later living with Schizophrenia for over 15 years. It is also heavily influenced by my decades long (and continuing) study of world religions and world history (after ancient history and before modern times).

I follow my theories with practical advice and do what I recommend others do. You can make the world a better place. Just remember to think for yourself (this is what studying philosophy should teach you). Learn from my writings and experience, but come to your own conclusions. I am likely wrong on a lot of things, as are even the greatest thinkers, throughout history. I write what I believe, but you need to make your own choices, based on your own experience and your own understanding of yourself and the world.

I teach the exact opposite of the medieval philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. Instead of understanding God, to the limits of reason and then using faith, to reach beyond that, I believe that faith is the primary means with which we should understand God and the use of reason, to explain the Bible and God, is a secondary and subordinate pursuit. It is dangerous, to base your faith on reason, because someone could then change your mind, just because they are better at arguing.

One of the things people often assume is that arguments are all based on reason, and to understand how I explain things, it is important to understand that I am not trying to be rational. I do not believe that you will change your views, even if I was able to form a superior reasonable argument for it. The basis for my faith is not rational either. If you think pursuing truth without using reason is nonsense, then you probably won't agree with what I have to say. Yes, I actually believe that and yes I do see some humor in that as well.

Start reading here today.

Opening Thoughts

Exactly the same but completely different. Slightly worse, but many times better.

For those things we know are true, but we thought were impossible to put into words. Always be kind and work hard. Learn as much as possible and be creative in solving problems. Over all, in making important and morally significant decisions, think long term. The best you can do in life is follow your conscience.

On Certainty in Life

I am sure about everything everyone else doesn't understand, but I am confused about everything everyone else is certain of. Everything you have seen and heard is wrong. What we were taught was true in school is irrelevant. The things we think are really important are very unimportant and the things that we think aren't very important are the most important of all.

About Me

I am a former soldier (army) and have been living independently with Schizophrenia for over 15 years. I live in Eugene, Oregon (United States) I have spent much of this time writing a number of books on various non-fiction topics based on my experiences, what I have read, and the insights I have had over the last (almost) 20 years.

I have also designed these Benjamin-Newton websites from scratch, with all my own code and graphics and updated them daily for that entire time, as well. I code directly to CSS in a text editor and avoid anything that slows the site down or causes unnecessary security problems.

Want to Think Critically?

I am a Christian cynic and pessimist in that I believe in everything in the Bible, but nothing else except Murphy's Law (anything that can go wrong will). I consider this positive, because when anything goes well in any aspect of my working with other people doing their jobs, I am pleasantly surprised.

Explore my website and learn to think critically about everything (history, religion, psychology, ethics, design, technology, and disaster survival). Be sure to be critical of everything you read, including my ideas.

Beyond Reason and Facts

When making decisions, expand your worldview and use your heart and soul, as well as your intellect. Think critically, but do not limit yourself to just the rational and the empirical. Use all the other methods of discovery, that come from the major world belief systems.

Decide what is true based on: your conscience (as determined by your faith, scripture, tradition, prophecy, paradox, intuition, history, and feelings) what you have experienced (in your relationship with God by worship, ritual, prayer, mystical experience, visions, and divine healing), and the practice of your faith (in the way you express your loyalty and respect for God by a code of conduct/ethics, fasting, living a life of poverty, taking vows of silence and/or chastity). This will lead you to ask tougher questions and make more difficult decisions, with your now bigger understanding of reality, but it will also bring greater peace and purpose to your life.

Philosophy Inspired Solutions to World Problems

Some people work too hard and need to rest, while others are lazy and need to work harder. How do you determine which problem is yours? It is usually the opposite of what you think. Ask people who know you well, and be prepared for a surprise response.

The following are examples, of the kinds of practical things you can do, to reduce suffering in the world, in things you have control over.

Economically Based
  • Make Ethical Decisions in the Products We Buy
  • Find Creative Way to Reduce Our Expenses
  • Get Supplies and Training to Survive Disasters
  • Promote Internet Usage to Empower Individuals
  • Give Away Free Content to Support Alternate Opinions
Socially Based
  • Network to Expand Our Circles of Influence
  • Form Relationships with Our Neighbors
  • Encourage Others
  • Stay Positive and Increase Our Positive Influences
  • Avoid Mainstream Assumptions
Spiritually Based
  • Pray for God's Will to Be Done
  • Improve a Specific Animal's Life
  • Increase Our Understanding of the World
  • Raise Our Kids to Be Good Citizens
  • Take Time to Relax

Philosophical Influences

Biblical
  • Apostle Paul
  • Apostle John
  • Prophet Jeremiah
  • Prophet Nehemiah
  • Prophet Elijah
  • King Solomon
  • King David
Chinese
  • Chuang Tzu
  • Hsun Tzu
  • Bodhidharma
  • Dogen
  • Han Shan
  • Li Po
  • Tu Fu
Other Asian and African
  • Al-Ghazzali
  • Hafiz
  • Kabir
  • Kebra Nagast
  • Archbishop Desmund Tutu
Existential
  • Kierkegaard
  • Camus
  • Viktor Frankl
  • Tolstoy
  • Dostoevsky
  • Nietzsche
Renaissance and Enlightenment
  • Meister Eckhart
  • Erasmus
  • Montaigne
  • Berkeley
  • Locke
  • Spinoza

Why am I so Critical of the Church and Christians?

You cannot change other people's minds, but you can change your own mind. We can defend our theology and dismiss unbelievers as being intellectually lazy and/or in rebellion against God, and likely be entirely correct. The things is if we choose to do anything necessary, to bring about faith in Christ, we can re-examine our cultural interpretations of Scripture and its application to our lives and society.

Not only can we make Christianity more appealing, to those who are seeking God, but at the same time need not compromise any core theology, related to salvation, in order to do so. If we change the way we approach politics and society, without changing our core beliefs, is this not a success in evangelism?

Society is now going through a major technology revolution that is as profound and far reaching as the agricultural revolution was. Every institution and industry has, is now, or will be transformed into a different form, if it even survives. The Church will survive and thrive, but it would help grow the Church, if we can find things that we can change, while still holding to our Biblical faith.

The Bible is definitely not wrong and our theology has been preserved, at great cost in the major divisions of the church, but people can and are often wrong. There are also many ways to implement theology and express our faith and when we have such major cultural and technological changes, it is appropriate to adjust things like liturgy and political stances.

What we have today works for many people and we will have to fight very hard, for maybe only a small increase in numbers, but isn't the salvation of any one person worth changing how we think about non-critical aspects of theology and the Bible?

The many things that seem so odd to modern day people about the society in the Bible are almost all culturally adapted expressions of the same theology that we hold today. Being culturally relevant was important enough for God to build the entire Old Testament around the ancient Middle Eastern ways of thinking and social conventions, so it must still be equally important today.

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