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Skyler4856

Doomsday begins in 3 years.

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Imagine that one is endowed with the knowledge that a societal collapse is imminent. Presuming that the collapse is impossible to stop, what steps would you take to maximize the likelihood you will survive.

Assume these things:

Collapse is due to a disease.

Technology is at roughly the same level three years from now

You cannot stop the disease.

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If I have three years, I'd start stockpiling supplies. Then I would see if I could get some help from friends and family. Build a fortress, maybe buy some good land and fortify it so that a small community could support itself in a protected environment.

Grab some up to date encyclopedias, maybe some other books about survival.

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so it's a disease. And it can't be stopped (how would you know that 3 years before it strikes and nobody else?).

Which comes down to everyone is already infected, which includes you.

So just have a good time for 3 years because in 3 years you're going to be dead anyway. No need to continue building up that pension fund, save for the children's education, things like that. Go see the world while you can.

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Well if a disease is too far fetched for people to accept, then why not a newly discovered comet? We had about 1.5 years between when comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring was discovered and its closest approach to Mars. For a brief period, it was thought that it would hit Mars. Why not imagine that a larger comet is discovered only 3 years before it would impact Earth? There's likely nothing we could do to stop something closing at 50 km/s with only three year's notice (Siding Spring was in a retrograde orbit, giving it a 50 km/s speed relative to Mars). Its impact would almost certainly end civilization. Some people would be able to dig in in the hopes of surviving to rebuild afterwards, but the vast majority would be left to fend for themselves.

Edited by PakledHostage

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With 3 years I could easily prepare. IRL my family has a lakeside property which is only accessible by a 30-minute boat trip, so yeah i'd be fine.

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Since it's science fiction theory, i'm sure a plucky scientist or charismatic billionaire would step forward and convince humanity there is nothing to lose, and everything to gain in making rescue attempts. Next we would see governments across the world uniting, and space programs pooling their resources. In months launches would begin: rocket after rocket. Each carrying a nuke in front of the approaching comet - and detonating mere microseconds before the impact. Each ablating tons of rocks and ices, giving the comet a nudge and slowing her down - couple of milimeters per second each time. After two years of continuous bombing, change in velocity could be big enough to turn certain Doomsday into a breathstopping near miss. Finally, we would end with ecstatic humanity - united more than ever, convinced that Science and space exploration is a good thing. And almost completely depleted nuclear arsenals - which would be a good thing too :D

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The problem is that if you know that doomsday is coming in 3 years, there's no way you are going to be only one knowing. The news will go public pretty soon, so countries and organizations will be fighting to stockpile and defend as much resources as they can to protect themselves. When survival kicks in, selfishness prevails, and things would get ugly pretty quick.

I don't think I'd like to live in a world like that.

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Do what everyone else who proclaims the end of the world is coming on X date has done: try and get filthy rich out of conning other people into believing it will happen and I can save them.

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Three years? Easy. Brush up on my Eagle Scout wilderness survival skills, find a nice cave, and MacGuyver some entertainment for myself :P

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Three years: Use my money to get on the next rocket to the international space station. Get supplies, and stay there. Bring games like KSP and such.

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Three years: Use my money to get on the next rocket to the international space station. Get supplies, and stay there. Bring games like KSP and such.

That buys you a few months until the supplies run out, seems like you could do more assuming you have the 10s of millions you'd need to buy a ride up there.

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If it's a disease, business as usual until it gets me.

If it's a civilization ending impact, then I'd set my survival instinct aside, get as close to ground zero as possible, and watch that sucker come blazing in. Better to burn out than fade away.

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3 years is not an impossible rise time for a disease, but it IS impossible for a disease that everyone knows will wipe out humanity at the beginning of the 3 years. Anything with that sort of lethality would have already spread everywhere.

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Not an answer from me, but I could believe that if the world knew about a definitely extinction event (the comet version) on the way with 3 years worth of time, that there would be an effort to just hurl as many resources as possible into a lunar colony. I don't think it would necessarily amount to a whole lot, especially given how the random civilians and whatnot would either not participate, actively harm the project, or only passively harm it by causing resources to be diverted. But I think we'd give it a good showing.

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It's a thought experiment people, try to have some fun. Do you really want to be the guy who goes up to Plato and tell him about how his cave allegory makes no sense because the cave's inhabitants would have to be fed? Deliberately missing the point only works if you're being really funny.

As for me, I would be screwed. I guess I would try to hide out somewhere kind of remote and stockpile supplies, but I highly doubt my survival skills are good enough for me to last long. I would try to download as much of, say, Wikipedia as I could onto some safe hard drives. I'd also try to collect important books (sciencey stuff, mostly), and keep them with me. While I might not last long, hopefully I could help to preserve some knowledge for rebuilding after the collapse (although chances are many people or organizations will do something like this and my personal effort may be pointless).

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So a question:

Am I the only one who knows, or does everyone?

If it's just me, I would sink my $$$ into a self sustaining habitat and build a station on Mars.

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I'd wait the three years, load my shotgun, and commit suicide while listening to a Symphony or an Opera.

Edited by Flymetothemun

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Gas masks would be a priority for me. Raincoats and rubber gloves as well. I'd do my best to avoid general contact with people while stockpiling important things. And until I knew exactly how the disease transmitted I would walk around in my makeshift biohazard gear. After it is clear how it does and does not transmit I would adjust accordingly. If at all possible I would try to stay near a city, but not actually in one since, aside from the general dangers of panic, being in what is essentially the graveyard of thousands to millions of people is asking for a lot more than just the apocalyptic disease. I would also be perpetually armed.

After everything has gone to poopie I would likely try and set up as a trader between survivor colonies.

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Ah, to be young and energetic again! I'm old and disabled now, so would transfer my savings to our adult son so he could try to get somewhere safer, then just curl up with my favorite books and wait.

Wife has said before, she'd wait until she was sure civilization was collapsing, then take matters into her own hands. She felt that way even back in the 80s, when I was building a fallout shelter in the basement and stockpiling for nuclear war.

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