Some people collect watches. I collect skills. A lot of them are survival skills or low tech hacks, but that's not because I am a survivalist. It's because it's fun.
Take gunpowder. What red-blooded American boy doesn't know how to make gunpowder? Johnny got entangled in the web of causation. Do you need sulfur? Why does charcoal work better than coal? Where does this wonderful saltpeter at the drugstore come from? Books at the library pointed me to nightsoil, dedicated piss pots, shit and piss farms.
Pre-Revolutionary France was known to have the worst gunpowder in Europe. A certain count or duke of something something determined how to rake quality saltpeter out of mounds of black dirt infused with copious amount of poop and pee. His holdings also included zinc and lead mines, so he was a bullet farmer. Off went his head in the Revolution. (which should serve as an example to doomsday billionaires).
In the event that things get bad (but not TOO bad), I too will be a bullet farmer.
The stench? Well, I'm reminded of a story about a Roman merchant that supplied ammonia fermented from piss to the fuller industry. His son was hesitant to take over the business because of the stink. The old Roman shoved a gold coin under his nose and said "Well, then don't get used to this smell!" There had to be a speculative shit market in ancient times. In fact, I would bet that certain areas or towns were of renown for making miracle shit.
Piss and shit are worth their weight in gold. If you look at folklore you find tons of references to gold being shit. The coin pooping donkey. The devil's ducats, where he spends gold coin and in the morning it is turds. Rumpelstiltskin, spinning (dung infested) straw into gold. Gold is fucking worthless.
In Mad Max world, gold as commodity is porn magazines. That's the bitcoin. Survivalists take note.
Other things. I am still churning out VR sculptures. Trying to do one a day.
Some people say they are awesome.
Others, the ones that buy stuff, crickets.
I have been thinking about Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord's categories.
The general was commander-in-chief of the German Army and an undisguised opponent of Adolph Hitler. He said:
"I distinguish four types. There are clever, hardworking, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and hardworking; their place is the General Staff. The next ones are stupid and lazy; they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the mental clarity and strength of nerve necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is both stupid and hardworking; he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always only cause damage".
Here is a more accurate model, but still only approximating the human essence.
Mediocrity rules, thank goodness.