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ZetaTalk: Spontaneous Groups
written Dec 6, 2003

Distraught and frustrated at trying to convince family and friends that preparations for what seems to be surely upon mankind must be made, many wonder how they can join with others to enhance their survival possibilities when no one will listen. Denial hardens the more a threat makes those in denial uncomfortable. Thus, the worse the situation becomes, the more obvious the impending crisis, the more those in denial shout loudly that nothing is amiss. Unabashed advertising for group formation brings a horror to the door: scam artists, clinging dependency looking for a parent to lean upon, and those who have nothing to offer and everything to gain from association with others. Will everyone sincerely trying to join with others to form communities find they are standing alone, waving a flag, in the last days?

Existing Communities
Some communities, remote and rural, will continue essentially as they do today, perhaps with fewer individuals due to death from shock during the shift, but with the same basic political and economic arrangements. Distribution of goods and services will adjust to deal with the goods and skills available, and life will go on as before. Newcomers who drift into such communities are likely to find themselves rebuffed, as the known is far more reliable and comforting than the unknown from a stranger. Thus, strangers wandering into such communities find themselves moving on, having been made to feel distinctly unwelcome if not encouraged at gunpoint to do so from the start.
Planned Communities
Though widely unreported and discretely secretive, many people in cities or operating in the professions have sought to arrange settlements for themselves and friends or others of a like mind. It is reported that NASA employees have established monolithic dome communities for themselves, co-workers, and extended families. Those with connections to the elite have been rumored to have burrowed into rock in Alberta and the Ozarks, well stocked enclaves. Due to the number of untried relationships, which invariably hold surprises, these planned communities rarely work out. Hidden agendas, personality quirks, and attempts to dominate the group tend to fracture such arrangements, and there is a parting of the ways.
Spontaneous Communities
Spontaneous group formation will be the most prevalent mode in the chaos of the early days of the Aftertime. Crises brings out the worst and best in individuals, heroes and leadership, a sense of responsibility for the larger group, and a willingness to share offset by demonstrations of utter selfishness when fear takes hold, desertion of loved ones no matter how frail and desperate they may be, and loud demands to be taken care of before all others. Thus, survivors will find themselves with their truth test, in regard to what individuals they might want to join with or avoid. Those who have run from the cities will find themselves wandering for a time, but most likely will settled into either:
1. frank wilderness living, with makeshift tents and hunting and gathering for food
2. farm stead’s, where the farming family finds the newcomers to their liking and needs willing hands
3. waterworld living, where a boat or houseboat is constructed or located and coastlines traveled