We’re only a couple of episodes from the end of season 2. Episode 9 was called “The Virus.”
This week’s episode starts out with a mob of 20+ outsiders lifting the corrugated fence off of it’s hinges and walking into the compound. They’ve got gas grenades, OC (pepper spray), and sticks. Again, it makes for somewhat of a silly conflict when they can’t fight to eliminate the threat.
In any case, the Colonists somehow fend off the attackers, who are greater in number, better armed, and appear to be more skilled. In a survival conflict like this, several people should have been seriously injured, if not killed. I’m very concious of the power of putting ideas and thoughts into your mind and this is an instance of Garbage In, Garbage Out. This episode was almost dangerous in it’s portrayal of two large groups fighting each other for survival and everyone being able to walk away. I understand that it’s TV and entertainment, but the show tries to blur the lines between reality and entertainment. In this case, anyone who thinks that a conflict of this size will end this well will be violently surprised when it does not.
One other thing to keep in mind is that cutting and puncturing will be involved in almost any serious conflict. Shivs, pointy sticks, knives, etc. will be used to get fluid out and air into opponents. There was none of that here. That’s great for TV, but not for setting up a realistic image in your mind of what a survival conflict will look like.
There are two obvious dangers to this…first, if someone thinks reality is this tame, they’ll be in shock when they experience real violence. And second, if someone thinks this is what survival violence looks like, they won’t have an aversion to it. Why should they? If 30 people trying to kill each other can fight it out and everyone walk away, why not get into fights every day? Again, it’s only a TV show, but just make sure that you don’t let these fight scenes take up any space in your memory.
An Enemy Is Weak After Victory
One great psychological lesson from this conflict is illustrated that can’t be over emphasized. An enemy is weak immediately after a victory. There is a cocktail of brain chemicals and hormones that flow after winning a violent conflict…especially if the fighter(s) don’t know how to control their adrenaline dumps.
The book, “Tactics Of The Crescent Moon,” discusses how Muslim forces have used this tactic against their enemies for the last 14 centuries. They either probe, send in a weak force, or retreat prematurely with their main force to let their enemy think they have won only to attack full strength a short time later. British troops and American troops also faced this tactic repeatedly in Vietnam. This builds off of Sun Tzu’s quote, “Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.”
In short, whether you have just secured a home invader or repelled a mob in a survival situation, keep your head in the game and don’t let a “win” go to your head. Stay alert, keep people on watch, and don’t get so busy giving each other high-fives that you miss a second attack.
If you ever successfully stop a home invasion, you need to keep this in mind as well. After subduing one home invader, their partners may come into the picture before the police arrive or your “subdued” home invader might change their mind and decide that they don’t want to go to jail and make a last ditch effort to attack you.
Scouting & Improving Your Survival Situation
This week a group of the colonists paddled out on one of the boats looking for a place to relocate to. On one hand, it’s not real healthy to be delusional and think that the grass will always be greener somewhere else. On the other hand, in a survival situation, it’s smart to be exploring your area for resources and to improve your situation—or another location with better fuel for fire, shelter, easier access to water, or easier access to food.
In this case, they found a new place with snakes, nutria, crab, fish, and more. They’re elevated and have 360 degrees of observation. They can trap, hunt, and fish.
One thing that I don’t understand is why they don’t simply transport everyone to the new base by rowing back and forth with their one working boat instead of spending so much time making the air boat. It’s kind of like watching an old James Bond movie where the evil villain comes up with an intricate machine to kill James rather than just shooting him. Sometimes simple is good.
Revenge is Sweet…Except When It’s Stupid
The episode ended with Tick and Jim following tracks back to the other survivors’ camp. The colonists want to come up with a plan to raid the other survivors and get revenge. As my wife said, “In a game of survival, revenge seems like a stupid move.”
This doesn’t seem like a real well thought out plan right now. When you have time, you should always weigh the potential cost of violence to the potential benefit of violence. In a survival situation with limited medical care, the potential cost of many minor injuries is a slow, painful death. As Tim Larkin says, “When violence is the answer, it’s the only answer, but there aren’t THAT many situations that truly require violence.”
If you’re in a survival situation and plan on raiding another group for supplies, you really should expect that they’ll be willing to kill you to protect their supplies. In turn, you’ll need to be prepared to kill them in order to survive. This isn’t simple revenge…it’s pre-meditated violence. Since the colonists don’t NEED any more supplies, the raid clearly isn’t about survival.
You could look at this as a ratings stunt…which it probably is. Or you could look at it as an example of how peaceful ordinary citizens can go from being against conflict to initiating conflict in under 50 days.
Psychology as a Force Multiplier
One good lesson that we can get out of this week’s episode is the power of a strong personality and the power of encouragement. It was somewhat apparent last week that Tick was helping give Jim the confidence to be more of an “alpha” male, but the difference between this week and 2 weeks ago is dramatic.
When watching The Colony, most people want to envision themselves as Tick rather than the Jim of 2 weeks ago. That’s fine. If you’re in that boat, then I encourage you to make a habit of being a leader and building up the people around you to get results like what Tick got with Jim.
Tick is definitely the alpha male of the Colony, but he didn’t do it by being critical or beating anyone else down. In fact, he has encouraged the group and made everyone more confident, assertive, and effective.
This is another skill that is valuable now, but priceless in a survival situation. You probably know how to push people’s buttons already…how to get under their skin. This is simply pushing different buttons and trying to get positive results. This is another example of how, in a survival situation, firearms and fighting skills MAY be important and used occasionally, but psychological skills WILL be valuable on a daily basis…and especially important in violent encounters.
This is a big reason why psychology is stressed so much in the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course. It’s VERY important. It’s important in conflict, it’s important in getting peak performance out of yourself and others, it’s important for getting good sleep, having a healthy immune system, bartering/negotiating, and more.
What are your thoughts on this week? How about the whole “Virus” storyline in this week’s show? Any thoughts on the airboat? On revenge? How about other lessons from the show? Share your thoughts by commenting below.