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Estimated Life Expectancy Of The Grantsville Population

Alternate history buff? Wander on over for a discussion about Eric Flint's 1632 series!
Estimated Life Expectancy Of The Grantsville Population
Post by HB of CJ   » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:45 am

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Excellent series by the way. One of the many great things it does is make us think in new and different ways. Kinda like a trans-temporal mental exercise. It certainly adds a new time element in normal cause and effect human endeavors.

Perhaps one of the more glaring weaknesses of the beginning story line is the glossed over estimated hard life expectancy of the 3500 or so Grantville West Virginians. I for one find the first 88 pages of 1632 rather unbelievable.

I am also wondering if anybody else has noticed this glaring weakness in what usually is a very solid story line? Considering the average American town of the period only has a less than 10 days food supply, things to me look very grim.

What exact time of year did the 'Ring of Fire' happen? Does anybody know? How would they possible survive long enough to get a crop into the ground and enjoy the fruits of their labors? Where would all the seed stock come from?

There may be expedient ways to produce safe drinking water, but again, my fear is that just the 1630 diseases would carry away 5% of them in one month, 10-20% in 3 months and 50%+ in one year...if they were lucky. And...if they live that long.

Up time firearms? So what? No matter how much ammo that town could be reasonably expected to have, they would burn through it in just a couple days...perhaps just a few hours if attacked in mass. Tilly's mercenaries surround them.

Yep, things would be very grim. It would be a race as to what would kill all the 'up timers' dead FIRST; thirst, hunger, disease or violence. I for one only give them a maximum of maybe 6 months. And...let's not talk about the winter.

Has anybody else noticed this stuff? It would have been easy to place into the story line some little zingers that would somehow insure the survival of the Hillbillies for at least a couple of years. Just me. HB of CJ (old coot) Cm.

I was born and raised in Roanoke VA, so I feel as if I am one of them. Yikes! I love this forum. :) Guess I am a Admirals fan. Even with him in charge, the Hillbillies do not have a snowballs chance.
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Re: Estimated Life Expectancy Of The Grantsville Population
Post by BrightSoul   » Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:15 pm

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IIRC Grantville arrived shortly after the Sack of Magdeburg which occurred on May 20th, 1631.

Something to consider on the Disease front. The entire population of Grantville were generally clean people, personal hygiene is well established in their culture. That alone would limit the effect of many of the diseases the common folks faced. They also had their advanced knowledge and reference books to draw upon to build the defenses against disease. Recall the facilities they built to clean all the refugees who came in to town.

Sure, they did manage to avoid major infection within Grantville before they got their feet under them but they certainly didn't sit still. IIRC that first meeting was damn near the same day as the event, if not within hours of finding Tilly's troops raiding the farmhouse and rescuing Rebecca.

Food supply. I suspect your 10 days number is more a case of perishables than preserved food. They also had several farms within the actual ring of fire when they came back in time. That gave them the existing crops that were already planted as well as a base of seeds in storage to allow them to get crops in as quick as they could till more land, especially with the aid of those Natural Gas tractors mentioned early in the series. I rather got the impression that the could get through on agressive rationing and sending work parties out to harvest whatever crops that had been abandoned due to the rampaging troops in the region.

Just my off the top responses without actually going back and re-reading it right now.
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Re: Estimated Life Expectancy Of The Grantsville Population
Post by HB of CJ   » Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:32 pm

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Thank you. The estimated 10 days food supply is an embellished number crunched from over 25 years in the "prepping" field. Another poor word is "Survivalist".

Actually the total amount of food on hand for that particular town in that region at that time would be closer to just 3-5 days. This includes ALL food sources. I was being kind.

Thank you for the "Ring of Fire" date. I never though of just looking up history for myself. My mistake. Opps. Late spring? No crops, if any, until the early/late fall?

That is a minimum of 4 months. The "Up Timers" may not have 4 months. At the very best only some of them have a chance of making it until then. Long term survival? Very grim.

One of things that was interesting was the idea of embracing the influx of the tremendous refugee numbers. Aside from the food problem, all of the refugees are from 1632. Yikes!

Most non medical people do not understand what that means. As a retired RN, let me tell you that just ONE 1632 refugee would infect dozens of up timer with dozens of FATAL diseases.

It even would not take actual physical contact either. Lots of nasty stuff could/would be transferred by air born means. Even just being close down wind might be enough. Death.

Nearly 400 years difference in disease states. Common colds and flues endured by the "down timers" would prove fatal to the "up timers". And the other way. No immunity.

Once back in 1968, I know a guy who burned through his entire load-out of 12 18 round magazines for his trusty M16A1 in less than 30 minutes. Yikes! Fortunately, resupply was timely.

No timely resupply for the up timers. Even if each hill billie (I'm a hill billie too!) had TWO guns, only a fraction of them would be considered battle firearm with enough ammo.

Quite a few would be handguns? Worthless? Give those to the women and kids for a last ditch defense. Remember, this is in 1632. Survivors who resist do not survive well at all.

If Tilly decided to assault the witches and warlocks of this upstart demon town and surrounding ground, my fear is that he will be successful. Then the witch burning begins.

Grantsville is a sitting duck. No matter what they try, the end results would be the same. Their best hope would be just to hunker down and consider raiding for more resources?

Even the best scenario I can dream up only gives about 25% of the "Up Timers" a 50-50 chance of surviving just one year. Then the best bet is to surrender and $sell$ your skills?

So...thirst, hunger, disease and violence. It would have been easy to provide a little bit more reasonable up time support. Just a couple farm co ops or seed stores would help. Some silos?

Also maybe just one good sized firearms/ammo importer? It would not have taken much. Or maybe a regional teaching hospital? A army reserve rifle company? Wonderful series.

HB of CJ (old coot) Just retired. :)
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Re: Estimated Life Expectancy Of The Grantsville Population
Post by pokermind   » Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:28 pm

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There are stories in the Grantville Gazette that discuss the loss of people due to lack of maintenance medicine IE insulin, high blood pressure pills etc. Several discussions of luck in not getting a plague etc. One epidemic of German measles noted, remember the down time Germans the majority of the population were not inoculated. Many small towns where the food truck comes in once a week have seven day supply at least. Good news for beer drinkers one beer truck came through the ring of fire :). Milk trucks with stainless steel tanks are mentioned, much food bought with up-time goods, and fields planted. Most potatoes were used for seed.

Poker
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Thank You pokermind;
Post by HB of CJ   » Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:48 pm

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Thank you pokermind. Now I am looking very forward to reading some if not all of those aforementioned stories regarding the trials and tribulations of the "Up Timers". Should make for some fun reading indeed. Thank you again. HB of CJ (old coot) Cm. I love this Forum! :) :)
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Re: Estimated Life Expectancy Of The Grantsville Population
Post by Senior Chief   » Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:21 am

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HB of CJ wrote:Excellent series by the way. One of the many great things it does is make us think in new and different ways. Kinda like a trans-temporal mental exercise. It certainly adds a new time element in normal cause and effect human endeavors.

Perhaps one of the more glaring weaknesses of the beginning story line is the glossed over estimated hard life expectancy of the 3500 or so Grantville West Virginians. I for one find the first 88 pages of 1632 rather unbelievable.

I am also wondering if anybody else has noticed this glaring weakness in what usually is a very solid story line? Considering the average American town of the period only has a less than 10 days food supply, things to me look very grim.

What exact time of year did the 'Ring of Fire' happen? Does anybody know? How would they possible survive long enough to get a crop into the ground and enjoy the fruits of their labors? Where would all the seed stock come from?

There may be expedient ways to produce safe drinking water, but again, my fear is that just the 1630 diseases would carry away 5% of them in one month, 10-20% in 3 months and 50%+ in one year...if they were lucky. And...if they live that long.

Up time firearms? So what? No matter how much ammo that town could be reasonably expected to have, they would burn through it in just a couple days...perhaps just a few hours if attacked in mass. Tilly's mercenaries surround them.

Yep, things would be very grim. It would be a race as to what would kill all the 'up timers' dead FIRST; thirst, hunger, disease or violence. I for one only give them a maximum of maybe 6 months. And...let's not talk about the winter.

Has anybody else noticed this stuff? It would have been easy to place into the story line some little zingers that would somehow insure the survival of the Hillbillies for at least a couple of years. Just me. HB of CJ (old coot) Cm.

I was born and raised in Roanoke VA, so I feel as if I am one of them. Yikes! I love this forum. :) Guess I am a Admirals fan. Even with him in charge, the Hillbillies do not have a snowballs chance.




The genre is SCIENCE FICTION!!! Where anything is possible in the mind of the author and its fan base. At least David's story AND book series is much better than the author of a book that has people from the future purposely going back in time to give Robert E Lee a bunch of AK47's and radios.

I remember a TV show where a army tank and it's crew ended up at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. A good show but ... I guess I will stop rambling...

Like a said the genre is SCIENCE FICTION and I am sorry If I ticked anyone off.
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You Do NOT Tick Me Off At All
Post by HB of CJ   » Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:50 pm

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You have it correct ...this is Science Fiction. Anything goes. Sometimes, some things go better than others. I was just thinking out loud how the first "Ring of Fire" book could have been just a little bit more believable.

Yep again. That other non mentioned alternate history novel where a bunch of AKs and other stuff changes history comes to mind. That storyline might have been better if they had used SMLE Enfield Rifles instead. HB of CJ (old coot) Cm.
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Re: Estimated Life Expectancy Of The Grantsville Population
Post by pokermind   » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:01 am

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I liked Harry Turtldove's Guns of the South where Afrikaners steal a small time machine to change history and create a friend for apartheid. The author mentions the idea for the story came from a SiFi author disgusted with cover art saying the art looked as ludicrous as General Lee holding an UZI :lol: So he used an AK-47 so as not to plagiarize her ;)

I'll bet Eric Flint would like it in that the Afrikaners did not get their wish in the end thanks to Marse Robert who hated slavery, but loved the ideal of local control.

Turtledove did not touch on the Grandfather Paradox of time travel where Eric Flint did with the creation of a new universe with a new timeline.

Poker

PS you forgot the flack jackets the Confederates called Flap Jacks :lol:
CPO Poker Mind Image and, Mangy Fur the Smart Alick Spacecat.

"Better to be hung for a hexapuma than a housecat," Com. Pang Yau-pau, ART.
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Re: Estimated Life Expectancy Of The Grantsville Population
Post by Zakharra   » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:32 am

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HB of CJ wrote:Thank you. The estimated 10 days food supply is an embellished number crunched from over 25 years in the "prepping" field. Another poor word is "Survivalist".

Actually the total amount of food on hand for that particular town in that region at that time would be closer to just 3-5 days. This includes ALL food sources. I was being kind.

Thank you for the "Ring of Fire" date. I never though of just looking up history for myself. My mistake. Opps. Late spring? No crops, if any, until the early/late fall?

That is a minimum of 4 months. The "Up Timers" may not have 4 months. At the very best only some of them have a chance of making it until then. Long term survival? Very grim.

One of things that was interesting was the idea of embracing the influx of the tremendous refugee numbers. Aside from the food problem, all of the refugees are from 1632. Yikes!

Most non medical people do not understand what that means. As a retired RN, let me tell you that just ONE 1632 refugee would infect dozens of up timer with dozens of FATAL diseases.

It even would not take actual physical contact either. Lots of nasty stuff could/would be transferred by air born means. Even just being close down wind might be enough. Death.

Nearly 400 years difference in disease states. Common colds and flues endured by the "down timers" would prove fatal to the "up timers". And the other way. No immunity.

Once back in 1968, I know a guy who burned through his entire load-out of 12 18 round magazines for his trusty M16A1 in less than 30 minutes. Yikes! Fortunately, resupply was timely.

No timely resupply for the up timers. Even if each hill billie (I'm a hill billie too!) had TWO guns, only a fraction of them would be considered battle firearm with enough ammo.

Quite a few would be handguns? Worthless? Give those to the women and kids for a last ditch defense. Remember, this is in 1632. Survivors who resist do not survive well at all.

If Tilly decided to assault the witches and warlocks of this upstart demon town and surrounding ground, my fear is that he will be successful. Then the witch burning begins.

Grantsville is a sitting duck. No matter what they try, the end results would be the same. Their best hope would be just to hunker down and consider raiding for more resources?

Even the best scenario I can dream up only gives about 25% of the "Up Timers" a 50-50 chance of surviving just one year. Then the best bet is to surrender and $sell$ your skills?

So...thirst, hunger, disease and violence. It would have been easy to provide a little bit more reasonable up time support. Just a couple farm co ops or seed stores would help. Some silos?

Also maybe just one good sized firearms/ammo importer? It would not have taken much. Or maybe a regional teaching hospital? A army reserve rifle company? Wonderful series.

HB of CJ (old coot) Just retired. :)




On the disease angle, modern sanitation and knowledge of germs would stop a lot of the downtime diseases from getting started. Also, uptime diseases would be a real danger to the downtime people. Our diseases such as the common cold would have an additional 400 years of adapting to newer and stronger immune systems. New diseases as well.

With modern weapons, hunting rifles would be frighteningly scary since they would be able to reach out and kill the enemy far beyond their own weapons range (and the Granville people have no compunctions about shooting the highly visible officers).
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