You know that things like plastic bullets, beanbag rounds, rubber buckshot, etc. are called “Less-than-lethal”, right? It used to be they were called “non-lethal”, but the problem was that sort of title implied that you couldn’t kill anyone with itg. Sixty seconds on Google will show plenty of episodes of people getting brained with ‘non-lethal’ baton rounds and that sort of thing and winding up dead. So…the moniker “Non-lethal” was changed to less-than-lethal meaning that usually it won’t kill someone if you use it properly. A lot of distinctions there.
Many of the blogs I read advocate ‘self-sufficiency’ as a goal. They propose the dream house that is ‘off the grid’ and independent of the umbilical cords that connect us to the major infrastructure. This is all great if you can do it, but it’s a tall order. It seems that the choices are binary…you are ‘off the grid’ and ‘self-sufficient’ or you’re ‘on the grid’ and screwed. There hasn’t been a term for that in-between stage. I think that term is ‘less-than-dependent’. It implies that you aren’t self-sufficient, but you are more resilient to an infrastructure failure than those who are 100% dependent on that infrastructure. Let me give an example…
X has a house in town that has city water, city sewer, grid electric, natural gas, gets his groceries from the market, and that sort of thing. Z has a farm in the hills with a well, septic field, solar/wind generators and batteries, livestock and a huge garden, and all the other gee-whiz that we dream about. X is dependent and not self-sufficient, and Z is , by pretty much most definitions, independent and self-sufficient. Lethal vs. non-lethal. But is there an unrecognized or unacknowledged ‘in-between’? Take Y, who lives in the burbs or on the edge of town. He has his home set up just like X with it’s tie-in to ‘the grid systems’, and he doesn’t have the dedicated systems like Z….but he has backup generators, a cistern and pool full of water, a pantry loaded with food, a large propane tank to run his emergency heater and stove, etc, etc. He’s not 100% dependent, but he’s not 100% independent either. He is, I think, ‘less-than-dependent’.
I bring it up because sometimes I think we forget that it isn’t a binary choice…you’re either dependent or independent, self sufficient or not self sufficient. I think there’s a grey area in there and that grey area is where most of us are. I’m certainly not self-sufficient, in this context, but I’m far from dependent. I may not last as long as the guy out in the hills with his self-sufficient setup, but I’ll far, far outlast my totally dependent neighbors. We all want to leave the dependent stage, and I think we all want to reach the self-sufficient/independent stage, but we should recognize that less-than-dependent is still a huge step in the right direction. Some people may be okay with less-than-dependent, some people may see it as just a stop on their way to independent/self-sufficient, but…if you cannot get to that independent/self-sufficient stage, at least try to get to the less-than-dependent stage.