New Mexico Urban Homesteader

Hello, I am A 50 Something, Prepper ;-}; former 60's Flower Child, don't believe in taxpayer subsidized special interest groups (political parties), DO believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1st 10). Long time Independent & Informed Voter. Lover of the outdoors and firm believer that History Teaches - if only we will listen!

(No longer Urban or in NM. Now Rural in the mountains of Maine.)

This blog was started at the request of some dear friends that wish to become Preppers.

“No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.”

Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Quotients, Quotients & More Quotients

Just what is a quotient anyway?

According to several dictionaries a Quotient is:

  • A degree or amount of a specified quality or characteristic
  • A device used to determine the winner in team competition if a Round-Robin ends in a tie either in won and lost matches, or in Victory Points won and lost. The total number of IMPs won by a team against all Round-Robin opponents is divided by the number lost to determine the quotient.
  • A result obtained by dividing one quantity by another
  • The number resulting from the division of one number by another; By analogy, the result of any process that is the inverse of multiplication as defined for any mathematical entities other than numbers; A quotum or quota.
  • the ratio of two quantities to be divided
  • the number obtained by division
  • In mathematics, a quotient is the result of a division. For example, when dividing 6 by 3, the quotient is 2, while 6 is called the dividend, and 3 the divisor. The quotient can also be expressed as the number of times the divisor divides into the dividend.
  • In mathematics, specifically group theory, a quotient group (or factor group) is a group obtained by identifying together elements of a larger group using an equivalence relation. ...
  • In topology and related areas of mathematics, a quotient space (also called an identification space) is, intuitively speaking, the result of identifying or "gluing together" certain points of a given space. The points to be identified are specified by an equivalence relation. ...
  • When performing division, the number of times one value can be multiplied to reach the other value represents the quotient. For example, when dividing 6 by 3, 3 can be multiplied twice, making 6, so the quotient is 2.
  • The result of mathematical division. The IQ (Intelligence Quotient) is arrived at by dividing the person's mental age (as determined on the Binet test) by the person's chronologic age and multiplying by 100. So if a child scores at the 8-year old level but is only 6, the IQ is 8/6 X 100=125.
  • The result of dividing two numbers or expressions. For example, the 40 divided by 5 has a quotient of 8. Note: 43 divided by 5 has a quotient of 8 and a remainder of 3.
  • The answer or number that results when numbers are divided.
  • The result of mathematical division. The IQ (Intelligence Quotient) is arrived at by dividing the person's mental age (as determined on the Binet test) by the person's chronologic age and multiplying by 100. So if a child scores at the 8-year old level but is only 6, the IQ is 8/6 X 100=125.

When talking about survival, (to me) a Survivability Quotient is:

An elusive figure, containing a multitude of factors or variables, both tangible and not so tangible (including luck), that determines who survives what, why and how. AND most of those variables are OUT of human-kinds realm of control.

As a result, I do not think that there are any really scientific, quantifiable or measurable figures that can be applied to a survival quotient; resulting in nothing but a lot “educated guesses”. So if you are looking for some kind of hard core, error proof formula to determine if you will survive any specific crisis – you are SOL.

This does not mean that we can ignore our Survivability Quotient, nor does it mean that it is totally useless.

When you read “I survived” stories you will soon gather that there a few places where we humans CAN control, or at minimal affect the outcome, of some of those variables that contributed to their survival success. In fact upon studying these stories the few places the survivors did take control turned out to be major factors in their ultimate survival.

With that said let’s look at some of the “quotients” that are often referred to in our lives today.

AQ Adversity Quotient The capacity to respond constructively to difficulties in a broad range of adverse events.
CQ Communication quotient How effective you can communicate with other people.
CQ Courage Quotient How much courage you have before you panic, breakdown, flip out or fall apart.
EQ Experience quotient How much “life experience” (traumatic or otherwise) you have accumulated and been through in comparison with your peers and others around you.
FQ Failure Quotient How much failure you can endure and take before you breakdown and fall apart.
IQ Intelligence Quotient How smart you are.
IQ Intuition Quotient Your gut instincts and 6th senses, how often they are ‘on track’ or not.
LQ Lifestyle Quotient How much time you spend in leisure pursuits vs. work and chores. (Think Type A Personalities vs. the others.)
PQ Persistence Quotient How persistent or over persistent you are. Your tenacity at a task.
PQ Preparedness Quotient How ready and prepared are you for any crisis, disaster or emergency.
PTQ Pain Tolerance Quotient How much pain you can take before you fall apart or pass out. (dah)
RQ Readiness Quotient How prepared are you for any crisis, disaster or emergency.
SQ Survival/Survivability Quotient How strong your survivability is when faced with a crisis (disaster or emergency).
SQ or SSQ Stress Quotient/Stress Survival Quotient How much stress you can take before you collapse, have a heart attack, flip out or shutdown.

As you can see some of these ARE measurable, scientifically and reliably, as well as some abbreviations represent different things and meanings.

Now that we have defined what all these quotients are, it is time to look at what areas of our Survivability Quotient we can favorably influence or take control of.

First and foremost we have to balance some basic human characteristics that will often degrade our Survivability Quotient.

  • Human Irrational Fears and Sixth Senses VS Science and Educations Truths and Fallacies
  • Too Detailed VS Too General
  • Best Case Scenario VS Worst Case Scenario
  • We can’t help everyone or everything VS We Want To

In today’s world I have to add:

  • Money will not buy preparedness or survival
  • Preparedness and Survival are NOT convenient - There is no short-cut, even though we will undoubtedly look for one
  • Technology does not equal Preparedness, nor guarantee survival

Human Irrational Fears and Sixth Senses VS Science and Educations Truths and Fallacies

We humans are so full of contradictions that we often fail to recognize, yet alone take control of them and we are so bombarded with the wildly metaphysical that we often discredit it without thinking. On top of this we humans often forget that our sciences and therefore education are still in their infant stages in regards to how long they have been in existence. They have been known to be wrong many times in the past and in some cases mega wrong. We humans are error prone and therefore our sciences and education is error prone.

  • How many law officers and soldiers say they are alive because of some gut instinct or “the hairs on my neck warned me”?
  • How many mothers claim “women’s intuition” as the reason they went to check on a child or walked away from their car?
  • How many years did it take for science to figure out that a dinosaur in a major museum was made up of bones from multiple dinosaurs and multiple species of dinosaur?
  • How long did scholars teach that the world was flat, or that yes earth is round but the universe revolves around planet earth?
  • How long did we “blood let” instead of utilize blood transfusion?

According to Paul T. P. Wong in his article Intuition: The best kept secret for survival and success; there are different types of intuition and the most successful people in the world are these "intuitives"; from Warren Buffet, Gary Kasparov and Wayne Gretzky to Richard Feynman. Some of the types of intuition are:

  1. Primitive instincts of self-preservation, such as the flight-or-fight syndrome, avoidance responses, pleasure-seeking and instinctive responses to reduce primary needs, such as food, water and safety.
  2. Conditioned emotional responses, which range from fear, aversion, suspicion, attraction, and attachment.
  3. Bodily intuition includes messages about bodily needs and conditions. Medical intuitives such as Schulz and Northrup (1999) emphasize the need to use intuition to decode these somatic messages in order to maintain and enhance our health and well-being.
  4. Mystical intuition encompasses a wide variety of subjective experiences, such as spiritual guidance, inner light, psychic intuition, fortune telling, prophetic insight, detecting energy fields, and ESP. Is this related to spiritual intelligence?
  5. Interpersonal intuition refers to the ability to pick up clues about relationships. It also includes the capacity for empathy and character judgment. It is clearly related to emotional intelligence (Goleman, 1995). The proverbial women’s intuition is mainly confined to this area.
  6. Practical intuition – in solving everyday problems, the capacity of anticipating the problem and finding the best solution, quickly and effortlessly. This type of intuition may be related to practical intelligence (Sternberg, 1997) and fluid intelligence (Cattell, 1987).
  7. Expertise intuition is domain-specific and it is closely related to expert knowledge and critical insight. This ability of “thinking without thinking” (Gladwell, 2005) cannot be easily disentangled from special talents in any given field.

In preparedness we cannot afford to ignore our irrational fears, our gut instincts or just accept what the sciences and educators say. We have to balance all of these factors when determining just what crises we want to prepare for.

Too Detailed VS Too General

We humans have a tendency to look for the easiest, cheapest, fastest way to do just about anything. Yes we are all basically lazy. If a subject or project interests us we are so enthused that we often put too much detail into it. We overburden those around us with the details. Yet if it is something we are concerned, or dare I say afraid of, we will often avoid it or at best put too little detail into that subject.

In preparedness we need to put the detail into what concerns us the most and what we know the least about to facilitate surviving the crisis at hand.

Best Case Scenario VS Worst Case Scenario

If we humans don’t like an option or possible scenario we tend to ignore and focus on the best possible outcome. On top of this we often overestimate what we can and cannot do.

We don’t want to have to vacate our homes or consider that we may have to be mobile just to get home and we most certainly don’t want to consider that we may have to be on foot without our precious vehicles to do so.

Where preparedness is concerned we can have a higher survivability quotient if we plan for the worst and hope for the best and underestimate our capabilities and competencies.

It is far easier and quicker to adjust a plan or action that is for a worst case scenario to a best case scenario or to realize that we are way more capable and competent than it is to count on the best possibilities and find out we are in the worst of scenarios.

We can’t help everyone or everything VS We Want To

We humans just love helping people; we don’t like to think about all those “walking the line” situations where we may have to consider refusing to help someone or some animal. The reality of this is that I have yet to find a single instance where any entity (with singular or plural humans) was able to help everyone, under every circumstance – ALL the time.

  • Are you truly willing to risk your life to run back into a burning building to attempt to rescue an animal?
  • Will you accept the danger of running out of food for your family to feed additional people or stray pets that may stumble upon you?
  • Just how willing are you to put your life on the line for a stranger or unknown pet?

Since Reaction Time can make or break our Survivability Quotient, it is imperative that we address these kinds of questions before a crisis hits. There will be no time during or immediately after a crisis situation to do this and keep our Survivability Quotient high.

Money will not buy preparedness or survival

When we humans take on preparedness, one of our first inclinations is to run out and buy everything on some list. Once we obtain all this stuff we almost immediately store it someplace and then forget about it.

  • If you have a compass and don’t know how to use it – what good is it?
  • You may own a rifle and may even be accurate with it on the range, but if you have never hunted, dressed and preserved your kill – what good is it?
  • If you have 2 years worth of preparedness supplies (food, water, medications, etc.) but never touch them for 15 years and then there is a crisis – how nutritional and viable are they?
  • If you have some kind of two-way radio but never use, don’t even know what kind it is or whom you will contact with it – how good is it?

“Stuff” alone will not make us prepared nor can it save us. We have to not only know how to use it, we have to practice using it.

Preparedness and Survival are NOT Convenient - There is no short-cut, even though we will undoubtedly look for one

In today’s world we humans are addicted to convenience; it feeds our lazy streak and the vision of our self-importance, as well as our lust for self-indulgence.

  • Look at all the “use and toss” stuff we have around us and all the “instant on” devices and remote controls we surround ourselves with.
  • How often do we purchase something that we know we already possess but don’t want to take the time to find, cause it is far quicker to just drive to Wal-Mart and get another one?
  • All the while we will be complaining that we don’t have enough time or money to get or do this or that.

To be truly prepared and to have the highest survivability quotient, it will NOT be convenient. It will require time, effort, soul searching, money and effort or should I say WORK.

Technology does NOT equal Preparedness, nor guarantee Survival

Most of the technology in today’s world is electrical. It needs electricity in order to work. Yet there a ton of crises out there, both natural and human-made, that can take out electricity and for an extended period of time. On top of this our electrical GRID is so old (physically) that it doesn’t take much as it is to short the dang thing out.

  • You can have battery operated PC’s, radios, lights, heat and the like but without a way to maintain the battery charge what good are they?
  • How will you pump gas to keep your vehicle running?
  • Banks won’t be able to get into their vaults, ATMs won’t work.
  • Refrigerators and freezers will heat up and thaw.
  • Phones both cell and landline will not work – 911 will be inaccessible.
  • GPS and most two-way radios only work if they are in the “line of sight” of a repeater tower or satellite. Without electricity the repeater and microwave towers will be silent. At least one potential global electrical event can take out the satellites.
  • TV, AM/FM stations will go off the air. How will you get news?
  • Newspapers and magazines won’t be able to print and distribute their issues/editions.
  • You won’t be able to refill your propane tank.
  • You can have all the precious metal, stock and commodity certificates in the world and you won’t be able to get to them without electricity.
  • A way too large number of medical devices are useless without electricity.

Since just about ALL of our technological inventions require electricity we can basically count them out. Even those of us with alternative power sources will be hard pressed – as just how many of us have sufficient alternative power?

Second - If you wish to keep your Survivability Quotient high then you will need to balance and take control of these very human traits when you make your Preparedness Plans.

There are tricks to balancing all this stuff and still not feel like you are spinning your wheels:

  • When it comes to what you can and cannot do and how well you can do it – underestimate
  • Moderate your irrational fears and 6th sense against science and educations odds. So if something is really scaring you spitless and is sitting in a number one slot of concerns, yet science says the odds are slim, put it no higher than your number 2 slot. Conversely if there is something that scientific odds say are really high but your intuition is saying “not hardly”, bump the scientific odds down a notch. Notice this is not ignoring or blindly following any viewpoint here. Hiding our heads in the sand will only leave the rest of our bod exposed to who knows what unpleasantness.
  • Put your detail into things you don’t want to address or don’t have much knowledge and skill of.
  • Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Make sure your preparedness plans and practice drills are for the worst case scenario.
  • Discuss and soul search all the “unplesantries” first and in depth. Be sure to cover a wide range of scenarios then write this into your plan.
  • Patience and tenacity will are important partners to accomplishing where you want to be in terms of preparedness. Just because stockpiling is fast and easy, it will do you no good.
  • Practice makes perfect and repetition is the foundation to learning.
  • Keep aware of what is going on around you in your neighborhood, town, county, state, country, world and in the universe. Having awareness means that you will “see the writing on the wall” and will take action before others in a pre-crisis environment.
  • Learn something new as often as possible. Knowledge is power. Knowledge is true wealth.

Here are some additional resources to assist in keeping your Survivability Quotient high:

To help you along with a Household/Individual Preparedness Plan and balancing all those human characteristics see: How to Make a Preparedness Plan That Works & Not Go Broke

To test your Readiness Quotient see: What's Your Readiness Quotient? Then download the report of the nationwide survey taken in December of 2006 called Are We Ready? at

For a hint to your Survivability Quotient you can take quizzes on specific preparedness/survival topics at: Survival Quiz – A Survival Manual in Disguise

Find out your Lifestyle Quotient at:

To keep abreast of the worlds Survival Risk Quotient check out Captain Dave's Survival Risk Quotient at

To keep an eye out on specific types of natural and human-made crises see U.S. Hazard Risk Map Links

PS – September is National Preparedness – Are you ready?


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