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ZetaTalk: Social Services
Note: written Dec 15, 1995.

After the cataclysms the snug blanket of protection that many have taken for granted will be gone - no Social Security checks, no home deliveries, no 911 emergency service, no free medical services, and no welfare checks. For those not relying on those services the shock will be as great, as with home, job, and service providers gone they will be just as destitute and bereft. In essence, humans will be relying on one another, and not on an infrastructure. What will this mean? In most societies there are rules about who should live and who should die, even when these rules are not articulated. Many American Indians let their old choose the time of their departure, a spiritual and poignant moment for all, as the old were a burden on the young that all agreed could not be borne. In some cultures malformed infants are not nourished, and all cultures push what they consider their undesirables to the periphery, to wither and perchance to die.

After the cataclysms new rules will spring up, depending on the desperation of the community and whether a Service-to-Self or Service-to-Other orientation prevails. In Service-to-Self groups the strong will prey upon or ignore the weak until a homeostasis is established. What this means is that injured or frail humans will be ignored, not fed or assisted, and they will die. If they refuse to go quietly they will be killed, and if food is short they will be killed and eaten in any case. Eventually the group reaches a point where there are no young, old, or injured and the pecking order among the remainder is well established. In Service-to-Other groups, those hopelessly maimed or chronically in pain will be allowed to choose suicide, and birth control will be used to limit the demands on scarce resources, if need be. All who wish to live will be fed and cared for, sharing equally among all. In crisis mode, when overwhelmed by large numbers of injured members in great pain, Service-to-Other groups usually end up prioritizing care in the following manner:

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