Practical Doomsday supplement

This page contains assorted post-publication notes and errata for Practical Doomsday. Special thanks to Matt Linton and to other folks who submitted in-depth feedback along the way.

Note that there are some other typos and minor issues in the Early Access version currently available from the publisher; these are in the process of being addressed for the final release of the book.

🙘   Chapter 3   🙚

On page 20, when discussing neglected natural threats, the New Madrid Seismic Zone perhaps deserved a special mention. The fault remained largely dormant throughout the 20th century and is seldom talked about, but has the potential of causing widespread damage in region.

🙘   Chapter 4   🙚

On page 37, a footnote would be beneficial to provide more information about the Tunguska event. One good starting point might be this Britannica article.

On page 38, I should have included a footnote for the 1859 coronal mass ejection (CME) event. This article offers a reasonable overview.

On page 44, it might have been nice to credit the "inventor" of the paperclip maximizer. The credit goes to Nick Bostrom (see his 2003 essay).

🙘   Chapter 6   🙚

On page 55, on the topic of compartmentalizing funds, it is worth noting that some payroll processors allow you to automatically split the paycheck across several bank accounts.

🙘   Chapter 7   🙚

On page 65, a footnote with the history of usury would help. This article provides a reasonable overview.

On page 66, there is a note about how fiat currencies helped regulators stabilize the banking system. Some readers might enjoy this study showing the growing frequency and the changing nature of banking interventions over time.

On page 67, the book notes that the US dollar became a true fiat currency fairly late in the 20th century. A neat and easily overlooked visual is the fine print on the 1928 FRN or the 1957 silver certificate, promising the redemption of dollar banknotes for gold and silver, respectively.

On the same page, a reference for the Nixon 90-day price freeze is conspicuously absent. One good candidate is this essay.

On page 74, there is a discussion of how the premise of taxing the ultra-rich is used to pass measures that target far larger swathes fo society. Here's a timely example: under the guise of making billionaires pay a fair share, the current administration is trying to give the IRS visibility into every bank account with total annual cash flows in excess of... $600.

On page 86, when discussing secure storage options, there is a passing mention of bank deposit boxes. Theft from deposit boxes is many orders of magnitude less common than from homes. Nevertheless, it may be useful to note that banks commonly disclaim all responsibility for losses and fight claims tooth and nail.

🙘   Chapter 9   🙚

On page 100, a reference for the number of ladder accidents would be helpful; a reasonably authoritative source is this NACHI article.

On page 105, a reference for house fire risks is similarly absent; although well-sourced studies are hard to come by, a reasonable source is this NFPA website.

🙘   Chapter 19   🙚

The first portion of talks about storm cleanup tools. I should have also mentioned the utility of particleboard as a way to protect windows in regions prone to hurricanes and tornadoes.

🙘   Chapter 20   🙚

On page 170, there is a passing mention of frostbite. A related condition that occurs above freezing, known as trench foot, probably deserves a mention too.

On page 172, the book mentions a particular fixed-blade knife made by SOG. Unfortunately, as of today, the Google search results for this product lead to incorrect or outdated listings. The correct knife can be found at DLT Trading, Blade HQ, Knife Center, Oso Grande Knives, Discount Cutlery, and Smoky Mountain Knife Works. It is also available directly from the manufacturer.

🙘   Chapter 27   🙚

On page 213, I make an allusion to the long history of conflict in Europe. This point is often greeted with skepticism. I challenge the unpersuaded reader to visit this Wikipedia page, press the down arrow, and hold it until they reach the bottom of the list.