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Do it Now: Read at least 5 books on famine — Reading Recon

Mao's Great Famine

02 May 2022
Panama, Central America
Mind Dump, sans edit

This is roughly my 16th book on famine. I just started so cannot yet recommend.

The patterns are amazingly clear.

Got a note from a dear friend this morning. He’s not concerned because he lives surrounded by farmland. Folks and friends say similar often.

An umbrella is not a defense against hurricanes. Take that from Florida Man.

I noticed in my earlier days of world travel that my world view greatly expanded after I had been to about five countries that were very different. Like China, India, Poland, Italy, and California. (Yes, California. I was there when it was still great, and also many other times watching it fall such as last year.)

The paradigm change is profound.

You learn much of what you learned is flat wrong. You see many of your teachers should be students. Like the mice experiments with overcrowding. Folks who read my work probably were taught the mice-thing and the wild extrapolation to humans. The extrapolation is flat wrong. Wrong in the way it was used, anyway.

I spent months in Mongkok, Hong Kong, the most densely populated area in the world. Very orderly.

Inverse, I spent years in sparsely populated 3rd World… zoo-ville.

If you put 200 3rd-worlders into 200 square miles, there will be shit everywhere and voodoo galore.

Put two million Japanese in a tiny city and it will be clean, quiet, peaceful, orderly. Hong Kongers can stack even thicker and still maintain order. (Well, CCP is crushing that.)

But that’s not the point.

The point is that after you read about five books on Pandemic, or five on Famine, or travel to about five very different countries, your mind starts to boost that experience to something greater than the sum. Like 5 = 9

How did I so accurately predict global famine (famine starting in earnest later this year, in 2022) well over two years ago? I’ve never been in a famine. Or any serious pandemic. Still haven’t been in a serious pandemic. Just a seriously-weaponized-minor-humanmade-‘pandemic.

It’s all written down. Old people wrote it down. I read it.

To make the best of your time, do Reading Recon with strategy. Why read five books Irish potato famine? Spread it out.

Such as,


    1. One book on Potato Famine — the Irish famine is good to study for various reasons such as how much it impacted America. This was an opportunistic-war famine. English saw the opportunity from the blight and piled on. This is common. (Another English famine).


2.   A book on Mao’s famines. Huge. And amazingly still sort of hidden. (Another commie famine.)


3.  Holodomor — incredible and unfolding again. (Another commie famine — communists are expert Faminists)


4.  India/Bangledesh (they often blame English, and not without cause)


5.  A specific recommendation is THREE FAMINES by T. Keneally. I recommend this because he also compares/contrasts.


The other night, I was with War Correspondent and friend Chuck Holton. Chuck just got back from Ukraine, Moldova, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other interesting places. Chuck is well-versed in the Bible and started talking about the Egyptian famines and Biblical narratives. He was there in Egypt actually looking at old famine stuff from the Bible. This old wisdom could have been written yesterday. All the stuff Chuck was telling me could have been written yesterday but was learned thousands of years ago.

Chuck just flew off to Colombia but when he gets back to Panama am going to ask if I can interview Chuck on his Egyptian story. Chuck did not realize that he was summarizing all these books I read, but he was doing it from Biblical references. The Bible is Cliff’s notes on famine and written before all the ones I read. Bible gets straight to the point.

When Chuck gets back am going to try to take a day of his time and just roll the camera. (But I must get back to Darien Gap next week so must be quick). I see why people like me reject the Biblical references when young — I am a huge science geek — but then after years of piling through books and auditing the planet and wars, start to realize — uh oh, there is Cliff’s Notes to all this.

If you go to Church, ask the preacher to start talking about famine descriptions. Nothing new under the sun.

And read five books on famine.

Use a strategy to pick famines from different spaces and times. At least one on Irish, one China, Ukraine/Russia, and pick two more of interest. And then after you read those, start reading the Old Book… You gonna be amazed that nothing is new. Nothing we are about to go through is not thoroughly described. Old people told us exactly how to get through all this. Fortune Favors the Prepared. A Soldier who does not study is mulch.

Again, this is a mind burst without edit. My apology for any run-on sentences, etc. I still don’t know how to use commas. Mainly because I read books from different centuries and people with different English dialects. Use of the comma drifts across dialects and time. I read an entire book on commas. My takeaway was that at least I know why I am so bad at, commas.

Thank you for your support. I also greatly need it to stay on point:

Michael Yon

Michael Yon is America's most experienced combat correspondent. He has traveled or worked in 82 countries, including various wars and conflicts.

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  1. Hilarious and great commentary Mike, thanks for taking the time to inform us.

  2. Please continue publishing your work. I very much enjoy reading your thoughts (sans edit just fine!) Your experience and insight, and willingness to “go there”, physically and literally, is very rare today. The mass media is useless, as you well know. You are the future. Keep burning bright.

  3. Great article. You write just fine. Actually, superbly. Thanks for the tip. Before 2020 I had read several pandemic books. Useful. You are in my prayers Mr Yon. My God is able to deliver, but if He doesn’t, I will still serve Him. (Book of Daniel). Michael is also in the Book of Daniel.

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