Does an off-grid future exist?

Hello pepper community. I have recently taken a great interest in prepping and how prepping is a way future-proof ourselves. 

Like many others, the development of AI concerns me. I often idealise going off-grid today to live in tune with nature. I am interested to know if you think this idealisation will exist in the future. I imagine more and more land becoming privatised for other peppers and borders being drawn. Maybe we will have to make applications to go to these privatised areas which are removed from AI. What do you imagine?

No wrong answers! I am keen to hear from how others imagine a future off-grid life to look like. 



  • Comments (10)

    • 3

      Good afternoon Molly,

      Great news that you’re starting the prepper journey ! Welcome to the prepper community.

      My reply to question:

      Preface:  “Only fools and sages make predictions.” [anon]  I am no sage. Thus, my reply:

      No, an off-grid future for the masses will not arrive.  Only a few – like now – will be able to live off-grid. Most will be in apartment building.  It’s about “economies of scale”. Most will not be able to afford a single family dwelling with a LPG tank and generator and solar panels and …

      The bills are due and this will be seen in tax increases, insurance increases, too few in fire and rescue departments, too few law enforcement officers – budgets also getting even more austere.


      Still, you will be is great shape as indicated by your entry into preparedness. 


      • 3

        Thank you for welcoming me and sharing your view – very interesting to read! 

    • 3

      Just to clarify and to understand your question, you are concerned with the development and widespread use of Artificial Intelligence, and want to look at off-gridding as an option to withdraw from this emerging technology?

      I agree with your prediction that more and more land will become privatized. To quote Lex Luthor’s father in 2006’s Superman Returns “You can print money, manufacture diamonds, and people are a dime a dozen, but they’ll always need land. It’s the one thing they’re not making any more of.”

      • 2

        Yes Supersonic, that is my concern. I am interested to know if others share those concerns and how they imagine a future surrounding that anxiety. Thank you for sharing that quote! 

      • 4

        AI is going to lead the way to some incredible discoveries, improved health, ease of life, self driving cars, and improved safety and longevity of life. It is an exciting time to live in and see what will become of it. 

        On the other hand, there are always those dystopian views of AI like in the movie I, Robot which is set in 2035 (not too far away). 

        I’m not sure what your concerns with AI are, whither that be fully autonomous robots and drones that are dangerous like in I, Robot or Terminator, or if you are just wary of tracking, surveillance, and being monitored.

        AI is quickly being introduced into our society from being on every cellphone and computer, to even the scanners and monitors that track us in our grocery stores. This is only going to become more integrated  and become a part of society and our every day lives. 

        People enjoy turning off the cell phone and taking a trip to the mountains for the weekend. It is therapeutic to unplug from our devices, be silent, and focus on nature.

        If you do end up buying 25-100 acres in the middle of no where and own it, you can greatly control what happens on your property and what you will and will not allow there. But eventually everyone will need to drive into town for supplies, medical treatments, or repairs. I feel like it will be nearly impossible to forever avoid AI, the internet, and technology. 

        For me personally, I take what steps I can to be private, secure, and anonymous with my online connected devices by understanding the technology, how it works, what information is collected, and what can be done with that information. Some technologies are convenient like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant, but I have opted out of having services like this in my life because I do not want a constant microphone listening and analyzing my life. I don’t think anything truly malicious will ever come of using these services, but I just would prefer not to have them. 

        I don’t think AI is something that will directly be dangerous to us. At most I can see some faulty code in a program to mess up and cause water treatment facilities to not work properly, or traffic lights to malfunction. As a prepper, have back ups and your basics so you aren’t as reliant on the grid for when these systems fail. 

        The bigger threat I see, for me, is mother nature and other humans. Both have a very long history of death and destruction, and it’s only getting worse. Again, stick to your core preps for protection and resilience from most of these threats.

      • 3

        I used to be scared of nuclear war and prepped for that. Got a gas mask, iodine tablets, and plastic sheeting and duct tape to cover vents. I probably would have gone out and bought a hazmat suit if I had not come across The Prepared. Their articles under the ‘Start Prepping’ tab at the top of the screen quickly snapped me out of the worst case scenario and helped me realize that I didn’t even have my food and water storage set up. How am I going to survive a nuclear winter without food and water? 

        So I’m on the same page as you Supersonic. Make sure you have your bases covered and then you can go get that off grid homestead

    • 2

      Hi Molly, I love this subject!

      The Singularity, the point that technology becomes self-aware, self reinforcing—beyond human control— is a fascinating subject. I have no real insight beyond basic reading and having seen the transformation of computers over 50 years. When I was in high school I worked in a print shop that had a Compugraphic typesetter, a computer/printer the size of a modern washer/dryer set. Its sole job was to print out justified columns of text like in a newspaper, that was it! I can’t imagine the power of a modern computer that size.

      Whether a system is truly “intelligent” or not is a moving target, someone said AI is just whatever hasn’t been done yet—speech and OCR and handwriting recognition, etc were once amazing but now routine. I have a star map app on my phone, not only does it have the 4D spacial coordinates of stars, it knows exactly where on earth it is; but the really amazing thing is it knows exactly in what direction the phone is pointing! And that is a 15 year old app.

      Automation, for want of a better term, is a huge disruptor. Me tapping to you is a great example of its pervasiveness already. Social media in general has already had huge effect on our lives and politics and international affairs. Many aspects of our infrastructure are controlled automatically and/or remotely via increasingly complex and autonomous algorithms.

      Way before AI becomes aware, humans are using tech in not so beneficial ways. Total Information Awareness, biometrics & standoff ID, license plate readers, DNA search, Heterogeneous Aerial Reconnaissance Team (autonomous UAV surveillance), satellite citizen surveillance, data mining, political manipulation and don’t forget the Ring Doorbell Camera mesh network, and on and on.

      That’s just scratching the surface. I’ve been tapping into forums and BBSs since dial-up in the early ’80s, thousands, maybe 10s of thousands of messages onto boards similar to this. Nothing radical but fringy at times I suppose. It would be interesting to see what the government has Hovered up; it has been a while since I attempted to fly, LOL. I once downloaded everything google has on me and it overflowed my hard drive, though that was likely email – mostly.

      A person could go way down a Kaczynski rabbit hole. If I were younger I would be more concerned. but my horizon is only a decade or two, not that that isn’t plenty of time for suffering. And surprising to me, it turns out that authoritarianism is a fairly popular option even in the US. Even currently common systems in the hands of a competent oppressor would be terrifying, they are sorta terrifying under the control of incompetents and middling evil. 

      Finally, a person wishing to be low on the radar might want to stay in the crowd rather than isolate themselves — a gray man in the crowd might be less threatening to nefarious surveillance from either AI or government, corporate, a “Nigerian Prince’s” attention. 

    • 3

      Great topic question Molly! Loved reading the responses. Sadly, I think Amazon’s drones will find us wherever we run to, but likely not to kill us, except maybe to bury us in our purchases. A family member works in tech and often reminds me that the goal of the engineers is usually not nefarious, but to make things easier and more efficient. I personally try to limit AI’s intrusions, but it’s hard to say how successful that really is. To your concern about the wild places, travel out west and you’ll find lots of empty land. Granted, the most desirable for homestead type use is gone or expensive, but creative off grid tech can make formerly unprofitable land more accessible and useful than ever. So there’s always hope…keep searching & learning, as that’s always a useful pursuit. 

      • 4

        Thanks so much CR for your input!

    • 2

      You can live off-grid now. I have friends who do and I live near a Mennonite community that is largely off-grid. Some ideas:

      • Solar panels
      • Outhouses / composting toilets
      • Wells, natural springs, and rain harvesting
      • Propane refrigerators
      • Wood and propane heat
      • Satellite or cellular Internet