I have thought about this again - Justice Gustin reminds me that I know how much people can suck, and Revy reminds me that we have precedence for how loosely things are held together.
In my imagination, I'm sort of expecting the "people come together" after a disaster - people who are capable help people who aren't, as has been demonstrated, perhaps to make us feel much better and self-congratulatory, on news stories about disasters. As an optimist, I would think people would get closer with their neighbors, pool resources.. that guy who tried to steal the wagon of food threatened them instead of being looked at as someone needy, he was a thief and he was killed. I think the cracked article points out how stupid that whole scenario was. And the two Marines leaving base because they weren't given orders to do whatever it is the military tries to do when everyone else needs their help?
So this is a massive disaster that happened to everyone, so if something happened to New Orleans like a hurricane/flood aftermath, it's not like New York can help because it happened to them too, and everyone in between. I agree we can't feed everyone, but like Jack tried to tell people on Lost, we are out of airplane food, the "live together or die alone" speech, and Locke said, "we hunt." Rob breaks into Neville's house instead of being asked to share, seems to be rummaging a silverware drawer like an animal - we already have been shown they are not on friendly terms, but the insurance adjustor who fudged on "smoke damage" for policyholders who hadn't paid for smoke damage insurance wouldn't do the same for his neighbor? "You're my neighbor," he tries to reason with the intruder - then why is he starving and breaking in your house like a total stranger?
Now I'm not a people person, and I can see this happening, the disconnect between what a neighbor is and what a neighbor actually does. I guess. If someone doesn't try to organize and placate people into order, nobody knows what else to do but beat the shit out of someone with a tent. I still don't understand the Pellegrino thing - he was incapacitated and they could steal his things, but did they have to pulverize him to death, or were they going to eat him? Miles and Monroe weren't that hungry by the time they got near Chicago by contrast.
Anyway, a lot would have had to happen that we don't know about yet in 15 years and I'm starting to accept that people tried and failed to hold it together until the militias, plus there were wars - in the ocean. If Maggie knew, then she might have gotten home. If Ben had a magic necklace, did he have a computer too? If the militia never came for him, it never would have come up.
As far as the clean clothes, sure that nerd's favorite AC/DC t-shirt lasted so long - it looks like the 1st shirt he wears after he does laundry, lol, I don't know why that doesn't bother me so much. I'm given to understand there are things you're supposed to overlook, and things you need explanations for. Some power works. Miles' hotel has all the torches going at the same time - do you think he walks up and down the corridors to light them? The "set" seems really lazy to me - a support column slides right out of position, only one of them, and lands in the middle of the stairs, and there are trees growing inside, and he has a pool table set up like a normal lounge. Aaron should immediately recognize that he is in a video game then and become the most capable, and perhaps he recognizes he is out of his element in fact because it's not a game. This must dawn on him within the next two episodes, other than the fact he was given an amulet and tagged along on the "quest", and maybe that time he kneecapped the militia guy, got a knife turned on him, and depleted his stats. Maybe they cut the scene where he made a puddle on the relatively clean marble floor. Maybe that's all we get.
I'd like to see him more as a Sayid than Nora is; he's not even managing to be Hurley - Hurley was useful and recognized how to fill his Hurley niche when opportunities arose. After 15 years living this way, an abandoned commercial airliner is a good place to get a medical kit, you think? I would have thought too that he gave up on computers ever working again after the first 2 years he must have frantically tried. He lived in a village containing a magic necklace kept right on the body of his friend, and nothing ever turned on, so we come upon a broken computer and of course we have to risk trying to put it back together - it wouldn't be here if it didn't just work 5 minutes ago. Of course he was right, it's in the script, but reasonably not.
So I guess just saying that I hope we're filled in more quickly about certain indications that a lot of things were tried in 15 years. Fire still works, they tore apart the boats for lumber, but people have lots of fire, lots of candles like they just picked up the Instant Engagement Kit at Party City (for the romantic atmosphere we all look forward to in the apocalypse), and throw logs to run a train like they do it all the time. I'm not the science expert many people are, but this shouts "inconsistency" to me. I know this is about the Revolutionary War somehow, but I would love to see some other stories on the planet, like when Lost spent a few episodes on the Tailies' experience. Monroe is consumed with gaining power in his locale, wonder what's China or Russia doing now, or places that didn't rely heavily (or at all) on electricity in the first place. Did every country on the planet decide they needed to fuck up all their transportation for lumber? What's this new project with all the wood? Isn't one of the "modernity" complaints about McMansions, and nearly everyone starved to death and they didn't make any new boats.
I hope we're not meant to ignore these lines as throw-away explanations. What happened in the intervening years is the mystery to me, not what caused the power to go off or how to turn it on, and the political dishevelment would fall into that time period either, not just in the summary, "fear and confusion led to panic." The leftover people tend to re-civilize themselves as they adjust. Don't they?