2019 Collapse Survey Results – The 500: Who are the Kollapsniks? – The Demographics

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on January 13, 2018

Discuss this article at the Survey Table inside the Diner

 

Notes from RE:

1- Although the title says 500, I actually took this snapshot of the Stats when the numbers were between 430-435.  They are now at 558 as I publish this article.  I chose 500 because it sounds good and it's right between the 300 of Thermopylae and the 600 of the Light Brigade.  Percentages haven't changed much with the additional submissions since the snapshot was taken.  We will no doubt add quite a few more respondents with this article since I am leaving the survey open for the time being.  460 respondents marked the point at which the survey gained a 99% Confidence Level with a 6% Confidence Interval for a population size of 100,000, but more is always better when it comes to surveys.

Respondents who added their email addys will get a pdf of the survey results right around 500, depending when I take the snapshot.  More in depth analysis can be done with the spreadsheet, you can parse the numbers with that.  Contact me on the Diner if you are interested in doing a more detailed numerical analysis and have verifiable background with which to do it.

If you use the results of this survey in any academic papers or documents, please reference the Doomstead Diner as the source in your footnotes.  Also please inform me through the Contact Page on the Diner if you are going to use the survey or its charts and graphs in this way, or on you blogs if you have one.

No parts of this study may be used on commercial websites that use Advertising or sell Merchandise such as the Author's books, or which have Paywalls without the expressed consent of the Doomstead Diner and the Sustaining Universal Needs Foundation.  None of the charts and graphs may be altered in any way or the copyright and logos removed from those charts.

The Survey remains OPEN at this time.  Responses keep dribbling in and I don't want to leave anyone out of the final Tally.

2-  Most of the questions don't tally to the full 430 or so when I took the snapshot.  This because all respondents don't answer all questions.

3- Statistical Significance:  This is always a bone of contention with any survey.  How significant is it really?  How big is the population you are surveying?

It's tough to estimate exactly how many people were surveyed here across all the websites, but I'm putting the Outer Limit at 100,000.  r/collapse has the largest circulaton with almost 90,000 subscribers, but many of them no longer participate or read the sub anymore.  Also unlikely that in 2 weeks all the currently active redditors saw the links to the survey.  All the rest of the blogs and forums are much smaller, so 100,000 seems like a good outer limit here.

At this level of population, the Survey comes in with a 99% Confidence Level and a 6% Confidence Interval, IOW it's very significant for this size population.  It's likely quite accurate in its numbers.  Caculations done with the Survey Calculator on SurveySystems.com.

4- Question Structure Complaints:  Once again with all surveys, complaints come in with the way the questions are structured and what the answer choices are.  In this case I tried to give as many places for a free form write-in response as possible.  Many respondents took advantage of this and I will publish their responses in follow up articles or Inside the Diner in the Surveys thread.

5- "Americentric" Complaints:  Specific to this survey, several complaints came in that it was "Americentric", which really is not true.  There are a few questions specific to the Amerikan Political Sewer, but most of the questions are applicable to Kollapsniks who live anywhere at all.

 

Thanks to all the Kollapsniks from all websites who dropped in their 2 cents on this survey.  Special thanks to the following 7 websites which contributed the bulk of the opinions (sites with >5 Repsondents):

 

#1- Reddit r/collapse with 168 Submissions

#2- Cassandra's Legacy with 121 Submissions

#3- The Burning Platform with 98 Submissions

#4- The Doomstead Diner with 68 Submissions

#5-  Economic Undertow with 16 Submissions

#6- Our Finite World with 13 Submissions

#7- Truthdig with 7 Submissions

 

Each of these websites has a somewhat different readerhship, I'll make some general observations here from my time participating on all of these websites  as a (rather prolific, lol) commenter and TROLL. Before Admining my own site, I was a first class annoying troll in the commentariat of NUMEROUS websites, I can't even count them all anymore.  I was BANNED from most of them. lol.

 

#1- r/collapse: Like the rest of Reddit, r/collapse is dominated by social media freak Millenials.  Their education and knowledge of the problems we face is very diverse.  Some are well read up, others are fucking clueless idiots.  Their numbers are HUGE, dwarfing any of the single collapse websites.  Their Political viewpoints vary from the far right to the far left, leaning more toward the left.

#2- Cassandra's Legacy:  Prof. Ugo Bardi's Blog.  He teaches Physical Chemistry at the Univeristy of Firenza in Italy.   Ugo is a member of the Club of Rome and participated in the original Limits to Growth study done int he 1970s.  The website is LOADED with Academics with Ph.Ds.  It's one of the reasons we have such a high education level recorded in this survey.  Ugo and I collaborated on many video discussions of Collapse Issues which can be found on the Diner YouTube Channel.

#3- The Burning Platform: Run by Jim Quinn, a CPA who handles the books at the Wharton Biz Skule in the Ivy League.  A Baby Boomer who denies he is a Baby Boomer, for whom the 4th Turning by Strauss & Howe is the Bible of Collapse.  Very Right-Wing/Libertarian leaning website, with quite a vocal commentariat.  I praticipated on that site for a couple of years and wrote numerous contrarian articles there.  It was very entertaining. lol.

#4- The Doomstead Diner: My Doom Website, established in 2012 by myself and my co-Admin Surly and our Code Jockey tech designer Peter.  The #1 Go-To Website on the net for Collapse Newz.  Generally Left leaning politically, but we do have a few contrarian Libertarians who chip in their 2 cents as well.  A very contentious commentariat, not a place for the meek.  Don your Fireproof BVDs before you sign in. lol.

#5- Economic Undertow: Run by Steve Ludlum, aka Steve from Virginia.  An economic technical site with a very different from mainstream analysis you can get anywhere else, and usually right on the mark.  Steve also collaborated with me on many videos.  A relatively apolitical website.

#6- Our Finite World:  Run by Gail Tverberg, a former professional Actuary who does many charts and graphs to illustrate her POV on the energy problems we face.  OFW has become increasingly Doomerish over the years, although the site has little political spin at all, just some very vehement Nihilists.  Gail also collaborrated with me on numerous discussions and videos.  No discernible Political Spin to this website.

#7- Truthdig:  Chris Hedges website.  Chris is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and an unabshed Socialist with a Capital S.  He himself does have a net worth in the $Millions$ though. lol.  He's a fabulous speaker and does great interviews as well.

 

Now, on to the charts from the survey.  For today, we look at the Demographic Questions.  I'll make a few brief comments beneath each chart.   For further analysis and discussion, visit the Survey Table inside the Diner.

 

Survey still OPEN

Survey now @ 558 Submissions

 

This was one of the more interesting (and colorful!) Doughnut charts on the survey.  The Political Spectrum from which Kollapsniks come is quite diverse, that's why the chart is filled with so many colors.

Of interest first is how few Doomers identify themselves as either traditional Demodopes or Repugnants.  The overwhelming majority of Kollapsniks are fed up with BAU in Washington (and their more local legislatures) and are abandoning these parties in droves, although on both sides of this artificial divide they mostly still do vote for one candidate or the other, because in the FSoA 3rd Party candidates simply can't win and just end up being spoilers for one side or the other.

Where most of them have migrated to in their thinking though is either to the Democratic-Socialists (best exemplafied in the FSoA so far by Bernie Sanders) or the Libertarians (best exmplified in the FSoA so far by Ron Paul and his Heir-Apparent Rand Paul).

More interesting to me than this were the number of respondents who identified themselves as either outright Fascist or Communist.  7% in total in this snapshot, holding fairly steady with the combined total now at 8%.  Communists lead Fascists 5%-3%.  I am fairly astounded though that this large a segment of the population will identify themselves outright with either political system.  Both have received tons of bad press over the years since WWII, and in Amerika most people would rather be "Better Dead than Red".  Kollapsniks take on these beliefs I think because they are so thoroughly disgusted with BAU and only see a major revolution as having any chance at actually changing things.

 

A pretty much expected result here, but quite different I think from the general public.  My sense there is they get most of their newz and political beliefs from the TV and from Talk Radio shows.  Every time I jump in a cab the driver has Rush Limbaugh squawking away and I have to sit through that shit for an hour long ride to Anchorage for my latest MRI or CAT Scan.  I gotta start carrying my noise-cancelling Bose Headphones.

About nobody gets their newz at the Barber Shop or Bar anymore, but go back to the days before Radio & TV, this is where people got together to discuss the newz of the day.  I think people were a little more politically savvy back then, although that is just a feeling, no numbers to back that up.

 

This is an EXTREMELY common topic on r/collapse, with quite vehement opinions exressed quite often when the topic comes up.  There is a large cohort of people who think NOBODY should have kids, it's "wrong to bring children into a World in Collapse".  Why bring a new life into the world just to condemn it to a life of pain & suffering?  Also, the clear problems we have with Population Overshoot say we gotta reduce the total population of Homo Saps if we expect the planet to remain Habitable and ourselves not to go Extinct in the Near Term.  However, how is the population of Homo Saps not go Extinct unless SOMEBODY has children?

Here is where the plurality of respondents believe your financial means should determine whether you can have children or not.  That is essentially the viewpoint of the Eugenics believers of the early 20th Century, followers of Margaret Sanger who felt poor people should be Sterilized.  This of course was taken up by the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitller in Germany as well.  Why should reproduction be only for the rich?  How many very successful people came from poverty, raised on rural farms to bootstrap themselves up to wealth and success?  Should their parents not have been allowed to breed them?

Roughly half of the Kollapsniks are Married, but if you add in those who have a Life Partner or many Sexual Partners to this, that is the clear majority.  If you parse out this data by age group though, you will see that this also represents the older demographic.  Younger Kollapsniks are not so often coupled up.  Many reasons for this, often discussed in the Sociological trends discussions Inside the Diner.

Similar to the Marriage question, it is mostly older Kollapsniks who have children.  The number with replacement level or below is the majority, which does match with statistics showing that  Industrialized Nations are shrinking in self-procreated population (although immigration still makes up for that deficit in many if not most of those countries).  You could parse this one out by Income distribution, but I haven't done that as of yet.  I suspect the people who have larger numbers of children also have larger incomes, but that might not be true.

I was surprised that roughly 1/4 of Kollapsniks consider themselves "Optimistic" about the future, considering all the incoming evidence that things will just be going from Bad to Worse over time here.  This attitude is what I labelled as "Doom Lite" a few years back, and IMHO it's the result of Normalcy Bias.  We've always bounced back from crashes before, right?  We came back from the Great Depression bigger and stronger than ever!  After Rome Collapsed it took a few hundred years of Dark Ages, but we got the Reformation and Scientific Revolution!  I personally think "this time is different".  I don't think we're going to rebound, at least not in the forseeable future anyhow.  Perhaps some Plateaus and Dead Cat Bounces along the way down, but this is basically one long downhill slide we are on now.  Apologies to John Michael Greer, but it's not "slow & catabolic".  It's moving along quite rapidly now, and getting faster all the time. So I dropped myself in the "Pessimist" category.

The Nihilist category is a whole other ballgame, and while still relatively small it grows all the time and is quite vocal on Collapse websites as well.  This cohort of people is absolutely mired in Hopelessness and in many cases actually HOPES for the Extinction of Homo Saps, the sooner the better.  Don't bother arguing with these folks, it's a complete waste of time.

Here is a result I REALLY did not expect, and it took me some time looking at the data to figure out why the Diner came out #1 on the Hit Parade of Collapse Websites.  The reason is the algorithm the software uses to determine rankings.  It's not just how many Doomers rank you first, it's how many 2nds, 3rds etc you get from them.  Really low rankings from someone bring your totals down.  So many of these websites cancel each other out, Doomers who read The Burning Platform don't read r/collapse, and vica-versa.  The Diner gets high rankings from its own readership, and middle level rankings from everyone else.  In the totals, it comes out on top! 🙂

DOOMSTEAD DINER.  #1 FOR DOOM ON THE NET!

Unsurprisingly since BY FAR r/collapse has the widest circulation, they turned in the most submissions.  Of course, I do participate there myself and plugged the living shit out of the survey over there, which didn't hurt either.  lol.  TBP was in 2nd for a while, but the cohort of Acaademics from Cassandra's Legacy ended up trouncing them when Ugo put up the survey on his blog also.  The Diner rolled in in 4th place, out of the money. lol.  Significantly, without being listed in the main choices, Steve Ludlum's Blog of Economic Undertow came in 5th with 16 write-in ballots.

This split actually has moved up some, now with 14% of Internet Kollapsniks registering their gender as Female.  Either way though this matches earlier surveys we have done where the number always comes in between 10-15%, regardless of the Collapse Website you look at.  Why this is so isn't certain, and I asked this question in an earlier article on this topic.  It's not like wimmen are scarce on the net overall, you find them all over the place on the Cooking websites and the Homesteading sites as well with Gardening tips and so forth.  They seem to avoid the real heavy duty Doomer websites though.

Another very colorful Doughnut chart here, with Kollapsniks quite widely distributed around the FSoA, and throughout the rest of the World as well.  15% of responses came from non-FSoA citizens living elsewhere in the world.  Some of the other countries and regions represented are:

 

Australasia
Australia
Belgium
Canada
Central America
Egypt
EU
France
Germany
Italy
United Kingdom
New Zealand
Oceania
Spain
Sweden
Turkey
Mongolia

Some folks here identified themselves as coming from a given region such as Oceania rather than a specific country.  Particularly true of people living in the EU.  Regardless, it was a fairly wide distribution from around the Globe.

 

Like the Gender issue, I wrote previously about the Religion issue, specifically how few Muslims particpated in the survey given there are over 1B followers of Islam on the planet.  Many of course do not have internet access as their countries get Bombed Back to the Stone Age by the FSoA.  However, many have migrated over the years to the FSoA and Europe, so you would figure a few more would show up.  Their numbers still hover around 1% though, and are actually below Pantheists, Panentheists and Unitarian-Universalists, all spectacularly tiny religions.

Far as Kollapsniks go, the majority identify themselves as either Atheist or none, as in no religion at all.  I find it hard to imagine how anyone can have no belief system at all, everybody believes something.  Even if you believe you can't believe anything, you believe something. lol.  Christians are the other really large category, no surprise there since Christianity is the major religion of Western Industrialized nations, and they did a pretty good job of converting a lot of Chinese to this religion too.  However, nobody from China listed themselves as from there in the locations question.

This is one of the more astounding results from the survey, since it is so far above the level of education in the population at large. 3/4ths of Kollapsniks have a Bachelors Degree or higher, with 13% at the Doctoral Level. In the general population, less than 1/3rd of people have a Bachelor's Degree, and less than 2% Doctoral level.  Generally speaking, Kollapsniks are very well educated people.  An interesting data parsing here would be to see if attitudes about energy or extinction vary significantly by education level?  I haven't done that depth of analysis yet though so I can't tell you.  It's rather time consuming work, and I'm not sure I'll ever get to it.  Just getting out the basic data is taking me a month of time here.  If anybody else wants to parse the numbers, CONTACT me on the Diner and we can discuss it.

Another fairly colorful chart, since Kollapsniks seem to be quite well distributed across the economic spectrum, with the majority between $20,000-$200,000, the working poor to the high Upper Middle Class in the FSoA. The Survey did pull in 3  1%ers  earning between $500,000-$1,000,000 and 2  0.1%ers with an income >$1,000,000.  Who are these folks?  How about making a TAX DEDUCTABLE Donation to the Sustaining Universal Needs Foundation (a 501c3 nonprofit Charitable Organization) to help us expand our work educating people about Collapse and building Sustainable Communities?  CONTACT me on the Diner if you can help us financially.

Somewhat surprisingly to me ZERO respondents to the survey identified themselves as Homeless.  It's surprising because I know there are several Redditors on r/collapse living and working in some of the more expensive cties like Seattle and San Francisco living in their Stealth Vans.  So these folks either didn't respond to the survey or they don't consider themselves Homeless, their Vans are their homes.  I'm not surprised there are no respondents from people who are so far down now already they are sleeping rough.  They don't generally spend much time on the internet and aren't real concerned with the greater scope of Collapse.  They have their own personal collapse to deal with.

It was brought up Inside the Diner that how much money you have around to pay your monthly bills isn't really a great measure of Net Worth, and that is somewhat true.  However, in order to have months or years of cash around or assets to liquidate, your net worth has to be pretty good, and/or your expenses very low.  I had to manage for 7 months with no income whatsoever when I first became a Cripple.  A combination of low monthly expenses, no debt and a good sized nest egg I put together over the years enabled me to do this.  Here in the FSoA, 60% of people don't even have 1 month of savings to handle emergencies or loss of income.  Kollapsniks do substantially better than this typical percentage, both because they have higher incomes in general than average and because, well they are Preppers & Doomers expecting things to crash any day now. lol.  Part of Prepping Up for Collapse is having a Stash of Cash for SHTF Day and getting out of debt.  Trimming your expenses to the bone and living a low consumption lifestyle also are important aspects of being ready for Collapse to arrive at your doorstep, which it will at some point.  Collapse is…

…Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You.

Help Build the Diner and Save As Many As You Can.

Post on Bulletin Boards at School, Work & Church.  Download the pdf for best Print Quality.  Use Glossy Photo Paper for best color rendition and presentation.

 

 

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2 Responses to 2019 Collapse Survey Results – The 500: Who are the Kollapsniks? – The Demographics

  • Category5 says:

    MrsC5… or Mrs DrC5 has said she will take a closer look at your survey. She will consider doing some further analysis as she is a sociology professor and has the experience.

    I, on the other side, only have a grade 10 education. I was smart enough to leave.

    Having a wife with Dr. at the front of her name…. does make me seem smarter though.

    What I would find more interesting is the IQ of Doomers. Now, that might get some attention. I know I'm curious.

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