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Published on The Doomstead Diner on December 25, 2016
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MERRY COLLAPSE CHRISTMAS DINERS!
Here on the Doomstead Diner, we've been tracking Collapse Issues since February of 2012. A few of us were members of the Reverse Engineering Yahoo Group which I ran from around 2009 to 2012. I myself began participating on Collapse oriented forums in late 2007. There are many others with a much longer history than this, going back to the 1960s even with Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.
The Environmental movement had its heyday back in the 1970s, with the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. This also coincided with the "Back to the Land" Movement, spearheaded by Hippies like Albert Bates, one of the founding members of The Farm, and scientists like Ugo Bardi, one of the researchers of the "Club of Rome" which produced the first "Limits to Growth" Study in 1972. Both Albert and Ugo are still active as Environmentalists, and I cross post their work regularly on the Diner.
Sadly of course, all those years of environmental activism and scientific research that demonstrates the mess we have been making of the planet has not done a whole lot to stop it, at least globally. In given locations it was occassionally successful, but generally speaking the problem just moved somewhere else where the local Goobermint was amenable to having the local environment destroyed in the name of PROFIT. So industry which once polluted places like Love Canal in Amerika moved offshore to places like Guanzou Province in China, polluting the water there instead.
I personally was not a huge Environmentalist in my 60 years walking the earth in terms of any activism. I was always disgusted by the rape of the earth through the period, but I never really did anything to stop it, and in fact contributed to my share of the destruction by buying all that gas I burned in my motorcyclez and my carz along the way. I also rode plenty of Subway Trainz in the years before I could afford a car or motorcycle, and they also burned plenty of fossil fuels and fissioned Uranium in Nuke plants to keep electricity flowing along the third rail so the trains would run, and there were many days I forgot to turn off the lights in my room when I went out to play, needlessly burning still MORE juice and putting more carbon into the atmosphere.
Then I also ate lots of Animals, mainly Chickens and Cows and Baby Lambs, who all farted and put methane up in the atmosphere on the way to my dinner table. After eating them, I also farted putting still more methane up into the atmosphere. I cannot calculate what my particular contribution was over these last 60 years to total atmospheric carbon or climate change, but I am sure it is greater than most of the people currently living on earth. These days, I try to reduce it some but since I still live in a 1st world culture and need to get around on Buses, Trains, Planes & Automobiles and I still need to EAT, I continue to be a big ass Carbon Emitter into the atmosphere of the planet.
I came into the World of Collapse not because of Climate Concerns, but because of observations on how the economics of the world were breaking down in the aftermath of first Bear Stearns and then Lehman Brothers during the 2008 financial crisis. This led me to investigating many things related to that, like Peak Oil and Climate Change and Ecological problems, and as each year has passed since that time, all of those problems have grown larger. The Climate issue appears to be growing much more rapidly than predicted even back only so far as 2008, and this problem now gets more attention overall than economic issues do, at least on websites besides the Diner that I frequent like r/collapse. Climate problems are considered an existential problem core to our very EXISTENCE on the planet, whereas Economic issues are considered temporal and mainly a math problem and distribution problem overall. Long as the planet itself is capable of supporting life, economics seems secondary to people who are climate concerned as a priority.
I do not tend to hold this view, I think climate issues are survivable for at least a portion of the population currently walking the earth, though probably not all that many. The TIMELINE to a final extinction of the species Homo Sap remains an open question, and is highly disputed, although it is sure to come at some point. It goes from as short as less than a decade according to Guy McPherson of the Nature Bats Last blog to as long as 300M years when the SUN puts out too much radiation for Eukaryotic organisms to survive on the surface of the Earth. Well, even longer if you believe that we can migrate off the planet to other star systems with the techno- folks like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, but IMHO that is not gonna happen. We are planted on Planet Earth, this is where we were born and this is where we will die, at some point in the timeline. Our real near term issues come in how we organize the society and distribute out the resources we still can access economically. Then we gotta figure out how much we can produce each year and how much that production can support in terms of total population size. We are time-limited as all living things are including planets. We just need to figure out how to live just as long as we can in the timespan alloted to us. Figuring out that question best I can is what I do on my blog here, the Doomstead Diner, and it keeps me very bizzy. LOL.
My opinions on this are not all that popular, I have people from the cornucopian side of things who despise me because I say we have limited resources and too large a human population that needs reduction; and then on the other side I have Extinction Afficionados who think everything is HOPELESS, and NOBODY can survive for even 10 more fucking years! I am too HOPIUM FILLED for these people, and deluded. You can't strike any kind of middle ground with either of these types of ideologues.
There are numerous other issues that are more temporal that cause conflict, like the issues about who our political leaders will be, whether they can make some difference in the collapse trajectory, whether using Gold as Money would make any difference, etc, etc, etc. If you take a particular stand on some of these issues, it gets you as a Blogger a constituency that supports you. For me though, I tend to bounce through these issues and have positions that one consitutency or the other does not support, so I NEVER make everyone happy. "You can make some of the people happy all the time, all of the people happy some of the time, but you can NEVER make all the people happy all the time." I live that cliche just about every day on the Diner, my home as a blogger and analyst of collapse. I am also not a real compromising sort of guy, and get in arguments all the time, both with commenters on my blog as well as with other bloggers who treat the subjects of collapse with their own spin on it on other blogs. I take no prisoners in an argument, I hold grudges a long time, I FIRE BACK in the Chicago Way and I make enemies because of that. So it goes.
Which now brings me to the point of this whole diatribe, which is to look at where the Doomstead Diner is AT after nearly 5 years of operation chronicling the World of Collapse? We have seen our ups and downs over the years here, and it's always tough to figure out just how well you are doing. Google Analytics as of 12/4/2016 is up as the Header Graphic for this article, the Daily Users Chart.
Based on records of hits inside the Diner Forum, the Peak of the Diner Popularity came around 2014. This period was also when the Alexa Ranking for the Diner was at its Peak, we hit around 75,000 Globally at that point. BUT, Alexa changed their algorithm AND the numbers of hits on the forum are always pretty suspect, because MOST of them are BOTS. You can get millions of hits (we did), but only a tiny fraction of them are real Human Eyeballs.
|Yearly Summary||New Topics||New Posts||New Members||Most Online||Page views|
Diner Forum History
Over time though, you do get a decent idea of how many REAL DOOMERS are out there reading your website. We have had some up and downs over these years, our Video & Audio material brought in some folks and that was likely responsible for the peak period in 2014 for page hits.
In the last year we suffered a decline in total hits, I attribute that mostly to a lot of Burnout in the Collapse Crowd. It basically plateaued out at around 320 Users/Day, according to Google Analytics on the Diner Blog anyhow. But then we have Facepalm users, Twitter Users, YouTube Users, Soundcloud Users and Reddit Users also to try to account for. Tons of crossover involved here, so tough to determine what the total individual and independent readership is for the Diner.
My BEST GUESS on this is around 1000 Global Diners who hit one of our sites once a week or so. Maybe 300 who drop on the Diner daily to see what is cooking in Collapse. Given a Global Population of over 7B people, this is NOT making a huge impact! LOL.
At the same time though, the Diner DOES do better in terms of daily readership than most other Collapse Blogs out there and stays out of that sub-1M category of personal blogs most of the time on Alexa. The total readership of ALL collape blogs at this point still remains pretty small, my estimate for that is around 50,000 people globally interested in the topics of collapse who regularly surf the web on such topics. So I am OK with capturing 1000 or so of them each month for a read on the Diner. I would like more of course, but it's a reasonable number of people to be reaching each month.
If you look at the Google Analytics chart I put up from last week at the top of the article, you'll see that the last 90 days we did see a significant upward bump in users, about a 25-30% increase. This coincides with a few recent events on the Diner.
The first main one is the beginning of the publication of the Serial Novel, "How I Survived Collapse". I took myself off of doing Video discussions and Audio Rants to devote myself to this project instead, and apparently Kollapniks like fictional representations of collapse issues, these chapters get a LOT of page hits. On the downside, the YouTube and Soundcloud Diner channels get fewer hits without steady new material going up. However, you only have so much creative energy to expend in one day. You can't just print up creativity every day like you can Fiat Money. lol.
The next reason I perceive as important are political events ongoing that the Diner has focused on, namely the Election of Trumpty-Dumpty and the ongoing protest at the Standing Rock reservation against the DAPL pipeline. In both cases, the MSM Newz on these events is very poorly covered, and/or full of bullshit. So people are out there looking for other perspectives and information on these topics, and various Diners are contributing their analysis to the subjects, providing more original material on the Diner.
Finally, a main reason for the now again increasing popularity of the Diner is that many of the other bloggers who treat collapse issues have tapered off in how much and how often they will write. "Collapse Burnout" is a problem for many bloggers who have written on these topics for years, and even if they are producing new material it's mostly rehashing stuff that has been said a million times before and basically beaten to death, unless of course you are a Newbie to the World of Collapse. If you're not a newbie though, writing and rewriting the concepts you focus on can be tiresome after a while. I fight this battle against burnout by examining the newz and looking for new insights and changes in the dynamic, which are always occuring even if the underlying principles of collapse don't change all that much.
The fact fewer bloggers are writing now also means I don't Cross Post as much as I used to from other bloggers, but that turns out not to be such a bad thing. Fact is, people who read the Diner also read the blogs of the other people I cross post. I cross post to keep the blog fresh each day for newbies, but for long term Kollapsniks they don't come to the Diner to read those blogs, they read them when they originally were published on that blogger's website. Cross Posting less means I post more Original Diner Material, which apparently is what the readers want. Of course, producing enough original material up to the High Standards of the Diner for every day publication is somewhat difficult. lol.
All in all, it was a good year for the Diner moving through Collapse. Hell, at least we are still up and running, right? The NSA hasn't taken us down yet, and we STILL have not made the list of Fake Newz Websites. 😦 1000 regular readers who drop by the Diner for a collapse meal a few times a month isn't too bad, although I would like to see more of those people contributing Inside the Diner on our Forum. Hashing out the issues with others is really the best way to get further insights, in fact for myself the reason it took me so long to start a blog was because I like dialogue and argument more than I like expository prose writing, although I can do that most certainly, at great length too! lol I got more prose up on the web than Shakespeare and Tolstoy combined! Argue the quality all you want, but in word count this is no contest at all! 🙂 Still, it is much more enlightening to exchange ideas with other people, even if periodically they piss you off a whole lot.
Another significant milestone for the Diner is we held our 2nd Convocation this year at the Inman Harvest Day Festival in South Carolina. This was in conjunction with trying to get our SUN☼Project off the ground, and we got a great reception from the local movers & shakers there, but NO MONEY! lol. So SUN☼ is still just an idea, it hasn't yet become a reality and maybe it never will, but that doesn't really matter all that much. The most important thing is to get the MESSAGE out to people that this style of living we have grown up with just is not destined to last all that much longer. In the longer term, SUN☼ type communities will evolve if Homo Sap is to survive on the planet a while longer, because we CANNOT survive with the way we are living now. It would certainly be better if people got started on this shit NOW rather than waiting until after TSHTF, but if you can't get the locals to pony up some money for it, you are just SOL there. Sadly, I am not a Billionaire who could finance the whole thing himself, I wish I was, but I ain't. So if the people themselves who would benefit from a more resilient community will not pony up, you're stuck in neutral, which is where SUN☼ is right now.
On a personal level as regular Diners know I struggle with deteriorating health issues resulting from my spinal injury, and struggle as well with getting the Title to the Entitlements I was promised when I set out working for 40 years inside the Industrial Economy. I won some of the battles so far, but the War goes on here on this still. I didn't end up as a Homeless Cripple Freezing to Death on the Streets of Palmer, Alaska as was my fear for the first 7 months of this adventure in my life, at least not yet anyhow. On the upside to it, I did get some time in "Retirement", about a year and a half now so far, and I really like retirement. I get up in the morning (or afternoon, or evening) when I feel like it, I spend my day reading and writing on topics that interest me, and I got no Boss I need to keep happy so he writes my paycheck each week. I got no tests to study for in school and no traffic or stinky subways to ride on to get to work or school. I do have a crew of somewhat testy Members, Mods & Admins here on the Diner I don't always keep happy and which can be somewhat frustrating, but at least my living does not depend on keeping them happy. It's also most certainly NOT a "cult", since most of the time nobody agrees with me! lol.
As of now, 2017 looks like it will be a watershed year in the World of Collapse. The election of Trumpty-Dumpty and his installation of Billionaires, Corporatocracy CEOs and Military Generals as Cabinet members and his Advisory team speaks clearly to exactly what kind of "Populist" this jerk is. It boggles my mind that people are so foolish as to buy any of the nonsense he spouted out through the campaign. It's a fucking GUARANTEE he will eviscerate civil liberties, curtail free speech & freedom of assembly and increase the power of the Police State, all the stuff Libertarians say they are against! He's also obviously going to give away the store to fellow plutocrats and .01%ers, he's already stacked the whole fucking cabinet with them! Jamie Dimon and Carl Icahn are his economic advisors here for crying out loud! He's going to shrink the Military? Are you fucking NUTS? He's already appointed 3 Generals to his cabinet, one of whom worked for General Dynamics after leaving the military! He's up for a new Nuclear Arms Race! He's got Jamie fucking Dimon & Carl leveraged buyout Icahn as his leading advisors on the Economy! Can you get more status quo BAU Military-Industrial-Banking complex than this? This is "draining the swamp"? More like "swimming in the swamp".
Besides the mockery of His Trumpness as POTUS, we also have just all sorts of shit going on across the pond in Eurotrashland. The Italian banks are teetering on collapse and as I write this article, the current plan is for the fucking BROKE Italian Goobermint to Nationalize and Bailout Banca Monte dei Peschi di Siena, because of course it is TBTF. Precisely where and how the Itie Goobermint will get the money to do this bailout remains unclear at the moment. Then after the Italian banks, you got the German ones like the Big Kahuna, Deutchbank, also not looking too good on the balance sheet. However, you tend to suspect that the Goldman-Sachs cavalry will somehow ride in to the Rescue of these Zombies one more time. Maybe.
After that are all the "Populist" (aka Neo-Nazi Right Wing) reactionary parties that have cropped up in Eurotrashland and further elections are sure to result in Goobermints which cannot effectively Goobern anyone. At least half the population totally despises Da Goobermint even before they actually take office! It doesn't matter who it is or which side of the lefty-righty divide they come from, they just can't do anything to stop the collapse of their economies. Various plutocrats from one side or another can be made happy, but this does not create more jobs for J6P and total tax revenues for all the states continues to be eroded.
Then you got my favorite Snake Oil Salesman Elon Musk who continues to sell the fucking stupid idea we are going to replace the entire fleet of ICE carz and truckz with EVs powered by Batts produced in his "Gigafactory", slated to be the largest building on Earth if/when it gets finished. He's ALSO going to "Go Where No Man Has Gone Before" and set up a fucking colony on Mars! NASA couldn't do this in the last 50 years, but Elon CAN! He's a can-do entrepreneur! What fucking idiot buys this crap?
Meanwhile here on Earth, you got cities from Sao Paolo to La Paz to Johannesburg running short on water and forest fires burning all the time and oil pipelines leaking, suicide and overdose epidemics, a new shoot-em up on a college campus or nightclub once a week, but HEY! don't worry, be HAPPY! Take another Fukitol Pill, you'll feel better in a jiffy!
I do not have any expectation of having a shortage of collapse topics to write about as we move into 2017, nor do I expect to burnout writing about them either. I have great stamina for this stuff, I'm going on near a decade now of writing about the topics and I feel like I am just getting my stride! lol. Collapse is a MARATHON, not a SPRINT! It may seem slow to you in human years, but in fact it is going quite rapidly not just in Geologic time but in Generational time also. "Collapse" isn't coming "someday", it is here with us right now and we are all living it in one way or the other, to one extent of knowledge or denial of it or another.
The BIG QUESTION of course everyone always asks me as an Official Collapse Pundit is whether this will be the year THE Collapse occurs, as in the lights all going off, shelves all going empty, ATMs outta cash and Zombie Cannibals roaming the streets eating children for breakfast? I'll go out on a limb here and say I do not think 2017 will be the year of the Zombie Apocalypse, at least not here in the FSoA. One thing I have learned in my years writing on this topic is that the "system" or "matrix" (whatever you wish to call it) has a lot of inertia. It's rolling down a hill, gathering speed, but it's not off the clif quite yet, the Wile E. Coyote Moment has not quite arrived.
I do believe though at some not to distant point in the future of this timeline we will witness a discontinuity, I just hope I am alive long enough to witness that from this side of the Great Divide and write about it. Not that I really want to see a lot of Death & Destruction before I die, but I do want to see "TEOTWAWKI", or "the end of the world as we know it". The exercise we have put ourselves through as a species and this planet and other creatures who inhabit it through from the Age of Agriculture through the Age of Industrialization MUST come to an end, regardless of all the pain and suffering that will come along with that. I believe that some Homo Sap will make it through the Zero Point to the Other Side, and those who are left standing will be better for it, a new species in fact. I won't be there (at least in this broken down body anyhow, maybe my spirit reborn to a new one), but I will smile from my side of the Great Beyond as a Better Tomorrow emerges.
Anyhow, New Year's Eve approaches now, 2017 is arriving and at least unless Nibiru collides with the Earth in the next few days, we'll have another year in Collapse to observe and record here on the pages of the Doomstead Diner. I would like to close here with a special note of thanks to my fellow Admins here on the Diner, who tolerate my idiosyncracies and who have proven to be good friends IRL as well as in cyberspace. To Surly, to Eddie, to Monsta, to Lucid Dreams & Gypsy Mama and to Palloy, Auld Lang Syne. To all the rest of the Diners, I wish you also all the best in collapse in 2017. Thanks to all for your participation and help in making the Doomstead Diner #1 for Doom on the Net!
Be sure to stop in at the Diner next Sunday for Surly's recap That Was the Year That Was in Doom, and drop in periodically for more Chapters of How I Survived Collapse!