QuoteOriginally posted by: propertyrightsA collapse of civilization is possible, sure. But I would say that this is only a possibility rather than a certainty. If you think it is a certainty, fine. How soon do you think it would happen? And are you stockpiling guns, canned food, gasoline, etc.?If I thought it was a certainty that civilization would collapse, then the logical thing to do is to max out all of my credit cards and then go totally insane spending myself into massive debt buying stupid expensive things and doing stupid expensive activities. Why not? Once civilization collapses, it's not as if I have to worry about credit card debt, and I might as well go out in a blaze of glory. If I know things are going to fall apart, then I'll spend the last days of Pompeii having as much fun as I possible can. Why not?As it is there is only a possibility that civilization will collapse, I have some gold stashed away, I have passports ready, and I know exactly the people that I'll call if things go insane and what I'll say to them. The good news is that I know people that have survived the collapse of civilization, and a lot of my life has been to do things that will put me in a good situation if things totally fall apart (which is why I ended up studying physics and finance in the first place). But I'm not going to go totally crazy, because if civilization *doesn't* collapse, then I'm totally hosed.What my current strategy is, is to position myself so that I'm in good shape if things improve. If things improve, then I'll be able to sell myself as "one of the people that helped save the world economy" and at that point I will ask for, and likely receive massive amounts of money, power, and gratitude. If things don't, well while I'm in the street corner selling apples, I'll at least know that I did what I could and had a lot of fun doing it.Part of the reason I have this really weird optimism is that I think it is extremely unlikely that I'll have to live through anything quite as bad what people I know have lived through. The worst thing that I can imagine happening to me is that I lose my job and all my life savings, and at that point as long as I manage to keep a few books around, I'll still be doing mostly what I'm doing now. I just don't see myself having to worry about being shot at by brutal Canadian occupation troops, and while the mobs might be interested in burning and rampaging, I think that they will be well behaved to confine themselves to throwing rotten eggs at me and kicking me unconscious rather they being interested in stringing me up on the lampposts, turning me into a human torch, or insuring that I die a slow lingering painful death. People might be mad at Wall Street, but they are "throw rotten fruit" mad rather than "shoot and torture the bankers" mad, and I'm not that far removed from periods in history when people were "shoot and torture the bankers" mad.(It is interesting how many people end up in finance because of a survival instinct. Even in the worst of times, having money is useful because you can pay bribes and make sure that someone in the family gets out, even if you don't. Also, people may get into a "shoot the bankers" mode, they will eventually realize it's a very bad idea. If you can either pretend to be stupid, or be somewhere else while the lynch mobs are around, then eventually they'll realize that it was a mistake to shoot the bankers, and if someone in the family can survive, you'll do well in the end.)So I really don't what there is to be too depressed and angry about. I could lose my job and all my money. Big deal. I'll survive, and if things merely get as bad as they did in the United States in the 1930's, I think I'm likely to do much better than survive. Apple salesman? Construction worker? Union organizer? Professional rabble rouser? Buddhist monk? Soy sauce manufacturer? Heck, if we go into a Mad Max world, then someone has to do the books and make deals for fuel for the roving bands of warlord gangs. Whatever.... I've already changed careers a few times, and assuming that I'm not physically in danger, I'm likely to have fun doing whatever needs to get done.