We've all had friends who refused to look at reality, but leave it to shrinks to come up with a nice clinical sounding name for it: The normalcy bias! (a.k.a. denial, the ostrich response, etc...) Normalcy bias is why most people can't face a large crisis. Large, as in a real-time economic collapse or peak oil. Here's a perfect little blurb on normalcy bias I found at THIS site: "Normalcy Bias: When Extreme Danger Leads to Denial The normalcy bias has severe consequences. When people don’t face the facts of an imminent disaster such as financial crisis, or act to protect their loved ones or their assets from danger that might be developing around them, the negative effect that the disaster has on them is much greater. People who face the situation early and start taking measures to alleviate the impact that the disaster has on their loved ones and their assets are more likely to survive the disaster and even, in some cases, benefit from it." This is (sadly) a very human response. I discussed this with a survivalist friend a few weeks ago and he had another interesting observation: There's a real tendency for extroverts to engage in normalcy bias, whereas introverts are more thoughtful and analytical and less likely to get trapped in denial. While not a hard and fast rule, I think there's some real truth in this and we're both paying attention to test the hypothesis. He and I are both introverts to some degree. We both dislike large groups - particularly those featuring inane chatter. We're much more interested in socializing with just one or two others at a time, and neither of us like groups at all unless there's a bunch of common ground. Neither of us are sticks in the mud, either - we we enjoy a drink or five when the time is right - it just takes more for the time to be right than for your typical party animal. When he first threw the idea out, it hit me instantly that most of the survivalists I know are exactly the same. Here's some further food for thought: 1) As we batted this around, we realized that psychiatry, to a large degree, treats extroverts as "normal" and introverts as "dysfunctional"... 2) (my own thoughts here) Liberals make fantastic herd animals, whereas conservatives gravitate more toward their associates/families/home life. It takes that "bunch of common ground" thing, on a fairly high intellectual plane to get conservatives gathered into large groups, which is why conservatives aren't drawn into inane activities such as public protests very often. (The Tea Party movement is the probably the first widespread mass public gathering of freedom loving conservatives since the revolution, and look at the magnitude of the crisis it took!) Liberals are quite the opposite - you find them grouped like that all the time, and such activities really gets their juices flowing (in any number of ways, including getting laid after the protest)... Perhaps (along with the warning that we're not going to take care of them when TSHTF) we owe our head-in-the-sand friends a little more compassion.