I was on the panel with Fred Greenhalgh (lives off-grid, does The Cleansed podcast/radio drama), Matthew Boudreau (radio drama producer), and Ryan Alexander (mod - computer guy, hacker, Burner, etc.).
...I went back and counted, and so far I've brought about the end of civilization as we know it 4 times.
"Every death is the end of the world, every divorce an apocalypse."
Sometimes worldwide destruction is the only thing that seems big enough to speak to the pain.
All sorts of worlds come to an end on an everyday basis, whether that means the end of a relationship, a job, a dream, politics, loss of religious faith, shattered dreams, serious personal injury or illness, or the death of someone close.
Restarting of the world in fiction can give us hope that our small, personal worlds can restart as well.
Philosophically, one could argue that most stories in all genres are apocalyptic!
Undervalued skills--and therefore people--become important.
Esp. appealing to makers and hackers (not computer variety) - a chance to make society from the bones of the old.
Can emphasize the coming together of different groups of people.
For writers, a chance to rebuild the world better
bicycles are the best means of transport
hand-made goods are more valued
Lots of real-world stimulus for apocalyptic scenarios: global climate change, nuclear war (very earliest childhood), volcano that's a few years overdue on errupting that will make life impossible in the northern hemisphere. Or see world closing in around us with ubiquitous surveillance and ever-increasing legislation.
Feeling of accomplishment after reading some of these, as if we've done part of our homework!
Books: World War Z, The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham, The Stand - Stephen King, There Will Be Dragons - John Ringo, The Change series - S.M. Stirling
When one man dies, it's a tragedy, when thousands die, it's statistics, when millions die, it's entertainment.
Misc. things to look up: TEOTWAWKI, Lehman's catalog
All CONvergence 2013 posts: http://cloudscudding.livejournal.com/tag/convergence%202013