Strategic CIO // IT Strategy
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8/29/2014
08:06 AM
David Wagner
David Wagner
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Geekend: Fight Zombies, Or Go To Mars?

It's the most divisive question in all of geekdom: What do you do when the zombies invade?

Geek's Guide To NYC Travel: Interop Preview
Geek's Guide To NYC Travel: Interop Preview
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Bear with me as I paint a picture of how I came across the geekiest question ever asked. I was at a party with 20 or 30 of my oldest friends, mostly from college, all with serious geek cred. In the room were engineers, IT pros, writers, and sci-fi fans galore. On most questions throughout the night, there was generally a consensus -- except one.

That one burning question had the room nearly evenly split. Not only that, but everyone at the party was convinced there was no room for discussion; the other side was clearly insane. Never have I seen a question so excite geeks and so divide them at the same time. So it occurred to me I had to share this question with an even bigger Geek community:

If a Walking Dead-style zombie apocalypse began and you and your family were invited on to a spaceship that could take you to a zombie-free Martian colony, would you take the ship or stay and fight the zombies?

Before you jump to a conclusion, let me explain what you are up against:

If you stay and fight the zombies, a huge percentage of the population will become mindless, flesh-eating, dangerous predators. You may be infected by the same thing that infected them. They will hunt you down, because they are voracious, tireless eaters who swarm their prey.

[Scared of zombies? Here's to your health! Geekend: Scare Yourself For Health.]

You might think you'll be able to outsmart them or outrun them. You might be right. But don't forget -- even if the zombies don't get you, other humans will. You'll be forced to scavenge for the last vestiges of resources from a dying civilization. You'll be breaking into every convenience store on Earth, looking for that last pack of Twinkies. You'll be living off vodka and old cans of Spam. You'll be breaking into Walmart, fighting your way through hundreds of zombie customers who spent their last moments of consciousness trying to save 10 cents on a bar of soap, in an effort to beat everyone else to the ammunition.

And you can't stop. You can never stop. When your supplies run low, you can try to defend some sort of enclave and maybe grow your own food. But you'll end up defending it, not only from zombies, but also from other humans who resent the fact that you have something. They will try to take it from you. And they are smart. And fast. And they have guns.

You will never sleep safely. You will never eat well. You may have to kill your own kids because they've become zombies.

Still not convinced? Look at this brutally honest view.

So, ready to go to Mars?

Well, that's no treat, either. First, you'll spend 180 days (or more) in a tiny metal box just to get there. All that time there will be no mission control and no fanfare for your brave trip. You're not Neil Armstrong -- you're Ripley from Alien, running from a threat that may destroy your species. Earth is gone, and a barren red rock awaits.

Spend six months in zero gravity and see what happens. Your muscles will atrophy. Your bones will thin. Worse, you'll actually lose blood. Gravity pulls blood to your feet. When gravity disappears, blood distributes evenly, and

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David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio
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<<   <   Page 6 / 8   >   >>
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
8/29/2014 | 3:10:43 PM
Re: Next stop: Mars
@Shane- Good man. You will have your pick of rooms in the colony. :)
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
8/29/2014 | 3:09:24 PM
Re: Tough Call
@Susan- Yes, the zombies in space scenario is the worst and a great movie plot. I'm going to assume a quarentine scenario. But even without one, fighting one zombie is not a problem. It is fighting swarms of zombies that is a problem. One zombie is slow and easy to kill. Millions of zombies eventually snow you under.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/29/2014 | 2:43:53 PM
Re: Next stop: Mars
@Shane: Alrighty then...well, if you happen to survive and fight your way back to earth, there will be a place for you on my luxury yacht. Vaya Con Dios!
Shane M. O'Neill
IW Pick
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
8/29/2014 | 2:42:45 PM
Re: Music To Decide By
"This indecision's buggin' me."
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
8/29/2014 | 2:39:17 PM
Re: Next stop: Mars
Oh I have. Scary and gruesome stuff. But I'm willing to take my chances.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/29/2014 | 2:17:39 PM
Re: Tough Call
@Dave: that's a valid question, but here's an even bigger one:

What if one of the people on the Mars shuttle has the zombie virus dormant in their system and it doesn't come out until you all get to Mars? Then you're stuck on Mars with a bunch of rabid zombies, no Wal-Mart or convenience stores to loot, and no buildings to hide in.

I'm taking my chances on earth, thank you very much.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/29/2014 | 2:14:46 PM
Re: Next stop: Mars
@Shane: You obviously haven't seen any of the Alien movies....

:)
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/29/2014 | 2:13:08 PM
Re: Next stop: Mars
@TerryB: Deal, i'm not sqeamish and I hate cleaning bathrooms. Besides, I'm not a great cook.

Re. your screenplay idea: throw in a tornado and you're golden. Will you invite us all to the movie premier?
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/29/2014 | 2:11:33 PM
Re: Music To Decide By
@Alison: haha! well done.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/29/2014 | 2:10:45 PM
Re: Next stop: Mars
@jastroff: That's a great idea! if we assume that zombies can't swim, then we just need to find an island that never had people on it, which means it will lack zombies, and we can just wait it out. Mind if I join you?
<<   <   Page 6 / 8   >   >>
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