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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progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Moderator
8/30/2014 | 6:11:52 AM
Re: How to serve man?
By the way awesome Walking Dead video, that was hysterical.
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Moderator
8/30/2014 | 6:10:58 AM
How to serve man?
Is there a chance these martian guys can pull the old "How to serve man" trick on you (curious to know if anyone gets that reference, although sci-fi geeks should)?  I think I would roll the dice on staying with the zombies.  You still have the off chance to meet non zombie woman and get some action (If Glenn could do it...).  Going to Mars you might never have sex again...
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
8/29/2014 | 11:19:50 PM
RE: Fight Zombies, Or Go To Mars
What a classic Geek question! It's definitely better than 'pirates or ninjas?', at least. It's a lot of fun to run through scenarios like this with friends, but there's a serious side, too - it says a lot about human nature, our instincts, and how we run through hypotheticals.  On the topic of 'can zombies swim?', there's a great (read: terrifying) scene in one zombie movie (I can't find the name or the clip after 20 minutes of searching... it was a cheesy one on at 2AM on sci-fi) that has the protagonists trying to escape to an island on a boat, but when one of them accidentally falls in the water, he realizes that it IS filled with zombie... they're just walking along the ocean floor, reaching up to pull him under - but then I guess it depends on which flavor of zombie fiction you subscribe to.

How we're setting up the premise, which version of the ideas  we're using,  has a lot to do with this question, doesn't it? Are we talking Romero-style slow zombies, or some of the crazy things that can run on walls like in Resident Evil? When you say 'Mars Colony' is there anything already there, or are you building the mars colony? The former gets into more sci-fi questions (after all, Mars colonies can't really exist anytime soon)... the latter makes me want to take my chances with the zombies. I don't even know how to grow food on earth. I don't trust myself to try it on Mars - nevermind whether the mars greenhouse, etc. is even possible.
kstaron
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kstaron,
User Rank: Moderator
8/29/2014 | 5:00:23 PM
always wanted to go to Mars
I've always wanted to go to Mars. I've never wanted to be chased by zombies. I think the case is pretty clear.

Okay, now let's get to the 3rd possiblity. You've boarded the ship but someone's already infected so now you have zombies in space. But fortunately they will be much easier to get rid of, you can shove them out the airlock (but who knows where they might land?)
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/29/2014 | 4:20:46 PM
Re: Next stop: Mars
That trailer for The Walking Dead was perfect.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
8/29/2014 | 4:20:31 PM
Re: Tough Call
@ David.  That is really a tough choice.  I'm more for protecting the earth and fighting to get it back from the zombies.  May be we find a cure to the zombies like world war z, who knows?  If we take the ship to mars.  I'm not sure how certain we are of getting there.  Since we don't have mission control to guide us to mars; we could end up in Saturn or another planet. Unless our space ship is like the one space odyssey 
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."
<<   <   Page 5 / 7   >   >>
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