IT Strategy

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?

blood pressure in your brain goes up. Your body copes with this by reducing the amount of blood in your body.

When -- and if -- you get there (remember, space travel is still risky), exhausted, weak, and missing a great deal of blood, you'll be greeted by a world where you can't walk without a spacesuit. If you take your helmet off, the thin air (mostly carbon dioxide) will suffocate you immediately. The only drinkable water will be your own recycled urine, at least until machines could be built to pull water vapor from the air. Until suitable greenhouses can be set up, food will consist of dehydrated or ready-to-eat frozen pouches of edible substances -- if the supply holds out long enough.

Looking out the window of your space colony, you'll see nothing but red desert in all directions. But if you look closer, there might be life waiting for you.

It seems like a rock and a hard place, right? Interestingly enough, everyone who gets this question seems to think they have the solution.

The Earth scenario usually involves outsmarting the zombies, finding a way to a strong enclave or remnant of a government, and slowly restoring order in the chaos.

The Mars scenario usually involves the slow conquering of a wilderness with terraforming and the triumph of human intellect.

But it usually seems more visceral than that. InformationWeek community editor Susan Nunziata responded to the question with a quick and confident answer: "I would stay; no question. I trust no one who tells me, 'Here, get on this shuttle with your family; we promise we'll take you to a better place.' That never ends well."

Dark Reading editor Sara Peters also had a fun take: "Well, I'll do what my family does. And knowing my family, they won't be bothered much by zombies. They're resourceful and smart and not the type to get shoved around by people, living or undead."

A friend of mine from the party -- we'll call him Steve -- summed up my side of it better than I could: "Let me map this out for you. On Earth, you have a 100% chance of zombies. On Mars, you have a 0% chance of zombies. How much easier can it get?"

He's right. I pick space every time. And honestly, I don't see how anyone could choose anything different. It seems crazy to me to fight a horde of zombies over a lost planet.

And yet space seems equally insane to others. To me, the question seems to come down to some sort of geek Rorschach test. Call it "known quantity vs. the unknown" or "safe vs. adventure" or even "things that go bump in the night vs. infinite darkness." We're picking our poison. And it is fascinating to see how adamant people are about it.

Now it's your turn. Pick your poison: Stay and fight the zombies, or head to Mars in the last spaceship launched from Earth? Let the arguments begin in the comments.

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