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Countering the Zombie Threat:

The BBC reports on important new research.

JJS:
my favorite part:

Professor Robert Smith? (the question mark is part of his surname and not a typographical mistake) and colleagues wrote: "We model a zombie attack using biological assumptions based on popular zombie movies.
8.19.2009 10:40am
ruuffles (mail) (www):
Another reason to oppose Obamacare. Death panels run by for-profit companies will do the job right. Death panels run by government bureaucrats will have inevitable missteps and turn out these zombies. Then Obama and the Democrats will use that crisis to increase spending even more.
8.19.2009 10:52am
A Law Dawg:
At least there will be sufficient streams of capital for those worrisome zombie banks!
8.19.2009 10:54am
Positroll (mail):
"Then Obama and the Democrats will use that crisis to increase spending even more."
As it will be military spending, Republicans should be happy ...
8.19.2009 11:02am
MCM (mail):
As it will be military spending, Republicans should be happy ...


Except that F-22 Raptors will still be the wrong weapon for the new war...

... unless there are flying raptor zombies. Then we're going to need everything we've got.
8.19.2009 11:11am
just the facts (mail):
replace the word zombie with aids carrier and you have a whole new perspective.
In the developed world the principal source for aids related mortality is ultimately due to the treatment of aids. Rather than be a relatively rapidly fatal disease over a period of a few years and largely confined to a group with contacts within itself, aids carriers have been permitted to survive to create more aids carriers. Restricting the civil rights of a few tens of thousands in 1984 (most of whom have been dead for 2 decades now) would have prevented many more tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of new carriers (zombies) out there making more zombies.
Like the zombie article notes, the only way for humanity to survive the threat is not to find them and treat them, but to hit them hard and wipe out the menace.
When the next more serious menace threatens to break out, like ebola, will society have the cajones to do what it takes to survive?
8.19.2009 11:15am
MCM (mail):
Good troll.
8.19.2009 11:23am
einhverfr (mail) (www):


Except that F-22 Raptors will still be the wrong weapon for the new war...



Until they have to cross the International Date Line and then we are all screwed....
8.19.2009 11:23am
JK:
I've got to agree with Furguson at the end of the article, these spread projections must be based on an extremely difficult to kill Zombie, as well as a pretty dumb population. From my memory a few guys with shot guns can hold of dozens of Zombies.

I imagine the higher rate of gun ownership in the US would significantly reduce the spread rate and extent of a Zombie plague, probably to the point where it couldn't spread out of urban centers. I think the NRA should start listing that as a reason to support a strong second amendment.
8.19.2009 11:28am
MCM (mail):
I imagine the higher rate of gun ownership in the US would significantly reduce the spread rate and extent of a Zombie plague, probably to the point where it couldn't spread out of urban centers. I think the NRA should start listing that as a reason to support a strong second amendment.


The US is also much less densely populated than Europe, which should be a significant advantage.

I'm not sure about most firearms, though. Most handguns and rifles will be useless since they won't do enough damage to physically stop the zombie, which is why the living must resort to shotguns.

The real lesson: kill it with fire.
8.19.2009 11:32am
Joseph Slater (mail):
Another opportunity to link to one of my favorite blog posts ever (and it's also written by a colleague of mine).

The Legality of Your Zombie Escape Plan.
8.19.2009 11:37am
Hannibal Lector:
This is not as silly as it looks. They're essentially modeling the spread of a very contagious, very lethal slow virus. How to deal with such an infectious disease highlights the occassional tension between libertarian ideology and public health needs.
8.19.2009 11:41am
Sean O'Hara (mail) (www):
The most important point in the study is that in case of zombiegeddon, we cannot listen to namby-pamby liberals who want us to try quarantines -- we have to engage in an immediate, pro-active eradication campaign, or we will all die.
8.19.2009 11:51am
A Law Dawg:
we have to engage in an immediate, pro-active eradication campaign, or we will all die.


Well, only temporarily.
8.19.2009 12:02pm
Liberal Libertarian:
And here is the paper: http://www.mathstat.uottawa.ca/~rsmith/Zombies.pdf
8.19.2009 12:13pm
rmd:
For your singing zombie pleasure:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjMiDZIY1bM
8.19.2009 12:26pm
pete (mail) (www):
The real question is whether you are daeling with fast zombies that have a very short incubation period ala 28 days later or slow zombies like in Shawn of the Dead and most zombie movies that have an incubation period of a few hours to a few days. Slow moving zombies with a realtively long period between infection and full zombification seem like less of a short term danger.

Also considering this was a British study they should have addressed the problem of having a largely unarmed populace since rifles tend to be the best weapons for dealing with zombies. You need to destroy the head and rifles have the range and power to do that more than shotguns or handheld weapons and fire can get out control too easily to make that a wise choice.
8.19.2009 12:31pm
Grant Colvin (www):
this thread would just not be complete without:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a6YdNmK77k
8.19.2009 12:33pm
ASlyJD (mail):
RMD, and here I was thinking I was the only Volokh Conspiracy AND Jonathon Coulton/World of Warcraft music video fan.

If I hadn't gotten married seven years ago, I'd be asking for your email. :)
8.19.2009 12:48pm
tripp:
Okay, one more link...the video is a bit silly, but the song is appropriate, and any excuse to promote Jeffrey Lewis is a plus (I especially appreciate the lyrics...hint, hint).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqvPhs2cRC8
8.19.2009 12:52pm
BZ:
Well, since someone else raised the World of Warcraft and infection scenarios, it bears repeating that using these tools can uncover some very interesting behavior, as when epidemiologists studying infections in WoW realized that they hadn't factored in a sufficient element of attempts to escape the contagion:

Jungle Fever Panic
8.19.2009 1:45pm
BZ:
Sorry, left out the http:

Jungle Fever Panic
8.19.2009 1:47pm
Arkady:
Well, on thing we can all agree on: Death panels for these dudes would be redundant.
8.19.2009 4:15pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
In case anyone missed the international date line bit, the first international deployment of the F22 raptor was delayed due to a software bug that more or less rendered the planes' computer systems useless on crossing the international date line. Fortunately for all involved weather was good and visual approaches possible on return to Hawaii.
8.19.2009 8:54pm
http://volokh.com/?exclude=davidb :

From my memory a few guys with shot guns can hold of dozens of Zombies.

Dude, don't you think you owe us a few more details from this experience of yours?!?!?
8.19.2009 10:56pm

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