On Zombies and Humans

Condensed/edited from a thread I saw on the Tumblr:

There’s something really terrifying about the concept of being pursued by something that can only walk slowly after you. Just slowly following. You can chill for a while if you get far enough away but it’s still coming and won’t. give. up.

That’s called “persistence hunting” and it’s how humans hunted all sorts of megafauna to extinction, as well as what let our species become so disperse and so numerous. Our existence is a horror story told from the monster’s perspective.

Basically our hunting super power is that we are really smart, good at tools and can walk/run forever. 

My roommate Kait runs 20 miles 4 times a week.
Horses can only travel about 32 miles a day.

If my roommate ran 20 miles twice in one day (possible if she does one in the morning and one in the afternoon) she would out travel a horse.

She is not FASTER than a horse, but if a horse was walking away from her for 8 solid hours,  Kait could catch up to it.  She could probably also walk after it for an additional 5-10 miles after the run and then stab it when it got too tired to go on.

But Kait’s athletic.

I, on the other hand, am a fatty fat who weighs 210 and never exercises ever.

I once—completely spontaneously because i had no money for the train—walked 17 miles in the winter from one end of Chicago to the other. I had also not eaten and was wearing a backpack. It took me 3 hours, but I accomplished it with ease. If I wasn’t a chub goddess, had eaten, and it was summer and not wearing a backpack with a laptop in it, imagine how far and fast I could have gone.

Horses can only sustain a run for about 15 miles (at 8-10mph it takes them a little over an hour).

If my fat ass was walking towards a horse for 3 hours and it was literally running away from me. It would become exhausted after 15 miles and unless it can recover completely in 2 hours for another lengthy sprint, I can reasonably catch up to it and stab it. (not that i would ever stab a horse. horses are terrifying and should be regarded with suspicion, respect and fear)

The longest run ever was 350 miles over 80 hours without sleep.

We are endurance monsters.

Humans terrify me.

Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Theories and Urban Legends: I admit to loving them. I don’t believe a word of any of it, but they often make for good “what if” thought exercises and are clearly the 21st century version of ghost stories.

One of my favorites revolves around and grows out of the 1947 Roswell incident.

FYI, I do believe something not of this world crashed in the New Mexico desert, but what it was will probably remain one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time. And frankly, long ago I came to the conclusion (based on the numbers alone) that we aren’t alone; that the universe is teeming with life and we’ve undoubtedly been visited at some point by a civilization or civilizations that somehow managed to make it out of the childhood humanity currently finds itself in. Such hubris to believe otherwise! And if it wasn’t by chance that some Galactic Survey Vessel stumbled across this unremarkable little out-of-the-way rock, our detonating nuclear weapons would certainly send out a wake up call saying, “Hi, we’re here!” (Our nukes bring all the tripedal Reptilians to the yard.)

Would I like definitive proof of alien life or having been visited? Of course. But unless an unambiguous radio signal is received (much less announced by our governments), a saucer lands on the White House lawn or motherships appear in the skies over our cities, I doubt that’s going to happen during my lifetime.

Anyhow, one particular tale goes something like this:

The aliens piloting that crashed ship brought it down on purpose. Why? To seed our civilization with their technology—but not out of altrusism. It’s all part of an elaborate plan to take over the planet.

The narrative states that during the process of reverse engineering the downed saucer, various bits of alien technology were secretly farmed out to several U.S. corporations for research and exploitation—and that’s exactly what the aliens knew would happen.

Okay, sending the bits out for R&D without actually letting anyone know where it came from sounds plausible enough in a post-WWII mentality if something from “out there” actually crashed, but I still cock one eyebrow at it.

Anyhow, among the items recovered were supposedly things resembling modern integrated circuits; devices that were unheard of in 1947.

The first integrated circuits and silicon transistors appeared only a few years later. Co-inki-dink?

As the story goes, the aliens seeded this technology knowing what clever little apes we were. They knew we’d eventually figure it out and build our own versions.

Further, they somehow knew that because our entire civilization would eventually become so dependent on this stuff (I guess they’re masters of human psychology as well) it would be a simple matter of simply turning the switch off when it was time to come for the harvest. And who’s to say there isn’t something hidden in the fabric of the physics behind all this tech that our science is completely blind to that would allow such a thing to happen?

Without electronics and the always-on interconnectivity it provides, you’ve gotta admit that our current society would collapse pretty rapidly. I’m not just talking about the cell phones that everyone seemingly has their noses glued to 24/7, but pretty much everything. There are electronics in your cars and trucks; without them they won’t run. Electronics monitor and control the flow of water, gas, and electricity. Electronics (fly-by-wire) control our airplanes. Electronics monitor the processing of our food, the distribution of our money, and the gasoline we pump into our vehicles. Everything. Society is so dependent upon the flow of electrons that if they were to be shut off, collapse would be imminent. That’s not to say that we wouldn’t rebuild and regroup, but it would take time.

Yeah, I’ve read a lot of sci-fi over the course of my life.

As I said, this is just a thought experiment. I seriously doubt aliens would travel the impossible distances involved to get here just to implement a century-long (centuries-long?) plan to make us what’s for dinner unless they have the long game in mind and equally long lifespans. If they have the technology to travel here and want to take us over, they certainly have the technology to make that happen without all the cloak-and-dagger drama.