Archive for the Debate Category

Are We Really Becoming Digital Zombies?

Posted in Debate on January 20, 2010 by abrentisart

I recently saw a blog post with this title so I was obviously interested. Instead of being a true zombie article the post posed the question are we becoming digital zombies? The question stemming from the over stimuli you and I receive on a daily basis. Basically are we becoming desensitized from all the digital data input we get?

Check out some of these interesting stats:

According to calculations in the report (by researchers at the University of California, San Diego), that daily information diet includes about 100,000 words, both those read in print and on the Web as well as those heard on television and the radio. By comparison, Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” contains about 460,000 words.

The researchers, who built their work on previous studies of information consumption, found that Americans take in data through various channels, including the television, radio, the Web, text messages and video games. Most of this time is spent in front of screens watching TV-related content, averaging nearly five hours of daily consumption.

Second is radio, which the average American listens to for about 2.2 hours a day. The computer comes in third, at just under two hours a day. Video games take up about an hour, and reading takes up 36 minutes.

Most of these experiences happen simultaneously, like talking on the phone while checking e-mail, or instant messaging while watching TV.

So the question is a metaphorical one: Are We Really Becoming Digital Zombies?

Visit the original post here.

Advertisements

Zombie-Attack Science

Posted in Debate on December 21, 2009 by abrentisart

ILLUSTRATION BY MR BINGO

Word for word from the New York Times:

Epidemiologists today worry a lot about swine flu. But earlier this year, Philip Munz got interested in a more devastating possibility: an outbreak of zombies. A graduate student at Carleton University in Ottawa, he was watching a lot of movies about the undead and realized that zombification could be regarded as a classic paradigm of infectious spread: people get bitten by zombies, after which they turn into zombies themselves and start biting others. So Munz decided to use the tools of epidemiology to answer a sobering public-health question: could humanity survive a zombie outbreak?

Working with a professor and two other graduate students, Munz built a mathematical model of a city of one million residents, in which an outbreak occurs when a single zombie arrives in town. He based the speed of zombie infection on the general rules you see in George Romero movies: after getting bitten, people turn into zombies in 24 hours and sometimes don’t realize what’s happening to them until they change.

When he ran the model on a computer, the results were bleak. “After 7 to 10 days, everyone was dead or undead,” he says. He tried several counterattacks. Quarantining the zombies didn’t work; it only bought a few extra days of survival for humanity. Even creating a “cure” for zombification led to a grim result. It was possible to save 10 to 15 percent of the population, but everyone else was a zombie. (The cure in his model wasn’t permanent; the cured could be rebitten and rezombified.)

There was only one winning solution: fighting back quickly and fiercely. If, after the first zombies emerge, humanity begins a policy of “eradication,” then the zombies can be beaten. This is, as Munz points out, what traditionally saves humanity in zombie flicks. “People finally realize what’s happened,” he says, “and they call the army in.” Or as he concludes in his paper on the work, to be published in the collection “Infectious Disease Modelling Research Progress”: “The most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to hit hard and hit often.” – CLIVE THOMPSON

Via The New York Times

The Brain Debate

Posted in Debate on October 27, 2009 by abrentisart

bwains

Zombies have been the talk of the town in my area and people are starting to get interested. Friends are finding cartoons, and art revolving around the notion that zomies hunger specifically for brains. I am not sure where this notion came from. From the early begginings of zombie lore up until now, zombies have not been specifically drawn to the brain (or moaned ‘brains’ for that matter). The one constant in zombie feeding is human flesh. Notice that zombies do not feed off of each other, they seem to crave living human flesh. We are not sure what causes this but it is a constant.

So the issue of brains. Personally, I believe it’s due to ignorance. I think one person at one time made a comment or a joke or whatever and it stuck. A cliche’ or catch phrase. My friend Treezoy says it’s the “Judy, Judy” theory. The “Judy, Judy” theory is a theory that’s based on the actor Carey Grant. Usually when people imitate him they say “Judy, Judy”. The more people said it the more it stuck. What’s interesting (Treezoy tells me) is that Carey Grant never said it. Then how did catch the phrase get attached to him? I have no clue. Why have brains become the zomie catch phrase? The 80’s are to blame (more on that later). Your thoughts…

Would the Human Race Survive a Zombie Attack? Scientists Say it’s Unlikely

Posted in Debate, Strategies on October 2, 2009 by abrentisart
Would the Human Race Survive a Zombie Attack?

Would the Human Race Survive a Zombie Attack?

This was an article I came across on treehugger.com of all places.

According to the BBC, scientists and mathematicians have determined that an attack from zombies would “lead to the collapse of civilisation unless dealt with quickly and aggressively.”

Scientists and Mathematicians actually did a zombie survival study. Amazing. The article brings up some good points. Whether it be zombies or even a deadly virus, mankind has not properly prepared themselves.

In their study, the researchers posed a question: If there was to be a battle between zombies and the living, who would win? 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. We introduce a basic model for zombie infection and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions.”

Read the article, it’s quite entertaining and informative.
So with SARS, so with swine flu—so with an incoming zombie attack.

Read it here.