Skip to comments.Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse: Just Do the Math
Posted on 07/31/2013 6:52:36 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse: Just Do the Math
This equation could spell your doom: (bN)(S/N)Z = bSZ. That is, if you ever found yourself in the midst of a zombie pandemic.
That's because the calculation describes the rate of zombie transmission, from one walking dead individual to many, according to its creators, Robert J. Smith?, a mathematics professor at the University of Ottawa who spells his name with a "?" at the end, and his students. Smith's work has inspired other researchers to create zombie mathematical models, which will be published with Smith's work in the upcoming book, "Mathematical Modeling of Zombies" (University of Ottawa Press, 2014).
Though of course done tongue-in-cheek, Smith's study demonstrates why zombies are the viruses of the monster world. Their likeness to viruses makes the creatures ideal subjects for theoretical epidemiological analyses, which can be used to capture the public's imagination as well as explore scientific principles, Smith said.
As for a zombie apocalypse, Smith's model shows that a zombie infection would spread quickly (with N representing total population, S the number of susceptible people, Z the zombies, and bthe likelihood of transmission). It also shows that zombies would overtake the world there's no chance for a "stable equilibrium" in which humans could coexist with the undead or eradicate the disease.
Only coordinated attacks against the zombies would save humanity, the model shows.
Epidemiology and 'WWZ'
Models of disease outbreaks, like the one Smith developed, play a prominent role in real-life epidemiology, Smith said.
"Unlike most popular monsters, zombies are inherently biological in nature," said Mat Mogk, founder of the Zombie Research Society. "They don't fly or live forever, so you can apply real-world biological models to them."
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
Don’t worry, be happy and sing this little tune to pacify the zombies.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdRI2Y8fGcI
What am I missing?
b, S, N, and Z all cancel each other out!
>> (with N representing total population, S the number of susceptible people, Z the zombies, and bthe likelihood of transmission).
Stupid leftist forgot the put in the AR-15 factor.
I suppose that it is a handy formula, even if:
b = odds of Weiner surviving to the primaries.
S = Average number of toes on domestic shorthair cats.
Z = number of Zimmerman articles released today.
N = # of pickles in the jar.
I don’t understand the zombie obsession taking place in our society. How much time and effort was put into this scientific study?
When are people going to start realizing that zombies aren’t real, and the zombie apocalypse is NOT coming?
do the math.
Got the Shaker, some ice, creme de almond, premium 150 proof rum, some triple sec, orange juice, some lemon juice and the maraschino cherries have been soaking in the ever-clear.
I'm ready for some zombies!
I figure if you build a fortress on top of a mountain in the Sonora desert, and put black basalt boulders on the sides of the mountain, no zombie could make it to the top without getting cooked.
The black basalt in Craters of the Moon National Monument, in *Idaho* can reach 150F in summer. Imagine what it would be like in southern Arizona, when it’s perhaps 125F in the shade.
That looks pretty serious.
End of the world movies have been common since the 50s.
Zombie movies are a phenomenon because it is a fairly good premise that can be recycled in different ways to tell different stories, and it almost always includes characters making stupid mistakes and getting themselves killed. This puts the audience in a unique position in movies, one where they like the movie just enough, but are frustrated at how stupid the characters are that it spawns a lot of discussions over beer about why they are so stupid, and why you would do things so much better.
Check out Fibonacci . . . With Zombies!.
Zombies are dead, they will not reproduce and have child zombies, and don't heal up all that well. They would have to continue decomposing at some rate, even if they are reanimated. In any real zombie infestation, out lasting them would be pretty easy if you have a good supply of food and water to last a couple of months and locked your doors.
In the original Night of the Living Dead, the main characters had to spend one night boarded up in a farmhouse. By the next morning, the remaining townspeople had rallied together, brought out weapons, and were on the attack, swiftly slicing through the undead like a hot knife through butter. A real infestation would be more like that.
(bN)(S/N)Z = bSZ
divide both sides by Z
(bN)(S/N) = bS
Multiply (bN)(S/N)= bS
Therefore, bS = bS
I think he is showing that the equation on the left simplifies to the equation on the right. Therefore, N (population size) is irrelevant to the dynamics of disease transmission.
When are people going to start realizing that zombies arent real, and the zombie apocalypse is NOT coming?
Zombies are popular, and at least a few epidemiologists are taking advantage of that popularity to teach people about disease transmission. The zombies are not real, but disease transmission is very real.
The CDC also has a guide to surviving a zombie apocalypse on its website. Again, it is using a fiction to teach about a real idea (surviving a disaster).
Why not use zombies to make teaching dry subjects fun?
I’m stealing that and sending it to Ben Jr.
Breaking news: Zombie outbreak in Texas and Arizona!!!
Update at 10pm: Never mind, they were all shot by the many many firearms owners in those states
did you see the McDonalds protests?
did you see the Trayvon marches?
did you see the near-riots at welfare offices if there is a rumor of Obama money being given away?
THOSE are the zombies we have to worry about
You are going to wake up some time after noon tomorrow wondering why you drank that.
If the zombies aren’t taking over, then we’re watching the movie “Idiocracy” become reality.
Unless zombies were protected, as either wild animals, unaccountable people or a population control measure.
The New Endangered Species
There’s a great XKCD comic on that. Zombie movie in most places becomes a horrible outbreak. In Texas, the male and female scientists shoot the first zombie with their pistols, and the rest of the movie is a romantic comedy.
Are we talking about SLOW zombies or QUICK ones? In the original movie the zombies were slow-witted and none too agile. In some movies you could outrun them easily in the daytime and sleep safely in trees at night. Other movies had much more capable zombies, able to run, speak, and reason in a limited fashion. Which variables in the equation define these factors?
Are these standard flesh-eaters or the finicky brain-eating variety of animated corpse? Food availability is limited if zombies only eat brains. There could be severe shortages, especially in liberal enclaves.
In WWZ we see the debut of the 12-second zombie - from first infection to rabid monster in literally 12 seconds. Much more dangerous than in other films, where it takes anywhere from 3 minutes to several days to succumb. Once again, are these calculations for quick or slow zombies?
Contrary to popular belief, zombies can't live forever. They should have to obey natural laws like the rest of us. They expend energy shambling around, and must replace it somehow (eat) or run down and stop like unwound watches. I think it was 28 Days Later where the zombies all eventually ran down, fell on the ground and although they didn't die, they could move no more. The people were safe as long as they didn't actually step on one...
I really like the book. Haven't seen the movie yet, I understand it's quite different.
Somewhat similar to how the West let liberalism take over. At one point it would have been easy to remedy things, then at a later point difficult but still possible with rolled up sleeves and lots of work, but now it is at a point where even 'conservatism' is, for the most part, a more conservative form of liberalism. Compare the average 1971 Democrat with the average 2013 Republican. The 70s Dem is far more conservative. Maybe that is what the true meaning of slow zombies is. That ignoring an easily handled threat for long enough, be it consumerism (I believe that was the target for the Romero movies????), liberalism, or simply a growing belly and pant size, eventually leads to a situation where losing that weight is almost impossible.
As for fast zombies, they are the viable ones. Immediate infection that fuels frenetic attack. Even with a gun it would be difficult taking one down unless you see it coming from some distance. Kind of like the 21 foot rule, but with teeth instead of a knife. You need to shoot it in the head since a center mass shot is useless. It only needs to break your skin with its teeth. Add two, or more, and the situation can truly be bad. The only option would be massive quarantines, followed by massive culling, since once the equilibrium shifts there is nothing else to do apart from either wait to be infected, or start dropping nuclear warheads.
However, your point about instant infection is valid. For true global spread the rate of infection has to be slow, to enable people who know they have been bitten, but do not want to be quarantined (read: liquidated) to travel and escape. A slow infection rate, coupled with the fast variant of zombies and the ease and speed of modern air travel, would lead to outbreaks in major population centers around the world.
An easy way of seeing this is how the flu spreads annually. Always from Asia, and then spreading outwards from there. That is how they are able to come up wiht a vaccine ...simply see what is brewing and cook up something for it.
Anyways, the slow zombie types from the Romero movies and the Walking Dead series could never take over the world. The moment people started becoming aware of reanimated things shuffling and shambling about biting people, they would eliminate them. They are slow, dumb, and provide ample warning with their moans. Once the initial shock passed even 9th graders would be killing them with hockey sticks!
However, if it is fast zombies then unless there is immediate quarantine and mass culling, which would even include people who are not infected, the entire world would be overrun. An apartment of fast infected could easily take over the entire block, a block of fast infected could easily take over an entire city, a city of fast infected ...the math becomes quite clear. By the time people became aware what was happening several cities around the world would already have a small but rapidly growing population of fast infected that would be more than doubling every day. Actually far more than 2X, considering that every moment the fast infected would be biting non-infected. Could be close to 100X.
Now let me leave fantasy land and go do some real work. However, the same applies for virulent diseases like small pox (google a story called 'The Demon in the Freezer' to see how beating that thing was difficult, and while it is 'eradicated' from the population the virus still exists in various labs) and, ofcourse, the potential threat of a super-flu. Not the H1N1 that many FReepers stupidly mock as a fake threat, but a redux of the Spanish Flu. Their spread would be similar to that of fast zombies.
The “professor” doesn’t have anything in the equation for the removal of zombies only the maintenance and/or addition. He also needs to account for the change in N and/or S as more of the susceptible population is infected.
Plus the whole natural die off rate from natural morbidity and population growth. I assume zombies don’t procreate outside of the infection method. The unafflicted population will procreate still.
So yes the equation has issues :)
Based on the same flawed mathematical models as the mythical man made global warming, no doubt.
"the rate of zombie transmission" is purely theoretical at this point. Is it "x"? A constant? Is transmission always a given or is there any immunity (consider The Last Man On Earth)? Is it a slow process of transformation (as it was earlier in the Romero movies) or instantaneous (as in modern fare)? What is the manor by which dead bodies are reanimated that have not been bitten by a "zombie" (this too was observed in the early Romero film cycle)?
Too many unknowns to be offering a speculative formula at this point to determine the "odds of survival".
The CDC also thinks any incidents involving guns are a “disease”.
The term “Zombies” is a proxy for the hordes of “EBT people” who will be roaming the streets trying to take what they were formerly given before the dollar collapsed.
No one calls you a racist for preparing for the zombie apocalypse.
See the problem is that we have melded to different genres into one and call it Zombies.
The split in genres are usually referred to as Romero Zombies.. and Boyle Zombies...
The problem is that the second one is a misnomer.
Zombies die and then reanimate to feed on the living. This is the very definition of Romero Zombies. (He created the cult classic Night of the Living Dead)
Boyle Zombies do not die therefore they aren't Zombies. They are "infected" with a virus and the transmission is via blood/biting. Boyle Zombies got their name from the creator of the Movie 28 Days Later. His name is Danny Boyle. In the Movie Boyle Zombies are infected with a weaponized Virus called Rage. It Speeds up the metabolism of the infected and drives them crazy and they go into a killing rage attacking people with their bare hands. Thus you get Fast Zombies.
Now here is the scary part. Romero Zombies have about a 1 in a billion chance of happening (Not my opinion there is actually scientific studies that lay out how such could occur and the chances.)
However, the chances of "Boyle Zombies" A.K.A. "infected" are far more likely. (still not a probable outcome)All you need is a nasty virus that attacks the brain (something like Rabies) which affects the higher order brain functions leaving the infected a walking/grunting drone that is subject to violent behavior. (Imagine Liberalism on steroids) If the transmission method mutates into a bugger that can get you by simple touch or body fluids transmission then you got yourself a full blown Zombiepocalypse brewing.
What were the odds of a big bang happening from nothingness?
Zero. Not effectively zero; not almost zero; completely zero.
Sorry. I meant dynachrome.
I just got home from work. A little beat up right now.
THAT is perfect!