The general teaching on writing an essay or doing a speech is that you should open with a joke. Fortunately, the title has that covered for the words 'Inevitable' and 'Zombies' are automatically considered humor. It has to be, right?
Wrong. While there will be humor in this article, there is an inevitability to there being a zombie apocalypse (or at least something resembling it) and it is going to happen in our lifetimes. If worse does not occur first.
"Seriously, dude?" Yes, seriously. "WTF? You kiddin, right?" Nope.
The Zombie Apocalypse. Is. Inevitable. If you don't think so, you don't understand Moore's Law and nerds.
Moore's Law (if you really don't know what it is, look it up) in some variance applies to all emerging technology. In Untold Histories Field Marshall William Slim noted that he liked to gauge the state of industrial technology's advancement between WWI and WWII by the increase in size and power of London City busses. Milling, steam, internal combustion, while they did not precisely 'double in power every eighteen months" all folllowed a fairly set trend of improvement and thus reduction in cost and difficulty of manufacture. Building an original Apple computer took the genius of the Great and Powerful Woz. Building one, now, is literaly child's play. (For values of children.)
The same can be said of biotechnology. I recall a friend who worked in the Tropical and Emerging Diseases Lab, a Class Four Facility (highest contagion) located on the UGA campus and associated with the CDC who's team was attempting in the early Millenia to build a virus following the prescription of the first person to do so from scratch. They tried time and time again to replicate it and were unable.
In 2005, five years later, a Newsweek reporter, buying materials from EBAy, did the same thing, literally, in his kitchen. (With Spanish Flu no less. He was later fired as was the editor who approved the story since they LAID OUT THE ENTIRE RECIPE!)
That is how fast biotech advances. Moore's Law, to some extent or another, applies to all emerging technologies. One day it takes a genius, the next day anybody with the right IQ and background finds it to be child's play.
Second point: A few years ago, at a bio conference in London, a researcher proudly stood up and showed that his lab had proven they could create an infection that would infect a vast swath of population (choose species, genus, phylum or family) but only kill ONE INDIVIDUAL based upon that individual's DNA.
When he asked for questions one member of the audience stood up and proclaimed:
"We've known that in (university research center) for the last five years but we were never STUPID enough to speak about it in PUBLIC!" At which point things became shouty.
By the same token, one can create a pathogen that will infect a vast population, but only target certain races. And, yes, there are clear markers to target race for values of race. It's a term of art in biology, not a term of politics. Westphailians, for example, have distinct genetic markers. Now, Westphalians are MOSTLY still found in Westphalia but the markers are found in a huge population elsewhere (especially the US.) But Negroid? Easy. Han Chinese. Very easy. Jewish. (Racially.) Blonde. (See Live Free Or Die) Etc. 'Northern European' (white) is just as easy. Choose your target or immune population. But be careful. You may not understand your population a well as you think. (The 'crazy' president of Iran is genetically turk but most of his supporters are fars which is a variant of Northern European.)
On the other hand, say: Blonde, female between the biological periods of menarch (puberty) to beginning senescence (generally around 25-27) with big boobs (genetic propensity for high production of specific hormones.) You can either choose to kill them or, and this is a more important point, make them immune. If you're someone who hates that type and can buid the pathogen... That spells and end to the Big Boob Babes of the world. (Hereafter B3 or B4 'Blonde Big Boob Babes.')
Third point: Neurology is advancing as fast as immunology. We're finding out more and more about what makes the brain tick. (And, btw, finding out that most psychology is various forms of superstitious incantations. It's all about the brain chemistry.) We're finding out how to make people think certain ways and react certain ways based purely on their brain chemistry. We're approaching the point we an make people do stuff even they think is crazy. If you can do a little rewrite...
So now we talk about a little thing I like to call "Junior's Home RNA Kit."
Junior's Home RNA kit is not a device or a kit. Junior's Home RNA Kit (Hereafter JHRK or Jerk) is when some little snowflake with WAAAAY too much intelligence, boredom and lack of parental involvement, can build their very own custom virus in their bedroom or mom's basement. They can and do currently do so with computer viruses at present. When the technology and knowledge becomes possible to do so with BIOLOGICAL viruses we have an issue.
The general trend will go like this. Professor Doktor Herr Apocalyptica will invent a virus that can do something to humans. (Well, in fact, it does it to rats. But humans just happen to have the same brain chemistry.) Not just kill them, do something to them. It may, for example, combining the fields of neurology, psychology and virology, cure depression. No more need for Aderol or NoDepressol or whatever. Your neurology is now reset to perfect normal. There will be others that can do other things. Make you smarter, more socially able, less nervous, shy, crowd phobic, what have you. Make you need almost no sleep. (I'd love that one.)
Then some grad student trying to get their masters or doctorate will create a new virus (as many will be created because when you have a breakthrough like that it creates all sorts of easy, for values of easy, graduate projects) that, just for a laugh, makes any girl who is infected fall in love (or at least lust although love is possible as well.) with him. If you DON'T think a biology geek won't write that one, you don't understand male bio geeks.
How does that work? you ask, sceptically.
One proven aspect of male/female sexual interaction, especially (at least so far) for women, is pheromones. All people emit them and they have various effects most of which researchers are still trying to sort out. The geek identifies his specific suite of 'love' (lust because they are alot more about reproduction than permanence) pheromones. Then writes a virus that does a series of actions. First it only affects women. (He can, of course, narrow this down if he's good enough. Only 'hot' babes for values of 'hot.' And I'm assuming, possibly a bad assumption, that the grad student is a he.) Second it does a series of things. It rewrites them to 'like' his pheromones. When sensing his pheromones their libido is enhanced. If he's smart, their capacity for long-term critical decisionmaking is degraded (as it is in males by sexual cues.) If he really wants to fuck with them (not just...) it triggers massive release of oxytocin and vassopressin (look them up.)
So when a woman gets a whiff of the guy, they can't get enough. They act like twilight fans seeing a sparkly vampire. Sex must occur and they must have him FOR ALL TIME.
(In fact, if you WORK in the field of neurology, an interesting study would be to find out what neurotransmitters are, in fact, released when middle aged female twilight fans see a sparkly vampire because it makes NO FUCKING SENSE to the rest of the world. And science is about making sense of the world.)
If, God help him, this actually is released... He'll have to go into hiding and wash with bleach the rest of his life. That or be torn apart by legions of love-struck maenads. If we're talking about a virus there are no indications of the miraculous 'cure' for any virus on the horizon. Anti-virals are relatively ineffective compared to anti-biotics and a vaccine just won't work once the changes have been wrought. Like LFoD it would take doing intense retroviral therapy on each affected patient. Basically, rewriting all the stuff that the virus wrote. Which for legal reasons is never going to be something that some legitimate group will just 'release.'
Okay, so, we're up to the REALLOVEBUGVIRUS.GRN. The REAL lovebug virus that makes all women go gaga for that one scared, humiliated, hiding former PhD candidate with no job prospects and probably a very short, if intense, lifespan.
But... Wow! It sounds so COOL to the nerds who still (despite nerddom being cool) can't get a date with the head of the cheerleading team.
So someone else either gets the formula for LOVEBUG or reverse engineers it and slips their own pheromone DNA into it... Then someone figures out how to just create the base template and slip ANY pheromone cocktail in... (All this requires is the swab of a cheek or possibly underarm plus tech unobtainium here.) And then that gets out to the legions of Scrip Kiddies and...
Women and girls throughout the San Fernando Mall (Or Schezuan or Moscow, scrip kiddies are everywhere and none of them can get dates) are torn and twisted not just by desire but by WHICH of the pimply nerds in the food court they're going to rape right on one of the tables...
(Frankly, there's a story there about the one kid who DOESN'T do this but women are getting so reprogrammed to go after kids wearing Birth Control Glasses that he just can't even get to the fucking GAP without women hitting on him...)
And if you think bionerd scrip kiddies AREN'T going to spread this all over their school (thus infecting the girls, the boys, their mothers and, OH NO, GRANDMOTHERS for the ones that aren't smart enough to include the 'biological age' controls...) you don't know nerds.
So at a certain point it becomes 'What virus 'best' (note the quotes) serves the nerd community?' Well, what do nerds like? (Male nerds.)
Shouting epithets that make sailors (who aren't nerds) blush with shame while playing match on online games. Not really relevant.
Cheerleaders/schoolgirls. No way to select for cheerleaders or girls that wear short dresses that comes to mind. (But don't bet that some researcher at some point won't find something that tends to select for it. And I suppose you CAN select for really big eyes.)
Boobs. Easy to select for. At least the tendency.
Zombies. Let's face it. The real 'draw' of zombie stuff is the survivor is ALWAYS a nerd. Because we're smart, right? There are nerds, such as myself and my many friends and fans, who just might survive a zombie apocalypse (absent the plague I'm about to describe) but that's because at a certain level we've always been COMBAT NERDS. When the rest were playing with chemistry sets, we were blowing them up. While we can and do play various 'indoor' games, (WoW by preferencewe but sex will suffice) also played 'outdoor' games like 'Who can hit that squirrel with a rock/axe/spear/.22?' (And 'Want to go skinny dipping?') We can, in fact, shoot an adequately slowly moving zombie in the head with no more than three rounds. (Yes, I know, you can all do it with one. Sue me. I'm actually not that good of a shot.) Given reasonable age and condition (I'm pretty well screwed) we're much more likely to survive a Romero 'mystical' ZA than your average jock, cheerleader or, frankly, scrip kiddy who has never gone outside if he can possibly help it and while he's the world class with Modern Combat has never held a gun in his life.
But that won't deter the scrip kiddy from writing the B3 'Virus'.
B3 pathogen. Def: The pathogen (may be a virii or coronavirii or something we created in a lab that's worse) is set to infect the entire human population. It terminates all members of the target population except Big Boob Babes (probably between the ages of about 13 and 27) and the scrip kiddy. And all remaining female members of the human race are massively attracted to the scrip kiddy...
At which point the few immunes beat him to death with baseball bats.
I've ideated a short story in the aftermath about the battle between the Gay, Lesbian, Transgender Alliance for the End of Humanity and the Breeders for Freedom over the last functioning sperm bank titled "Every Sperm is Sacred."
See. Humor. Black humor but humor.
Do you begin to see why a zombie apocalypse is inevitable?
Because assuming some little hitler (who is probably closer to 27, has some family wealth, was raised as 'a little snowflake' who was just 'misunderstood' when he looked up girls dresses and killed animals, did poorly in college but managed to get into grad school (possibly due to family influence) but didn't get his masters, no social skills and has some specific obsession that drives him to hate the rest of humanity, pick one, bullying, environment, gays, Jews, Christians, Islamics, Democrats, Republicans...) with lots of IQ and no real morality (even though he CARES about his obsession) gets around to it.
It may have a B3/B4 aspect. It may skip some group or it may not. But some little bastard at some point is going to write the zombie virus. Hell, it may not even be a little bastard. These fucktards not only created a more deadly strain of avian flu they WANT TO TELL EVERY LITTLE SCRIP KIDDY HOW TO MAKE IT!
There is, in other words, a very good chance that at least the basic zombie virus will be created by some professor who thinks its a good way to get grant money.
ZV1 Def: The Zombie Virus (One) Is a dual infection (airborne and blood transfer) pathogen. Iinfects all humans and higher order primates through airborne methods. (Tested on twelve rhesus monkeys at Erasmus MC, Holland.) Under some conditions (blood transfer) may infect other mammals. Effects are primarily neurological. Degrades higher order brain functions. Reduces emotional controls. Increases aggression including desire to rend with teeth. Causes schitzophrenic effects such as the removal of clothing. Neurological effects are permanent.
The Zombie Apocalypse. Is. Inevitable. If you don't think so, you don't understand Moore's Law and nerds. Or, for that matter, doctors desperate for something to put them in the headlines so they can get grant money. And, folks, people may hesitate to release a swine flu but you make a ZOMBIE flu and Katy Bar the Door.
Is there an answer? Yes.
I, with suitable hyperbole, discussed it in LFoD. We don't have nannites but we're getting close to the point we can 'reprogram' the body's immune system. So...
There's a device. A patch. A bot. An unobtainium thingy. Probably located in your left armpit. Every time you pass a WiFi transmitter it updates. What are the updates? Virus definitions. Biological virus definitions. Then it picks a T Cell (or B cell or whatever) and updates it to say 'This virus has already entered your body (false) and you are prepared in the future to release antibodies against it if it shows up again (true)."
There is no 'universal vaccine' but it's close.
Problems? Multitudes. First of all, it's juuuust out of our reach technologically. My fear (and it's a very deep and abiding fear) is that it will still be juuuuust out of our reach about the time that junior get his home RNA kit. Because nobody wants to do it. It's too fraught with peril.
Cost: It would have to be something along the lines of a small chemistry set in your body.
Politics: Not the 'you're not planting that devil thing in my body!' politics the 'It's only going to work for people with access to advanced technology! What about the poor people in developing countries?!' Which, of course, is a reason for the rest of humanity to die.
Hacking. See cost. Small chem set. No reason it couldn't be used to create the conditions it's designed to prevent.
There is no 'universal vaccine' but it's close. And despite the problems, Forget worrying about global warming or global cooling or climate change or deforestation or species die-off or the whales. If somebody doesn't get started on it before Junior Snowflake gets his Home RNA kit off of EBay...
All the guns and food and generators and preparation in the world won't matter. Do you really want the rest of humanity to perish, all the children, all the cheerleaders, all the dogs who get bit and families and veterans and children... so you can scavenge the ruins? Are you really that much of a sociopath?
If so... Please study something other than biotechnology. Or send me your address and I'll send you a nice signed book that when you open it removes you from the world for the good of humanity. You see, I studied chemistry...