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posted by janrinok on Monday March 02 2015, @10:34AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the we're-doomed-I-tell-ye-dooomed! dept.

Eric Mack reports at Cnet that a team of researchers at Cornell University, inspired by the book "World War Z" by Max Brooks, have used statistical-mechanics to model how an actual zombie outbreak might unfold and determined the best long-term strategy for surviving the walking dead: Head for the hills. Specifically, you should probably get familiar now with the general location of Glacier National Park so that when it all goes down, you can start heading in that direction. The project started with differential equations to model a fully connected population, then moved on to lattice-based models, and ended with a full US-scale simulation of an outbreak across the continental US. "At their heart, the simulations are akin to modelling chemical reactions taking place between different elements and, in this case, we have four states a person can be in--human," says Alex Alemi, "infected, zombie, or dead zombie--with approximately 300 million people."

Alemi believes cities would succumb to the zombie scourge quickly, but the infection rate would slow down significantly in more sparsely populated areas and could take months to reach places like the Northern Rockies and Glacier National Park. "Given the dynamics of the disease, once the zombies invade more sparsely populated areas, the whole outbreak slows down--there are fewer humans to bite, so you start creating zombies at a slower rate," Alemi says. Once you hit Montana and Idaho, you might as well keep heading farther north into the Canadian Rockies and all the way up to Alaska where data analysis shows you're most likely to survive the zombie apocalypse. The state with the lowest survival rate? - New Jersey. Unfortunately a full scale simulation of an outbreak in the United States shows that for `realistic' parameters, we are largely doomed.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Monday March 02 2015, @10:40AM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Monday March 02 2015, @10:40AM (#151819) Homepage Journal

    I'd like to suggest y'all look up the press release email or submission form for your local dead-tree newspaper, then submit this to it.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Jaruzel on Monday March 02 2015, @10:59AM

    by Jaruzel (812) on Monday March 02 2015, @10:59AM (#151828) Homepage Journal

    Would be more useful for me if there were non-US studies of this as well.

    For the UK, I would extrapolate that either the Lake District, or the Scottish Highlands would be your best best. Although, how would you survive once you got there? - neither place is rich in resources.

    -Jar

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02 2015, @11:33AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02 2015, @11:33AM (#151838)

      Although, how would you survive once you got there?

      It's called hibernation. Even bears can do it, so what stops you?

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by c0lo on Monday March 02 2015, @11:46AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 02 2015, @11:46AM (#151842) Journal

      Would be more useful for me if there were non-US studies of this as well.

      For non-US, the suggestion is to head towards the local bunker of Umbrella Corp. If you can convince Milla Jovovich come with you. your success is assured.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Monday March 02 2015, @02:05PM

        by mhajicek (51) on Monday March 02 2015, @02:05PM (#151866)

        Actually her friends have a habit of dying.

      • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Monday March 02 2015, @02:18PM

        by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Monday March 02 2015, @02:18PM (#151870) Journal

        > If you can convince Milla Jovovich come with you...

        Zombies or not, this is something to strive towards anyway.

        • (Score: 2) by rts008 on Monday March 02 2015, @03:52PM

          by rts008 (3001) on Monday March 02 2015, @03:52PM (#151912)

          I second that notion(and hoped for motion)!
          Bsides, I've risked my life in the past for lesser goals.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Monday March 02 2015, @01:08PM

      by VLM (445) on Monday March 02 2015, @01:08PM (#151852)

      Although, how would you survive once you got there?

      Zombie discussions are just thinly veiled "acceptable for polite company" way to discuss periodic influenza outbreaks and civil unrest, so the idea is take enough stuff to last awhile and come home after things settle down a bit, or at least stay away as long as possible.

      If the next flu outbreak lasts 5 months, and you spend one month camping in a national park or whatever, even though you're still at risk 4 of 5 months, you just dropped your odds of death by 20%.

      Or, if something finally interferes with bread and circuses and rioting starts, those things usually burn out one way or another relatively soon, so if you needed to be a refugee, are the odds of getting shot in the street by a cop higher in NJ, or Glacier?

      • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday March 02 2015, @02:16PM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Monday March 02 2015, @02:16PM (#151868) Homepage

        That is why everybody should have a gun during the zombie apocalypse.

        The whiny anti-gunners will be the first to be eaten alive because they are left with no way to defend themselves.

        • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday March 02 2015, @02:50PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Monday March 02 2015, @02:50PM (#151885)

          Guns aren't that useful in a zombie apocalypse, because most versions of zombies aren't stopped by merely getting shot. Now, retreating into a concrete bomb shelter with a nice steel-reinforced door, on the other hand, would probably be a very smart move, at least until supplies ran out.

          --
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          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Monday March 02 2015, @04:06PM

            by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Monday March 02 2015, @04:06PM (#151922) Journal

            Guns are very useful in most zombie scenarios, as long as you have ammo for them, and you can regularly score headshots. If I was in a zombie scenario, I'd be very happy to own a gun or two. However I'd still want keep at least one Blunt Instrument (TM) handy at all times, and probably a decent sharp one too. Your best friend, though, in any zombie scenario, is a solid building/ compound with high walls / fences and strong doors. While hiding out in a fortified position is a pretty shitty strategy against a canny human enemy, it's not really a bad one against an 'army' of shambling, dimwitted rotting corpses that couldn't outfox (and can barely outrun) a snail. Of course, a lot depends on whether you're talking fast zombies or slow zombies, physics-defying undead zombies or technically-still-living-people-but-somehow-turned into-bloodthirsty-monsters zombies, but in almost all zombie scenarios they aren't actually all that dangerous, once the initial shock and surprise of the epidemic is over and survivors have armed themselves and got organised. The one thing many Z scenarios do get right is that your biggest threat is likely to be not the zombies themselves, but other survivors looking to rob / rape / murder you. Which is another good reason to have guns.

      • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday March 03 2015, @09:15AM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday March 03 2015, @09:15AM (#152403) Journal

        No, the influenza screen is just PR to hide the possible truth!! And odds of death? Glacier Park? Do you know who lives next door to Glacier Park? They have a rep. And do you know what lives in Glacier Park? Griz don't care about no zombies! Hmmm, zombies, influenza, or a Grizzly; I'll have to think on this one for a while.

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        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday March 03 2015, @12:46PM

          by VLM (445) on Tuesday March 03 2015, @12:46PM (#152458)

          Zombie grizzlies are a worrisome concept.

          As for the next door neighbors, if its a civil unrest problem, visiting the land of maple syrup guzzling hockey fans starts sounding appealing.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by wonkey_monkey on Monday March 02 2015, @11:03AM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Monday March 02 2015, @11:03AM (#151829) Homepage

    Of course. Like Homer Simpson, zombies will naturally tend to walk downhill.

    Marge: I was sure you'd head west because Springfield slopes down that way.

    --
    systemd is Roko's Basilisk
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by WizardFusion on Monday March 02 2015, @11:55AM

    by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 02 2015, @11:55AM (#151844) Journal

    The state with the lowest survival rate? - New Jersey

    Well let's get started now then.!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02 2015, @01:06PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02 2015, @01:06PM (#151850)

    So instead of turning into a zombie you will get abducted by aliens. After all have you not heard of all the missing persons.

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02 2015, @01:48PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02 2015, @01:48PM (#151862)

    My zombie action plan always has involved heading to sea. Eat fish for food and set up a desalination system for fresh water. I did not read TFA, but do they mention this at all?

    • (Score: 2) by tibman on Monday March 02 2015, @02:32PM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 02 2015, @02:32PM (#151875)

      The downsides are weather vulnerability and visibility. Visibility to other living humans, that is. Yarrr

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    • (Score: 3, Funny) by darkfeline on Monday March 02 2015, @03:21PM

      by darkfeline (1030) on Monday March 02 2015, @03:21PM (#151900) Homepage

      Two words: Zombie pirates.

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      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02 2015, @03:35PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02 2015, @03:35PM (#151908)

        That's four words...

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by looorg on Monday March 02 2015, @06:12PM

    by looorg (578) on Monday March 02 2015, @06:12PM (#151997)

    But if everyone runs to hills in Montana (onwards to Alaska and Canada) to be "safe" won't that increase the population there and in that way also increase the zombie infection rate of those areas? Mo' brains Mo' zombies -- or are we just assuming here that Zombies don't like the cold?

  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday March 03 2015, @05:35AM

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 03 2015, @05:35AM (#152339) Journal

    Glacier National Park is quite defensible, but you would have a damn hard time salting away enough food to last you through the long winter if you miss the salmon run in the autumn. It is an alpine environment, and you'll be competing with bears for the berries and other forage or breaking your teeth on the tough meet of the mountain goats, bighorn sheep, or aforementioned bears. East of the divide in the high country around Browning you'd have better luck with game with the deer and antelope. But that's Blackfoot territory and they would probably not be so keen on outsiders poaching their game in a zombie apocalypse.

    So I would say the Flathead Valley is a better bet. It's a very long way from there to any sizeable town or city and it has robust agriculture as well as access to the same salmon that spawn in Glacier. The growing season is not long but it's enough--my grandparents had a large garden and through canning socked away enough veg in the fall to last them through to the spring. Most zombies coming from the outside would wander off and get lost long, long before they got to Bigfork, Somers, Whitefish, or Columbia Falls. And even if not, all you have to do is park a score guys at each of those entrances and you're golden.

    --
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    • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday March 03 2015, @09:20AM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday March 03 2015, @09:20AM (#152405) Journal

      But Bigfork has always been populated by zombies. They are just not actively infectious. The giveaway is the Summer Theatre program.

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