How to Kill Zombies: The Mathematics of Resistance
In fact, in the strict meaning of this magic word, which came to us from gloomy African cults, “zombie” means a completely living person who has only completely lost control of himself and obeys other people's orders. However, popular culture changed everything in its own way, and today, saying “zombies” we often mean a very sleepy colleague who looks like a living corpse.
According to "modern ideas", such zombies eat exclusively flesh (not necessarily fresh, preferably human), tearing it with their teeth and hands, and each bitten zombie dies and rebels again, becoming another zombie. Moreover, they have exceptional strength and equally exceptional slowness, inhibition of all reactions and dullness. As a rule, zombies, being already dead, easily suffer the most severe wounds, even the “anti-vampire” blow to the heart does not matter to them. In addition to direct brain damage or complete separation of the head. In general, the picture is famous.
The same popular culture taught us to humbly accept the fact that in the case of a “real” attack of real zombies, only a couple of accidentally saved people will survive. However, Canadian mathematicians summed up a rigorous scientific apparatus and found a way to escape. The main thing is "to beat often and hard."
In fact, the study of zombie attacks has become part of a much larger and more serious study, in which Robert Smith? (this is exactly what Robert Smith? in a number of countries, for example, in Australia, where does Mr. Smith come from, surnames can end with a question mark) and his colleagues built mathematical models of different ways and patterns of the spread of infectious diseases, as well as ways to counter them. A side effect was that we now know what to do in the event of a zombie attack.
The authors of the work write: “An attack by a zombie will, apparently, be inevitably fatal for everyone, unless it uses exclusively aggressive tactics against them. We must act quickly, otherwise we will all be in serious trouble. ” However, they further admit: “Obviously, if taken literally, such events are extremely unlikely. However, the study has roots in real life, and its results can be used to assess loyalty to political parties, or for cases of the spread of latent infections. " However, we are much more interested in zombies.
It is worth emphasizing once again that for their model Canadian scientists used precisely modern mass ideas about what zombies are and how their “infection” is spreading. Among other things, this means that they can be effectively quarantined ("28 weeks later"), recovery occurs in extremely rare cases ("Risen from the Dead"), and sometimes even "taming" and quite peaceful coexistence of zombies and people (“Zombies named Sean”) - all these possibilities have been taken into account. Despite all this, mathematical modeling showed that there is only one real way to salvation - the total extermination of the living dead: only continuous and frequent attacks, with an ever-increasing onslaught, will lead to the eradication of the “infection”.
In a word, humanity towards zombies is superfluous. Otherwise, according to the authors, their attack will be the last day of mankind, resulting not only in the collapse of civilization, but also in the complete annihilation of people: they will all be “infected” or devoured. How fast Mathematics gives an answer - and very pessimistic.
The first illustration on the left shows the distribution pattern of such an “infection”: S means normal people, R means the dead, Z means naturally a zombie. An ordinary person can easily fall into the category of Z or R, and Z will soon be from R as well. There is no turning back: this scheme works in one direction and works very efficiently. According to Canadians, if a zombie infection begins in a city with a population of 500 thousand, after 3 days the number of zombies will exceed the number of normal people. In this case, one advice is given: not to know mercy. It turns out that mathematicians are not at all as defenseless pacifists, as is commonly believed!
Read also about how modern pharmacology makes “zombies” from completely normal living people, turning them into soldiers who do not know tired: “Zombies on the march”.
According to the publication of Wired Science