Tag Archives: Science

Who gets to survive the apocalypse?

“So we’ve ruled out anyone who has a disease that will be longer treatable after the collapse, anyone too old or too young to reproduce effectively, that leaves us with a bunch of people between the ages of 18-35. Anyone care to narrow it down a bit more? Come on now, don’t be shy.” The head scientist said to the group of his colleagues that he had assembled.

There were many different representatives from many different fields. There were the biologists and psychologists of course, as well as the philosophers and economists. The historians had insisted on sending a representative, and of course there were the doctors. Numerous other fields had requested to be present for this occasion, but the psychologists had pointed out that too many different opinions would prevent anything from getting done, so the selection had been made from these five.

The head scientist, a biologist, sat down, and gestured to the economist to have a stab.

“We must rule out anyone who doesn’t believe in small government.” He said. “There will be no government to support the people, so they must fend for themselves. We will look at voting records and rule out anyone who hasn’t consistently voted for the decreased size of government.

“Even if we accepted that as a plausible screening criteria, and even if we someone violated the privacy of billions to find out that information, historically it won’t work out.” The history professor said. “Whenever you separate people out a group of people based on a political belief, they tend to start a war with the people of the opposite belief. You can’t really think the world will accept a political agenda as a means to decipher survivability. As soon as word gets out, and it will, there’ll be a public outcry and the whole program will collapse on itself.”

“Alright, no political beliefs then.” The biologist said. “What else?”

“How about IQ or mental stability screens?” The psychologist put in. “Surely we should be saving the smartest and most secure people in order to rebuild civilization.”

“I agree.” The biologist put in. “Can we get a two thirds majority on the matter?”

“You have my vote.” The historian put in.

“And mine.” The economist added. All heads swiveled to the philosopher.

“Well, what have you got to say?” The biologist asked. “We have a majority, but if you’d like to say something for the record we’d be happy to hear it.”

“Did you know.” The philosopher said. “That there are routinely young men and women who IQs in excess of 150 who never make it to college? That puts them in the upper 1% of intelligence on this planet. They typically suffer no mental illness, and are reasonable physical condition. Can any of you tell me why this happens?” There was no reply.

“Because they had no motivation to.” The philosopher said. “Intelligence and physical fitness may be the engine which drives the human person forward, but motivation is the fuel. If someone has no reason to survive, because they have no friend, or family, or loved ones of any sort, then they will no doubt do what they are currently doing, sitting at home watching television, watching their lives slip away. If you really want to survive, you need a reasons to live, and those reasons must take the form of people. I propose you select those who care deeply for each their fellow man. This is a difficult task because you can’t measure it directly, but my friends the biologist and the psychologist can no doubt come up with a list of persons so equipped?”

The psychologist and the biologist looked at each other. “I think we will look at neurotransmitters in the blood, and screen for people with high levels of oxytocin.” The biologist said.

“And I say we start by examining newly weds, and those with young children.” The psychologist said.

“Any objections?” The philosopher asked. There were none

The actual love drug

“Hormones?” He says.

“Yeah, I think they said there were modified stereoisomers of Dopamine and Oxytocin, or something like that. You can check the pamphlet if you want.” I thought Bryan would be extatic, but he’s giving me a flat stare. I know that stare, it was the same one he had given me when I suggested we move in together.

“So, did it come in a bottle? Or a pill?” He asked. It was an odd question. He must be stalling for time to think.

“An injection actually. Well, kind of, an injection. It was like when you donate blood and they stick something in your arm, only instead of collecting my blood they hooked up a bag and let it drip into my veins.” He nodded, and looked at his hands which he was folding and unfolding. I wanted him to say something to let me know what was on his mind.

“It didn’t hurt.” I said. “It felt a little cold actually. I guess that’s because the bag is much colder than my body temperature. Weird right? I mean if I touched the bag it wouldn’t feel cold, but I guess the nerves in your blood vessels are more sensitive or something.”

“So they put love in a bag.” He said. That hurt, it made me feel cheap.

“No, no, that’s not right, it’s all natural science.” She said.

“All natural?” He said. “You really believe that?”

“Well, yes, yes I do.” I fumbled out. I had believed it when I had first said it. I wasn’t so sure now.

“It doesn’t matter.” He said. “You’re telling me that you didn’t think we were strong enough.”

“No.” I quickly blurt out.

“Yes you are.” He said. His speech was slow. It wasn’t heated or loud, it was like he was reading a list of facts. “You didn’t think we could make it, so you gave yourself a love shot, and to top it all off, that means the thing you’re depending on in this relationship isn’t me. You didn’t trust me to build you up, so you needed some doctor or nurse to give you a shot of what you wanted, a bit of an emotional high. You didn’t want me, Jessica, you wanted to feel good.” I couldn’t respond to that, and he didn’t give me a chance.

“You know the funny part? I was ready to do forever with you.” He pulls out a small box out of his back pocket, and sets it down next to him. It’s the kind of box made for carrying one specific, very expensive thing.

Apocalypse cancelled

“Scientists are now reporting they did the calculations in English instead of metric. We actually have another twenty thousand years to live.” The news report had come in at 12:07, seven minutes after the world was supposed to end.

No government had survived the ensuing chaos. Every last politician had defaced themselves beyond repair, those that weren’t lynched and hung that is, and the militaries of the world had taken the opportunity to fire every last round of non-nuclear ammunition that they had. After all, the world was supposed to go out with a bang right?

The world had now divided into three factions, the people who had lost everything, the people who had. prepared properly because they knew it wouldn’t, and the people who had gotten all the money and resources from the people who had panicked.

The scientists and religious which made up the second group were an odd mix. There were skeptical scientists who had done the math themselves, and realized they weren’t going to die, and the very religious who had either not partied relentlessly, or had known through some religious dogma they would be fine. These two groups now found themselves working closely together as they were the protagonists of the post-apocalyptic world.

The victims of the apocalypse were those that had committed horrible crimes, or had squandered their wealth needlessly. Most of the world was penniless, or on the run from the families of those they had killed or robbed. Mostly penniless though, so much food and gas had been depleted in the final hours, and the people had been shuffled all over going to their dream vacation spots to die. People woke up in countries they did not know the language of, and no way to get home. Borders meant nothing anymore, no remained inside the countries to enforce the borders, since they were now scattered and broke.

Which left the winners of the fake apocalypse, those that now finding themselves drunk with power and stuffed to bursting with ill-gotten gains. It was the gangs, the hardened criminals, and the shrewd couple of businesses who had wagered the world would not end. The gangs had banded together to protect themselves from last minute police or opposing gang retaliations. The hardened criminals had all sprung from jail, and spent the night amassing stockpiles of everything they had missed, and the businessmen had made highly illegal deals to consolidate the world’s power.

They formed a hierarchy, the businesses contacting the gangs to enforce their new laws, and the gangs hiring the criminals for their resources and illegal knowledge. The businesses spread outward, bringing more and more gangs under their belt, and utilizing their company resources to spread far and wide. A burger chain took the east coast of the United States by storm. A famous rapper dominated the west coast, and the middle was controlled by a mess of smaller steakhouses and land owners.

Smaller island nations like Japan, Iceland, and New Zealand were taken over by an airliner who used their fleet to land gangs at key supply points to control the flow of resources. Australia’s inhabitants had all either died or gone into the bush. Africa was overrun with medical corporations. The middle east was taken by oil. Some small business owner who had gotten hold of nuclear weapons was now running India. Cartels ran Central and South America, and Europe had splintered into hundreds of small warring states.

The Vatican gathered to it all the world’s scientists and religious leaders, using its influence, and the Swiss guards, to control Italy. They rallied to the call of any people who could reach them to call for help. They invented new planes and boats for rapid international travel, and new crops for food distribution. The religious institutions used their experience in aid delivery around the world to make sure the supplies got into the right hands, and the scientists saw they had the means to deliver them.

It is now a slow battle with the church and scientific community fighting inch by inch to take back civilization. They pray every night before they sleep that the smaller disjointed corporate states do not band together and wipe them out.