Care and Feeding of Zombies

January 30, 2007 at 10:25 PM | Posted in Notes on Society | Leave a comment
  Zombie Psychology
  Zombie Psych is an important topic of study in today’s world.  No one knows what causes humans to become zombies, although there are plenty of theories to go around.  We will examine some of these theories briefly, as it may lead to insight into how to deal with the creatures.
  The various theories include:  government biological weapons agent gone awry, space-born virus from a meteor, Armageddon (one of the many natural occurrences that arise during the natural course of the end of the world), or your typical alien invasion (ala Plan Nine From Outer Space).  I myself don’t really buy into the government biological weapons theory, because I’m not a conspiracy nut; I try to be realistic.
  In terms of behavior, zombies seem to have two basic behaviors:  wandering, and the hunt.  Wandering is essentially how most of their time is spent, in between hunts.
  During the wandering, a zombie will travel randomly, and mobility is erratic.  Although zombies seem to be independent and nomadic, they tend to congregate.  Various theories for congregation abound.
  If zombies retain any sense of instinct or trace memories of their previous existence as living humans, then they retain the human desire for contact, and also, the collective unconscious that causes them to gather in the same familiar places, i.e., shopping malls, movie theaters, major urban areas, and secret underground government research facilities.
  It could also be purely random, and they are gathered near the general area in which they were sired (turned into a zombie), because being a zombie severely limits mobility.  Most zombies do not drive.  Attempts to study the migratory patterns of zombies devolved into a duck and cover operation, having an adverse effect on the experiment.  Proof of the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle.
  This, in part, is the explanation for the third theory:  Zombies are opportunistic.  They see another zombie feed, and they want to feed.  They see a zombie on the hunt, and they follow the hunt.  They travel in packs, yet are separate.  They are the ultimate anarchists.
  Although zombies tend to hunt in packs, it is because of this opportunistic behavior, not any organized attack plan. 
  Sensory impact:  Although not proven, anecdotal and clinical tests seem to indicate that Zombies have an enhanced sense of smell.  They have the ability to tell zombies from humans.  We could find no volunteers to act like zombies and walk through a crowd of them to see if they would be detected or not, therefore this experiment is shelved for the time being.
  If they still have eyes, they can still see, and if they have ears, they can still hear.  Their sense of touch and pain are essentially non-existent, however.  This fact is obvious when one sees the disfigurement and dismemberment which the zombies seem oblivious.  In addition, shooting, stabbing, and other assorted mopery and dopery inflicted on them, unless directed at the head, does not appear to have any affect on them.  There is a theory that they do feel pain but they have no outlet, no venue to display those feelings.  This remains untested.
  They do appear to retain their sense of balance, such as it is, for although they stumble and walk funny, for the most part they retain an upright position.
  Their survival instinct, although oxymoronic in nature, tends to indicate that they are operating on a low-level instinct, and therefore although they can see to hunt and navigate, they don’t have the higher brain function to realize danger (for example, three zombies chasing you in a pack, and you shoot two of them, the third has no identity that he is in any danger, and continues to chase you until you shoot him.  Or he eats you.)  This low level of activity indicates a brain function of a very low arachnid or specialized insect, following a single prime directive wired into their DNA.
  Their instinct to feed is stronger than anything, including their survival instinct.  In fact, it may well be stated they have no instinct for survival, other than to feed.  It has been suppositioned that the desire to feed may not even be a survival instinct.  It may be merely a cross-wired lower brain function, the result of the infection.
  This suggests that there are strategies which will allow you to set traps for them, provided you can get someone to act as bait.  They are in relentless pursuit of human flesh and naught else.
  And that is another thing–human flesh?  I’ll allow that the zombies can detect their own kind, and are therefore uninterested in rotting flesh.  But I don’t feel that the use of animals has been thoroughly explored.  If the zombies are not eating animals and only eating humans, it lends credence to the End Of The World theory, although there is still some air in the government conspiracy virus, if engineered so exactly to make the zombies crave only human flesh.
  So, some experimentation is called for, in terms of determining if the infection can be passed to or transmuted to animals, and then determining what their reaction is.  These are important issues.  If zombies are uninterested in animals, then humans can use dogs to track and keep guard without fear of them being turned and then attacking them.  A pack of zombie dogs would be dangerous, because their main weapon is biting.

  Strategies in hand to hand:
  First, don’t attempt to fight a zombie hand to hand.  They will bite you.  Don’t bite them; this has proven to be a poor strategy.  Hand to hand should be a fall back position ONLY while you regain your weapon.
  You need to control their mouth so they don’t bite you, and their hands so they don’t claw at you.  The mouth is the primary concern.  Hold them by the neck to keep the mouth at bay.  If you can’t remove the head or destroy the brain right away, gag them with something.  Their hand dexterity is such that they wont be able to easily remove it.  If you can break an arm, they can’t tear at your flesh as well. 
  Don’t block with your arm, they will bite it.  Instead, use your hands on their throat to keep control of where their mouth is.  Try to get behind them, full-Nelson style, to keep their arms away from you.  Chances are good that they are all muscle and teeth, no real wrestling training.  If you can snap their neck, it may not kill them, but they won’t be able to lift their head to bite you.
  Note that these are strategies for one on one.  When attacked by two or more zombies, it can be scary, but martial arts strategies for fighting multiple opponents will apply.
  Most notably, since they will follow you single-mindedly without forethought, as long as you maintain a sense of where you are, travel backwards, in a circle.  They have to come after you, and going in a circle generally means only one at a time can get to you, so you can fight them one at a time.  CAUTION:  watch you footing!  Don’t trip and fall!  Be careful, or they will be on you!
  In the event that you find yourself on the ground, the mistake most people make is lying flat out where they can be torn apart.  These are just zombies, man!  They don’t have superhuman strength!  Ball yourself up, pull your arms and legs in, roll back and forth.  Keep moving, make it hard for them to hold on to you or bite you.
  If you are anticipating a fight, it might be a good idea to douse yourself in oil.  This will keep them from getting a grip on you.  At least, oil you abdomen so they can’t tear it open.  Just wear gloves, or keep your hands dry, so you can maintain your grip on your weapon.

Weapons:
  Of course, everyone wants a gun.  Few people know how to use them, and even fewer of those are a decent enough shot to be useful.  Here are some things about guns.  The ironic thing is, most pistols are only accurate in the short range, where they become ineffective defensively and can be easily knocked away, taken away, or otherwise removed from the shooter. 
  Remember, the target is the head.  Body shots are useless.  Over twenty feet away, 9 out of 10 people will miss three of four attempts at a headshot.  If you have a six-shooter, that means you will probably only kill one, maybe two before you have to reload.  A gun with a nine-shot clip you may fair better, probably getting 3 zombies with every clip.  The best recommendation is to get a small pistol with cheap ammo, and lots of clips, and practice.  Although a .22 caliber is not big and won’t hurt a human much, it will stop a zombie if you shoot them in the head.  A .38 or a .44 may be impressive, but the gun is heavy, the ammo is expensive, and they aren’t as fast, plus there is more kick to them, which means a greater possibility of missing.
  Rifles are good for distance shooting, and if you have a defensible area with an open range, that is the best protection, because they can’t sneak up on you.  You can watch them from a distance, see them coming, and pick them off.
  Shotguns seem like they might be a good idea, but they don’t have a very good effective range.  Over twenty yards away, you may as well be throwing baseballs at them.  Plus, specifically for zombies, birdshot is not going to penetrate the skull.  Unless you are shooting them at less than six feet away, you may not do much damage.
  Bottom line, the best theory of defense is a rifle and several pistols, and try for ones that use the same ammo, so that in a confused, battle-torn situation, it wont matter what ammo you use in what weapon.
  Now, on to other weapons:
  I have discussed this concept with other strategist, and we are in agreement on this:  You want a sword.  Most combat will be close- quarters, closer than you want.  The zombies will be trying to get close to you, because their weapon (teeth) is a close quarters weapon.
  Unlike a pistol or a rifle, a sword never jams, never needs to be loaded.  It can be used for defense as well as offense, and is made for close quarters.  Perhaps the only drawback to the sword is that it takes time to learn to use it.  Maybe a life time?  Well, that is only if you are going to be fighting others using a sword.  A few months or so of dedicated practice will put you well on your way to being able to handle yourself against zombies.  Anecdotal evidence from the field indicates a markedly diminished capability of zombies to handle swords or any other weapon effectively.  (We take note of the exception of the rare and unprovable case of "Bud," a captive zombie used in study, who was purportedly able to handle and effectively use a firearm.)  Take some lessons, or buy a samuri video or DVD.
  The thing is, you are going to have to spend a pretty penny on a sword that is a real one, not "for display only."  Quality steel, capable of cutting through bone again and again and again is not cheap.  In the range of 500 to 1000 dollars, I think.  Coldsteel.com is the place to begin your search.  Or you can get a piece of steel and begin to fashion it yourself.  Good luck with that.
  There are also other bladed weapons that can be made, used, or improvised.  Get a cricket bat or a heavy wooden oar, and bolt a sharpened lawnmower blade to it.  Axes and hatchets are good.  Hell, so is a sledge hammer.  Remember to practice, and practice on something that you can put some real force behind.
  Other garden and hand tools come in handy.  I like a machete, but I believe the blade is too small and thin for bone.  The aforementioned lawnmower blade with a handle instantly becomes a heavy-duty machete.  A hoe, a spade, a stiff shovel, a rake; these are all good possibilities.  A garden rake, not a leaf rake–You get the idea.

Defensible position:
  Ideally, you want a brick building of some sort with very few windows.  You MUST block the windows.  If the place has a whole wall of windows, I recommend you look elsewhere.  You want a clear perimeter, so you can see approaching attacks.
  Also, you don’t want a highly desirable place, like a shopping mall, unless you are willing to share with others and in general have your shit looted.  A small, lone little store of some type is best.  Work out a way to get food and water there.  Have a plan.
  This indicates that you don’t want to be in an urban area, or even a suburban area.  They are going to be crawling with the dead.  An exurban or sparsely populated rural area means fewer zombies, and also fewer people to share resources with.  If you have the ability, find a place (storage in rural area, cabin, root cellar, underground bunker) to store some food and water and supplies.)  This is a good idea not just if zombies come, but for other natural disasters, like hurricanes, tornados, and nuclear war.
  You probably do want a dog.  If you are not a dog person, become one.  They are invaluable for guard, as well as for sniffing out prey.  They have excellent hearing and sense of smell, and can be trained to react to approaching zombies.  Some may even be useful in a fight against them.

Rebuilding civilization:
  So, you are going to need some people in your group–your cadre–not just you and a buddy.  You want to be able to turn your simple citadel into not only a village, but also a new cradle of civilization.  So, you need to recruit or save or absorb or in whatever way accumulate other people.  This way, there is a larger pool for breeding.  You want to save as many chicks as you can, especially hot ones.  They will be grateful, if you do it right. 
  Not only that, but especially early on, there is a high likelihood of nearly imenant zombie attacks until you have the area clear and secure.  Make sure your group of people contains several of the stereotypical "disposable" types.  This is really the only reason to allow exceptionally annoying or just excess people.  That, and for comedy relief. This is the best defense, which is to put people between you and the zombies.  Hey, there are winners and losers in this world.  You snooze, you lose. 
  Once your area is clear of zombies, it should be easy to maintain.  Then more people will flock there.  Set up guards and fences.  Try to differentiate between humans and zombies when they show up at your doorstep, so that you avoid any unfortunate and embarrassing moments. Start farming and hunting, develop some sort of power generation, and form local government.  You will be, at that point, an autonomous third world country, which should have been your goal in the first place.

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