Zombie disease is (almost) real

It just occurred to me that classic film zombie behavior is actually what humans would do if rabies affected us the way it affects other animals.

In humans, untreated rabies just causes a nasty and painful death.  In susceptible animals, it lowers fear and raises aggression, causing the animal to see any other animal as a mortal enemy to be killed at all cost – thus spreading the disease further.

Why didn’t I realize this sooner?  The modern virus-like version of zombism is not that far-fetched at all, and could easily be imagined as a mutated rabies virus.  I wonder if part of the popularity of zombie stories comes from the unconscious realization that this is a real-world behavior.

Of course, wild outbreaks of super-rabies are still a stretch of the imagination, as we’re pretty good at controlling the spread of even incurable diseases these days.


On the need for colonization

There’s a post I’ve been meaning to write for a couple of years, about how the usefulness of the universe to our kind of life peaked before we were even on the scene and is now in rapid decline.  About how Earth probably only has about a billion years of useful life left in it, and how stars don’t last forever either, nor will they continue to be born forever, and how the galaxies are gradually escaping our reach. And about how even matter itself will eventually disappear, and we had better saturate the universe with smart people long before that, both to solve that problem and to maximize enjoyment of life and appreciation of the universe.

But fortunately someone else saved me the trouble.