Alex Massie

When Zombies Attack...

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I'm far from being a zombie aficionado, but isn't this obvious?

If zombies actually existed, an attack by them would lead to the collapse of civilisation unless dealt with quickly and aggressively.

That is the conclusion of a mathematical exercise carried out by researchers in Canada. They say only frequent counter-attacks with increasing force would eradicate the fictional creatures.

My confidence in this research is not, mind you, boosted by this

Professor Robert Smith? (the question mark is part of his surname and not a typographical mistake) and colleagues wrote: "We model a zombie attack using biological assumptions based on popular zombie movies.

"We introduce a basic model for zombie infection and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions."

On his university web page, the mathematics professor at Ottawa University says the question mark distinguishes him from Robert Smith, lead singer of rock band The Cure.

Worse still, it seems out intrepid researchers have stacked the deck:

To give the living a fighting chance, the researchers chose "classic" slow-moving zombies as our opponents rather than the nimble, intelligent creatures portrayed in some recent films.

"While we are trying to be as broad as possible in modelling zombies - especially as there are many variables - we have decided not to consider these individuals," the researchers said.

Dad's Army

UPDATE: Dan Drezner does yeoman work in applying this to International Relations Theory. This is what the internets is for. 

UPDATE 2: Reason's Tim Cavanaugh has yet more!

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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