Let’s face it, if a zombie outbreak happens, most of us would be screwed. Would you survive?… Good thing, it’s very unlikely to happen, right?
Yesterday I took the metro after an appointment. When I got out at the station near my apartment, the escalators were out of service. There was a woman going up the stairs. She did not seem particularly in bad shape but she could not go up the stairs without taking a break, short of breath, every 10 steps. Imagine if a zombie was trying to bite her.
There are a lot of things like escalators that we are dependent on in this world now: the way we eat, the way we move, the way we work or the way we go up the stairs. In case of an outbreak, zombies would just be an itch. The real problem: no system would be there to take care of us. How would we survive that? Many questions come to mind:
- Can I make a fire?
- Where can I find water?
- What am I going to eat?
- Can I run fast enough?
- And should I run or fight?
- Oh my god, I’ll never know the end of Breaking Bad!
Most of these problems are taken of in our everyday life. We barely think of them. We get all this comfort without much effort because we were designed to be in this place with this work in this economy, right? But what if we were able to live without being supported by this system? Then we would not have to make concession to survive. What the system has to give us would just be a luxury.
For example, my credit card was hacked last week. Nothing big, I just got a call from the credit card company asking me if I was making expensive purchases all around the city. I said no. So they cancelled my card and they are going to send a new one. Meanwhile I don’t have a credit card, I never thought of how it would feel. I don’t even think of the benefits of having a credit card, it’s just usually there. So, this morning I wanted to get a coffee. I always pay with this card. So I did not get a coffee because I did not want to break a 20$ bill. I know this is the dumbest decision making process you have probably ever heard of but it shows how we (or at least I) take things for granted and magical when they are not. When the credit card system is not here to help me, I pay more attention to what I really need. How would I get coffee in case of a zombie outbreak? I probably would not get any… Could I live without coffee? I guess…
Could I leave without this system? I’m pretty sure I would be able to learn how to live in the middle of the woods if I had to. The get-something-to-eat part would be quit tough though. I believe I should start to learn how to grow my own vegetables and hunt right now. Otherwise I know I can run for a pretty long time, I don’t give up easily. I like to build stuff. And also I love camping and I practice meditation quite often so it would solve the getting-bored issue.
The big question is: what prevents us to live like that? And why are we so linked to this system? I’m really not sure it’s the best choice in terms of survival. It’s obviously a good choice if you want to be distracted and entertained. But if we really consider evolving as a species, I’m pretty convinced that a little more autonomy would not hurt. Take my escalator example (I love to hate escalators, they are the perfect metaphor for why this world is going bad) : if there were no escalators, we would save more energy. Also we would get more exercise which would make us a little more healthy. And this also would reduce the costs of health care (yes, I know, I’m a genius). Obviously this system is not designed to make us better at surviving (perhaps it’s a big conspiracy, but I think not).
My answer is the zombie outbreak state of mind: Imagine the outbreak happened and you should live in a post-apocaliptic world. Just try to live without depending so much on the system. I’m going to receive my new credit card next week. I think I’m going to try to leave it in a drawer at home. Just to see if I can live without it for a little more. There a lot of things I can do to be a little attached to what the system offers. Cook more “real” food, spend less electricity, take shorter (and colder) showers, walk more, voluntarily ignore ads… I’m trying to scan everything I do and experience everyday with the “system” that I could just ignore or be a little more frugal with… it’s crazy everything I could do to live like with more autonomy.
What would you start with?