Immortality

I’ve just found out something amazing about certain lifeforms on earth. In particular, about one of the most delicious, priciest crustaceans out there, the Lobster! Turns out, lobsters are seemingly immortal. Other such creatures according to wikipedia would be bacteria, hydras, tardigrades and jellyfish but the largest would still be lobsters.

This is apparently because researchers have found that lobsters do not slow down, weaken or suffer reduced fertility. Their cells are rejuvenated and can theoretically live forever thanks to their DNA. If not eaten, injured, or killed, a lobster might actually continue living and growing which makes you wonder if there exists a huge lobster species in the ocean deeps.

huge-lobster-2

Imagine if geneticist were able to give humans the same ability to constantly reproduce cells, would immortality be within our reach?

Post-Apocalyptic Currency

In the aftermath of a devastated world, a certain form of currency would definitely be necessary to define items of value. Most agree that a system of barter will definitely be the first form of trade that reemerges once the rebuilding begins but who is to say a carrot is worth ten potatoes? This is why I feel the need for a new form of consistent currency to be in the picture.

For a game world, an economic model that operated purely on bartering and trading goods would be extremely difficult to pull-off. There has to be at least a basic value system in place in order to base all the other items or services in the world. Imagine having to compare the value of a salvaged AK-47 assault rifle with the value of a healthy un-mutated cow? Also value varies between different people so a culture that lives near a stream would have a different value placed on clean water than a culture that lives on a dry rocky mountainside.

This is probably why for my post-apocalyptic world, I’d need at least a rudimentary form of new government or authority that have reestablished a working economy and a simple banking system to mint new coins that are unique to the citizens of this government. For the purpose of this idea, I’d imagine a large settlement or a city that produces ‘Ducats’ as their currency. These coins might be worthless to survivors that live beyond the influence of the city but if they wish to do trade within the city, these Ducats would come into play.

The Ducat has to be;

  • made from a material that is difficult to obtain.
  • Difficult to reproduce (counterfeit)
  • Durable (unlike paper currency)
  • Consistent in size and weight
  • Can be manufactured in a regulated manner

Other suggested forms of currency;

Bullets and ammunition as the processes for making bullets might be lost in the destruction of the old world. In a world where Might makes Right, this would inadvertently make any surviving military force the main economic force as well (especially since soldiers may retain the knowledge of manufacturing the bullets).

The Fallout universe utilizes Nuka-Cola bottlecaps as their main currency which is also a pretty good choice as it does fit the requirements for a form of currency. It is hard to counterfeit as making caps might have been lost, its durable and consistent in size and weight. Also in game-rationale, it is also light, small and durable.

Cigarettes, canned food stuff are also possible but ultimately, it is one currency without a sustainable source. A currency which only gets rarer and rarer as time progresses would not be suitable for any long-term economy.

Clean drinkable water is also a legitimate contender to become post-apocalyptic currency, especially in a dry wasteland type of world but it also suffers from the fact that it isn’t very sustainable. One could argue that the only existing water treatment facility is under the control of the ruling authority therefore they control the value of water and trade. The only major beef in using water as a proper currency for a game would be the logistics of carrying around sufficient water to trade unless of course water consumption is controlled by government issued water vouchers and then THAT could be the currency.

Everything else would be a trade of objects of value or services of value. Even the act of selling sexual favors wouldn’t be uncommon. Slavery will definitely come back onto the scene but all of these cannot really be considered as proper currency.

Over time of course, things would progress from bartering to currency with real value (such as my Ducats) to currency with an insured value, (such as money value that is pegged to the value of gold) to credit (non-existent money) and we’d be right back where we started before the apocalypse.

Life After People

What would happen if everyone on Earth suddenly vanished?

That is the premise of the series Life After People from the Historical Channel which   explores what would happen to the world after you and I have long ceased to exist. It is an interesting watch if you are building a potential post-apocalyptic world.

The series doesn’t really explore how or why people could disappear (I guess that has been explore quite thoroughly in other mediums). Personally I’d love to watch an episode on a post-Zombie-Apocalyptic world.

The reason this series is important to artists, designers, writers and other creative content creators is that is not only explains but shows you what happens to a world devoid of human life. It showed how plants would creep back into the cities and destroy it brick by brick and return it to its pristine natural form. It shows how animals would return to their natural basic instinct and behavior. How water would corrode and destroy even the sturdiest of buildings.

It really makes you wonder.

Water Filtration

This Lifestraw functions pretty much as I imagine the stillsuits would. It is a portable personal water filtration device where you just dip one end of the straw into a water source then suck on the other ‘suction’ end. The water you get out of this would be safe to drink as it filters down to 0.2 Microns which translates to 99.9% of bacterias, viruses and parasites.

The stillsuits in DUNE function in the same way. It has multiple layers which absorb the sweat moisture and urine from its wearer and through a process of filtration, cleans the precious water which is stored in pockets and reabsorbed by the wearer through straws in the neck of the suit. Of course the world in which DUNE takes place on the Planet Arrakis which is a harsh and dry dustbowl.

I can foresee all military infantry in the future will have one such filtration device in one form or the other. It is just so much more practical than lugging around a water canteen.

Hoverbike

Aerofex’s cool demonstration of its technology which could lead to the future of hover-bikes. The design looks pretty flimsy now but with some fictional alloys & materials, this looks like a plausible highly maneuverable sci-fi vehicle of tomorrow.

Human Echolocation

An article in September’s Reader’s Digest had an article about Human Echolocation which was amazing! It seems Brian Borowski who was born blind, has developed his senses to navigate the world through echolocation. Bats use echolocation by emitting a sound and waiting for the sound waves to bounce back in order to give the bat an ‘image’ of their environment. He emits clicking sounds with his tongue or jingles coins in his pockets to produce the sound he needs to create an echo.

According to scientists, everyday folks are able to utilize human echolocation but the only reason we are unable to is because we never developed our sense of hearing for that purpose. Practice makes perfect and someday we might evolve enough to be able to move about in the dark.

The person in the article was born blind therefore he didn’t really have an option but most probably for something to evolve with this ability, it would probably have to have a heavy dependency on it. Bats are apparently quite blind so sound helps them ‘see’ in a sense. There was also a documentary once about someone being able to ‘see’ through their skin. I’m guessing his sense of touch and feel is behaving like his eyes by feeling changes in the air currents and temperature around him to create an image in his brain.