The Apocalypse

They typical geek on day two of the apocalypse.

They typical geek on day two of the apocalypse.

We’ve made the point time and again that the social group geeks most closely represent are Evangelical Christians. One of the points of similarity is how much both groups are looking forward to the end of the world. Evangelicals have their Rapture fantasies and geeks have The Singularity. Both events await freedom from ugly mortal shells, sparing of the true believers, and lots and lots of apologies from those who gave those believers grief.

Most geeks, however, prefer the other type of Apocalypse, the kind where everything goes to hell and the living envy the dead. Whether it be nuclear, ecological, or zombie, one outcome is guaranteed: the geek will thrive while others perish. Somehow in the geek’s mind, a person who is lost if electricity goes off for 15 minutes will successfully navigate a post-apocalyptic planet. Apparently the geek’s particular talents are, on a daily basis, hampered by the rules of society. Should society suffer a catastrophic collapse that renders its rules null and void, the geek will shine.

Perhaps the geek will be a warlord, ruling with an iron fist in the burned out shell of a land that once reviled him. Perhaps he’ll be a hero, defending those hapless souls less prepared than himself and getting praise from those who once reviled him. Maybe he’ll just be a lone drifter, walking the wastes, spoken about in hushed, reverent tones by those who once reviled him. Whatever the outcome, he’s going to look cool, have lots of guns (and a samurai sword), and command respect while the weaklings who need “social rules” to keep them in charge suffer.

What’s even more interesting when comparing the Christian and geek end-of-the-world scenarios is how “rebuilding civilization” never enters into it. Once the world falls, that’s it, it’s going to be like that from now on. And that’s how it should be, because the world is being punished, punished for rejecting Jesus or Joss Whedon. It had a chance, didn’t take it, and now this is what it gets. And only those with the knowledge, the ones who paid attention, and who prepared will prevail. They alone will rise above, while everyone else merely bemoans a fate both inescapable and deserved.

They get nanobots or guns, and either one will do, so geeks love The Apocalypse!

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3 Responses

  1. There are some cases where rebuilding is discussed: look at Niven & Pournelle’s “Lucifer’s Hammer” or Stewart’s “Earth Abides.”

  2. I’m sure at least a few of us will realize that their natural attention to even the most minute detail and love of cataloging everything will be more of a boon to the post-Apocalyptic world than running around pretending to be a ninja.

  3. Oh God, I never noticed…but it’s so true.

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