Friday, September 26, 2003
THE LAST PERSON ON EARTH
Being in school, there have been many a time where I've been delirious from lack of sleep and food. During those times, I've come up with some interesting thoughts.
"I should put up a photo of myself from grade eight computer club on my web site."
"Yeah, I think I can eat over 30 chicken wings tonight."
"I'm going to purchase a pair of yellow slippers with hearts on them."
"Being an avid baker of desserts does not undermine my sexuality."
One of the most interesting thoughts I've had, however, centers on being the last person on this planet. I've always wondered, somehow, if in a single second, all human beings on Earth were to disappear (except for myself), how would I survive? Could I? For how long?
I'm guessing my first set of feelings would revolve around sorrow, fear, and exhilaration. Sorrow for the fact that the entire human race had somehow disappeared, leaving me to deal with that. I'd probably be pretty distraught at the loss of my friends and family. I'd definitely fear for my survival. How would I get food and water? After a while, I think I'd feel exhilaration because no one could tell me what to do or where to go. I could walk the hallways in my underwear all day now, whereas I only do that late at night when no one is awake.
So let's explore this further. First up is survival. Shelter would not be an issue. I could live anywhere I want now. Any shack, apartment, house or mansion would be mine. Food would not be a concern for several months. There would be enough food in the city to last me years. The big kicker here? Electricity. Without electricity, I wouldn't be able to live in places that necessitated elevators. Refrigerated food would go bad. Pumps at gas station would not work. I could have any car I wanted, but without access to gas, I'd be out of luck. So much would depend on electricity. The question is, how would the electricity stay on without human monitoring? Do hydro plants require human control on a daily basis to stay functioning? Probably not, but if something went wrong, someone would need to look into. Would I know how to do that? No.
Even something simple like a downed power line would screw me up. If a tree fell on a line on the street I'm staying on, I'd have to move. There's no way I know how to fix power lines. The issue of electricity is a total crapshoot. I could have power for anywhere from months to years. If power did fail, I could just decrease the scale of my problem. Instead of trying to maintain the local power grid, I could just run generators for my local power needs.
Assuming I had electricity, food, and shelter, what the hell would I do with my time? I'd probably do a lot of exploring. I hate to say this, but I'd most likely break into a lot of homes. Not to steal stuff, but to see how people lived their lives. What furniture they bought. What they ate. The pictures they took. What their lives were like before they were gone. In terms of material goods, I'd take stuff from stores. I'd get a really nice computer. Plasma TV. A good stereo. A stainless steel blender. A lemon zester. A Clapper(tm).
I would probably try out a few different type of cars. I'd bring a few back to where I lived. Knowing me though, I'd settle on a single reliable car that I knew could serve me in any situation... like a KIA.
The underlying theme in all of this would be survival. I'd be aware that at all times, if I got hurt, I'd be the only that could help me. Yeah, sure I could drive a Porsche down the #1 at over 180 kph, but what if I wrecked it? Then I'd be begging for death if I managed to survive the initial crash. What if I got sick? Would I self-diagnose and then prescribe my own meds? How the hell would I even how to do that?
Then there's the question about exploring beyond city limits. It'd be pretty neat to explore the cities of North America, but also dangerous. I'd probably drive, but what if my car broke down in the middle of nowhere? I'd probably have enough food for me for a few days, but what if I couldn't find another car? What if I go to a city that had no electricity? I'd be stranded there. That would suck. What if I managed to get to a city that had a nuclear power plant? Let's say said plant didn't shut down properly. I'd be irradiated and not even know it for a few days. By then, I'd be a dead man walking.
If I were really bold, I'd learn how to fly an airplane. If I were smart about it, I'd take months, even years to learn how to do it properly. Just in case, I'd get cold feet about the landing, I'd take a parachute me. I'd get the airliner over the city I'm going to, and just jump out. Yeah sure, the plane would crash, but hopefully I'd be smart enough to point it away from buildings. Like a power plant. Or a Wal-Mart.
Well, it's getting late. What would you do if you were the last person on Earth?
posted by Erwin |
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
I spent six hours today marking one damn assignment for the class I'm a TA for. Sixty assignments. That's a whole lot of marking. I only get paid six hours a week for marking. Too bad I have two more assignments to mark this week. UBC gets free labour from me. Bah.
In other damn news, I found a baby picture of fellow SJC resident Bryan. See below.
I also found the costume I'm wearing for Halloween this year. I'll be damned if I don't get the freakin' award this time around.
posted by Erwin |
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
My sleep patterns are all messed up now. Well, slap my ass and call me Sally.
posted by Erwin |
Sunday, September 21, 2003
I've been working hard (at least for me) for the last couple of days. I think if I put in a good day tomorrow, I'll be where I need to be. If I were to describe it as a commercial airline flight, I'm just finishing my climb towards cruising altitude. I'll need to put some work to keep the bird in the air, but not as much work as I needed to take-off.
I could have worked until 4am, but around 2am I said, screw it. I'm tired of working until I had to absolutely go to sleep. It leaves me with a disatisfied feeling before I fall asleep. Like the whole day was put towards work, with patches of procrastination here and there, but never really having time for me.
So, for the last hour or so, I've been working on my site. Before I show you the fruits of my labour, let me tell you about my weekend thus far.
On Friday, I had a chance run-in with my good friend Marcia, or now more correctly, the new Mrs. Marcia George-Clarke. Anyways, she was in the middle of errands, so she asked me to walk with her while we talked.
Her first errand? To get her U-Pass. Um, ok. I follow her down to the base of Koerner Library. I'm wondering if Murdoch's sister is still down there. I walk into the U-Pass room and there are shouts from behind workstations.
"Hey, it's that guy!"
"Oh my God, it's erwintang.com"
Marcia turns to me with a confused look. Murdoch's sister is indeed still working. Except it appears she has told all of her co-workers about me and my site. The guy next to her has a laptop computer. He turns it around to show me what's on his screen. It's my site. For some reason, I'm feeling quite shy at that moment.
Some other U-Pass girl comes up to me and says hi. "Hey, that intro to your site? Nice... I like the part about you not having a girlfriend."
Meanwhile, Marcia is getting her U-Pass processed, and I'm kinda hiding behind her while all the U-Pass workers look at me.
Unfazed, Murdoch's sister is explaining to some other people what they can do with their U-Pass, she ends her spiel with, "and don't forget to visit erwintang.com".
Marcia grabs her U-Pass and starts to leave. I say goodbye and nice to meet you to all my new friends in the basement of the library.
Outside, Marcia makes me sit down on a curb.
"Ok, you need to explain to me what the hell that was all about."
I tell her the whole the story. She seemed somewhat amused.
Later in the evening I went to my parents' place to pick up some stuff. I spent the night there. I totally forgot it was their anniversary last week, so I took them out to dinner on Saturday night. I'm such a good child.
So, that brings us to here; and the work I've done on my site.
First off, I've put up another interview here at erwintang.com. I may or may not have re-used a previous set of questions in the interests of saving time. Also, the idea of re-using questions may or may not have come from the interview subject Carolyn Beeson. In any case, you can read the new interview here.
Lastly, I feel really bad that I have three sets of digital photos on my HD and they've not seen the light of day on the Internet. These sets cover my trip to New Orleans, the 2003 SJC Welcome Dinner, and Nic and Marcia's wedding. I will eventually put these photos up, but here's a sample of things to come.
That's enough work for one night, I'm going to play a game, watch TV, or clean my fridge before I go to sleep.
posted by Erwin |