You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

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Thesh
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You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Thesh » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:08 pm UTC

OK, for some reason or another, every human being on earth drops dead. You are the only one left. What do you do?

I think I would find myself some land, somewhere next to a river I can use for water and irrigation. Start growing wheat and barley, corn, tomatoes, and other fruits and vegetables that can be grown here in california. I would assume that all power is going to be lost eventually, and get my meat from small game until I learn how to preserve the meat of larger game without electricity. In the mean time, I would stock up on as much canned food, bottled water, and ammunition as possible. I would learn to make the river water drinkable, and I would learn to make bows and arrows for future hunting.

I would probably grow pot and hops, and use a portion of the grains to make beer and whiskey... Need something to pass the time. When I am not drunk or stoned, working to maintain the crops, hunting, or masturbating, I would probably be doing a lot of reading or playing with my cats. Do what every I can to keep myself busy, and live the best I can.
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby electronic mily » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:24 pm UTC

The essentials: Find myself a house with a usable woodstove or fireplace and enough land to grow some vegetables, proceed to do so. Go to all reasonably close libraries and bring home everything I can find on gardening/foraging for food (this is something I should probably do now anyway). Find and bring home some sheep if possible, maybe a goat, and maybe a dog or two. There should be plenty of dogs left over from the rest of humanity, I should think. Scout out and map all nearby fruit trees.

The nonessentials: Raid art supply stores. Obtain instruments and learn to play them. Read everything in the aforementioned libraries. Climb monuments, dance in the streets, and go to museums and touch all the stuff. Generally make a mockery of human civilization.

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby The Cat » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:39 pm UTC

Have you seen? http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/e ... -zero-3225

I'd find the most suitable sailboat, provision up, and head for the South Pacific. Fish, wind, solar, desalination, and no nuclear power plants going off line. Rich volcanic soil. No predators to speak of...Warm weather...Tons of bubba gump shrimp.
Last edited by The Cat on Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:42 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:41 pm UTC

Walk. Endlessly roam the world. Maybe bike actually, from town to town, seasonally enjoying the summers.

I'd probably spend a lot of time talking to myself, arguing with myself, and angry. I'm fairly certain I could survive on my own (especially assuming I can raid canned goods and don't have to contend with zombies or monsters or such), but I'm pretty certain that's not an existence I'd want to live.

I think ultimately, I'd spend my days cataloging whats been lost, maybe weatherproofing libraries and creating giant petroglyphs, visible from space, that point the way to said libraries.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Phoenixxl » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:54 pm UTC

I'd probably be frantically thinking of ways to get something going that resembles my current life .. Leaving the thinking about what just happened for later.

I'd try and find some place that has a wind generator tho. Or a few places that have them. And of course get a computer going(cant... help.... myself....). Then maybe a few , then maybe a cluster , then have it generate random routines and run them , if they run give them some memory space and boundries to run in , have a go at it for a few months , crying in a corner , trying to make myself a "friend" , realising what loneliness really is , giving up on hoping the bloody thing will spontaniously sprout intelligence, start making the thinking algorythms I pondered on while i was younger (and are on every programmer's eternal to-do list i'm sure). Go mad. raid pharmacies for "antibiotics" cough cough ... oh and cough syrup for that cough there <-- . Go a different kind of mad . Boldly pee where i never peed before. Read , eat .. probably scavenge for the first couple of years tbh , I'm not sure i'd be starting some kind of farm from the get-go. Get to Japan , thinking there's survivors there. Cry , be disaponted . Go mad again . Go back home. Live out the rest of my life reading , programming , playing fruity frank on my cpc464 emulator .Near the end leave some distributed program running with my earlier spontanious life project , Have a last long laugh thinking about the guys that believed in reincarnation ,Die.

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:20 pm UTC

If everyone died but all of the infrastructure was still intact?

Well, in the early stages, you could probably get by not bad without too much substantial differences. Depending on what type of electricity your area has, you probably will get a few weeks, maybe months, worth before things start giving out. You've got an effectively infinite supply of gasoline and cars to use it in. You'll have food as long as electricity holds up, and more than you could ever hope to consume. But things will start to go bad pretty fast. That's probably the biggest concern. Water supply is effectively unlimited--there's probably enough bottled water in an average grocery store to last a single human many years. I'm not sure that food supplies would ever run out, to be honest, although as things went on you'd be relying more on canned goods than anything else.

If they were around, you'd have to think about what to do about the bodies. There's too many for you to deal with, and they'll attract animals (eventually), and, more problematically, there'd be big risk of infection or disease. Being sick or injured is probably the worst thing that could happen. I guess in the neighbourhood where you'd want to live, you'd probably just have to burn them.

Eventually, I suspect most people would end up commiting suicide.

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Thesh » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:29 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:If everyone died but all of the infrastructure was still intact?


Correct. Imagine everyone just dropped dead today, where they stand and all at once.
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby a_fuzzyduck » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:44 pm UTC

I'd spend my time pondering over the fact that suicide and genocide have become equivalent. then embark on a life of investigating... things in general
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby el_loco_avs » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:52 pm UTC

Imagine the stench of rotting corpses EVERYWHERE. that would suck.

Probably have enough canned produce in supermarkets to last me a lifetime. Find shelter with fireplace, axe for woodcutting for when the electricity gives.

Watersource would be interesting to get fixed.




I might kill myself eventually though. Not sure.
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby a_fuzzyduck » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:54 pm UTC

el_loco_avs wrote:Imagine the stench of rotting corpses EVERYWHERE. that would suck.

Probably have enough canned produce in supermarkets to last me a lifetime. Find shelter with fireplace, axe for woodcutting for when the electricity gives.

Watersource would be interesting to get fixed.




I might kill myself eventually though. Not sure.


man, with the explosion in the fly population, you could while away a few decades forcing the venus fly traps to take over whole nations :D
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby el_loco_avs » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:55 pm UTC

a_fuzzyduck wrote:
el_loco_avs wrote:Imagine the stench of rotting corpses EVERYWHERE. that would suck.

Probably have enough canned produce in supermarkets to last me a lifetime. Find shelter with fireplace, axe for woodcutting for when the electricity gives.

Watersource would be interesting to get fixed.




I might kill myself eventually though. Not sure.


man, with the explosion in the fly population, you could while away a few decades forcing the venus fly traps to take over whole nations :D



CREATE A NEW SENTIENT SPECIES OF FLY TRAPS
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Thesh » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:59 pm UTC

Get upstream of populated areas. That's all I have to say about that.
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby a_fuzzyduck » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:16 pm UTC

el_loco_avs wrote:
a_fuzzyduck wrote:
el_loco_avs wrote:Imagine the stench of rotting corpses EVERYWHERE. that would suck.

Probably have enough canned produce in supermarkets to last me a lifetime. Find shelter with fireplace, axe for woodcutting for when the electricity gives.

Watersource would be interesting to get fixed.




I might kill myself eventually though. Not sure.


man, with the explosion in the fly population, you could while away a few decades forcing the venus fly traps to take over whole nations :D



CREATE A NEW SENTIENT SPECIES OF FLY TRAPS


I had a dream the other night where I had some fly traps, but as I took care of them, the traps got huge - enough to eat a kitten, and the stems got long. I watered them, and the stems flopped about as it "drank" the water (silly dream logic) until a point where one flopped over, and the trap detached with insectoid legs. On my couch. beside me. I woke up thinking how badass that would be.

I'd love to be able to breed an Audrey II
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby mmark9094 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:01 am UTC

So, everyone is gone?

1) Look for survivors.

I don't know what to do with the bodies everywhere. I will ignore that part for now and continue on to what I would do if there weren't any.

2) Preserve knowledge:

Find a decent metal box to store things in, or build one, like a time capsule. Put this in it:

- The Vitruvian Man
- A manuscript of the alphabets and languages of the world, basically a huge Rosetta Stone. Also the base 10 digits.
- Add a page explaining what happened to the human race, in every language. Include on this page a blurb about what the capsule contains, a blurb about who I am, and a blurb about the location the capsule was buried. Sign my name at the bottom.
- A few things from the location, whatever of importance is lying around.

Do this for every place I visit. At this point, my impact on the world in the near future will be small. I'm probably not going to live long enough to see new intelligent lifeforms, be they from Earth or not, so I might as well preserve a legacy. They might be grateful to see who their predecessors were, so they don't make the same mistakes.

3) Live as long as possible:

It'll be sad and lonely, but I'm not one for suicide. I'll probably be a nomad, going from place to place, living off the land, maybe get a dog, traveling the world. Eat whatever I can kill and/or cook. I'll probably curl up in a corner somewhere and pass away, when I'm old or sick, hopefully not for a while.

If I had a choice in the matter, this might be something to try for a week or two, but I would not like to have to do that forever.

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:20 am UTC

Anyone read Childhoods End by Arthur C. Clarke? Really cool story, at one point, there's only one human being on the planet, and he basically spends his time flying around a future mobile, and playing Piano, pondering...
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby math » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:37 am UTC

I would immediately travel to the zoo with nothing but a solid metal spear and fight to the death.
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Levi » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:38 am UTC

If I did that it would end after opening the first cage. Not because I'd start with something especially dangerous, but because I doubt I'd be able to stomach doing it a second time after all the gore from the first time. Curse my weak stomach. Of course, I'd not do that in the first place because killing things for no reason is not something I would do.

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Internetmeme » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:05 am UTC

Store everything in a giant granite tomb that is relevant to humanity, and then (if I were a girl) get to trying to clone people.
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:16 am UTC

Thesh wrote:I would assume that all power is going to be lost eventually,
You'd have it for a week. Tops. At least in the Western World. Power plants, even hydroelectric ones, have so many safeties that without human intervention, even if it's just to push the "A-OK" button, the power plant is going to shut itself down to prevent damaging itself, as something's gone wrong. Nuclear plants would be down in a few hours. Coal plants would run for about a day. Wind power.... that one I'm actually not sure on, but though the generators themselves are spinning, I can't see the equipment they're hooked up to not having the same sort of safeties to keep the generators from blowing the rest of the grid.

So yeah, enjoy what power you have while you can, because it'll be gone soon.

Anyway, I'd be like Izzwarlalwagood and walk the Earth. Even just limiting myself to North America, there's no way I could walk everywhere and see everything before old age took me. Sure, some areas I'd be a bit more cautious around (The Midwest/Canada in winter, the Southwest/Mexico in Summer) but for the most part, I'd probably get along just fine. At least, after the first year. During the first year... I forsee a lot of retching and near-vomiting, if not vomiting as I loot houses and supermarkets for food.
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Link » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:30 am UTC

Power on a global scale would probably be gone soon, but if you nick a few generators and a sufficient amount of petrol, you could have personal power for as long as you are capable of refilling those generators.

As for what to do, well, beyond simple surviving, there isn't awfully much to do. I might travel around and break into various military bases, just to see what sorts of technology they have there. I'd also like to find some way of getting to different continents; I'm pretty sure I could pilot a yacht or something without dying in the process.

Of course, before doing anything of the sort, I'd have to ensure I have some means of survival. Wild animals will be plentiful, even in generally wildlife-free areas: essentially any large pet dog can become a dangerous predator if it has no other means of survival. I'd probably raid the local police station to get some basic weapons, and then find a military base to stock up on some real stopping power before going exploring abroad. Food is easy to come by: canned food will last for years, as should bottled water. Getting meat will require hunting animals; police-issue pistols aren't ideal for that, but should still do the trick. The scoped rifles I'll certainly obtain within a few days of event zero will then allow me to hunt much bigger game from much further away.

For travelling around, I'd choose a large bus as my primary means, because it can store a lot of the things I'd ideally be carrying around - weapons, generators, food, tools, medicine, etcetera. Medicine is another important one indeed; a quick raid of the local hospital here should take care of that. Snag a few suture kits, scalpels, splints and bandages while I'm at it.

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby SummerGlauFan » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:12 am UTC

Gas will go bad eventually; even sealed up I don't think you can get more than a few years out of it before it's basically just water.

First, I'd freak out and try to figure out what happened. Follow this up in a mad scramble to do what I can to survive (Kansas gets bloody hot in the summer and freaking freezing in the winter. I'd probably have to move; without heating and air conditioning modern homes are too vulnerable).

Ideally, pick out a block of burbland with a decent climate, remove the fences between houses (but keep the block fenced-in) and farm in there. Power would be generators at first, but I would try to get a wind/solar setup going asap. Hunt/forage to supplement it when man-made food finally goes bad. Probably rig some sort of transmitter to see if anyone was still out there.

I might wander the Americas, though I doubt I'd ever try to cross an ocean; not without a serious incentive and a lot of practice. See famous landmarks, visit the Library of Congress, pee in the Oval Office, see if Cheyenne Mountain really holds the Stargate program...
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Phoenixxl » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:26 am UTC

Thinking about all this again while doing my shopping this morning , a few things came to mind.

You all seem to be quite brave , and most of you don't foresee crippling emotional distress form something like this happening.
-

The everyone except me drops dead scenario , seen from a "knowing" perspective you can exclude searching for anyone. Being actually there I would not be able to prevent myself from thinking and hoping there are others that , due to the same circumstances or even _some_ circumstance stayed alive.
Edit: To clarify this a bit more , I am alone on the planet , and I must , by myself somehow reach the conclusion that I am sure beyond any doubt there is no way there can be anyone left except me. The amount of precise information i would need to reach that particular conclusion all by my lonesome would be enormous.
-

I thought about preserving knowledge in some form as well when I was typing my first reply yesterday , and decided to dismiss it . Seeing 2 possible scenario's (there are undoubtedly more I'm sure) 1 , having intelligent life from somewhere else find it , 2 having the next species to naturally evolve / need a brain of our size , that can effectively interpret it use it.

If waiting for a next civilisation that comes along to interpret the information , there would be the need to have a very sophisticated unlocking mechanism to the "vault" . Books etc , make nice kindling I'm sure , and give someone with the intelligence humans had 100.000 years ago(close to what we have now tbh) .. 90.000 years .. and i'm sure they can hack away at any amount of concrete i can make and use to hide the vault. Would i want to help a civilisation close to what we are now , find out what they can do with uranium ? Do I even want a civilisation a tad younger to have crossbows , gunpowder , a new religion ...

Would I do it for the aliens ? .. If they can figure out how to get here , and are interested enough , I'm sure we left enough behind they can puzzle stuff together for themselves . I would be a lot less worried if aliens found anything i kept , than an emerging civilisation tbh. I do fear though , in my insanity , i would not be able to achieve to catalog more than the bare minimum. Especially for the sake of having as much as possible kept in the well .. "galactic records" ? Aliens knowing as many details as possible about us not being a big motivator.

Books these days , written on the quality and type of current paper are very fragile to say the least. (i don't see myself curing leather , making vellum and copying it all over) , or making some kind of typewriter that writes on plastic sheets with corrosive ink.. Idk , a lot of work would be needed to preserve these things for the time scale involved. CDroms , hard-disks usb sticks ,magnetic tapes, no use even thinking about those. Carve letters in stone tablets for the rest of my life , typesetting in clay tablets , it would all have different durability , and i'd need a long time to figure out precisely what would be the most effective way of doing it.
-

While i was in the produce section , I had the idea of going to live with the bonobo's or chimps, to make up for lack of social interaction.. Teach them sign language , and have long conversations about food and other bonobo centric matters. I'm not sure it would be something I would do .. but it definitely seems like a way to cope a little better.


-

Someone mentioned the zoo earlier ..

opening the cages setting them free ... hmmmmph .. yea right ... Keeping them fed and becoming a zoo keeper ..... bleh .... leaving them to die of hunger in their cages .... i can't "unthink" this ... killing them ....
Last edited by Phoenixxl on Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:43 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Bluggo » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:22 am UTC

Step one: Take as many corpses as I can find, and stuff them into refrigerated cells. Find a way of keeping them powered, and maintain the power stations to the best of my abilities (at least for the beginning, the easiest way to do that is probably going to be to find a lot of gasoline and a bunch of simple, portable power generators - for the longer term, a system of solar stations is probably going to be the easiest way to get enough energy with as little time expense as possible, but first things first).
Step two: Raid libraries and hospitals, and learn as much medicine and medical engineering I can possibly learn. Use some of the corpses for experimentation.
Step three: Develop a fully functioning artificial womb (that's gonna be difficult - pity that I survived instead of a fertile female, she would have had a much easier time restarting civilization).
Step four: Extract eggs from preserved corpses. Extract sperm, too, if this is viable - I want a reasonable amount of genetic variability, and I alone am not going to be enough for that. If no eggs and no sperm are viable, try to find some stem cells and get them to develop into eggs and sperm somehow.
Step five: Have some new humans born - not too many, since I will have to take care of them personally, at least for the beginning.
Step six: Teach them everything I know about old Earth, and charge them with restarting civilization.
Step seven: Write down everything I remember, as my last gift to Humanity Reborn.
Step eight: Retire, and live the rest of my life in relative seclusion - providing advice if required, but without taking direct charge in humanity's affairs.
Step nine: Die.

The whole plan has very little chance to work, of course; but eh, "very little chance" is still better than "no chance", and at least it will give me something to do with my life.
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Oregonaut » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:38 pm UTC

First step: Determine local extent of phenomenon, attempt to contact my wingmen, given that would fail attempt to contact NORAD/CENTCOM/DoD, check internet, check SATCOM. Recon, armed with my firearms, establish a one mile perimeter around my house, marking the sidewalk with spraypaint to determine where I've checked for life. Stay low, keep out of sight, anticipate hostile encounters. Check from house to house, windows, doors, backyards. Tag front of houses with standard markings to verify later that corpses haven't gone walkies. Seal all doors as I can but leave them unlocked. I will have to resecure the area each time I enter, but I'll likely need to forage for provisions.

Second step: Sanitation. Burn all corpses. Dig a trench deep enough for bodies, and create a firebreak around the pit so that I can contain the fire. If possible, use someone's backyard pool for ease of effort. This will likely take time, so I would return to my house (which I've already siege proofed because I'm a neurotic little git) and wait until dawn to go back out and begin work again. I'd work with my gas mask, rotating the filters daily to prevent wear. Mark each house I've sanitized to prevent reduplication of effort. After I've emptied the house, I would hump all the food and drink I could back to my house, as well as any other provisions I will need. (Alcohol for cleaning, first aid materials, blankets, etc.)

Third step: Sustainability. Set up a farm in the park behind my house. There are enough local farms that I could centralize the best materials from each and set loose the remainder. Since I am only feeding one person, I would keep my footprint small to prevent time-intensive farming. I would steadily increase my perimeter, moving from house to house adding what I could to allow for survival.

Fourth step: Vigilance. I would anticipate encounters with Chinese, Russian, or European forces. It would take some time, and a great deal of effort to determine that there was no longer any life anywhere. I would perform surveilance around my perimeter daily, leave unobtrusive markers that would display if humans had breached it.

Fifth step: Survival. I wouldn't die easily, I would be more concerned about illness, or unexpected injuries. (Cows can be impertinent little bastards.)

I've probably missed something.

(Edit: I SPEHL GUD!)
Last edited by Oregonaut on Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:14 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby SummerGlauFan » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:12 pm UTC

Bluggo wrote:Step one: Take as many corpses as I can find, and stuff them into refrigerated cells. Find a way of keeping them powered, and maintain the power stations to the best of my abilities (at least for the beginning, the easiest way to do that is probably going to be to find a lot of gasoline and a bunch of simple, portable power generators - for the longer term, a system of solar stations is probably going to be the easiest way to get enough energy with as little time expense as possible, but first things first).
Step two: Raid libraries and hospitals, and learn as much medicine and medical engineering I can possibly learn. Use some of the corpses for experimentation.
Step three: Develop a fully functioning artificial womb (that's gonna be difficult - pity that I survived instead of a fertile female, she would have had a much easier time restarting civilization).
Step four: Extract eggs from preserved corpses. Extract sperm, too, if this is viable - I want a reasonable amount of genetic variability, and I alone am not going to be enough for that. If no eggs and no sperm are viable, try to find some stem cells and get them to develop into eggs and sperm somehow.
Step five: Have some new humans born - not too many, since I will have to take care of them personally, at least for the beginning.
Step six: Teach them everything I know about old Earth, and charge them with restarting civilization.
Step seven: Write down everything I remember, as my last gift to Humanity Reborn.
Step eight: Retire, and live the rest of my life in relative seclusion - providing advice if required, but without taking direct charge in humanity's affairs.
Step nine: Die.

The whole plan has very little chance to work, of course; but eh, "very little chance" is still better than "no chance", and at least it will give me something to do with my life.


Fertility clinics. They have quite a few frozen embryos, which should be viable as long as you sustain power.

Disclaimer: I am not a fertility doctor. Please don't slap me if I am horribly wrong.
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Phoenixxl
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Phoenixxl » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:22 pm UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:Fertility clinics. They have quite a few frozen embryos, which should be viable as long as you sustain power.


Would those stick in a gorilla , or other great ape .. Maybe a somewhat modified one , on some drug . Weren't they doing trials breeding pigs with specific bits of human DNA so their heart doesn't get easily rejected by humans ? If they can do that , I'm thinking that making a gorilla or an orangutan able to gestate a human embryo would require less effort than that.

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Endless Mike
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:24 pm UTC

Masturbate in public.

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Oregonaut » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:27 pm UTC

Could it even be considered in public anymore?
- Ochigo the Earth-Stomper

The EGE wrote:
Mumpy wrote:And to this day, librarians revile Oregonaut as the Antichrist.

False! We sacrifice our card catalogues to him in the name of Job Security!

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Thesh » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:27 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:Masturbate in public.


Technically it's not really public, if you are the only person.

What about churches, government buildings, hospitals, random houses?
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Oregonaut » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:33 pm UTC

Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Eiffel Tower, Tower of Pisa, Pyramids of Giza, Great Wall of China...
- Ochigo the Earth-Stomper

The EGE wrote:
Mumpy wrote:And to this day, librarians revile Oregonaut as the Antichrist.

False! We sacrifice our card catalogues to him in the name of Job Security!

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Thesh » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:35 pm UTC

Cemetery, reflecting pool at the lincoln memorial, the balcony of a really tall building, the oval office of the white house...
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

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Kang
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Kang » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:39 pm UTC

I'd like to throw in that the whole 'conserve some knowledge' bit is actually going on in multiple places right now. At least I know of a facility in Europe that puts vast amounts of information on microfilm, which can after all be read with a magnifying glass and a candle, in tin containers into an old mine shaft, alongside instructions on how to use that and basic guides for mathematics and language (don't ask me how the latter work...) engraved in special metal plates set on top. I'm fairly certain similar projects are underway in other parts of the world.

So... what do I do?
First of all I'd be mighty confused and take a while to come to terms with the whole situation, including trying to contact the outside world, as telephone and net should still be working and it would be the ultimate challenge to make my grampa proud by putting together a radio myself. Next I'd try and clear out the imminent neighbourhood, means removing the bodies and scavenging all supplies. After that the most important question I would have, and such would actually put a lot of time and effort into finding out, would be why I was still alive, if seemingly nobody else is.
Chances are that won't really lead me to a result and - as has been pointed out here - after a while everything around me, most importantly running water and electricity, will cease their cooperation forcing me to more practical matters. I'm not sure about taking books from the local library for I might decide to just move in there instead, as it has all sorts of shops for supplies nearby. I'd anyway curse said local library for their decision to increasingly replace actual information with popular modern books, so I might stay at home after all and just make trips to the specific libraries of different university faculties around town, provided I can reach them.
Then the whole standard procedure would get going, I guess. Learn about the so seemingly easy task of providing drinking water, the finer points of gardening and a few other essentials before drifting back to the other question.

Alternatively I might just be confused and shocked enough to simply die in a silly way.

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Oregonaut » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:41 pm UTC

Soldier Field, Yankee Stadium, Camden Yards, The Metropolitan Opera House, The Grand Ol' Opry, Graceland.....
- Ochigo the Earth-Stomper

The EGE wrote:
Mumpy wrote:And to this day, librarians revile Oregonaut as the Antichrist.

False! We sacrifice our card catalogues to him in the name of Job Security!

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:58 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:Could it even be considered in public anymore?

Close enough.

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby a_fuzzyduck » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:12 pm UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:
Bluggo wrote:Step one: Take as many corpses as I can find, and stuff them into refrigerated cells. Find a way of keeping them powered, and maintain the power stations to the best of my abilities (at least for the beginning, the easiest way to do that is probably going to be to find a lot of gasoline and a bunch of simple, portable power generators - for the longer term, a system of solar stations is probably going to be the easiest way to get enough energy with as little time expense as possible, but first things first).
Step two: Raid libraries and hospitals, and learn as much medicine and medical engineering I can possibly learn. Use some of the corpses for experimentation.
Step three: Develop a fully functioning artificial womb (that's gonna be difficult - pity that I survived instead of a fertile female, she would have had a much easier time restarting civilization).
Step four: Extract eggs from preserved corpses. Extract sperm, too, if this is viable - I want a reasonable amount of genetic variability, and I alone am not going to be enough for that. If no eggs and no sperm are viable, try to find some stem cells and get them to develop into eggs and sperm somehow.
Step five: Have some new humans born - not too many, since I will have to take care of them personally, at least for the beginning.
Step six: Teach them everything I know about old Earth, and charge them with restarting civilization.
Step seven: Write down everything I remember, as my last gift to Humanity Reborn.
Step eight: Retire, and live the rest of my life in relative seclusion - providing advice if required, but without taking direct charge in humanity's affairs.
Step nine: Die.

The whole plan has very little chance to work, of course; but eh, "very little chance" is still better than "no chance", and at least it will give me something to do with my life.


Fertility clinics. They have quite a few frozen embryos, which should be viable as long as you sustain power.


but what if you find yourself removed from power after they grow up?
wkw
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Bluggo » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:39 pm UTC

I think that SummerGlauFan was talking about power as in "electric power, to keep the embryos from going bad" - which is probably the issue that would cause my pretty plan to fail, and quite early. Actually, that gives me an additional idea: assuming that I find a way to preserve corpses and embryos for a short term, I should learn how to fly a plane and drop quite a bit of them in a bunch of glaciers, just to be on the safe side - they won't be preserved perfectly, sure, but with some luck they could provide emergency material if for some reason my power sources failed. And if worst comes to worst, who knows, maybe some aliens might find them out and decide to clone the species out of curiosity...

As for political power, I would not care about it, and - truth to be told - I probably would be pretty bad at exercising it: in fact, steps six-nine require me to retire and let other people take care of matters.

Good point about gorillas, Phoenixxl - Interspecific Pregnancy is definitely a possibility.

EDIT: However, the problem with the "embryo" plan is whether they count as "human being" for the purposes of the original post. I don't want to get into an debate about whether embryos have personhood, but they are immature, live specimens of Homo Sapiens...
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby nopacman » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:25 pm UTC

The first thing I thought of: Laugh maniacally, sit and enjoy the silence of humanity crumbling into dust.

Then I realiced I would have to know for sure before that. Then I put myself in situation. And after some time I ended up with this awful looking text that i dont really want to delete after all.

Getting into the nightmare:
Spoiler:
Nice topic, i'll assume it happened while i was sleeping.

Sleep till alarm at 12:30 am. Wake up, take a shower. Have breakfast, whilst wondering why is my roomate still sleeping. Check mail. Go to class. Wonder why is everithing so quiet. ¿Maybe it was a holiday and i forgot?

Actually, screw that. Wake up little after the event because of fire drill in dorm. Whith so much people living here, there must be somebody cooking at all times. Get up pissed (there are false alarms sometimes) and go check the corridor. Nothing there, back to room, call by phone to the security guard. No answer, normal thing, must be talking whith someone. Notice roomate isn't up yet. Laugh at him (hah he sure is decided to sleep). Get dressed, go to dorm. hall. Notice nobody is around. Rare. Try to call on some rooms, no answer. Check the outside of the dorm., see nobody. Say to myself: creepy. Go back in, wait in lobby. Get fed up with waiting and alarm. Go back to room to comment with roomate. Find out he's dead. Get nervous. Call 112. Robot answers, confuse it for a person, notice, try to get to talk to a human, fail. Start to smell the smoke, gtfo of the building. Notice the silence apart from the drill. No cars on highway. Nothing at all. Phone parents, friends, strangers. No answer.Try to find anyone in nearby buildings (another dorm, university). All closed, no one answers. Find security guard's corpse around, get creeped out. Try to call someone with the pone again. Try to use the guard's walkie, nothing. Check the cameras with the remote tv-thingy of the guard. See the fire, see some corpses lying around. Say to myself: what now? Get in the brink of hysteria. Replace nervousness with anger for all the people. Of course they must have done something wrong. It is not my fault at all. Wonder about a terrorist attack. Quite weird, why the fuck would I be still alive? Ponder about a neutron pulse. That might fit, it was just luck that it didn't hit me. Should I turn out the fire? Don't think so, it might be impossible for me to put it out now. Look at the city, it seems there are some fires in there too. Get hit by the magnitude of what is going on. Stand in shock in front of the dorm. for too much time, until i get back to my senses.
Breack into Uni, get to a computer, check the internet for advice. After some unproductive googling try to get into any chat. This is getting even wierder. Check 4chan, notice no posts since hours ago. Check an online irc client, same results. Notice the ausence of humans worldwide.


I think the first issue to deal with is fire. Fire everywhere. Someone cooking at night, factories breaking down and spilling toxic, inflammable fumes. Nuclear reactors would be my last concern. The problem would be all those chemical corporations and plants.
What would happen to the offshore oil rigs in this scenario?
And to the maritime nuclear-powered boats and submarines?

The best chance for anyone would be to hide into a doomsday-scenario-ready bunker and wait till the air becomes breathable again. If it ever does, then there are some things i'd like to do. Of course, this would be restricted by what would be left after the disaster.

So, I'd:
-Read top secret files, and find out about anything interesting (oh, so we had nukes in Spain! whoa!)
-Turn on a supercomputer, (learn about power plants, get one online, etc.) and install an interactive AI to have someone to talk with.
-Learn to pilot a plane, search for secrets in countries all around the globe
-Get into a military base and play with the toys in there.
-Turn on a cinema and watch movies
-Relax.
-Eventually either try to remake humankind again (dunno, I read somewhere you could make a man give birth, but i'd try on monkeys before that) or suicide.


And of course, this:
Kang wrote:Alternatively I might just be confused and shocked enough to simply die in a silly way.

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:30 pm UTC

Bluggo wrote:
a_fuzzyduck wrote:
SummerGlauFan wrote:Fertility clinics. They have quite a few frozen embryos, which should be viable as long as you sustain power.
but what if you find yourself removed from power after they grow up?
I think that SummerGlauFan was talking about power as in "electric power, to keep the embryos from going bad"
I liked a_fuzzyduck's joke.
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Phoenixxl
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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby Phoenixxl » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:46 pm UTC

nopacman wrote: Check an online irc client, same results. Notice the ausence of humans worldwide


I just tried that ! I found an IRC channel with heaps of people , I asked some random question and nobody answered !! IT'S HAPPENING !! They're all dead behind their computers !!!!!

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Re: You are the last person left on earth. What do you do?

Postby nopacman » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:56 pm UTC

Yes, we are all dead. If you see anything, it was just a bot. Like me.
I put forward the neccesity to have a website where it tells if all the people on earth have died in the event of the totally plausible scenario in this topic. Maybe i haven't searched enought.


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