Monday, May 04, 2009

Will Humans behave like Orcs after an Outbreak? Plus - Be Like a Porn Star, Avoid Avian Flu

I just got back from HK a few hours ago crossing the border at Lo Wu (Shenzhen) - and they're in full defense mode. If you're from North America (regardless if you've been there recently) they have a separate line for you about 5-6 rows separated by people barriers left of everyone else. You end up having to fill out two separate forms about your current health history. Everyone's already wearing masks. On a related topic, I thought this was pretty cool - researchers have been using virtual worlds like World of Warcraft to (inadvertantly) model pandemics. Hopefully we'll behave a bit differently than our virtual brethren ( via peHUB):

In 2005, the game's designers at Blizzard Entertainment decided that some players' characters had become too powerful, so they created a virus — called "Corrupted Blood" — that would make the game more challenging for the most powerful players. [...]

The programmers imposed a mass quarantine, and expected players to take it seriously because "death" can cause their characters to lose items, strength, weapons and armour they had accumulated over many hours of play.

Yet many players ignored the quarantine, spreading the virus. Eventually, more than four million of the game's six million players worldwide were infected, and millions "died."

One way to avoid their fate, may be to learn from porn stars (Paul Wilmott via Paul Kedrosky):
Apparently, and I emphasise that I only have [Ron Jeremy] word for this, that when two porn stars meet on set instead of shaking hands, for who knows where those hands have been, they touch right elbow to right elbow.
As a side note, maybe it's just me but reading finance blogs can get somewhat odd at times...

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