Black Swans and #ZombieApocalypse

June 2nd, 2012

I recently sounded a black swan alert about a possible rash reaction to so-called bath salts, after some guy in Miami chewed off another guy’s face. Well, I failed to predict this reaction to flesh-eating:

The horrific face-eating arrest in Miami and several other seemingly subhuman acts has many people wondering what’s behind this flesh-munching wave of terror.

A zombie apocalypse, however, is not what we should be worried about, at least according to the federal government.

Over the years the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a couple of tongue-in-cheek “zombie warnings,” which really are just disaster-preparedness stunts. But on Thursday, the agency made it official: Zombies don’t exist.

“CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms),” wrote agency spokesman David Daigle in an email to The Huffington Post.

Nevertheless, recent incidents in which humans reportedly ate human flesh have the Internet in a firestorm, with “zombie apocalypse” being Google’s third most popular search term by Friday morning.

I was talking to a friend who authored a review called “The Undead Constitution” about Cass Sunstein’s “A Constitution of many minds.”  Mike Dorf is writing a review of Jack Balkin’s “Living Originalism,” also titled “The Undead Constitution.”

I proposed suggesting other titles: “The Zombie Constitution,” “Dawn of the Dead Constitution,”or  “225 Years Later” (1787-2012).

The entire zombie craze fascinates me. People are really, really intrigued by the undead. But, I think more so, people are enthralled with the idea of some post-apocalyptic world where they were one of the few survivors, everyone else is a monster, and they need to kill or destroy or whatever to survive. It is an interesting ideal.