Are you an ardent zombie hunter? Or perhaps a zombie aficionado? Even if your interest in zombies is merely passing and casual, you may still want to know a bit more about them. If so, keep reading.
Now, once you get past the beginner (or kindergarten) stage of zombie knowledge, the first thing you ought to study is the standard system of zombie classification. There are, most experts agree, four major kinds of zombies: the Hollywood Zombie™, the Philosophical Zombie, the Magical (or Voodoo) Zombie, and the Scientific Zombie. To take your understanding of zombies to the next level, we have, with great effort and much labor, prepared the following brief explanation of these four principal types.
The Hollywood Zombie™: The Hollywood zombie™ is found only in Southern California™. It seems that the mix of agricultural chemicals, self-administered illegal drugs, and narcissism unique to the area causes the mindlessness, bodily decay, and erratic behavior characteristic of the zombie. This zombie is probably the least dangerous, as its movements are aimless and its contact with reality of any sort especially tenuous. Still, the prudent zombie observer gives even the Hollywood zombie™ a wide berth, as its proximity is known to cause a state of stupor and confusion that, while usually temporary, can lead to unfortunate accidents of a sometimes exceedingly embarrassing nature.
The Philosophical Zombie: Unlike the typical zombie, the philosophical zombie cannot be distinguished from the non-zombie by any empirical test. The philosophical zombie responds to questions with apparent intelligence, carries out normal bodily functions (including normal brain activity), and leads an apparently ordinary life—even while completely lacking consciousness. This zombie is found all over the world, with significant concentrations in capital cities. Neither the causes nor the transmissibility of this condition are known, hence, the best means of protection for the zombie enthusiast is hotly debated.
The Magical (or Voodoo) Zombie: While Hollywood zombies are generated from living human beings and philosophical zombies are simply non-living, the magical zombie is produced by the transformation of a corpse into a zombie by magical means. These zombies are most common in tropical areas, and are extremely dangerous. All but the most experienced zombie hunters should stay far away.
The Scientific Zombie: The scientific zombie is like the philosophical zombie in that its bodily functions appear normal. However, unlike the philosophical zombie, the scientific zombie is unable to carry out a normal life1 Rather, it is capable of performing advanced mathematical calculations, but completely incapable of communicating with ordinary human beings. Scientific zombiehood can be brought about by high doses of radiation, engineered viruses, or by other, unknown-but-highly-scientific, causes.
Detail of “Death and the Miser,” by Jan Provoost (1462–1525/1529). Public domain.
“Puzzly Watching TV,” by Wikimedia Foundation CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
“日本語: 哲学的ゾンビを説明するための図。哲学的ゾンビ: Philosophical Zombie,” by me, user:was a bee (none). Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
“Musée Vodou collection Arbogast Strasbourg mai 2014-34,” by Claude Truong-Ngoc/Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
- Or, rather, it’s indistinguishable semblance. ↩