Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Pancake buildings

Mr. Darwin would be so proud ...
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Humans behave in paradoxical ways when confronted with geological threats such as earthquakes.

A notable behaviour is that they persist in constructing major population centres in areas well known for serious tectonic instability. They then react to this clear and present danger by attempting to construct accommodation that will survive earthquake forces, instead of the obvious solution of "living somewhere else".

When the inevitable earthquake arrives, huge resources are then expended on attempting to rescue survivors, if any. The population centre is then reconstructed on the same highly vulnerable site.

The logical solution is to fully dismantle the buildings and give the area over to agriculture, with the requirement that any dwellings are lightweight and single story, preferably similar to a mobile home placed on a bed of gravel to decouple earth movements.

However, some occupants resist this policy.

The answer therefore is not better buildings (which are expensive) but worse ones (which are also cheaper). Buildings in tectonic zones should be mandated to be tall, narrow structures, without reinforcement, and lacking any substantive foundations. Walls should be weak, and floors heavy.

When the earthquake hits,the buildings collapse, hopefully killing all the occupants. This will eliminate the humans prone to this behaviour from the gene pool. Schools should particularly be targeted for this treatment, ensuring that the genes for stupidity in the face of imminent natural threat are effectively removed from the population.

As the inhabitants of quake-prone areas are killed off, those from unaffected zones can, once the dust has settled, visit briefly to bulldoze the rubble into a neat pile and affix to the top a large sign reading "DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BUILD HERE - EARTHQUAKE ZONE".

8th of 7, Dec 23 2019

Another one of "Clarke's Laws" https://quoteinvest...2019/01/11/survive/
Usually given in shorter, more quotable form. [Chairborne Hero, Dec 26 2019]

Swamp Castle https://www.youtube...watch?v=w82CqjaDKmA
As usual, the Python's are best at explaining the thought process of those who build in geologically unstable areas. [DrBob, Dec 26 2019]


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Annotation:







       And yet... evolution persistently selects for traits which impede survival - the massive antlers of some deer, the unwield[l]y tails of lyrebirds, the gaudy, predator-attracting wings of butterflies. It's basically evolution's handicapping system - if you can come first in the race despite those antlers, you're obviously pretty good.   

       Logically, therefore, we ought all to be living in the most earthquake-prone regions of the planet. After each major quake, fertile men and women from the neighbouring countryside should flock in to have sex with those who have survived the quake.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 23 2019
  

       Go on then, you first.
8th of 7, Dec 23 2019
  

       I come from a long line of survivors.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 26 2019
  

       "We have, as yet, no definite proof that too much brain, like too much armor, is not one of those unfortunate evolutionary accidents that lead to the annihilation of its possessors."   

       -Arthur C. Clarke.   

       (link)
Chairborne Hero, Dec 26 2019
  

       Although, to the point of "pancaking" a building to kill off the unfit - see Hugh Howey's "Silo" series. It doesn't involve earthquakes, but certain plot points include "pancaking" multi- story-habitations for that reason...
Chairborne Hero, Dec 26 2019
  

       "Survival of the Flattest" ... ?
8th of 7, Dec 26 2019
  

       An interesting idea which could have been described much more succinctly. I blame [8th’s] propensity for waffling.
AusCan531, Dec 27 2019
  

       Waffling ? Sounds like a load of Crêpe to us ...
8th of 7, Dec 28 2019
  

       If the population pressure becomes such that suicide is a real contemplative* then this will seem like a good idea.
wjt, Dec 29 2019
  

       We are not convinced that 'contempative' is actually a proper word, despite the fact that Google does come up with a few hits.
8th of 7, Dec 29 2019
  


 

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