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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".
Another one of "Clarke's Laws"
Usually given in shorter, more quotable form. [Chairborne Hero, Dec 26 2019]
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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||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.
||I come from a long line of survivors.
||"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."
||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...
||"Survival of the Flattest" ... ?
||An interesting idea which could have been
described much more succinctly. I blame [8ths]
propensity for waffling.
||Waffling ? Sounds like a load of Crêpe to us ...
||If the population pressure becomes such that suicide is a real contemplative* then this will seem like a good idea.
||We are not convinced that 'contempative' is actually a proper word, despite the fact that Google does come up with a few hits.