"Genius is one part inspiration and two parts nitroglycerin."
- Charm: Witty repartee
- Adaptability: Borg-like
- Planning: Maverick
- Survival Preparations: Average
- Wealth: Boom and bust
- Weapons Skill: Novel device which kills either the target or the user
- Intelligence: Genius
- Warm Fuzzies: Surprisingly warm—for a Rational
- Leadership: Above Average
The Great ENTP Exodus
The night before the apocalypse comes, 80% of the world's ENTPs will mysteriously vanish. Where did they go? The question is not a simple one, nor does it have a single answer. Evidence points to a disorganized grassroots evacuation that was put off till the last minute.
Empty garages will be discovered full of mysterious equipment, cryptic diagrams, and hastily scribbled notes. Sometimes there will be a scorch mark in the center of the floor and a pair of hinged ceiling panels open to the sky. Sometimes a swirling portal will be floating in the air (do NOT touch it). In some garages an inordinate number of clocks will be ticking on the walls, each showing a different time. Occasionally there will be nothing left of the garage but a smoldering crater and some tooth fillings.
About 20% of the missing ENTP population will depart to alternate universes. Some will end up in Dimension X, where they will be used for slave labor. Others will end up in 28-dimensional universes and instantly go insane. Still others will end up in a morally inverted universe, but these don't count towards the missing 80% because they will simply be replaced in their home dimension by evil versions of themselves—a dire consequence for humanity indeed. A few “lucky” souls with high counts of bloodborne microorganisms will even find themselves in a galaxy far, far, away, and will soon discover that they can manipulate the very fabric of the universe with their minds. But these will be the fortunate exceptions; by and large the ENTPs who emigrate to other dimensions will meet with horrible fates.
Another 10% of the missing will turn up in the past and future, causing massive temporal confusion and spoiling the timestream for everyone. Thousands of alternate universes will split off, and over-paid, unionized, time travelling professionals will have to be called in to fix the mess. Though they will succeed in preventing the annihilation of time and space., it will be impossible to completely repair the timeline, resulting in temporal instability, intermittent looping, and the appearance of dangerous wormholes that will imperil interstellar shipping in the past, present, and future.
As for the ENTPs themselves, they couldn't care less about the timeline. Disregarding all temporal regulations, they will travel about the timeline, meddling in history as they please. In some universes they will go back in time and prevent the apocalypse. In others, they will be stunned to discover that by travelling back in time to prevent the apocalypse, they actually caused it. Some will live out a happy life in the Jurassic period. Others will be eaten by Morlocks. Still others will become locked in an eternal war against a race of evil salt shakers. There's really not much more to There's really not much more to There's really not much more to There's really not much more to There's really not much more to say on the subject (unless you're stuck in a time loops, in which case there may be quite a bit more to say).
The remaining missing 50% will head for the stars in one form or another. The ambitious will cryofreeze themselves and strike out towards Alpha Centauri. The more practical-minded ones will simply shoot for Mars in their revolutionary new planet-hopper. Some brave souls will even attempt to teleport themselves and their garages (and a single unlucky housefly) to the Jovian moon Europa, starting a race of ENTP man-flies that will immediately return to Earth to feed upon the dead. Some ENTPs may even discover faster-than-light propulsion and initiate first contact with a benevolent federation of alien races that will refuse to let humanity join on the mere grounds that they turned their home planet into a radioactive cinder and their moon into a ring of dust. ENTPs will diffuse around the solar system and colonize the nearest interstellar bodies, to the dismay of their inhabitants.
Back on Earth
But what about the 20% of ENTPs that stayed on Earth, of which no less than 5% will consist of evil doppelgangers? Once again, there is no simple answer. ENTPs defy classification; like anti-social Schrodinger's cats, they cannot be herded into neat boxes.
Many ENTPs will decide that they like living in a mutant-invested wasteland. They will go and live with the ESTP Raiders, adopting their customs and learning to eat human flesh. In time they will become almost indistinguishable from the ESTPs, although they will have cooler weapons and actually understand why they work.
The less than ideally developed doppelgangers will find that their talents are prized in the remaining Guardian armaments factories, where their unsentimental attitude will serve them well. Most of them will end up in the R & D department, and of course a few will wind up in marketing. The more visionary individuals may even go on to become board members.
The bad news is that not all of the less than ideally developed doppelgangers will be able to find jobs that fit their unique personality type. ENTPs require challenge, a chance to exercise their minds with unconventional new ideas, and plenty of opportunities to express their boundless creative energy. What can these misplaced souls do to make the 8 to 5 rat race bearable?
One doppelganger (I shall call him Dave) ended up working in HR, a job he did not enjoy because it required him to do a lot of paperwork and other repetitive, detail-oriented tasks.
After a particularly stressful week, Dave's coworker, Bethany, transformed into an octopus-like mutant—a common occurrence—and Dave saw an opportunity. He proposed to his boss that the company should develop mobile “productivity capsules” for mutant employees, allowing them to continue work as usual. His boss was intrigued by this idea, and the project was approved.
Fired up with enthusiasm, Dave quickly put together an elegant life support unit that glided along on hidden wheels. He scrounged up an unused eggbeater from the communal kitchen and made it into a gun that fired death rays. For a manipulatory arm, he scrounged up a variety of gripping, sucking, and grinding tools from a dentist’s office. The resulting modular multipurpose system provided exceptional dexterity and control. The mutations could even perform quick a root canal if needed. (Dave's coworkers laughed about this brilliant innovation, but not for long.) Lastly, he installed a vocal synthesizer so that the mutants could talk, and programmed it with an enormous vocabulary.
Alas, Dave's efforts in this regard were sabotaged by his computer-illiterate twit of a coworker, who believed that it would somehow save money to pare down the number of words to an absolute minimum. However, as it turned out the creatures didn't need the extra vocabulary anyway, because the remaining phrases (“Serve the master” and “Destroy all life”) expressed the mutants' deepest dreams and loftiest ambitions. The boss was delighted by creatures' punctuality, work ethic and good attitude, and gave Dave a bonus.
Then the creatures ran amok and massacred everyone in the building, with the sole exception of their creator. Rightfully proud of his creations' zeal, Dave made the best of things and began running the company himself. He naturally directed his efforts towards the creation of a line of mutant-guided life support units.
The result? Strong gains for the company's stock, and delighted shareholders. Dave's entrepreneurial streak and knack for seeing the unconventional solution to his job problem resulted in his company dominating the local armaments market, even in the face of constant disruptions caused by time-travelling ENTPs trying to prevent a second apocalypse.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Though enthusiastic brainstormers, ENTPs may have trouble following through on their zombie plans. For instance, they may decide to flee to Borneo, only to change their minds after a few days and attempt to make themselves a raft and float the Mississippi. Generally however, their ability to change plans at the drop of the hat will be a good thing.
Other types: "There appears to be a carnivorous forest blocking our way. But we shall persevere."
ENTP: "See ya!"
Few ENTPs will die because of a boneheaded refusal to change their plans when unpredicted circumstances arise. And since pretty much all circumstances are unpredicted now, they'll have a significant edge in the post-apocalyptic world.
When ENTPs join a band of survivors trying to make it safety, they bring with them an unconventional perspective, a knack for brainstorming, an optimistic outlook, and a gun that shoots portals interlinked by wormholes. (It will explode after the first use.) The ENTP will also bake cakes using improvised ingredients.
As the party members sit around some in some anonymous stranger's living room eating cake, someone will say, "Guys, we've really got to come up with a plan here."
Your little band is unique in that not one of you is a natural leader, and you are all Perceivers. While other little parties straggle purposefully towards definite goals, your party wanders aimlessly around, living off the land (aka looting) and goofing off.
"We could become bandits," the group's ESFP Daredevil jokes. (At least you think he is joking.)
"Oh!" says the INFP Mystic, looking at him worriedly. (The INFP is probably the only reason you and him haven’t turned to cannibalism yet.)
"Just kidding," the ESFP says. He turns to you. "Well genius?"
Since you're the group's only Rational, it's pretty much your job to come up with long term strategic plans that never get carried out.
"I know," you say. "Let's travel the world. Who says we have to anywhere? Maybe if we go far enough, we'll stumble over a place where everything is still normal."
"Then we could get 8 to 5 jobs with health insurance," says the ESFP.
"I didn't say we had to stay there," you reply.
So you set off to China to see the Great Wall.
You progress will be stopped by an unexpected obstacle: the Pacific Ocean. Most other little bands of survivors would give up at this point, but they didn't have an ENTP around.
"I know!" you say. "Let's build a hot air balloon—or a submarine—or train dolphins to pull a raft—"
"Or we could steal a boat," says the ESFP, who is more practical, albeit less creative.
"Where's the fun in that?" you say, pouting. But deep down you are somewhat lazy, and quickly agree to check out the docks.
As it turns out, most of the other boats have either already been taken by people fleeing for distant tropical islands. Those that haven't been taken are lying inland where they were smashed by a tsunami. Even these pitiful wrecks are zealously guarded by survivors trying to repair the damage.
"So much for that," says the ESFP.
Oh well, you were getting bored of the idea anyway. You spend the afternoon making fishing rods in hopes of snagging a little lunch.
Dinner is fish, or something that appears to have piscine characteristics. Once you have whacked off the extra heads and blackened it to a state of unrecognizability, you all agree that it has a definite fish-like shape.
"So what do you guys miss most about Before?" you ask randomly.
"The internet," the INFP sighs.
Somehow you had expected something more profound from the team's designated Idealist. But the more you think about it, the more you realize you miss it too.
There are still places where the internet works—satellite hotspots, local internet service providers still manned by brave employees—but these are mere fragments of what once was. Unless things get better soon, these last remnants will fail one by one, and the internet will be gone forever.
As an ENTP, you always have one eye on the latest technological developments. One particularly interesting pre-apocalyptic development was the emergence of something called a "meshnet."
"Maybe we could build our own internet," you say.
"That would be cool," the ESFP says, though his look is skeptical. "How would you do that?"
You think for a moment, trying to come up with a simple explanation. "Okay, so you know your internet company connects you to the net? Everything you do on the internet passes through the ISP to (say) Facebook, and then Facebook passes stuff to the ISP, who passes it back to you. And if the ISP dies..."
"Bye bye Facebook," the ESFP says.
"Right," you say. "But suppose you had a direct line to Facebook? Then it wouldn't matter if the ISP got nuked out of existence. You could just go right on sharing cat videos."
"Okay..." says the ESFP, glancing at the INFP. You could be mistaken, but you think you see her face tic slightly. Acute cat deprivation isn't a pretty thing, and INFPs are the type that likes cats most.
You continue, "So the next question is, how would you connect directly to Facebook when they're thousands of miles away and there are no ISPs left?" You pause to let the seeming impossibility of this feat sink in. "You would either need a seriously big antenna, or else a whole new system altogether. And this is where the 'meshnet' comes in. Basically a meshnet is where you pass a connection along from person to person using tons of small antennae and stuff. So you shoot a message to your neighbor Bob, and he sends your message to Sally who lives up the road, and she sends it to Dan, who lives even further up the road, and so on and so forth until you reach Facebook."
"Sort of like the telephone game," the ESFP says.
"Right. Except without the gibberish," you say. "I bet if we could get together the right equipment and find someone who can code, we could make our own meshnet."
"Sounds like fun," says the ESFP.
This morning you were headed to China. Now you are planning to recreate the internet from scratch. You love being an ENTP.
When a project really fires your imagination, you become scarily obsessive. Eating and sleeping are forgotten. You would probably forget about breathing too, if it weren't an autonomic function. Your metabolism changes so as to enable you to subsist entirely on caffeine.
Unfortunately, there is no caffeine available, so your project gets off to a slow start. The next morning you emerge hungry from the bait shack and head to the docks to wrest a cold, slimy breakfast from the deep.
As the ESFP bludgeons the catch of the day into submission with a tire iron, you lay out a plan for the project.
- Get antennae, computers and wireless electronic stuff
- Hire someone to code the meshnet architecture
- Take pictures of cats to post on your new internet
Once the still-twitching prey has been thrust into the fire to cook, you share your thoughts with the group.
"Oh, are we still doing that?" the ESFP asks. He has never seen you in project mode before, and has no idea that you are about to transform into a monomaniacally obsessed workaholic.
"Of course," you say, cleverly concealing your growing obsession behind a veneer of casual disinterest. "It'll be easy. We just need to scrounge up some parts, hire the right people, and deliver great content to get people hooked. No problemo."
"Okay, if that's all there is to it," the ESFP says.
"I can do the cat pictures," the INFP volunteers.
The tasks are divvied up according to your group's natural proclivities, with the ESFP on looting duty, the INFP drawing pictures of cats, and you left with the problem of finding a programmer.
Without any clear place to start, you wander around the docks talking to random strangers. Your inquiries about hiring a programmer are met with laughter.
"Ain't you heard of the EMP pulse? Wiped out the computers like dinahsaurs."
As the day progresses, you begin to get discouraged. It hardly seems likely that you will find a software developer here, among this group of weather-beaten fishermen. Just as you are considering going inland to try one of the barricaded enclaves of survivors, you stumble upon a group of men working on a sailboat. You raise a hand in a friendly greeting as they point their M60s at your stomach.
"Hey, I'm looking for a programmer," you say.
The men, a sullen lot with thick beards and stringy hair, stare at you in silence. Their leader fingers a long knife.
"Who wants to know?" he asks. He has a faint Russian accent.
You push your goggles up on your forehead and flash a friendly grin. "Just a man of business looking to hire the right person. I want to rebuild the internet and I need someone who can code."
The leader stares at you through narrowed eyes. Then he says, "Come with me."
You follow him into the wrecked ship, wondering if you are about to get your throat slit. Inside is a tiny bunkroom, a compact kitchenette, and a minute bathroom with a shower stall. There are circuit boards and gutted computer cases scattered about.
"Nice place," you say. "Though I'm guessing there must be a long wait for the bathroom, haha."
No one laughs.
"What do you want?" the leader says.
You explain your plan as the leader listens impassively. A nasty scar runs across his cheek, crimping the edge of his eye. He is wearing a dirty black hoody underneath a camouflage vest.
"—So after we've resurrected the internet, we'll all be filthy rich," you finish. "All we need is a good programmer or two to help out."
Silence. The leader—whose name you still don't know—studies you with dead fish eyes.
At last he says, "I can program. My rate is ten Meowgoddesses an hour."
"Ten?" you say incredulously.
"I give you this rate only because the project appeals to me. No one else will give you a better rate."
In some places, the locals use bottle caps for currency, or New Dollars, or even good old gold. Here the coin of the realm is Battlemonster cards. You squirm, uncomfortably aware of the pathetic Slugbug cards tucked in the inner pocket of your jacket.
"Perhaps we could negotiate a rate based on shares—"
"No!" he snaps. "Come back with the cards or don't waste my time. Throw him out."
You are summarily expelled from the boat.
"Well, so much for that," says the ESFP when you meet back at the bait shack that evening. He still doesn't realize that you have entered the manic phase of the project cycle.
"Nonsense," you declare, stooping to pet a tabby. "All we have to do is find someone who will give us a loan."
"A loan? For real?" the ESFP says.
"Sure. We'll get one big enough to buy the parts we need and hire technicians to set up the network nodes. Naturally we'll give ourselves salaries too."
The ESFP approves of the idea of drawing a salary. So does the INFP, though you can tell she will spend most of it on food for the cats that have somehow found their way to the bait shack.
Your next job is to find a venture capitalist. Fortunately venture capitalists are easier to find than programmers, and soon you find yourself seated in a gold-plated lawn chair talking to an ESTP Raider who made his fortune trading Battlemonster cards.
"So once we have the infrastructure deployed, we can spread free internet throughout the area," you explain. "We'll sell services on top of it—social networking, video delivery, music, advertising—and make a fortune. Just think of it: Post your mutant kill videos online. Share "not infected" status updates with your friends. Talk about disruptive innovation, this would be a game changer."
Venture capitalists like words like "disruptive innovation" and "game changer." You also throw in words like "pivot point," "multidisciplinary team" and "first mover advantage." The ESTP's eyes gleam. He lights a cigar with a burning first edition holographic Demi Meow and blows a perfect smoke ring.
"Say I front you the cards," he says. "How long till I can expect a return?"
Here comes the iffy part. Truth be told, you have no idea how long it will take. You try to express the uncertainties in software development without giving the impression that your project could potentially be a bottomless sinkhole. You're not sure your spiel works; ESTPs are every bit as canny as ENTPs when it comes to detecting BS.
But ultimately, the ESTP cannot resist the lure of the astronomical rewards you promise, even if they come with astronomical risks (here too, he is similar to you). He agrees to give you the money on the understanding that if you do not produce results, he will be forced to make a gruesome example of you to deter the unscrupulous scam artists who would otherwise bleed him dry. He gives you a mint pack of first edition Battlemonster cards.
Palms sweating, you tuck the pack into your jacket and depart with a confident wave. As you make your way back to the bait shack, you have the uneasy feeling that you are being watched by goons with blood-stained tire irons.
Now that your first round of funding has been successful, you can turn to the important task of building your business.
The hardware side is efficiently handled by the ESFP, who has managed to buy, steal and scrounge enough leftover junk to set up wifi throughout a modestly sized town. He and a few hired hands begin kitbashing electronics together to build an eclectic assortment of "network nodes." Each node consists of a rude transmitter/receiver attached to a "cantenna" made from an empty Pringles can. To get better range, you mount the assemblages up on poles, which makes them perfect targets for the bored, heavily armed populace. You quickly learn that the antennae must be installed as surreptitiously as possible.
The INTJ seems surprised when you turn up again, but when you slap down the cards he boots up his computer and gets to work. Whether his code is good or bad, you have no idea. It is impossible to check his progress because all his documentation is in Russian. Oh well; someone else will just have to deal with the bugs later—that's what open source is for, right? All you care about is getting the internet working.
Finally things progress to the point where you can begin testing. The INTJ starts the network in a development sandbox; you make a test site and the INFP uploads a few cat drawings. At first, it seems like the software throws an error every time you click the mouse, but after a few weeks, it mostly works good enough. Your heart leaps when you make your first tweet, "What hath God wrought?"
You want to make sure that you have services in place before you launch, so you kludge together some old software to produce generic versions of all the amenities people expect. Soon e‑mail is up and running; you also produce a simple but working video-sharing site. The INFP has uploaded a small library of cat images and the INTJ has managed to dredge up a copy of Pirate Bay, so you are covered as far as content is concerned.
Soon you are ready to present your technology to the world.
You decide to relaunch the internet in style, starting with a speech that will be broadcast over all local radio channels. There will also be a party where you invite your ESTP patron and the other backers who have shown interest. Gossip escapes onto the street that the internet is coming back, and soon you cannot even walk onto the street without people pointing and staring at you.
Of course, some technology-haters will fail to appreciate your genius. No sooner have the leaks of the Reboot escaped then the airwaves fill with interviews in which citizens express deep concerns about your plans.
"The internet eliminates jobs. Before, the EMP pulses hit, I was out of work thanks to computer automation. Now I have a well-paying job as a scribe, and I accept hit contracts on the side. No internet needed here."
"I think it's a good thing that parents and children kill zombies together once in awhile instead of spending all their time staring a screen."
These are the same fear-filled Luddites who have always stood against humanity's progress, stalling the development of time and labor saving devices like the cotton gin, the automobile, and the atomic bomb. Indeed, some of the protesters chanting outside your bait shack are carrying signs that read, "Technology caused the apocalypse!" and "Stop the madness!"
But progress cannot be stopped. Soon launch day arrives. As protesters chant outside, you prepare to start the Reboot. A crowd of backers, geeks, and marketers cheers as you take the podium.
"The internet is man's proudest achievement," you say into a microphone. "Today humankind makes its first step out of the Dark Ages and back towards civilization."
There is resounding applause. You strike a key; the network goes live. "Network Fault: Mогут быть ошибки в следующих строках 612, 1003, 3042."
With a nervous laugh you retire to the bait shack to scream at the INTJ.
A few hours and many drops of sweat later, the internet comes online. The anonymous masses have obviously been waiting impatiently, because almost immediately, a user uploads a picture of a cat grabbing someone's head with the caption, "Brainz: I wants them."
A deafening cheer goes up from the crowd.
You take a trembling sip of champagne to restore your nerves. A wash of congratulations flows over you from all sides as the internet is reborn.
Events happen in rapid succession: The first comment is posted, an anonymous screed by a user who deprecatingly explains that "brainz" should be spelled "brains" and "want" does not take an "s." This is quickly followed by an explosion of messages by users with suspiciously similar-sounding names, like RobertDillman293723, JaniceDreely29387 and KimFairweather29842, who all post messages like, "W0rk at h0me m0m m@kes $6,795/m0nth w0rking p@rt-time fr0m h0me re10@ding @mm0" and "MY NAME IS WARLORD WUMI BUTULEZI. PERMIT ME TO INFORM YOU OF MY DESIRE TO ENTER INTO A BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU" and "For the past few weeks I have been trying this new anti-radiation product I heard about from a friend. You should check this out too or you could die." Someone shares a picture of the MRE they had for breakfast. Next comes a swarm of Harlem shake videos where ragged survivors dance in bunkers, minefields and zombie-besieged shopping malls.
Yes, it seems that man's proudest achievement has survived the apocalypse unharmed. As champagne bubbles tickle your tongue, you savor the sweet taste of success.
From then on, things are different. The Battlemonster cards flow in, and within a year your bait shack becomes the headquarters of a sprawling complex of labs and offices guarded by a zealous mercenary army. As the CEO, you lead the way in providing innovative new technology to an eager public. One of your most popular ideas is a massive multiplayer online game called "New Start," in which players control idealized avatars in a nostalgically perfect undestroyed world. (The Luddites complain that computer games substitute fantasy for reality. All you can say is, "Duuuuh.") There is even a new dot-com boom as entrepreneurs surge to grab now empty domain names, but oops, haha, you've already claimed all the good ones, with the INFP cybersquatting on cat.com, cats.com, catz.com, and even the ending ".cat". Your entire team gets filthy rich. It isn't long before you make the front cover of Survivor Magazine: they publish an old photo of you grinning ruefully as you hold up a Pringles can with a bullet hole in it. "The survivor who wouldn't give up," the caption reads. Your Luddite detractors grumble about the corruptive influence of the internet, but they do so on forums, chat rooms and social networking sites.
For awhile, the ESFP and INFP continue to work for you, but soon the ESFP goes off to start his own internet radio biz and the INFP accepts a position as head of a charity providing shelter for homeless cats. As for the INTJ, you have no idea what happened to him. He disappeared the night of the launch, leaving your computer infested with the BlueScr33n worm. No doubt your software is riddled with back doors, but oh well. Someone else will fix it—that’s what open source is for!
And so you devote yourself to your life's mission: bringing the internet (back) to the world. What more worthy goal could there be?
Maybe you ought to build a time machine.