Saturday 19 January 2019

Gutted for Giertz

Damn damn damn!
I wrote about The Queen of the Shitty Robots last May. That would be Simone Giertz, college drop-out who came back to make amazeballs contributions to The Public Understanding of Science. She's a hoot and her robots are the antidote to hubris - ya gotta love her. The tragedy struck when she put up an episode of her youtube channel to explain that she had a brain tumour (called Brian, because ridicule helps) but that surgery and therapy were in the offing and we'd see her later. Now it transpires that her tumor has bounced back, sooner than expected; and more distracting medical hell will have to endured. It is hard to see any good in this news because I am not Dr Pangloss who on learning that he had contracted syphilis said "Not at all, it was a thing unavoidable, a necessary ingredient in the best of worlds; for if Columbus had not caught in an island in America this disease, which contaminates the source of generation, and frequently impedes propagation itself, and is evidently opposed to the great end of nature, we should have had neither chocolate nor cochineal." I quote this from Candide this because a brain tumor is somehow the worst fate imaginable for a creative thinker.

I cannot, right now, bear to watch Giertz breaking the bad news.  My helpless rage might find some solace with MeFi commenter CynicalKnight. "I hate that a fun person is going like this. I'm going to my workshop to smash something with a hammer." I'll try that as soon as it is light tomorrow.

So you miss nothing, here's Pangloss in Voltaire's French:
Point du tout, répliqua ce grand homme; c’était une chose indispensable dans le meilleur des mondes, un ingrédient nécessaire; car si Colomb n’avait pas attrapé dans une île de l’Amérique cette maladie qui empoisonne la source de la génération, qui souvent même empêche la génération, et qui est évidemment l’opposé du grand but de la nature, nous n’aurions ni le chocolat ni la cochenille.

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