Sad to report John Derbyshire is on chemotherapy for cancer
The base state for a chemotherapy patient, at least for this one, is listless apathy. Everything seems to move at half-speed. Tasks I could accomplish in a couple of hours now take all morning. This isn’t particularly unpleasant, just income-diminishing for a freelancer on piecework.
Serious bummer. The Derb is one of the guys who write about politics and human nature without attachment to irrational ideologies. The Derb thinks we are all doomed (true enough) and his writings bring to mind the idea that the center can not hold.
I would wish the Derb well. But he and I both know wishes won't work against cancer. We need far more advanced biomedical science and biotechnology to defeat that killer.
One time when Steve had contracted a tenacious pneumonia his doctor forbid everything — even ice. We were in a standard I.C.U. unit. Steve, who generally disliked cutting in line or dropping his own name, confessed that this once, he’d like to be treated a little specially.
I told him: Steve, this is special treatment.
He leaned over to me, and said: “I want it to be a little more special.”
Intubated, when he couldn’t talk, he asked for a notepad. He sketched devices to hold an iPad in a hospital bed. He designed new fluid monitors and x-ray equipment. He redrew that not-quite-special-enough hospital unit. And every time his wife walked into the room, I watched his smile remake itself on his face.
Death is loss. Death is defeat. Death is waste when a mind is valuable.