Giertz Watch: A Sort Of Social, Sort Of Robot

In an earlier post I called attention to the alarming inaction of the Authorities in response to the mysterious but no doubt nefarious provocations of “Simone Giertz”, Mad Scientist.

Just in the last week, Giertz struck again, writing in Popular Mechanics, using her Internet Mind Rays to entice our wayward and innocent youth to construct a nefarious contraption she calls “An Applause Machine”.

She draws in the gullible with the morally dubious promise of a machine that “will do your clapping for you”. Built from weird alien technology from the planet Arduino, and apparently using hands taken from either vivisected prisoners or vat grown human clones, what does this device really do?

What, we want to know, is inside that box?



Robot Wednesday

2 thoughts on “Giertz Watch: A Sort Of Social, Sort Of Robot”

  1. Your insights on Simone Giertz describe a “mad scientist” who invents a “nefarious” contraption Giertz calls the “applause machine”. Do you recalls a USA technology breakhrough predicted well over a century ago — at least in the imagination of author O. Henry (William Sydney Porter’s penname)? In his1903 story “Cabbages and Kings”, he offered us an early warning of “canned laughter” — the TV sitcom’s contribution to teenage humor. In Henry’s tale a character predicts “We’ll Export canned music to the Latins.” But, as noted in an update we’re preparing for a 2014 e-book I’ve coauthored on creative partnerships, nearly half a century will pass before Charles Douglass hatches the promised invention. It finally arrives in 1950 when American sound engineer Charles Douglass offers the entertainment industry a machine it has long coveted: a “laugh box” to release “canned laughter” on recorded sitcoms (before anyone had coined that term). The laff track occurs on the televised single-camera “Hank McCune Show”.

    How did the Innovation come about? As we explain, responding to a joke by TV comedian Milton Berle that falls flat on his studio audience, Douglass tweeks the prerecorded track to insert a hearty laugh. When “Uncle Miltie”hears the altered version, he reportedly quips: “See? I told you it was funny.” It’s the first documented case of TV “canned laughter.”


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