What is the supreme personal virtue for liberals? Tolerance. You have to be nice and accept others and their opinions. Voltaire wrote a whole Traité sur la tolérance to argue that we are all humans, sons of the same god, and should tolerate each other. It doesn't get any more liberal than that. In 1763.
Funnily though, tolerance is very polysemic, and it has another well-known meaning. In pharmacology tolerance is the progressive loss of reaction to a given dose of substance, meaning that you need to increase the dosage to get the same effect as before. So you need a gram of cocaine to get a dopamine high, you keep doing that every day, after a week you need 2 grams to feel anything.
But surely this stimulant-brain chemical correlation is not limited to physical substances. After all there are many things that can cause to get high and happy, and only very few of those involve putting refined chemicals into your bloodstream. You can get high after climbing a mountain, while screwing a hot girl. Or you can get the most sublime high after giving an interview to the media trashing some racist scum. Oh, the sanctimony high. That one's awesome. It's like a female orgasm. It's the best thing after Soma.
So Stephen Hawking is in the news for joining an academic boycott on Israel.
Now I have no technical expertise to trash his output on physics, but I don't think it's controversial to state that the man is well known because his illness has made him one of the ugliest, most unpleasant physical specimen in Western academia. And in today's world, that's a plus, because it makes you a victim™. Being fucked, whether by birth or by accident gives you extra holy points, because having a handicap makes you automatically better than normal people. The meek will inherit the earth, and all that. Mr. Hawking is lucky to live in this era. In the old days, with the medical technology they had, he would most certainly be dead, and in the remote case he survived, he would have to hide in some dark basement, lest his appearance reminded people of demons and goblins.
But not today, he is the voice of wisdom, and his own existence is supposedly a monument to bravery and courage. He gets all those awesome perks, gets to travel around the world and people get out of their way to go look at him. I mean listen to him. anyway, he is a saint. Surely the sanctimony he gets by virtue of his illness gives him a lot of sweet hedons, which keep him content enough to focus on his science.
But you see, sanctimony is addictive. It creates tolerance. You can never get enough of it. Hawking doesn't feel holy enough just by struggling against all odds and working at his job. No, he has to strive to be more holy. So what does he do? He boycotts some conference in Israel. "Based on advise from Palestinian academics". Note that he doesn't mention Palestinian scientists. Because there aren't any. They're "Palestinian academics". But he had to heed their advice. Palestinian academics are the drug dealers of Academia, they dispense sanctimony for a profit. And the white kids get high with it. They can't stop buying it.
Before the usual crowd comes on, I don't give a shit about Israel and their conferences, but don't tell me Hawking is a white nationalist who hates the Joos and what they have done to England. Hawking is a sanctimony addict, and he can't get enough of the stuff.
And people complain of the porn addiction.