Bloody Shovel 3

We will drown and nobody shall save us


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.

I need to get high too

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.


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  • 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.

    Bravo. This entire post is full of quotable gems. And you're absolutely right about Hawking---he hasn't done much for physics proper; he's more of a science popularizer, spending more time on TV than in a lab.

    Personally, I think we need to champion the South Park definition of tolerance: it means that you "tolerate" people; not "accept," not "extol," not "give perks to," not "feel guilty about." It means you tolerate people you don't like by going somewhere else and leaving them alone instead of killing them. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Awww, cut Hawking some slack -- it ain't easy jumping the shark in a 200 lb wheelchair.

  • "And you’re absolutely right about Hawking—he hasn’t done much for physics proper"

    That's an overstatement.

    Most physicists older than 35 are considered "out to pasture" and his work just on black hole radiation would justify his career.

  • "Note that he doesn’t mention Palestinian scientists. Because there aren’t any. They’re 'Palestinian academics'." -- Pure gold.

  • I'm not convinced it's even that much. Hawking's spokespeople insist that he's skipping it for health reasons. Given the man's condition, that's entirely believable - if I was to doubt it I'd want to see him hopping on a plane to Kuala Lumpur instead or some such. This says more about the people flinging accusations against him than it does of him.

  • One of my favorite jokes from Jon Lovitz's show "The Critic" was on an episode called "Uneasy Rider" when he went out with his new blue collar friends to see the masculine-sounding movie "Ultimate Force!"

    But it's a physics documentary, and the next scene is the movie's final line with Stephen Hawking saying in his robot voice, "... and that is why gravity is the ultimate force."

    Ok ... well ... it was funny at the time. I guess you had to be there.

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