Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge at the time of his death. Born: 8 January 1942, Oxford. Died: 14 March 2018, Cambridge.
Contributing factors to ignorance and stupidity about the pandemic include: Economic hardship, lockdown fatigue, inconsistent public communication, political tribalism, wealth inequality, cybercrime, criminal intent, conspiracy theories, rumor and lack of education.
Pandemic-and-Politics can be a deadly phenomenon and may contribute to ignorance of the scientific and medical facts of COVID-19 pandemic.
In principle, separation of politics from science and medicine would be healthier and safer for all.
Unfortunate examples of “covignorance” abound in the media where a lack of scientific and medical understanding causes further transmission, disease and death from COVID-19:
- Ohio man, 37, dies from coronavirus after claiming the pandemic which has killed more than 135,000 people was just ‘hype’ in a Facebook post – Daily Mail
- Britain is the worst-hit country outside of the US and Brazil. But it STILL won’t wear masks – CNN
- Texas man, 30, dies after catching coronavirus at a ‘COVID party,’ thinking the virus was a hoax | Daily Mail Online
- Girl, 17, with multiple health problems died of coronavirus after attending a church party with 100 other kids without her mask – and her medical worker parents tried to treat her with hydroxychloroquine – Daily Mail
- Herman Cain Went To Tulsa Rally Without Mask— Now In Hospital With Covid-19 – National Memo
- California truck driver uploaded tragic Facebook post before dying of coronavirus | Daily Mail Online
- Party host who knew they had coronavirus symptoms led to cluster of nine COVID-19 cases in NY | Daily Mail Online
- A healthy 30-year-old man went to a crowded bar. He ended up in a hospital on a breathing tube – CNN
- Dr. Fauci says drinking inside bars is one of the most dangerous things you can do right now – Business Insider
- Florida roommates in their 20s test positive for COVID-19 after a night out at a bar | Daily Mail Online
- More than 85 people are infected with coronavirus after outbreak at Michigan college bar | Daily Mail Online
- Man, 53, who led protests against Maryland lockdown tests positive for coronavirus – Daily Mail Online
- Co-founder of Maryland group that protested for state to reopen tests positive for coronavirus – CNN
- California woman explodes with rage at Trader Joe’s after being asked to wear a face mask | Daily Mail Online
- Arizona sheriff tests positive for COVID-19 AT the White House ahead of meeting with Trump after vowing not to enforce state’s ‘unconstitutional’ lockdown – Daily Mail
- Angry residents erupt at meeting over new mask rule – CNN
- Young people: ‘Radical shift’ among coronavirus cases as more young people in their 20s and 30s infected | Daily Mail Online
- US Backlash. Coronavirus: Why is there a US backlash to masks? – BBC News
- Healthcare worker reveals 15 of her friends ALL got coronavirus after going to a Florida bar | Daily Mail Online
- The US Is Done With COVID-19, But it Isn’t Done With the US | Time
- What Countries Require Masks in Public or Recommend Masks?
- HCQ No Longer Approved Even a Little for COVID-19 | MedPage Today
- Lack of Health Literacy a Barrier to Grasping COVID-19 | MedPage Today
- Sweden. We should have done more, admits architect of Sweden’s Covid-19 strategy | World news | The Guardian
- New Yorkers chase shopper out of crowded Staten Island grocery store because she wasn’t wearing mask | Daily Mail Online
- Party-goer at the ‘Zero Ducks Given’ Lake of the Ozarks party tests positive for coronavirus | Daily Mail Online
- HALF of all Twitter posts demanding US reopen economy are bots, researchers say | Daily Mail Online
- Pastor Who Claimed To Cure Coronavirus With Faith Dies Of Coronavirus – HuffPo
- New York barber who violated lockdown to give hair cuts in his shop tests positive for coronavirus | Daily Mail Online
- Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers calls his state ‘the Wild West’ after bars reopen immediately following Supreme Court ruling – The Washington Post
- ‘Freedom Angels’ protesters compare Gov Gavin Newsom to Hitler at anti-lockdown protest | Daily Mail Online
- Fauci to Warn Senate of ‘Needless Suffering’ If US Reopens Too Soon – NewsMax
- Mask-less Florida residents flock to reopened restaurants and ignore social distancing orders | Daily Mail Online
- Cheltenham landlord dies from coronavirus amid calls for probe into why the festival went ahead | Daily Mail Online
- Piers Morgan: President Trump’s batsh*t crazy coronavirus ‘cure’ theories are not just shockingly senseless and stupid – they’re going to kill people – Daily Mail
- Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories Abound, But Can Cause Harm – NewsMax
- Covidiot explains she has cut a hole in her face mask because it ‘makes it easier to breathe’ | Daily Mail Online
- Healthcare workers clash with anti-lockdown rebels across the US and urge protesters to go home | Daily Mail Online
- People who make major life decisions including whether to move, adopt or propose on the toss of a coin end up happier, study says – Daily Mail
- Party! 43 new coronavirus cases have been linked to one large house party in Michigan – CNN
- More young people testing positive for coronavirus – CNN
Urban dictionary terms include:
Covignorance – The ignorance of the dangers of SARS-CoV-2 is dangerous to one and all.
Covidiot – The willful denial of the dangers of SARS-CoV-2 is dangerous to one and all.
Covarrogance – The willful disregard of the dangers of SARS-CoV-2 is dangerous to one and all.
Opinion: In principle, independence of science and politics would be healthier and safer for all.
Links provided for educational purposes and social benefit, not for profit.
Learn More about the Dunning-Kruger Effect:
- The Dunning-Kruger Effect – Cognitive Bias – Why Incompetent People Think They Are Competent
- The Dunning-Kruger Effect – Narrated by Stephen Fry (7 min)
- REPORT | Dunning-Krueger Effect | 1999 | Unskilled and Unaware of It- How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments
- Democracy v Psychology: why people keep electing idiots – The Guardian – Download PDF (educational purposes, not for profit)
- Bonobos Join Chimps as Closest Human Relatives
Musical comment by The Rolling Stones:
The ironic wit of Mark Twain for educational purposes:
- “Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can,”
- Twain wrote in an essay collection published in the early 20th century.
- Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
- Draft manuscript (c.1881), quoted by Albert Bigelow Paine in Mark Twain: A Biography (1912), p. 724
- “Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn’t any. But this wrongs the jackass.”
- Notebook (1898)
- “The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet.”
- Mark Twain in Eruption
- “Be respectful to your superiors, if you have any.”
- “Advice to Youth”, speech to The Saturday Morning Club, Boston, 15 April 1882. Mark Twain Speaking (1976), ed. Paul Fatout, p. 169
- “As I slowly grow wise I briskly grow cautious.”
- “English as She Is Taught”, The Century, Vol. 33, No. 6, April 1887.
- “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”
- Notebook entry, January or February 1894, Mark Twain’s Notebook, ed. Albert Bigelow Paine (1935), p. 240
- “James Ross Clemens, a cousin of mine, was seriously ill two or three weeks ago in London, but is well now. The report of my illness grew out of his illness; the report of my death was an exaggeration.”
- From a note Twain wrote in London on May 31, 1897 to reporter Frank Marshall White.
- “Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.”
- As quoted in “An Interview with Mark Twain”, From Sea to Sea: Letters of Travel (1899) by Rudyard Kipling, Ch. 37, p. 180
- “There is nothing in the world like a persuasive speech to fuddle the mental apparatus and upset the convictions and debauch the emotions of an audience not practised in the tricks and delusions of oratory.”
- “The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg”, ch. III, in The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories and Essays (1900)
- “Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest.”
- To the Young People’s Society, Greenpoint Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn (16 February 1901)
- “I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel that they have not said enough.”
- Speech (23 September 1907)
- “It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.”
- Mark Twain in Eruption: Hitherto Unpublished Pages About Men and Events (1940) edited by Bernard DeVoto
- “He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it — namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain.”
- Tom Sawyer, Ch. 2
- “Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations and resentments flit away and a sunny spirit takes their place.”
- “What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us?” (1897)
- “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889), Ch. 43
- “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889), Ch. 22
- “Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.”
- Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar, Ch. V
- “Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.”
- Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar, Ch. VII
- “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”
- Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar, Ch. VIII
- “Truth is stranger than fiction — to some people, but I am measurably familiar with it.”
- Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar, Ch. XV
- “When in doubt, tell the truth.”
- Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar, Ch. II
Generally attributed in urban myth, apparently never written by Mark Twain, but quite probably spoken on occasion: