Tim Cook tweets in memory of physicist Stephen Hawking (and gets name wrong)


Tim Cook has tweeted in memory of the British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who passed today, aged 76 …


“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” – Stephen Hawkins [sic]. We will always be inspired by his life and ideas. RIP.

Unfortunately he mistyped the name as Hawkins rather than Hawking.

Interestingly, while the quote Cook chose has been ascribed to Hawking, there is some doubt about whether he coined it. It appears to originate with historian Daniel J. Boorstin. Either way, it seems an apposite quote at a time when so many people seem content to accept what they hear online as fact.

Hawking was given just a few years to live when he was diagnosed with a rare form of a of motor neurone disease, or ALS, at the age of 22. The disease eventually left him unable to move, and he relied on a voice synthesiser to speak.

Hawking’s most famous work is a theory of cosmology that attempts to unify the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.

Unusually, for a scientist dealing with such an esoteric subject matter, he had a knack for communicating ideas in terms lay readers could understand – at least to some degree. His book A Brief History of Time was an international bestseller which sold more than 10 million copies and was on the Sunday Times bestseller list for more than five years.

Hawking’s family said in a statement that the physicist died peacefully at home.

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