Thoughts for Tonight's Debate from Søren Kierkegaard

Words of wisdom from 19th century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard: “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” 

Thoughts for Tonight's Debate from Søren Kierkegaard

Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was an influential Danish writer, theologian, and social critic who is widely regarded as one of the very first existentialist philosophers. His notable works include Fear and Trembling, The Sickness Unto Death, and Either/Or. While respected during his day, Kierkegaard's popularity grew largest among the philosophers and social thinkers of the mid- to late-20th century.


With the first televised debate of the 2016 campaign being held tonight, we thought we'd share one of Kierkegaard's more cutting social critiques of free society types who speak without thinking. Sound familiar?

 “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” 

Want to know more about Kierkegaard and other giants of classic literature and thought? Check out the video below via Floating University featuring Jeffrey Brenzel.

An artist's depiction of Lola.

Tom Björklund
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  • Researchers recently uncovered a piece of chewed-on birch pitch in an archaeological dig in Denmark.
  • Conducting a genetic analysis of the material left in the birch pitch offered a plethora of insights into the individual who last chewed it.
  • The gum-chewer has been dubbed Lola. She lived 5,700 years ago; and she had dark skin, dark hair, and blue eyes.
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A study finds that baby mammals dream about the world they are about to experience to prepare their senses.

Neonatal waves.

Michael C. Crair et al, Science, 2021.
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  • Researchers find that babies of mammals dream about the world they are entering.
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"Acoustic tweezers" use sound waves to levitate bits of matter

The non-contact technique could someday be used to lift much heavier objects — maybe even humans.

Levitation by hemispherical transducer arrays.

Kondo and Okubo, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys., 2021.
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  • Since the 1980s, researchers have been using sound waves to move matter through a technique called acoustic trapping.
  • Acoustic trapping devices move bits of matter by emitting strategically designed sound waves, which interact in such a way that the matter becomes "trapped" in areas of particular velocity and pressure.
  • Acoustic and optical trapping devices are already used in various fields, including medicine, nanotechnology, and biological research.
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Cockatoos teach each other the secrets of dumpster diving

Australian parrots have worked out how to open trash bins, and the trick is spreading across Sydney.

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