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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.” 

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.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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Fake martial arts: The psychology behind 'no-touch' knockouts

What leads people to believe in "chi" attacks and "no-touch" knockouts?

Robert Chaen via YouTube
Culture & Religion
  • A small fraction of martial arts teachers claim to possess extraordinary powers, like being able to knock out opponents without touching them.
  • A recent video essay explores the psychological factors that drive people to believe in fake martial arts.
  • These factors might also help to explain why there's often some degree of blind self-deception regarding the efficacy of traditional martial arts.
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Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

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