Physics of Freedom | real clear politics

Freedom is the greatest gift of our founding fathers.

Since 1776, he has been the measure and measure of a term human experimentation that the world calls America. Whatever different, sometimes far-fetched ideologies they may embrace, those that celebrate or mourn our past, present and future, their claims and criticisms are summed up in a single word. At heart, we are always asking: How free are we? When you imagine all the other ideas those men in powder wigs would have made up our identity and passion, freedom – which feels so hopeful, open-ended and optimistic – seems to be the most rewarding of the options.

And yet, perhaps because the concept is so fundamental and familiar, we rarely ask a central question: What is freedom? We believe that we really know its meaning. But do we? Freedom has become like the operating system that powers our computers and the world – something that most of us rely on without really understanding what it is and how it works. I believe that some, but not all, of our divisions lie in a lack of a clear understanding of this guiding ideal.

In this short space, I would like to describe a definition of freedom that is more precise and therefore more useful than the common understanding inherent in politics because it is based on timeless laws of physics. This scientific lens, which is based on the work of Adrian Bejan, renowned professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University with whom I co-authored the 2012 book “Design in Nature,” allows us to see freedom more fully and more accurately. Is. power and glory.

Start with common sense. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines liberty as “the power or right to act, speak, or think without restraint or restraint”. Other meanings include “the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved” and “the power of self-determination attributed to the will”.

Clear, so what’s the problem? These definitions present a tight and limited view of freedom,…

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