Nov. 8, 2021

375: Being Courageous in the Name of Freedom & Truth (Feat. Dr. Adrian Bejan)

375: Being Courageous in the Name of Freedom & Truth (Feat. Dr. Adrian Bejan)

"The word freedom is very important, because it's not discussed freely and openly and courageously in academia."

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Dr. Adrian Bejan: "The word freedom is very important, because it's not discussed freely and openly and courageously in academia."


Standing for freedom and standing for what is right is no easy task. Academia has made it a point to change the meaning of words, all while making the ideas of freedom appear selfish and backwards.


Thankfully, one Dr. Adrian Bejan is standing against the horde, fighting back in the name of freedom and truth.


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Brian Nichols  
All right, and with that, returning to The Brian Nichols Show, Dr. Adrian bidjan, he's gonna be joining us doing one of our solo shorts from our past guests a 10 minute monologue. With that being said, Dr. Prashant, the floor is yours.

Dr. Adrian Bejan  
Thank you for this opportunity to, to talk even more. The

the first interview that we had was very important, and it generated a lot of commentary, which gave me the idea that perhaps an addendum would be beneficial. So what I have to say is, in fact, a lot. Therefore, I reduced it to two main points. First, is a review of the first discussion, which is that the freedom freedom is nature itself. And, and the second one is that the words such as freedom have, meaning they have one meaning, and if one is ignorant of these two points, then one is both victim and perpetrator of the crime. So it's important to, to, to, to think about the meaning of the words. So the first, the first item is the the very short review, I showed in the previous discussion that freedom is, in fact, a feature that's everywhere in nature that is around us inside of us. This is not an opinion, this is an observation of something universal. And freedom, essentially, as the word for the perceived ability to change. In other words, no freedom, no change, therefore, no freedom, no evolution. But as nature is evolution, then clearly freedom is everywhere. And what I'm bringing to the attention of the general public, not just the students of same physics around me, is that freedom is, is physics, it is not opinion. I'm not discussing politics here. I mean, this discussing the facts, the facts. And now, they the important aspect of, of this introduction is that the word freedom is, is very important, because it's not discussed freely and openly and courageously. In a society we're in, in academia. So I teach that I teach that in, in my classrooms, as physics. And also I have to give credit for Brian Nichols, because he teaches it in his own way, including I have, I'm very happy to point out including with a very clever marketing of the headline of our previous conversation, which is at Freedom, his nature, and his distributing this important message on bottles on T shirts on on hats, which would make the most I would say clever and timely Christmas present in one month from now. So I recommend that. Now, the second point is that the words matter. Words have meaning. More precisely, one word has one sense. As my wife was remarked, when she was in middle of her PhD work in Berkeley, she told me Well, if one is

careless and free to change, the minus sign for a plus sign, then one is capable of proving anything, you see. So no, there is a true way and a false way. But the freedom so sorry, the, the thinking, the the choice that we make between those two is the freedom that we we exhibit in our thinking every day. So I teach the meaning of the words incidentally, over the many, many years of my career, readers and students asked me why I'm so obsessed with the meaning of the words. Well, I am obsessed, naturally because I like most of most of you in the audience, especially the young I, I was brought up and not in English, I was brought up in a Romance language called Romanian. And so through that language, I, I knew immediately equivalents in Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French. And that meant I knew immediately in 75%, of the English lexicon. And so when I hear a word, in what I hear it mispronounced or misuse, I, my mind is already full of echoes that, that, that reacting in the direction of people trying to contradict what I heard, so, and my own feelings for the importance of the meaning of the words around run against what's going on today. And in current, say, media, but also in science. At the university level, we have a society that's highly advanced, it is mono lingual, it is only in English. Nothing is, is there's nothing in another language, not even music. And so they once a word has misused, then it continues to propagate. wrongly, wrongly and without questioning, but also propagate wrongly to the detriment of the users to the point that I'm not ashamed to point out that the language is being violated or raped, not only in common speech, but also in science, and in education. And I'll just give you a couple of actually about four examples, common words such as liberty or liberation, which of course, are the Latin based version of the word freedom, which is Germanic. These were this word is, has been thrown around a lot. And without questioning, we have, of course, the the propaganda of the, the aftermath of World War Two, where the USSR claimed that liberated Eastern Europe, when in fact, there was one every slogan on every parade, when in fact, the opposite happened. There's a kid I knew, I knew that what was being publicized was in fact, the, the complete upside down of the truth. So liberation, are people asking about asking the meaning of the say, PLA, the People's Liberation Army of Communist China? What is the record of liberating that came from that? I'm not aware of it? Or for that matter? Think of the word Republic. People see this word everywhere, like in the, in the Democratic Republic of Korea, which is North Korea. What is what is that it sounds it sounds familiar, because we are familiar with, with a French Republic, we're familiar with the American Republic. We also some of us are familiar with the meaning of the word less public room, which is a thing that's, that's

publicly available to everyone to think about them vote on in an organized society called Republic. But none of that none of that is going on in the in many of the, you know, social organizations that are recognized this republic said the United Nations. So, of course, we can question the use of democratic and in the same in the same titles, or even the word progress. You hear about progress, we're progressive. Those who attach this label to themselves, of course attaches with pride and with a high degree of, let's call it, superiority in, in the evaluation of themselves by No progress is that is it really a moving forward, which is what progress really means as a counter counter to regress, which is to moving backwards, we're egress and moving out or an ingress moving in, I kind of progresses this idea of going back to the pre history, prehistory, where basically everybody was, indeed the equal but equally poor. You see, it never happened, the, the, the margin, the direction that, that the, the progressives, I know, are, are promoting, by the way that happens to be contrary to letting things evolve naturally, for the betterment of everyone in peace, and that, of course, is once again, the, the contribution of paying attention meaning of the words in this particular case, the meaning of the word, freedom. And going back to the danger that's around the corner, if we do not wake up to the fact that we're being fed, fed. Maybe intentionally, maybe unintentionally, but fed this information at every step is that the, that the world, especially now, in this age of the internet, and, and high volume of information, and, and basically, I can confidently wear a tower of Babel have have News and images and so on, and less and less work of the old fashioned kind, which is to retreat into a corner with a book in your in your lap. In this world, they they innovate individual is less and less able or comfortable to exercise his or her freedom, which is to ask questions, to ask questions, especially questions of those who are imposing changes in, in the, in the daily life. What I say, for example, in in, in the world around me is, is more and more control, more and more top down index. And the response to that, as it was when I was growing up in the 50s. With the Soviet Army Garrison, just across the street from the house where I grew up, there is more and more tendency to to keep keep one mouth shut. In other words, self censorship is the is what I observe around me. And that sort of reaction is probably good, but only up to a point up to a point and that point, history has shown is is not a peaceful one. So

my advice to everybody who has who is listening is to question the meaning of the words. It is easy to find answers to these questions and that is by buying a dictionary. And then and then question those who misuse these words. Take them to the task of explaining or correcting themselves. But even better act, act with your own knowledge of not only what these words mean, but how good they have been in the construction of the Western civilization that that has empowered us to this level. That's, that's totally totally unprecedented.

Transcribed by

Dr. Adrian BejanProfile Photo

Dr. Adrian Bejan

J.A. Jones Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering

J.A. Jones Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Bejan was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Medal 2018 and the Humboldt Research Award 2019. His research covers engineering science and applied physics: thermodynamics, heat transfer, convection, design, and evolution in nature.

He is ranked among the top 0.01% of the most cited and impactful world scientists (and top 10 in Engineering worldwide) in the 2019 citations impact database created by Stanford University’s John Ioannidis, in PLoS Biology. He is the author of 30 books and 685 peer-referred articles. His h-index is 101 with 79,000 citations on Google Scholar. He received 18 honorary doctorates from universities in 11 countries.

J.A. Jones Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative