Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Piensa es gratis"

Think, it's free of charge.

These were the words that greeted me when arriving back at Barcelona airport after five weeks away in Australia not so long ago.

Piensa es gratis is the title of a new book by Joaquín Lorente which was the first words I consciously noticed, glancing at the airport bookshop while wheeling my luggage trolley along. Ah yes, I am home now, I thought. Back in the land of the mind: Europe.

The genius George Orwell devoted his last years on the earth to digging deeply into, amongst others, the idea that thought can only be truly free when there is freedom of speech to go along with it.

Many economists tell us that nothing is free of ‘cost’ because there is always “opportunity cost” – that we are constantly doing things at the expense of doing something else. I am writing this instead of sleeping on the train at this moment.

But to me freedom of thought is important because without it we are no more evolved than beasts.

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