“Eigensinn macht Spaß” is a remarkable little essay by Hermann Hesse that describes views of his that are reflected in many of his novels. Key excerpts in German can be found here. My partial translation follows.
In a recent online discussion on the topic of nuclear fusion in the solid state, the question was raised how there could be any hope to “overcome the Coulomb barrier” — the repulsive potential barrier between nuclei, which is on the order of MeV — in a solid-state environment where kinetic energies between nuclei are on the order of eV. This is a very reasonable question to ask, and here is a response that seeks to address it.
Several years ago, I came across a brilliant talk by a Humboldt scholar, Roberta Pasquare, about a key concept of the Weimar classical period: the role of connection between individuals. Because this talk was only made available in German, I took the liberty to translate the relevant section and reproduce it here. Full credit goes to Ms. Pasquare.
In 1964, Hannah Arendt engaged in a one-hour interview with Günther Gauss who was a bit akin to Charlie Rose in the US. The interview was broadcast on German public television and contains some true gems. I have not been able to find an English translation which is why I’m providing my own translation of parts of the interview below.
In his later work, Martin Heidegger engaged with the nature of technology and the relationship of technology to humans and society. He particularly emphasized what kind of thinking is needed to engage in this process. Here, I will summarize some of his main points.