Noreena on Freedoms Lost and Gained

‘A Hierarchy of Freedoms’

Intelligent Life asked 11 eminent people from different walks of life to look back over their adult lifetime and name the freedom we have gained and lost that means the most to them. They were free to take freedom in any sense, political or cultural, social or technological. What mattered was that it mattered to them.

Published: Autumn 2008


Freedom gained

In my teens, my fingers were nicotine-stained and my school uniform stank of smoke. Cafés, pubs and bars were places where a cigarette proffered meant a friendship made. As an adult a new freedom I particularly relish is precisely the prohibition of an environment conducive to that–the globally expanding ban on smoking in public places. This policy has granted me the freedom to avoid being an unwilling inhalant of what we now know is extremely dangerous. And I hope it has taken steps towards liberating future generations from my teenage addiction. In the process it both enhances our collective health and has begun to liberate precious health-care resources. Which hopefully means more money available to society as a whole…

Read the rest of this article on the Intelligent Life website.

Intelligent Life is a quarterly magazine from The Economist.