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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Not Farewell, But Fare Forward

August 31, 2010, 2:43 PM

“The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change: that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.”

Isaac Asimov said that, and while Novel Copy never found any direct inspiration from Asimov, he provides solace and inspiration moving forward. Today marks the end of Novel Copy; this is its last post.

Our blog about the media could not help but consider the world as it will be. In fact, the future of communication media was its central preoccupation. From books and newspapers to the content cloud and smartphones, we’ve looked at where information is going and how it will get there. Out blog is now carried on most directly by Matthew Nibet’s Age of Engagement, and Parag and Ayesha Khanna’s Hybrid Reality. Both blogs are keen observers of that place where media and technology meet.

Since 2009, we have seen the Kindle rise from its early obscurity to threaten the existence of book publishers and agents. We’ve seen the fall of local newspapers and the debt of established ones skyrocket. We’ve seen startups and established publications struggle to create new business models; we’ve seen content placed behind paywalls. We’ve seen Google and Apple confirm their dominance—Google now attempts to determine government policy over Internet accessibility and Apple more than ever represents the future of computing. We’ve seen an Internet startup, WikiLeaks, challenge government in ways that no newspaper has. We’ve seen Islam promoted through the media as both demon and—something less than demon. In a case of original reporting, we’ve seen the U.N. Climate Change apparatus at work in Barcelona; the conference directly preceded the historic meeting in Copenhagen.

To end with a quotation that provides more inspiration on such occasions:

“Not farewell, but fare forward, voyagers.”


Not Farewell, But Fare Forward

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