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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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Write Like Shakespeare

April 6, 2011, 7:10 PM

If you want to write like Shakespeare the first thing you can do is read Shakespeare. Once you have read it all, you will realize that, while you can never write like him, you are now infinitely better read. And you will have learned something about writing, as well as about your own aspirations to that craft. You’ll know which plays you love. You’ll have a favorite tragedy. You’ll have a stance on Hamlet

Shakespeare Is A Little Like God

“If Shakespeare is not God, I don’t know who God is,” Harold Bloom says in Vanity Fair. Shakespeare created enough of our language to merit this assessment. He divined worlds so diverse that a correlation with God—or, a god—isn’t odd. It’s obvious. Other authors have created great characters, but how many have as successfully dived inside the mind of a teenage girl and found a whole philosophy? Here is Juliet:

Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-browed night,

Give me my Romeo. And when I shall die,

Take him and cut him out in little stars,

And he will make the face of heaven so fine

That all the world will be in love with night

And pay no worship to the garish sun.

Oh, I have bought the mansion of a love,

But not possessed it, and though I am sold,

Not yet enjoyed. So tedious is this day

As is the night before some festival

To an impatient child that hath new robes

And may not wear them.

This is Twilight, for poets. It’s not designed to fly over your head; it’s designed as to shoot straight to your heart.

Shakespeare Is A Little Like You

The language feels foreign at first. But the ideas are not: in the scope of a moment, Shakespeare’s Juliet goes through love to sex to death to immortality. That’s a lot of big ideas, but young girls dream big, and Shakespeare knows that. He never tries to make Juliet less, or more, than what she is—a teenager—while still endowing her with one thing common to all of his creations: a gift with words. Metaphors, similes, slant rhymes and demands: Shakespeare throws these things off as easily as shopping lists. This is one aspect of what makes him god-like, yet like us: his talent is at once invisible and dizzying; the more we learn about him the more we long to learn. His variety is truly infinite.

Shakespeare To Go

A brilliant mash-up of Baz Lurhman’s Juliet, and Radiohead.


Write Like Shakespeare

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