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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.

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The Promise of a New Year Defeats the Fear of Death. A Shot of Optimism from Jason Silva

December 31, 2012, 12:00 AM
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What's the Big Idea?

Unlike other animals, human beings are deeply neurotic. We possess the knowledge that one day we are going to die. We struggle with the idea of our own mortality, and therefore have created a complex culture with an engenius array of diversions. 

One of those diversions is Jason Silva, the remixer of optimism who we have described as "part Timothy Leary, part Ray Kurzweil, and part Neo from The Matrix." Silva offers up videos "as an antidote to existential malaise." What culture can offer us, says Silva, is an avenue to "transcend death temporarily." 

Watch the video here:

What's the Significance?

How do we rid ourselves of anxiety, or at least provide ourselves temporary release? According to Silva, it through inspiration. 

We'll need plenty of it for the New Year.

"To be beheld by awe...aesthetic arrest, wonder, inspiration..." Silva says these are ways that we "defy entropy, by creating beauty and order and complexity."

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

More from the Big Idea for Monday, December 31 2012

Big Ideas for 2013: Optimism

The occasion of a new year or perhaps, say, a birthday, can bring about terror as much as it can bring about optimism for the future. Are we one step closer to death or one step closer to fulfilli... Read More…

 

The Promise of a New Year D...

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