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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.

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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Rightly Understood Posts

A conservative take on the world

1 22 26

Rightly Understood

Liberation Biology

Peter2
over 3 years ago

Maybe the most provocative speaker (although not so much, maybe, to BIG THINK readers) at our conference at Berry next Friday and Saturday will be RONALD BAILEY--the libertarian proponent of liberation biology.  Here's a fascinating interview with Mr. Bailey.  A taste: On the possibility of ...

Rightly Understood

The Conservative Reality of AMERICAN IDOL

Peter2
over 3 years ago

So, yes, I watch American Idol--not obsessively or religiously, but whenever I can. It's a conservative show.  It promotes a meritocracy based on singing excellence, and that excellence is not reduced to what's required for commercial success.  Singing very well before a huge number of people is ...

Rightly Understood

More Thoughts on Liberal Education Today

Peter2
over 3 years ago

It’s no secret that most of our colleges that give lip service to “liberal education” don’t deliver it, and what they do teach exaggerates—not moderates—the undignified confusion of our time. They certainly don’t give students the impression that there’s much—if any—moral or humanistic “content ...

Rightly Understood

Enchanced Eddie: Yes, I Saw LIMITLESS

Peter2
over 3 years ago

So you may have noticed I haven't posted on any movies lately. That's because I haven't seen any I liked or hated enough to talk about.  I did just see Limitless, which isn't actually that good a movie or even good science.  But it did provoke me to some relatively lame and obvious thoughts. The ...

Rightly Understood

Liberal Education and Entrepreneurship

Peter2
over 3 years ago

I have to admit I've been warming up a bit to the out-there techno-optimism of Ray Kurzweil displayed so prominently on BIG THINK.  He (like lots of people) has been called "The New Nostradamus," and I have to admit that I take some of his predictions--like literal immortality for particular ...

Rightly Understood

Let NPR Be NPR (by not being PR)

Peter2
over 3 years ago

Here's an artice that explains well why Congress should get the national government out of the radio and TV business.  A taste: NPR's defenders would respond indignantly to this argument by proclaiming that NPR is the nation's highest form of journalism, that it's utterly nonpartisan and ...

Rightly Understood

Okay: Here's What I Meant About Altruism

Peter2
over 3 years ago

I've gotten a couple of very thoughtful emails about my dissing the idea of practical altruism, including a very long one. Basically: They're accusing of me of being a KANTIAN!  For a Kantian, anything done out of material self-interest--or in response to merely natural needs--isn't dignified ...