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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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Celebrating One Year of Book Think!

July 6, 2012, 4:25 PM
Bookshelf1

Dear readers,

Book Think debuted one year ago this month, and I'm in the mood to commemorate. Since it's too hot for books, thinking, or even turning pages absently while staring slack-jawed into space, let's take a look back instead at the best of the blog so far.

Together we've pondered the future of book design, probed the link between poetry and the Arab Spring, and weighed the necessity of shooting lasers at Shakespeare's corpse to find out whether he smoked weed. We've celebrated the resurgence of a New York City library, proposed a holiday that could save the publishing industry, and agonized endlessly over what Amazon hath wrought.

We've wondered whether great science requires great science fiction, whether neuroscience will kill the novel, and whether time travel will ever be more than a literary fantasy. We've debated whether Richard Dawkins should take up fiction writing or whether James Wood should adopt the scientific method.

We've mourned, with Harold Bloom, the death of art, the mind, and the Western canon. Even so, we've tried our hand at writing a little poetry.

We've asked the tough questions: Is Holden Caulfield obnoxious? Is Walt Whitman Dracula? Is Thornton Wilder God?

We still haven't read Jane Eyre. But we're going to!

We've raved about Ambrose Bierce, James Baldwin, Madeleine L'Engle, Wes Anderson, and The Song of Songs. We've panned Long Male Novels, Roland Emmerich, and the use of Google goggles in bookstores.

We've discovered the true meaning of Christmas.

My sincere thanks to Big Think and its staff for the opportunities and support they've provided over the past year. Many thanks, too, to the various outlets that have featured, linked to, and tweeted Book Think posts, among them The New Yorker (Page-Turner), The Dish (Andrew Sullivan), 3 Quarks Daily, Flavorwire, and The Poetry Foundation.

Finally, thanks to all of you: the Big Think readers who have perused, praised, denounced, shared, and otherwise responded to the articles in this space. You've been the light of my life and the fire of my loins, the madeleine in my tea, the mirabilis in my annus. You've excused my least excusable puns. Onward and forward.

Austin

 

Celebrating One Year of Boo...

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