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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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Is This Man "The Emperor of Ice-Cream"?

December 4, 2012, 12:10 AM

The great American poet Wallace Stevens, author of "The Emperor of Ice-Cream" and many other famous works, was also a longtime insurance executive. While researching him for my previous post, I decided to look up what his old employer, The Hartford (formerly the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company), is doing these days. Turns out they're insuring ice cream vendors!


"Some folks call me a rock star," says Buck Buchanan, founder of Lumpy's Ice Cream, in this recent TV ad. "Some call me The Mayor." Can't we go ahead and declare him The Emperor of Ice-Cream instead? Look at him smiling with lordly beneficence in the opening shot, folding arms as "muscular" as those of the dessert-maker in the poem. Behold the regal ease with which he flaunts his white paper crown.

Make this nickname happen, Internet literature lovers. Let the coronation proceed. Let be be finale of meme.


Is This Man "The Emperor of...

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