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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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A First in Theater: Robots Performing Opera

September 16, 2010, 6:04 PM

Tod Machover, who has been called America's most wired composer, is poised to transform your theater experience forever. His new opera "Death and the Powers," will be unveiled on September 24th in Monaco, and is the first opera to have actors that are robots, or as he calls them OperaBots.

According to PopSci: "The opera takes place sometime in the future, when no humans remain — only robots. Former poet laureate Robert Pinsky wrote the libretto, which tells the story of an inventor named Simon Powers. Powers builds “The System” to preserve his legacy, allowing him to download his memories and personality into the built environment. His personage is then expressed through robots, giant blinking bookcases and a musical chandelier made of Teflon, which his wife plays like a harp."

Check out the amazing video in which Machover describes his vision and his play. We're inspired and excited to catch the production.

Machover is a highly respected composer. He is also known for his use of technology to increase the virtuosity of music, notably through the creation of Hyperinstruments that have been used by Peter Gabriel, Prince and Yo-Yo Ma. You can watch his BigThink interview in which he speaks about his innovations and vision.

Ayesha and Parag Khanna explore human-technology co-evolution and its implications for society, business and politics at The Hybrid Reality Institute.


A First in Theater: Robots ...

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