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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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Gen. Alexander Haig

February 21, 2010, 7:02 AM
As a four star general, Secretary of State under President Reagan, and Chief of Staff for Nixon and Ford, Haig was a war hero and once wrongly assumed control of the Presidency. "Gen. Alexander Haig never officially became president, but his influence at key moments of post-Vietnam US history assured his reputation as a controversial but often effective power-broker who held the country’s reins twice – once by proxy, once by sheer will. The Philadelphia-born Haig, a Vietnam War hero, came off as both political pro and power-hungry at two key junctures: the Watergate scandal and the assassination attempt on then-president Ronald Reagan. Known for 'haigravations' such as 'saddle myself with a statistical fence,' Haig correctly predicted that his decision, as secretary of state, to supersede constitutional succession after the shooting of Mr. Reagan to wrongly declare to the press, 'I am in control here,' would become the third paragraph of his obituary. His intercession in the waning months of the Richard Nixon presidency as chief of staff earned Haig higher plaudits. He is credited with keeping the White House afloat as Nixon’s despondency grew under the 1974 impeachment threat that drove him from office. “[Haig] was the president toward the end,” wrote William Saxbe, a Nixon biographer.

Gen. Alexander Haig

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