What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Gore Vidal's Late Summer Reading List

August 3, 2012, 1:30 PM
Gore%20vidal%20ss

What's the Latest Development?

With the passing of Gore Vidal, America has lost a true man of letters and of conscience. While the author and one-time political hopeful seemed prickly and adversarial during many of his television appearances, beneath his acerbic wit ran a deep river of concern for the general welfare of the nation. Ten years ago, in "The Decline and Fall of the American Empire," the prescient Vidal wrote: "Any individual who is able to raise [enough money] to be considered presidential is not going to be much use to the people at large. He will represent...whatever moneyed entities are paying for him... Hence, the sense of despair throughout the land as incomes fall, businesses fail and there is no redress."

What's the Big Idea?

According to Vidal, the two most essential reads for an America facing the presidency of Ronald Reagan were the Federalist Papers, so people could gain an appreciation of the hard work put into framing our Constitution, and Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War. At the time, Vidal remarked that America resembled Sparta in that it was "ruled by an elite, bound by tradition, xenophobic, a 'militarized republic' too eager for confrontation." Since Reagan, popular debate over the Constitution and the country's involvement in violent confrontation have only increased. Born to the now-faded American aristocracy, Vidal saw the creation of wealth as a means to ensure general welfare, lamenting that it now serves only to create more, and more exclusive, wealth. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

 

 

Gore Vidal's Late Summer Re...

Newsletter: Share: