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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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Saving Our Digital History

April 19, 2011, 11:48 AM
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What's the Latest Development?

When Tunisian strongman Ben Ali was chased out of power last January, after a month's escalating protests, his documents begun to disappear. It was not all nefarious goings-on. In many of the situations, the simple fact that old government and personal sites weren't being kept up meant the documents they held disappeared in the blink of an eye. 

What's the Big Idea?

The disappearance of digital information by attrition or because a user dies has already been acknowledged as an issue we need to deal with, says Curt Hopkins. "It's an issue that our global society is going to have to address better than it is now with ad hoc lunges at preservation, or else we won't lose bits and bytes, we'll lose our history." "The French entrepreneur and digital activist (and former ReadWriteWeb France editor) Fabrice Epelboin and I, along with a number of others, published an open letter to Facebook, asking them to preserve the information created on their service during the uprising. Our idea was for the information to be archived and people who created it could elect to allow others to view it, thereby securing a crucial moment of communication in a political change of great importance."

 

Saving Our Digital History

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