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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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"Stitches" Win Would Be No Small Feat

November 18, 2009, 1:21 PM

Later this evening, the literary community finds out whether David Small's "Stitches" will be the first graphic novel ever to win a National Book Award. This morning, Big Think asked Mr. Small what the honor would mean to him personally and whether he believes (as some of his fans do) that his book was nominated in the wrong category. His answer, which will be posted prior to the ceremony, revealed much about which side he takes in the eternal conflict between young people and grown-ups.

David Small is a Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator of over 40 children's books. "Stitches" represents a departure for him, as it recounts in often heartbreaking detail the story of his own troubled childhood. Its nomination for the NBA has been tinged with controversy, with many graphic novel aficionados calling its content far too sophisticated for the "Young People's Literature" category. (Events depicted in the book include, among other things, childhood cancer surgery, insanity, and death by self-administered Drano poisoning.) Small's discussion of whether he himself feels in any way misunderstood was just the beginning of a conversation as frank and funny as his work.


"Stitches" Win Would Be No ...

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