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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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Question: Did you see “Inception”?

Shelby Harris: I haven’t.  I have a five-and-a-half month old at home, so I’ve barely seen any movies recently.  But I’ve heard a lot about it, yeah.

Question: What have your colleagues thought about the movie? 

Shelby Harris:  It’s interesting.  I haven’t heard a lot of colleagues who have seen it yet.  But the few people I have, they – it’s an interesting movie.  I think anything about sleep is interesting.  It’s just what I do for a living, but there’s the notion that you can change your dreams, you can invade people’s dreams.  I think it’s much more of a sci-fi futuristic way of thinking about it.  But it does touch upon things that we can do nowadays.  So if you really want to dream about something at night, if you think about it a lot and you have – you think about it right before you go to bed, you’re going to increase your chances of dreaming about it.  So there are – it’s interesting in that it takes what we do and what we know to a much more extreme measure.  And that’s what I kind of like about the theory behind it, about the movie. 

 

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