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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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Question: Do you have any advice for young writers

Dovey: I guess just that it’s always a kind of work. I mean I know that’s sort of self-evident, but there is a kind of myth, I think, surrounding all artists that it’s this kind of hallowed form of creation; that somehow something is parting through you, the way inspiration is talked about in general – almost as a sort of external force that, you know, manifests itself. And it’s never felt like that for me. It’s always felt like hard work. And maybe it means I shouldn’t be doing it. But mostly the pleasure is in the relief of just having got your quota of words for the day; and a kind of long term pleasure of the slow, crawl of something that turns into something. But I guess yeah, not to get . . . not to get disheartened by the slog . . . the everyday slog of the process. Recorded on: 12/6/07


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