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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: To what do you credit your journey out of Searchlight, NV?

Harry Reid: First of all, I had some wonderful teachers, mentors. In elementary school I had a woman by the name of Mrs. Pickert, who taught me how to read and loved to read. I’ve been a reader ever since then. In high school, I also had some wonderful mentors--a government teacher by the name of O’Callahan, who taught me how to fight, box. He and I served as governor and lieutenant governor together. We ran independently, but we certainly worked as a team. Mr. Walker, who was a Spanish teacher. People were very good to me. One of the things I’ve tried to do in public life is to try to make it so that Harry Reids of the future can succeed. America is a wonderful country. I tell young people that I visit with that if I can make it, anyone can. That’s what I want to be able to explain to people and I try to do in this book. No excuses. We can all make it. The only thing I worked toward is trying to have it so that there are fewer hoops to jump through. I think I had to jump through some hoops that maybe they shouldn’t have to jump through.

Question: Would it be harder for someone today to replicate your journey?

Harry Reid: I don’t want to say, “poor me,” but things are a little better than they used to be. Even from Searchlight, they have buses that take kids to school in Boulder City. I didn’t have that luxury. I wanted to go to high school. I figured out a way to get there myself. Much of the time, I hitchhiked back and forth. Health care was really awful in those days. It’s not great now, but at least you can go to the doctor when you’re sick. We couldn’t do that. Education is better. Searchlight doesn’t have one teacher teaching all eight grades. We still don’t have many kids going to school there, but we have a team of teachers. Things are better than they used to be, but they’re not as good as they should be.


Harry Reid on Searchlight a...

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