What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Question:  How do you write?

David Remnick: I’ll make a terrible admission to you. One of the most difficult aspects of becoming an editor was trying to understand other writers and help them, encourage them, push them, all the same. And to discover that more writers than I would have imagined – I think they’re being honest – protest that they hate writing. They don’t like writing. It’s painful. It’s all those things that you’ve heard. I didn’t realize it ran as deep or as wide.

The terrible confession I’m making – and maybe it speaks to the banality of my own writing or the limitations of my own writing – I actually love to do it.

I think there are probably musicians that love to rehearse and sit at the piano. And then there are ones that really like to have recorded, and like to have played, and like to do almost anything else. But it’s especially true with writing.

I find that the stimulation, and the getting it wrong,and the finally figuring out what it is that you think, or the process of making a story out of reality; that actually is true; enormously, endlessly exciting.

I love doing it. Again I’m just a journalist, but there are sculptors that just like having their hand in the clay all the time. And a word for that where writing might be concerned is a “graphomaniac”. But certainly in recent years I can’t be accused of writing too much.

 

Question: Do you ever get writer’s block?

 

David Remnick: No, I just get bad writing. Writer’s block means nothing comes out. I haven’t had that experience in any serious way. I’ve had endless frustration. I’ve filled garbage cans or now bins on your little desktop. But I don’t mind the _________ necessary for writing; the sort of ass in the chair, concentrated time. In fact I relish it.

 Recorded on Jan 7, 2008

 

 

 

How do you write?

Newsletter: Share: