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.

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Question: What advice do you have for someone who wants to succeed as a writer?

Robert Lacey: The advice I would give to anybody who wanted to go into my line of work is follow your passion and while it’s always good to take advice from other people don’t get discouraged when the advice somehow doesn’t jive with something inside you. To be specific about this, some of my most successful books have been… I’m not just… I’m not just talking commercially successful, but emotionally and meaningfully successful, have been hunches I’ve had. When I first got interested in the 1970’s about writing about the British Monarchy people laughed. They said, “You’re crazy.” “Why does the monarchy matter?” I couldn’t find a publisher for the book. They said, “Well, the Monarchy, the queen, that’s for women’s magazines.” “You can’t write anything serious about the Monarchy.” But I did. It’s given me an enormous perspective on life. I now look on the American presidency as a monarchy. That’s what it really is. The American presidency is the most powerful monarchy in the world and that’s why you have these dynasties in America of Clinton or Bush. America has got its royal families like we have and it explains the sort of intangible elements in our thinking that make us work and make us tick. Saudi Arabia, I couldn’t find a publisher for this book for two years. I had to dig into my savings and write it, what I believed and then—if you write it they will come; believe in yourself.

Recorded on:  October 20, 2009


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