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

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Traub: The paradox of this is… and we rightly fault the Bush Administration for imagining that somehow they could smash regimes at Afghanistan or Iraq and then these places will rebuild themselves organically.  We would say happy to have helped and now we know you guys want to do this on your own, on the one side.  On the other side, there is neo-colonial problem.  And so, there both is the need to recognize this is a long-term slow process and you’ve got to be there and it cost money and commitments beyond the term of an individual president.  At the same time, you have to recognize this is no longer the United States and the Philippines in 1908.  Countries do not like to be seen as submitting even to the most benevolent colonial master.  So, we have to find the way of asserting a positive role without triggering the nationalist impulse, which says, “I don’t care whether you’re good for us or not, I don’t want to have you here anymore.”

 

James Traub on Building Dem...

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