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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: What is your advice to those thinking about practicing law?

Laurence Tribe: I think law is still a calling in which you can make a difference.  It’s one of the few ways that you can, if you don’t lose your soul, help make the world a better place; help make other people’s lives more fulfilling.  You can help to do justice.  There aren’t many professions in life where you can make that kind of difference.  You can also enjoy it.  I mean it’s actually fun.  It’s fun to be engaged in the kinds of issues that law generates, especially in this country where almost every cultural, social, political issue eventually takes the form of some legal question.  So that if you want to be engaged in life, have something to do where you will never be bored, as long as you don’t make the mistake of working at some massive law firm that will refuse to give you any meaningful responsibility . . .  Because if you’re careful about the path you take in the law, there’s really no more noble profession.  And it’s one that some people enter for bad reasons.  I mean if your reason to go into law is you wanna make a pile of dough and get your rocks off hitting other people in court, I would advise that you avoid it.  But if you think you could make the world a little better and have a decent life, it’s hard to think of a better way to achieve that.


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