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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: Is there a clash of civilizations?

Michael Walzer:No, I don’t think so. I think there are too many clashes within each of the civilizations to talk about a clash of--it essentializes each of the civilizations to describe them--but it is true that when fundamentalists or zealots or orthodox or ultra-orthodox people take over a country, then there, they will repress the moderates and the liberals in their own camp and then we confront them, and that does look like a kind of us against them. But we always have to remember in those situations the people who have been repressed, all of the liberal and secular Afghans, for example, who survived the Taliban regime, but we didn’t hear from them while the Taliban were in power, but they're there and those should be our allies and, since we, since we always have allies in the other civilizations, I think it is a big mistake to try to describe that as a kind of war of unified cultures. Recorded on: 2/27/08






Michael Walzer: Is there a ...

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