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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 the most dangerous idea in this campaign? 

Michael Walzer: Well, McCain is increasingly trying to run as a Republican after having been a maverick, almost an independent for the past 8 years, and therefore he is saying a lot of things which I think are wrong and dangerous. He is defending tax cuts that he voted against. He needs--if he’s to win the nomination, and if he is to run as a Republican candidate--he needs to convince the base, the Republican base, that he is one of them having not been one of them for some period of time. And so he is saying a lot of things which I hope he doesn’t believe. He is defending tax cuts that he voted against. He is no longer as passionately against torture as he has been in the past. He is defending a policy on anti-welfare politics which I also hope he doesn’t believe, but all of those would be dangerous because they are the continuation of a Republican program that has brought the country into state of radical unfairness and inequality Recorded on: 2/27/08








Michael Walzer: What is the...

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