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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: Are two parties enough?

Nicholas Lemann: You know in my native Southland, we had a saying. You know, “If frogs had wings, they wouldn’t bump their ass so much.” So it’s kind of like that. It would be great to have more than two parties. You know it’s very easy to sit here and say, “No. Two parties aren’t enough. We must have three parties or four parties.” Fine, but we’re not going to. So that’s . . . You know that should be the caveat on my answer. I just . . . I am constantly amazed by how sort of robust and survivable the two major parties are; and how little any meaningful challenge of them ever gets going. And so I would be immensely surprised if when my kids are my age, there actually are three or four major parties.





Nicholas Lemann: Are two pa...

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