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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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With rendition switcher


Nicholas Lemann: Well no. I mean nobody is. I would say though, you know, I don’t wanna at all go anywhere near constructs like race relations have never been worse in America. Because if you know the history . . . You know I just . . . I just . . . My last book was about reconstruction. Race relations are so much better now than they were then. It’s sort of unbelievable. We’re in a period now where the race issue is not front and center in the national consciousness. And that has some good effects and some bad effects. But that’s kind of my read – is in my lifetime, this is a low point in the level of national awareness of, you know, Black-White U.S. relations as a primo issue towering over all others. And that’s for a number of reasons, including demographic factors.


Recorded on: 11/30/07





Nicholas Lemann: Are you sa...

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