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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 legacy? Transcript:Well, I think that I actually have given a broad range of people a deeper sense of the strengths of individual freedom, and the freedom particularly to innovate and try new things, and try things and fail, and try things and succeed. I wrote a book published in 1998 called “The Future and Its Enemies” which was about a dynamic vision of the world. Dynamic being sort of how progress can take place not from a single plan and a single goal, but from divergent goals, and divergent plans, and bottom up experimentation and feedback. And it had to do with business innovation. It had to do with technology. It had to do with social structures. And it had to do with politics, but it wasn’t narrowly political in the left, right sense. In fact it was arguing that we’d better understand the world today on many important issues. Not in the traditional left versus right, but between dynamism. This sort of bottom up process, an open ended future and various forces of stasis where they want to keep things the same or very controlled and planned in advance. So I think through that sort of . . . through that book, and also through that writing, people have come to . . . People who would not have subscribed to Reason magazine necessarily, or see themselves libertarian because this is not a libertarian book. It’s about a broader . . . sort of something that includes but is not exclusively libertarian. I think people have come to a broader appreciation of that.


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