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A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

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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: How do you contribute?

Stephen Carter: My proudest achievements are my children. I mean that very sincerely. I think that for a parent the most important thing is preparing the next generation, or helping to prepare the next generation. I’ll be very honest with you. I think that a lot of the public work that I’ve done in my non-fiction writing, it’s been a failure. That is I had an . . . I had a goal in a lot of my writing to try to nudge conversation a little bit closer to a norm in which we actually saw across our differences a common, beloved humanity in those with whom we have strong disagreements. That’s my goal in different ways, whether I’ve been writing about religion and politics, or civility in public life, or a lot of the other books I’ve written – that’s been my general goal. And all I’ve seen, to my despair, is that getting worse instead of better; that day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month, year-by-year, it’s simply getting worse. And so in that sense, I don’t at the moment feel terribly optimistic about our politics. I hope for the best. I pray for the best. I still sometimes work for the best; but I feel that the mission I feel I was on at one point is a mission that did not succeed, and I think really didn’t make much of a difference.

Recorded on: 7/25/07

 

 

 

 

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