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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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Transcript

Question: How do you reach your audience?

Dana Gioia: Well there’s different works with different impacts. I mean what I hope is that I will write a few poems that lodge in people’s memory. That is the highest aspiration of a poet. Some of the prose I’ve written, some of the essays I’ve written, I know in a sense it changed at least American and some European countries’ sense of what the role of literature is . . . the role of poetry is in society. But you know prose, I think – especially critical prose, non-fiction prose – is by its nature almost always ________. You know you change the conversation for a moment if the essay is still read 10, 15 years later. And I’ve been lucky to have essays that are still read 10, 15 years later. I mean that’s the most you can hope for.

Recorded On: 7/6/07

 

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