What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Democracy – or that is to say the right to elect one’s government; to have the rule of law; to have a civil society – those are all rights issues. In order to have a democracy, you really do have respect for a broad range of rights. It’s hard to conceive . . . In fact almost ___________, if you don’t have democracy, you won’t have respect for basic rights. The real problem though is that many people take a . . . a sort of a narrow conception of democracy and equate that with rights. And that equation is wrong. You find this where governments – you know from Reagan all the way up to the current Bush administration – have tried to promote mere elections as being the . . . the . . . the full scope of the human rights agenda. And if we can just, you know, get a government to hold an election – regardless of how corrupt it is; regardless of what’s done to . . . to imprison the opposition; or to shut down the opposition newspaper; or to get rid of dissidents – we’ll still call it a democracy because they held an election, and then everything’s fine. We can ignore their human rights record. That superficial notion which, unfortunately, tends to prevail all too frequently in Washington . . . that in no . . . that has very little to do with a human rights agenda. But I think a more sophisticated . . . a fuller understanding of democracy is very compatible indeed . . . to a larger extent equates with a complete human rights agenda
 

Re: Is democracy a prerequi...

Newsletter: Share: