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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: Collectively, what should we be doing?

Transcript:Well there’s almost nothing that we’re not doing at some level. We could be spending more money on it, but that means we have to be spending less money on something. So it’s really where we move the money from and to. I’m not going to be very profound here. Anybody could say we should be spending less money on wars, especially since we are no longer really seriously threatened. Terrorism is not a public health threat relative to cancer, and heart disease, and malaria and so forth. We need to move that money into things that are health threats and threats to educating the population. If the population were educated it would solve a lot of problems, both scientific and political. So that’s a huge reprioritization that we have historically not been very good at doing. Certainly there are fewer American deaths with each war that we’ve had for the last few wars, but that really isn’t solving the problem of money being spent. And money is life in a certain sense. That money is not being spent on healthcare, education and scientific progress.

 

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