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.

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

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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.

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Transcript

C. K. Williams: Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know what themes I have left to explore. There are so many out there waiting to be explored. My favorite themes vary. They aren’t really favorite themes. They-- They’re sort of compulsive themes. Last year I-- I think obviously a lot about global warming. Anybody who thinks thinks about global warming but last year I found that every poem that I started to write turned out to be a poem for global-- about global warming and that was not a healthy situation. I realized I couldn’t only write about that so I had to forcibly move myself away from that theme back to other themes. Each poem has an essence, a kernel. Every work of art does. Peter Brook, the great theater director, pointed that out, that you can reduce any work of art to one kernel of force. Call it inspiration. And if every poem is trying to use that same kernel, then you’re going to become repetitive and become dull.

Recorded on: 7/3/08

 

The Problem of Themes

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