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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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Ken Adelman: You have to make sure that the intelligence community does a better job. You have to ask them more questions and really probe how much . . . how well they know something is true.

Number two, you have to have a mission goal. And the mission of a . . . someone like Tommy Franks is not just to overthrow Saddam Hussein, but it’s to leave Iraq in a situation where it’s going to be a governing state. So a bigger perspective.

And number three. It is fine in any human endeavor to take in new information and to change the equation, and to keep improving things and not just a be a cheerleader. And I think that there is really no appreciation by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, Vice President Chaney, or President George W. Bush to – things are getting worse in Iraq – change what we were doing there. Take this new information and deal with the realities. They were up in the clouds.

Recorded on: 7/2/07



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