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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: What should be the big issues of the 2008 election?

Lawrence Summers: I suspect in the election, Iraq, economic security for middle class families, attitudes towards the social issues, are likely to be central concerns in the election, rather than these longer term and more profound challenges. But I suspect the debates over those issues will give a chance for candidates to demonstrate their philosophical orientation, and perhaps something about their competence as potential leaders and managers of the federal government.

Recorded On: June 13, 2007

 

What should be the big issu...

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