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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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Question: What should we be asking ourselves?

Nelson George: How do we teach kids . . . How do we make it easy for kids . . . help kids learn how to read? Because despite this technology and bells and whistles, if you can’t read you can’t do a damn thing with the Internet. You can’t. So we need to do a better job . . . It’s still about the fundamentals. We don’t teach kids how to read in this country anymore. We don’t teach them how to go “A-B-C-D-E-F-G”. We don’t teach them Dick and Jane. They’re not . . . Kids don’t know how to read. And no matter when people say reading . . . Everyone says, “No one reads anymore.” People read all the time. Everything they look at is reading. You can’t design . . . You can’t design Web programs if you can’t read, so how . . . Without the fundamentals of what the building block of civilization is, you know we’re in chaos. You go to a place like London, everyone reads. They read well, and that’s a reason, I think, their culture is still pretty vibrant and ours is kind of dumb. When you don’t have people who read or have mastered reading, and can inform themselves through reading, then you have a very passive bunch of sheep who are very vulnerable to leaders.

 

What should we be asking ou...

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