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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: What's your main guilty pleasure?

David Remnick: There are so many.

I guess I don’t read crappy books because I don’t have time. I feel that every ounce of my reading energy is to be either reading pieces in the New Yorker that are going to be published; pieces that might potentially be published, manuscripts. And then I try to keep one or two books of real heft going. That’s enough reading.

I watch far too much television and it’s absolutely good for me. And I see most every movie that you can imagine that comes out. I’m not entirely proud of it, but there it is. And I don’t consider music a guilty pleasure, and I listen to a lot of that, of all different kinds.

Nothing, nothing has replaced “The Sopranos” for pure sublimity. And I’m perfectly aware that there’s snobbery even in that.

“Mad Men” has potential, but I’m a little worried about its jumping the shark with that plot about his child. I think that might not entirely work out for the best. But we’ll see.


Recorded on Jan 7, 2008


What's your main guilty ple...

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