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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Question: Who are you?

Robert Pinksy: I am deeply from Long Branch New Jersey, probably the town in which American celebrity was invented. The old idea of high society went to Sarasota springs and to New Port, Rhode Island. Long Branch was near New York City and its where the patent medicine millionaires and the show business people went at a time not as high class gradually that has taken over and its what society used to be. President Garfield and President Grant went to Long Branch Garfield died in Long Branch. Diamond Jim Breedy took Lee Russell there. It was the summer white house with six or seven different Presidents including Woodrow Wilson. It’s a very historic resort town motto could almost be the town is in what it used to be. So I grew up surrounded by a kind of elegiac feeling. There is an ocean front. When I was a kid there was a boardwalk and honky-tonk and also my family had been in the town. I was the third generation. My mom and dad both graduated from Long Branch high school. As did my aunts and uncles, my cousins, my brother and sister at the same home room teacher is my dad. So Long Branch gave me a sense of the past perhaps the sense of elegy, a sense typically for small town a sense of belonging and a sense that one really want to get the hell out.  My particular dream life takes place in a kind of large town or a small city. Everybody probably has it truly in which that takes place and for me it’s a place with streets, water near and ocean or river and its old.

Recorded On: 3/25/08


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