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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Slavoj ZizekYou know, happiness is for me a very conformist category.  It doesn't enter the frame.  You have a serious ideological deviation at the very beginning of a famous proclamation of independence -- you know, pursuit of happiness.  If there is a point in psychoanalysis, it is that people do not really want or desire happiness, and I think it’s good that it is like that. 

For example, let’s be serious: when you are in a creative endeavor, in that wonderful fever--“My God, I’m onto something!” and so on--, happiness doesn't enter it.  You are ready to suffer.  Sometimes scientists--I read history of quantum physics or earlier of radiation--were even ready to take into account the possibility that they will die because of some radiation and so on.  Happiness is, for me, an unethical category.

And also, we don't really want to get what we think that we want.  The classical story that I like, the traditional male chauvinist scenario: I am married to a wife, relations with her are cold, and I have a mistress, and all the time I dream, “Oh my God, if my wife were to disappear . . . ,”  I’m not a murderer, but let us say, “it would open up new life for me with the mistress.”  You know what every psychoanalyst will tell you quite often happens?  That then, for some reason, wife goes away, you lose the mistress, also. 

You thought this is all I want.  When you had it there, you found out that it was a much more complex situation, where what you want is not really to live with the mistress but to keep her at a distance as an object of desire about which you dream.  And this is not just an excessive situation.  I claim that this is how things function.  We don't really want what we think we desire.

Interviewed by Megan Erickson

Directed / Produced by 
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

 

 

 

Why Be Happy When You Could...

Newsletter: Share: