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

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Big Think Edge

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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.

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How 'Symbolic Immortality' Will Help You Sleep Better Tonight

April 4, 2013, 10:10 PM
Resurrect

Humans have this almost paralyzing fear of death. One thing that keeps it from being paralyzing is this belief in what’s called symbolic immortality. It's this sense that our symbolic selves, our identities, our ideas, can continue on after our deaths as part of our legacy through the meaning that we create in the world and the deeds that we do before we die.

To the degree that this belief in symbolic immortality reduces fear of death by seeming sort of like actual immortality -- as if you will actually live on through your acts -- that’s actually an example of magical thinking.  But it can be positive if it reduces existential angst or if it encourages you to try to accomplish great things while you’re alive in an effort to fortify your legacy.

 

How 'Symbolic Immortality' ...

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