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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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Do Cellphones Brings Us Together or Pull Us Apart?

August 6, 2007, 4:00 AM
Are you an information technology optimist or skeptic? Chances are, if you are a regular blog reader or poster, you fall in the former category. Yet ever feel like all that time you spend online might be displacing time spent in more meaningful face-to-face interactions? Are the social relationships forged via Web 2.0 and various mobile phone innovations really as quality as real world conversations? At American University, it's a question I ask my sophomore-level class on Communication & Society to research and debate every semester. (This past semester's debate is available here.)

On Saturday, the NY Times spotlighted similar questions in a front page Business section feature on cell phone use and networks. The article argues that the free minutes that mobile carriers allow for calls within their network is dividing the people who share informal bonds and bringing together those who have formal networks of cellphone "friends."
 

Do Cellphones Brings Us Tog...

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