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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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Global Currency

The idea of a currency that is transacted internationally, with no set borders

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New World Order

When ATMs (Chemically) Attack

4 months ago

What's the Latest Development? Researchers at ETH Zurich University have developed a defense system for ATMs that, unlike similar systems, doesn't require electricity in order to work. Two plastic films containing hydrogen peroxide and manganese dioxide are coated with a layer of clear lacquer ...

New World Order

Welcome To MIT. Here, Have Some Bitcoins.

4 months ago

What's the Latest Development? MIT second-year undergraduate Jeremy Rubin and MBA student Daniel Elitzer have announced a new project: When undergraduates return to campus this fall, they will each receive US$100 in bitcoins to do with as they wish. The heads-up is designed to help get students ...

New World Order

Does Obama Really Want to Strike Assad?

12 months ago

“I’m not itching for military action.”     — Barack Obama (Friday, September 6) I feel for Obama. The 43rd president has had his share of crises to handle in the first four and and half years in office, but the decision on what to do with regard to Syria is probably his diciest. There are ...

New World Order

In Germany, Bitcoin Is Now Legal Tender

about 1 year ago

What's the Latest Development? On Monday, Germany's finance ministry brought Bitcoin one step closer to legitimacy by declaring it a "unit of account," thus allowing it to be used as legal currency for tax and trading purposes. Supporter and parliament member Frank Schaeffler says that ...

New World Order

The Evolution Of The ATM

about 1 year ago

What's the Latest Development? At a recent event in London, ATM manufacturers presented prototypes of machines that bring the user experience closer in line with modern technology. Diebold's demonstration model uses a standard tablet interface and only needs a broadband connection to work, which ...

New World Order

Does Your Local Mechanic Take Bitcoin?

about 1 year ago

What's the Latest Development? A tiny but growing number of small businesses are offering customers the option to pay for their purchases using Bitcoin. One owner, specialty grocer Adam Sah, says that two months after he began accepting the digital currency in late April, at least one customer ...