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

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Managing Risk: How to Make Better Decisions

July 21, 2014, 12:00 AM
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Before the autumn of 2008, what did Thanksgiving turkeys and rating agencies have in common? They assumed that stability was increasing, and then they were blindsided by Doomsday. Thanksgiving turkeys were used to being fed every day, and suddenly they were taken to the chopping block. Much like Wall Street. Rating agencies and top managers of major banks never saw the crash coming. Dodge the chopping block. Learn to tell the difference between stability and false stability.

In the latest installment of Big Think Edge, psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer explains how to analyze risk. The author of Risk Savvy: How to Make Good Decisions, Gigerenzer teaches this exclusive workshop, where he stresses understanding the critical difference between calculable risk and uncertainty.

“The problem here is that mathematical models that are made for a world of known risk, like probability theory, are applied to a world of uncertainty,” explains Gigerenzer. “And here one doesn’t know whether they work or not. But nevertheless the dream to calculate everything in advance is very strong.”

Learn the guiding principles for analyzing risk to make better decisions in a world of uncertainty. Sign up for a 14-day trial to Big Think Edge and receive free access to online study guides and video lectures from leading experts.

For more on Gigerenzer’s insights on managing risk, watch this clip from Big Think Edge:

 

Managing Risk: How to Make ...

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