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.

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60 Second Reads Posts

Big ideas in one minute

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60 Second Reads

Being Angry Makes Me Angry

over 1 year ago

Some people enjoy being angry and some people really hate it and that is a known difference. It is a know dimension of individual differences.  For some people anger is a positive emotion. For others it’s negative.  I happen to be an extreme case with for me anger goes into depression very quickly ...

60 Second Reads

Separate the Argument from the Source.

over 1 year ago

You might find, as most of us do, that when you're arguing with someone you start to feel frustrated with them or combative with them or irritated by them and that can make it especially hard to rationally consider what they're saying.   So one trick that I've found particularly useful is to ...

60 Second Reads

What is a Virtual Particle?

over 1 year ago

When you combine quantum mechanics and relativity, it tells us that for every particle that exists in nature, it turns out there is a possibility, in fact, a likelihood, that out of empty space, particle/anti-particle pairs will be created spontaneously and they’ll exist for a little while and then ...

60 Second Reads

Philosophy is Not Dying

over 1 year ago

I know some scientists, like Stephen Hawking, are trying to generate this impression that philosophy is dying.  They even use a very interesting term, experimental metaphysics.  They claim that today with the latest thing that quantum physics can do, we can put to an empirical test questions which ...

60 Second Reads

Why Aren't We All Happy Polygamists?

over 1 year ago

Modern culture is intrinsically polygamist.  The culture of sexual choice is precisely nothing but polygamy, polygamy without marriage, if you will.  We live in a culture of multiple sexual and romantic and marital partners. According to the biologist's view, if we are indeed inherently ...

60 Second Reads

Why Thinking about Eating is Taboo

over 1 year ago

The reason that eating and everything that involves is taboo is that it’s something we have in common with animals.  I think that human beings don’t like to be reminded that they, too, are just organisms – big sacks of guts that are chewing and swallowing and processing and excreting.   I think ...

60 Second Reads

Environmentalism is not a Luxury

over 1 year ago

It’s funny that people think about how celebrities deal with environment as a luxury.  Actually, the environment is the most simple thing that anybody could think of.  This is where we live. This is what we breathe.  But we have to push people around us to do the right thing.   So I don’t think ...

60 Second Reads

Why We Evolved as Meme Machines

over 1 year ago

People are wired for lots of things.  We’re wired for novelty.  We’re wired for humor. We’re wired for new pieces of information that surprise us in some way or add value to our lives. We’re wired for fear.  Sometimes something scares us or seems like a threat.  We want to spread it on so other ...

60 Second Reads

In Defense of Testing

over 1 year ago

People go into education because they love students.  They want to teach students, they want to help the world.  And people who are in education want to reward each other and they want to feel good about themselves and about each other.  So there’s a natural human aversion to the painful message ...