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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Mind Matters Posts

Human behavior in a post-rational world

Mind Matters

Department of Non-Human Minds: Soft Power

almost 5 years ago

If you want to speculate about an alternate-universe world without intelligent primates (and who doesn't?), then your thoughts must turn to the octopus. Because the octopus has a large and structured brain (the ratio of brain matter to body size in octopuses is similar to that of mammals and birds ...

Mind Matters

Sad Sundays and Overconfident Surveys

almost 5 years ago

A key assumption in many social sciences is that people have preferences, and that these are both knowable and stable. That's the point of surveys on every subject from whipped topping to the nature of happiness. We want to know what people want, or how they feel, or what they plan--so we ask ...

Mind Matters

The Weirdest People in the World?

almost 5 years ago

Psychologists often joke that their insights into human nature come from experiments with American university students, on duty for required credit or beer money. "So we see that human beings--or at least, Michigan sophomores...'' Ha-ha, chuckle-chuckle. Then, on with the PowerPoint. It's a ...

Mind Matters

Hey, Four-Eyes: Go Outside!

almost 5 years ago

Nearsightedness has become ever more common in rich nations, most dramatically in Asia--80 percent of young adults in Taiwan and Singapore are myopic, where a couple of generations ago only 25 percent were. For a long time it was assumed this was related to reading, from both paper sources and ...

Mind Matters

Why We Don't Do It in the Road

almost 5 years ago

I've always been fascinated by the Pedestrian Do-Si-Do, that dance where you dodge to your left on the sidewalk to avoid colliding with a person walking toward you, and she dodges to her right, so there you both are, on a new collision course. So you both smile, a little embarrassed, and she heads ...

Mind Matters

"As a Man Is, So He Sees"

almost 5 years ago

"I see Every thing I paint In This World, but Every body does not see alike," wrote William Blake. "The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the Eyes of others only a Green thing that stands in the way." That's a fact of life, Blake believed. "As a man is, So he Sees. As the Eye is formed ...