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

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Mind Matters Posts

Human behavior in a post-rational world

Mind Matters

Of Privilege and Polanski

Roman_pola%c5%84ski
almost 5 years ago

The human mind is full of contradictory impulses. For instance, I doubt that many of us want the President to do his own laundry. He's not like us; he has a special talent that we want him to exercise, so give him a pass on the socks. At the same time, we're innately egalitarian, at least ...

Mind Matters

Merchants of False Hope

Dnaright_size
almost 5 years ago

Francis Collins and J. Craig Venter are the scientists whose names will always be associated with mapping of the human genome -- after racing to complete the job, the two announced in 2000 that it was done, three years early. So it's impressive that this year they both announced another shared ...

Mind Matters

Where Thrill-Seekers Are Made, Not Born

340x_custom_1222970895242_banksyrat7
almost 5 years ago

What causes people to act as they do -- the way they're made, or the way they make, as they go through life? Often in the mind sciences, stable traits (what you are) or changing situations (what you are doing) are set against each other as explanations for our habits and follies. Practically ...

Mind Matters

Guns, Crime and Doctors

800px-guiteau_s_pistol
almost 5 years ago

It's safer to travel by airplane than by car, but people feel more secure on the road. The likely reason is that we feel less threatened when we have some control: Unlike passive passengers in jets, drivers can enjoy the illusion that their risk depends completely on their own actions. Some ...

Mind Matters

Why Winners Are Geniuses and Losers Are Dolts

Lion-zoo
almost 5 years ago

Being a social animal saves you a lot of trouble. You don't need to grow huge claws or massive armored plates to protect yourself; your weapons and your shield are in your relationships to other members of your pack. In many bird species, a flock will ``mob'' a predator. And in Alaska I've seen ...

Mind Matters

Department of It Ain't Necessarily So

759px-paul_cezanne_leda_au_cygne
almost 5 years ago

A number of evolutionary psychologists have claimed men and women have innate, inescapable differences in their approach to sex. It's supposed to be a logical consequence of the two genders' different reproductive strategies. The theory is, as the old rhyme goes, Higgamous, Hoggamous, woman's ...

Mind Matters

Attack of the Racist Babies, Part 2

120px-black_triggerfish
almost 5 years ago

My last post was focussed on how white parents talk about race. The reason, of course, is that African-Americans and other minorities in the U.S. aren't in the same boat when it comes to these questions. Claiming that they are -- that we should talk about racism as if it's the same problem for ...

Mind Matters

High Tech, Meet Low Tech

Netgear-dg834g-router
almost 5 years ago

I've been happy with my wifi router for the most part, but its signal isn't that strong at the furthest part of the apartment from where it sits. I've sometimes thought about buying boosters or antennae or some other gadget to try to improve the situation. Turns out there was a cheaper solution ...

Mind Matters

Losses

Paintbrush
almost 5 years ago

I had a neighbor years ago, a nice woman in a happy second marriage with two adult kids and two elderly parents. Devoted to Martha Stewart's algorithms for a gracious life. The last time I spoke to her she was painting her front door yet again because she wasn't satisfied with the color from two ...