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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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Age of Engagement Posts

Communication, culture, and public affairs

Age of Engagement

INCONVENIENT TRUTH'S PROFITS LEVEL OFF: Opens in 73 More Theaters, But Weekend Gross Falls Short of Previous Two Weekend's Earnings

Missing
about 8 years ago

It appears that while audiences continue to go see Inconvenient Truth, some of the excitement has worn off. According to BoxOffice Mojo, the film opened in 73 more theaters this weekend, bringing its total to 587, still a tiny number compared to the 3000 screens that blockbusters run on. Across ...

Age of Engagement

THE FUNCTIONAL VIEW OF THE MEDIA: NYTIMES Details Efforts of Local Owners to Buy Back Newspapers from Out-of-Town Ownership Groups; Newspapers Defined as Central to Community Integration; USC Annenberg Mentioned As Potential Buyer of LA TIMES

Missing
about 8 years ago

There are two dominant ways we view the role of the news media in the U.S., with both views reflected in the traditions of classical sociology. The first perspective emphasizes the "power and persuasion" nature of the news. When we think of the media as a campaign tool, as a vehicle for elites to ...

Age of Engagement

SOCIAL MODELING CLIMATE ACTIVISM: Director Says DVD Version of Inconvenient Truth May Include Vignettes of How Citizens Can Get Involved

Missing
about 8 years ago

There are two generalizable findings on influencing behavior change. First, citizens are more likely to get involved politically if they see members of their peer group or social group getting involved. In other words, the choice to participate may be as simple as doing something that everyone ...

Age of Engagement

SO WHY DOESN'T INCONVENIENT TRUTH PROVIDE MORE POLICY PROPOSALS?: Director Says Goal Was to Persuade and Mobilize; Policy Proposals Would Constitute a Second Film

Missing
about 8 years ago

One of the critiques of Inconvenient Truth that has emerged is that Gore spends a lot of time warning viewers about global warming, but strays from actually providing concrete suggestions for policy action. Some have argued that this reflects his eye on the Presidential race in 2008, and that ...

Age of Engagement

JOURNAL WATCH: New Study Finds That As of 2003, The Most Consistent Predictor of Citizen Activism in the Stem Cell Debate Was Church Mobilization

Missing
about 8 years ago

A pre-publication release of a study I did with Kirby Goidel of LSU is now available at the website of the journal POLITICAL BEHAVIOR. Analyzing national survey data collected in 2003, the study finds that the most consistent predictor of citizen activism in the stem cell debate (measured as ...

Age of Engagement

SUPERMAN V. CLIMATE CHANGE: New Movie Presents Sea Level Rise Scenario that Parallels Melting of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Shelf

Missing
about 8 years ago

I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to see Superman Returns tonight at the Uptown Theater in Cleveland Park. Here is the scoop, without spoiling the movie: Superman foils a plot by Luthor to create a new Fortress of Solitude-like continent in the middle of the North Atlantic. As Luthor explains ...

Age of Engagement

JAMES HANSEN ENDORSES "TRUTH" IN NY REVIEW OF BOOKS: Calls the Movie "Powerful" and "Scientifically Accurate;" Dubs Gore "Prescient," Wonders If the Media Has Distorted the Image of Gore

Missing
about 8 years ago

In the recent issue of The NY Review of Books, James Hansen pens a must-read review of several recent books on climate change, and includes a review of Gore's Inconvenient Truth. Hansen on the film: The movie seems to me powerful and the book complements it, adding useful explanations. It is ...

Age of Engagement

DEM RE-ELECTION PLATFORM DEVOLVES: Original Release Focuses on SC Research, Evolution, and Science Education; Revised Version Drops the Focus

Missing
about 8 years ago

On June 15, the day I moved from Columbus to DC, I listened during my drive out here to a few hours of Rush Limbaugh. On his program he discussed a story in the Boston Globe that outlined the major points of the election platform for Congressional democrats, dubbed a "New Direction for America." I ...

Age of Engagement

IAN WILMUT ON SCIENCE FRIDAY: Says He Prefers International Regulation; Believes Research in the Short-Term Has Been Oversold; Argues that Fetal Research Before "Consciousness Begins" is Moral

Missing
about 8 years ago

Ian Wilmut appeared on NPR's Science Friday this past week to promote his new book and to discuss developments in human cloning. Below are a few highlights from the transcript. Go here for the full archived audio. On International Regulation and the Possibility of Reproductive Human Cloning ...

Age of Engagement

FRAMING 1, THE PUBLIC O: A "Death Tax" or "the Paris Hilton Tax Cut"? The End of the Estate Tax Shows the Power of Framing to Shape Policy Decisions

Missing
about 8 years ago

Buried in today's NYTimes Business section is a report on the vote yesterday by the U.S. House to permanently eliminate the estate tax for about 99.7 percent of all families and reduce tax rates for the few who still faced a bill. Regardless of your partisan affiliation, if you have an appreciation ...