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

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Big Think TV Posts

Videos from Big Think experts

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Big Think TV

Scaling Down the US Military

Horgan
about 1 month ago

    John Horgan: The United States is an extremely militaristic culture right now and we are armed to the teeth and we are very aggressive in pursuing our interests violently around the world.  Until recently we were in two major armed conflicts.  We just withdrew our troops from Iraq ...

Big Think TV

War Technology Shifts

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about 1 month ago

Peter Singer:  There’s been an enormous amount of changing forces on warfare in the twenty-first century.  And they range from new actors in war like private contractors, the black waters of the world to the growth of warlord and child soldier groups to technologic shifts.  The introduction of ...

Big Think TV

Don't Have Scissors? Use a Piranha

Bt_piranha_final
about 1 month ago

This holiday season, when it comes to wrapping gifts, make sure you have your piranha scissors handy. Of course, they require feeding and a clean tank. This incredible demonstration of a live piranha being used like a pair of high-powered scissors will make you glad that you're watching it from ...

Big Think TV

Autism and Genetics

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about 1 month ago

Michael Schatz: So in autism, I collaborate with some folks at Cold Spring Harbor Lab where we’re participating in a project that’s been sponsored by the Simons Foundation.  And the idea there is over the last several decades different hospitals around the U.S. have been identifying families where ...

Big Think TV

How High Can We Build?

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about 1 month ago

The Eiffel Tower once shocked the world for being the tallest building in the world. Of course, it was surpassed by other structures. But how high can we build? Our friends at VSauce explore this question and give a history of the "tallest structure built by man" competition:        Image ...

Big Think TV

The Science of Pain

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about 1 month ago

Why is it that athletes have a higher tolerance for pain than the average person? Does their training better prepare them to handle pain or are they born that way?  AsapSCIENCE takes us through the science of pain and why athletes seem to be programmed to believe "No pain, no gain ...

Big Think TV

The Origin of Intelligence

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about 1 month ago

Michio Kaku:  In the entire universe the two greatest scientific mysteries are first of all the origin of the universe itself.  And second of all the origin of intelligence.  Believe it or not, sitting on our shoulders is the most complex object that Mother Nature has created in the known universe ...

Big Think TV

Living a Creative Life

Bt_creativity_final
about 1 month ago

Moments of creativity feel like a rush. That spark of insight can make the months or years of drudgery seem worth it.   But what if you're not being as creative as you would like to be? And your breakthroughs seem few and far between? In this classic video on creativity, Ira Glass promises that ...

Big Think TV

DIY Science Stunts

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about 1 month ago

Need weekend projects that are fun and educational? Here are ten science stunts demonstrated by our friends at Quirkology. They include classic parlor tricks like creating a floating finger to turning a teabag into a rocket.  Unless you know your way around a Bunsen Burner, don't try these ...

Big Think TV

Invention Ideas Throughout the Ages

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about 1 month ago

How different would the world be today if flexible glass was not banned by Caesar? The idea for flexible glass was mentioned in many sources dating back to the 1st century of ancient Rome.  See what other "dangerous" inventions throughout the ages are reported in this fascinating video from ...