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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Book Think Posts

Books, covered and uncovered

Book Think

The Joys of Sex, Springtime, and the Song of Songs

over 2 years ago

It’s a wonderful oddity—I hesitate to say “coincidence”—that the best erotic poem in literary history should appear smack dab in the middle of the Bible. The Song of Songs (known also as the Song of Solomon or Canticle of Canticles) is an ancient Hebrew text of uncertain date; some scholars trace ...

Book Think

The Man Who Died for Poetry

over 2 years ago

A Q&A With Christian Wiman, Translator of Stolen Air When Osip Mandelstam died at age 47 in a Siberian work camp under the Stalin regime, he became one of twentieth-century poetry's most famous martyrs. Vastly talented and fearlessly subversive, he is perhaps best remembered for his scathing ...

Book Think

Why We Still Badly Need James Baldwin

over 2 years ago

“It is a sentimental error, therefore, to believe that the past is dead; it means nothing to say that it is all forgotten, that the Negro himself has forgotten it. It is not a question of memory. Oedipus did not remember the thongs that bound his feet; nevertheless the marks they left testified to ...

Book Think

Is Holden Caulfield Obnoxious?

over 2 years ago

You already know where you stand on Holden Caulfield. Either you found him a kindred spirit in your youth and continue to sympathize with him—less blindly, more wistfully—as you age; or else you found him a whiner then and you find him a whiner now. According to the New York Times, the second ...

Book Think

Science Fiction and the Technology of Irony

almost 3 years ago

Working at Big Think was a constant kick in the pants of my imagination. As a writer, I couldn’t have asked for a job that provided more and stranger ideas to play with. This was true across all the fields the site covers, but particularly so in the sciences. I’ll never forget listening to ...

Book Think

A Poem For the Day After Valentine's Day

almost 3 years ago

It’s February 15th, and while some readers may have woken up this morning in a haze of romantic bliss, others will have spent the day asking their pets where it all went wrong.  This poem is for the second group. It first appeared in an earlier version in the December 2011 issue of The New Guard ...

Book Think

Deadpan Sexy: Anne Carson's "Eros the Bittersweet"

almost 3 years ago

Anne Carson writes books that refuse to be just one thing. Autobiography of Red is a verse novel framed as a work of classical scholarship; fittingly, its hero is a hybrid, part ancient monster and part modern man. The Beauty of the Husband, subtitled “A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos,” is actually a ...