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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Harpy's Review Posts

cultural comment at large and at small from a provocateur, feminist, and historian

Harpy's Review

The Sexual Gift Economy

over 1 year ago

  It’s interesting but apt that the prostitute, the stripper, and the porn actor—the real professionals!—are sometimes embraced and emulated as role models in this sexual rat race of ours. You’d think that our sexual idols, those we think lead truly rocking erotic lives, would come from the ...

Harpy's Review

The Rise of the Micro-Celebrity

over 1 year ago

I’ve read the claims that young Americans in their 20s are selfish, self-absorbed, lazy, and a cultural and moral declension of their predecessors. This generational bleat is as old as the hills, or at least as old as the jeremiad by the founding generation of Puritans against its less pious and ...

Harpy's Review

The Trouble with Envy

over 1 year ago

In a charming essay on envy, A.S. Byatt observes that it “works inwardly; concealment is part of its nature.” Envy is a festering kind of sin. It’s also the Deadly Sin that dare not speak its name. In the 21st century, the other Big Seven sins are more easily managed, when not downright ...

Harpy's Review

Missing the 1970s

over 1 year ago

If you live long enough everything can happen. Cloning, Honey Boo Boo, a feature movie based on “The Brady Bunch,” Twitter… “I miss the 1970s,” a friend says at a party. As I say, if you live long enough, everything can happen. Her comment inspired choruses of “Muskrat Love” and “Sister ...

Harpy's Review


over 1 year ago

A few weeks ago my husband and I were out to dinner with some people. The table behind us was filled with eight young-ish women. They were having a bachelorette party, as we realized by using our dazzling powers of deduction—and, because the bride-to-be was wearing a sash across her chest that said ...

Harpy's Review

How Kindle Promotes Bad Book-Reading Hygiene

over 1 year ago

To buy Stephen King’s latest novel, Joyland, you’ll have to go to an actual bookstore in an actual place. He’s not e-publishing it. I got my first Kindle 18 months ago, as a gift. Since then I’ve read 82 e-books on it, depending on how expansively you define “read” and “book.” I’ll get the ...