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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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IdeaFeed Posts

Big ideas in the news from around the web

IdeaFeed

Obsessed with Sports

Missing
about 4 years ago

Empires, big business and modern communication and transportation technologies account for the rise of sports, which today has reached near-mania, writes Intelligent Life Magazine. "When communism fell, capitalism motored on. These days, imperial might lies partly in the hands of global commerce ...

IdeaFeed

Immigration: The Moral Imperative

Missing
about 4 years ago

Americans of European descent have a moral obligation to advocate for legal Mexican immigration because their ancestors once benefited from the same land, writes Conor Friedersdorf for The Atlantic. "You have a moral imperative to favor permitting lots of new immigrants to enter America legally ...

IdeaFeed

The Coming Population Decline

Missing
about 4 years ago

As women in rising countries like China, Iran and Turkey lead increasingly independent lives, they are having children later in life and in fewer numbers which could prevent the much-feared population crisis. Fred Pearce has written a book on the matter called: The Coming Population Crash, and Our ...

IdeaFeed

The Arts Funding Crisis

Missing
about 4 years ago

A double problem faces the American arts: declining government funding and a shift of priorities in the private sector away from cultural patronage. A new approach is needed. "Boards of cultural institutions still attract new money, of course, but the sort of steady, ongoing support for institutions ...

IdeaFeed

Beyond Bigfoot and Loch Ness

Missing
about 4 years ago

Loren Coleman is the father of American cryptozoology, or the exploration for animals whose existence is generally doubted. There's more to it than Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, Coleman says. "People are interested in what Brad Pitt’s doing, not what his understudy or some other minor actor is ...

IdeaFeed

Technology Makes Us Smarter

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Far from making us stupid, new media technologies are the only things that will keep us smart," says Steven Pinker in his Op-Ed for the New York Times. New media, in relation to society, is conceptually indistinct from prior media revolutions such as the printing press, newspapers, paperbacks and ...

IdeaFeed

Just Another Corporate Bully?

Missing
about 4 years ago

The L.A. Times asks if "the bare-knuckled competitiveness" that helped Apple ascend may be a liability "now that it's no longer a little tech company making beautiful but underappreciated devices." The question is how consumers will react, it writes. "They may decide that the company revered for ...

IdeaFeed

Techno-Savvy Rainforest Tribe

Missing
about 4 years ago

Instead of bows and arrows, the Surui people from the Brazilian rainforest are using the Internet, GPS and Google Earth to stop the destruction of their homeland, reports Juliane von Mittelstaedt. "The Surui will be soon be one of the first indigenous peoples that will be paid by the world to ...

IdeaFeed

Surprises in Jewish Genetic Surveys

Missing
about 4 years ago

A major surprise from two new genetic surveys is the genetic closeness of the two Jewish communities of Europe, the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim, explains Nicholas Wade. Among other people, historians have taken great interest in the surveys. The data also shows that members of any Jewish ...

IdeaFeed

Turmoil & Triumph in Rainbow Nation

Missing
about 4 years ago

“South Africans live in separate but parallel worlds, and old divides continue to exist, 16 years after the end of apartheid, while new ones are opening up...the process of increasing the positive and diminishing the negative is a slow and incremental one,” writes Ullrich Fichtner. It's still deeply ...

IdeaFeed

Money in Emerging Market Medicines

Missing
about 4 years ago

With Asia expected to overtake Europe in pharmaceutical sales in the next decade, researchers are taking more interest in the predominant diseases — particularly cancers — in emerging markets. Bethan Hughes investigates the new strategies of large-cap pharmaceutical companies, finding they go beyond ...

IdeaFeed

I.T. Not Dumbing Us Down

Missing
about 4 years ago

Worried that Twitter is shrinking attention spans, search engines lowering intelligence? Steven Pinker Far reassures us that “far from making us stupid, these (electronic) technologies are the only things that will keep us smart.” “Knowledge is increasing exponentially; human brainpower and waking ...

IdeaFeed

Techno Feature Fatigue

Missing
about 4 years ago

I.T. is waking up to the benefits of minimalism thanks to feature fatigue among consumers (who simply want things to work) and strong demand from less affluent consumers in the developing world, reports The Economist. Other welcome aspects of techno-austerity are software that keeps things simple to ...

IdeaFeed

The Tyranny of Beauty

Missing
about 4 years ago

Meghan Daum opines on beauty amid a new book on workplace discrimination against the "unattractive" and a lawsuit by a woman claiming she was fired for being too attractive. For Daum, more distracting and potentially bothersome than one with extraordinary looks is one obsessed with those looks. She ...

IdeaFeed

Indian Americans in Politics

Missing
about 4 years ago

NYU professor Tunku Varadarajan asks: How can we account for the success of Indian American political candidates in the South given the region's history of institutionalized racism? "Why has no Indian-American liberal risen as high in the Democratic ranks as Jindal and Haley have done in the GOP ...