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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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IdeaFeed Posts

Big ideas in the news from around the web

IdeaFeed

When the Comanches Ruled the West

Missing
about 4 years ago

“When I started to read...about them, I realized they were this...enormous force of nature...who determined how the West opened." Author S.C. Gwynne's on what inspired his new book. In an NPR interview about Empire of the Summer Moon, Gwynne says it's undeniable that the Comanches were incredibly ...

IdeaFeed

Paper Urges Plastic Bag Ban

Missing
about 4 years ago

The L. A. Times says plastic bags are a nuisance to the land, sea and animals and calls for the Californian Senate to stand up now to the bag industry and ban them. A bill before the senate, while still hotly contested by the plastic bag manufacturing industry, should be passed, the paper advocates ...

IdeaFeed

Is Anti-Burqa Pro-Freedom?

Missing
about 4 years ago

With Spain also moving to ban the burqa, Spiegel considers if the rush to uncover Europe's most pious Muslims can be explained solely by a new-found desire to protect the rights of women. “As the debate has moved mainstream, it has become easier to ignore the fact that much of the momentum for bans ...

IdeaFeed

U.S. Not Translating, Reading Foreign Books

Missing
about 4 years ago

The New York Review of Books considers claims that Americans do not read enough foreign fiction and examines the cost of this alleged, “culturally catastrophic American isolationism.” Tim Parks says it's not so surprising that we are moving toward a literary internationalism whose driving force ...

IdeaFeed

Life After Debt

Missing
about 4 years ago

Sarah Jessica Parker and her Manolo Blahniks are out and Grandma Walton and her sensible apron are in in The Economist's depiction of the world in the aftermath of the age of easy credit. The magazine warns that weaning rich countries off their debt addiction will cause withdrawal symptoms ...

IdeaFeed

Bragging Online Is OK

Missing
about 4 years ago

“Social networking sites have inverted the rules of privacy and etiquette, and no cultural norm is tossed aside more often on the Web than plain old modesty,” writes Evan Ratliff in Wired. Shameless self-promotion is common in cyber space but, “imagine using a lull in dinner party conversation to ...

IdeaFeed

Nature Backs WHO on Swine Flu

Missing
about 4 years ago

Science journal Nature has defended the World Health Organization's handling of the H1N1 influenza pandemic, amid a European council's claims of unjustified fears and wasted spending. In its latest editorial, Nature says critics tend to forget that, “in spring 2009 the WHO and national officials ...

IdeaFeed

First (Migrant) Aussie Female PM

Missing
about 4 years ago

“The greatness of Australia was on display...when a migrant woman became the nation's 27th prime minister”, The Australian newspaper writes of new leader Julia Gillard. “It demonstrates in Australia everybody has the right, and more often than not the opportunity, to make the most of their abilities ...

IdeaFeed

Teach Media Literacy

Missing
about 4 years ago

High school media literacy courses could build on civics lessons to nurture critical thinking and help bridge the digital divide, says The Atlantic; it's increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction. "One must learn to weed out incendiary polemics and agitprop from the whirling online ...

IdeaFeed

Google Wins Copyright Case

Missing
about 4 years ago

A federal judge has dismissed Viacom's suit against Google's You Tube for copyright violations. What does the verdict mean for the future of internet file sharing? Wired takes a look. "The ruling, if it survives, is a boon for internet freedom, especially as it applies to search engines, video ...

IdeaFeed

When the Blind Can See

Missing
about 4 years ago

Neuroscientists believe they have located the part of the brain that allows some blind people to process visual information to sense the presence of objects without seeing them. "Some blind people have the remarkable ability to navigate physical obstacles without consciously perceiving them. It now ...

IdeaFeed

The Poetry of Abraham Lincoln

Missing
about 4 years ago

Robert Pinsky says that only Marcus Aurelius can compete with Abraham Lincoln for the distinction of world class writer and politician. Pinsky looks at Lincoln's poem, "My Childhood-Home I See Again." "Like many prose masters, Lincoln was a reader and writer of poetry," says Pinksy. "The more ...

IdeaFeed

"At Least McCrystal Was Honest"

Missing
about 4 years ago

Former Islamabad CIA station chief Rob Grenier calls the row over General McCrystal's remarks a "foolish spectacle" and sees in it evidence of the impossible situation in Afghanistan. "The fact of the matter is that, given the disconnect between the military leadership in Afghanistan and its ...

IdeaFeed

What God Sounds Like

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Who would have thought that the sound of God would be so whiny?" quips The Independent. Physicists at the LHC say "the God particle" sounds like "a bunch of coins spinning in a wine glass." "The Holy Grail of the £6bn collider is to eventually produce a Higgs boson, the elusive, hypothetical ...

IdeaFeed

Low Emission Airplanes

Missing
about 4 years ago

From solar and hydrogen powered concept planes to better designed, more fuel-efficient standard aircrafts, the airline industry is slowly turning greener, says The Christian Science Monitor. "Airplanemaker Boeing is developing a carbon-neutral jet fuel made from algae...On the far end of the ...