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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

Who Can Compete Against China?

Missing
about 4 years ago

Central America's employment of low-skilled workers could not withstand a fully developed Chinese labor market where agricultural mechanization would spur mass migration to cities, reports The Guardian. "China plans to move 800 million farmers to existing and newly created cities. If they mechanise ...

IdeaFeed

Does Evil Exist?

Missing
about 4 years ago

Is evil still a relevant concept in our increasingly secular times or is it too mystical to be discussed rationally? What are the different forms of evil and how do we combat them? The Financial Times reviews three books on the subject of evil, perhaps evidence that the term is still worth ...

IdeaFeed

When You Die Online

Missing
about 4 years ago

We all live with the newness of technology and the oldness of our social customs, so what happens when death unites the two? What happens to your online self when you die? "When we live intensely on the Web, must we not then be prepared to mourn there, just as intensely? Two thousand Facebook users ...

IdeaFeed

Affirmative Action's Anniversary

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Equal opportunity is essential but not enough," said LBJ forty five years ago to inaugurate an era of affirmative action. His words ring true today when the income gap is widening. "'Negro poverty is not white poverty.' The two might look alike, but for years African Americans had laboured, Johnson ...

IdeaFeed

Can You Spell Well Enough?

Missing
about 4 years ago

The English language is infamous for its difficult spelling, and while no immediate changes appear on the horizon, reformists of the language continue their quest to change English spelling. "The Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw is said to have joked that the word 'fish' could legitimately be ...

IdeaFeed

American Foreign Relations

Missing
about 4 years ago

According to Al Jazeera, while the Obama administration is losing ground to the Israelis and the Chinese, it has reasserted its dominance over Japan, ousting a potentially valuable leader. "Unwilling to yield international real estate under the control of the Pentagon, Barack Obama, the US president ...

IdeaFeed

Businesses Fight HIV

Missing
about 4 years ago

The federal government is enlisting private companies like Pfizer to promote HIV/AIDS prevention programs in high-risk areas following a lull of such programs during Bush's 'abstinence-only' years. "'Anyone who, in this day and age, thinks that HIV will be solved by government alone is clearly not ...

IdeaFeed

Jewish Ancestry

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Jewish populations around the world share more than traditions and laws—they also have a common genetic background," says the New Scientist about a study performed at NYU. "In a study of over 200 Jews from cities in three different countries, researchers found that all of them descended from a ...

IdeaFeed

The Beats in Pictures

Missing
about 4 years ago

New photographs in which Allen Ginsberg captured his fellow Beats—Kerouac, Corso, and himself—have been unearthed by scholars, enriching the American Beat catalog. "Oddly, Ginsberg’s photographs sat for decades in closets and drawers, then in the tombs of a Columbia University archive. But when ...

IdeaFeed

Defining Enemy Combatant

Missing
about 4 years ago

The unconventional nature of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has left a legal vacuum in the area of prisoner detentions, one that needs filling, says Samuel Issacharoff, professor of constitutional law at NYU. "In Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. confronts unlawful combatants who do not identify ...

IdeaFeed

Postmodernism is Dead

Missing
about 4 years ago

Ben Lewis at Prospect Magazine says postmodernism will be remembered as the graveyard of the admirable modernist project for its formulas, narcissism, sentiment and cynicism. "There have been inspired and important artists at work during the last ten years, just as there were in the late 19th ...

IdeaFeed

Choose Logic Over Intuition

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Intuition can help us make good decisions without expending the time and effort needed to calculate the optimal decision, but shortcuts sometimes lead to dead ends," says The Chronicle of Higher Education. "Intuition does have its uses, but it should not be exalted above analysis. Intuition can't ...

IdeaFeed

Baseball Needs IT Backstop

Missing
about 4 years ago

In its editorial, the L.A. Times comes out swinging against a "halfhearted embrace of technology" in baseball. It says Detroit Tiger pitcher Armando Galarraga was a victim "of a game — in this case, our national pastime — that relies on humans most of the time and technology some of the time." It ...

IdeaFeed

Saatchi on Saatchi

Missing
about 4 years ago

One of the world's foremost art collectors, Charles Saatchi famously refuses to be interviewed, but here he answers some questions put to him via email by The Daily Beast. "Do you believe in the 10 Commandments?" asks The Daily Beast. Saatchi responds: "An overrated lifestyle guide, unsustainable ...

IdeaFeed

Movie Misogyny

Missing
about 4 years ago

Why is there so much movie violence against women? “It has long been a staple of mainstream film-making but is becoming ever more forensically detailed”, observes a troubled Natasha Walter. Writing in the wake of Michael Winterbottom's new film, The Killer Inside Me, she says, “Many viewers are ...