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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

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 ...

IdeaFeed

Charm Is More Virtuous Than Intelligence

Missing
about 4 years ago

Garrison Keillor on the myth of merit: "I was brought up imagining that cream rises to the top, merit wins out, the race is to the swift and riches to men of understanding, but it ain't necessarily so." "This is how the world works. The lonely striver with bad hair and serious overbite who is ...

IdeaFeed

How To Advertise Cigarettes

Missing
about 4 years ago

Buyer beware: cigarette companies, no longer allowed to use words like "light" or "mild" to advertise, are turning to the psychology of colors to "reframe" the hazards of smoking. "One needn't watch 'Mad Men' to know all that goes into hiding or avoiding or, as today's ad executives might call it ...

IdeaFeed

Manute Bol: Greatest Sportsman Ever?

Missing
about 4 years ago

Manute Bol's dream of building schools in his war-torn home of Sudan lives on through his charity, Sudan Sunrise. His untimely death brings to life the magnanimity of an NBA curiosity. "Bol envisioned co-ed, multifaith schools in which Christians in southern Sudan studied alongside Muslims from ...

IdeaFeed

Reassurance Freaks Out Kids

Missing
about 4 years ago

Distraction is a much better tactic for calming children than conventional reassurance, which often heightens fear, researchers have found. Larry O'Hanlon explains that reassuring kids before a painful medical procedure makes them more fearful. And, it's not so much what you say, but the way that ...

IdeaFeed

Anxious Yet Truly Alive

Missing
about 4 years ago

To be alive spiritually is to feel the ultimate anxiety of existence within the trivial anxieties of everyday life, believes Christian Wiman. Unsettled by a dinner conversation, he examines how to live with this angst amid the “collective ADHD” of contemporary life. “Our anxiety is less the mind ...

IdeaFeed

A Kremlin-Controlled Silicon Valley...

Missing
about 4 years ago

Facing economic woes, the Kremlin has decided that Russia needs the equivalent of a Silicon Valley. Can it succeed unaccompanied by a spirit of free inquiry, Leon Aron asks. "Only a man or woman free from fear and overseers can build a Silicon Valley. And such men and women are harder and harder to ...

IdeaFeed

File-Sharing Favors Artistic Output?

Missing
about 4 years ago

Profits have plummeted since tools like Napster appeared and peer-to-peer file sharing has weakened copyright, but has it also benefited all of us, as two academics argue? Nate Anderson considers the evidence. The rates of publication of new books, release of new music albums and worldwide feature ...