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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

What Are Fathers For?

Missing
about 4 years ago

"The bad news for Dad is that despite common perception, there’s nothing objectively essential about his contribution," says Pamela Paul at the Atlantic. "The good news is, we’ve gotten used to him." Referring to a recent study in the Journal of Marriage and Family, Paul says that "Our ideas of what ...

IdeaFeed

The Decline of Black Families

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Today, black nonmarital births have soared to more than 72 percent among non-Hispanic blacks, compared with about 28 percent for whites," laments Clarence Page at the Chicago Tribune. Page references a report released during the Lyndon Johnson administration that expressed concern for black ...

IdeaFeed

Technological Austerity

Missing
about 4 years ago

"There are signs that technologists are waking up to the benefits of minimalism," says The Economist amidst a technology culture that values as many new features as possible. This could be due to two principle causes: "feature fatigue among consumers who simply want things to work, and strong demand ...

IdeaFeed

How the World Will End

Missing
about 4 years ago

Astronomer Chris Impey surveys the possible causes of earth's extinction. Whether it come from an asteroid or the sun's implosion, the rock we live on is by no means an eternal home. "What kind of catastrophe would it take to end the world? Astronomical intruders provide a potentially serious threat ...

IdeaFeed

Eating Quality Food

Missing
about 4 years ago

Should a new term be introduced to define a class of foods of higher quality than "organic"? Some growers say "authentic food" would eliminate undue corporate influence over food production. "Idealistic market gardeners came first, but of course large corporations have dominated the U.S. supply of ...

IdeaFeed

Controlling Your Emotions

Missing
about 4 years ago

In between the extremes of being a slave to your whims and trying to master every emotion, there must be a middle road. Psychology Today talks of a "probabilistic approach" to expressing emotion. "Total Control Theory could also be called the jukebox theory of emotion. You get to pick the tune. And ...

IdeaFeed

Should You Buy a House?

Missing
about 4 years ago

Buying a home could prove an economic disadvantage now that mobility is necessary to find new opportunities, but moving is an emotionally trying event, says Caitlin Kelly at True/Slant. "We often choose where we’ll live from a complex matrix of factors: climate, geography, job or educational or ...

IdeaFeed

Scientology's Control

Missing
about 4 years ago

Scientology's religious order, Sea Organization, has been accused by its female members of forcing them to have abortions, the reason being that children make the women unproductive. "More than a dozen women said the culture in the Sea Org pushed them or women they knew to have abortions, in many ...

IdeaFeed

It's Good to Be Wrong

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Our tendency to err is also what makes us smart," says the Boston Globe. Ridding ourselves of the shame associated with being wrong is the first step to becoming more intelligent. "As ashamed as we may feel of our mistakes, they are not a byproduct of all that’s worst about being human. On the ...

IdeaFeed

Superstitions Improve Performance

Missing
about 4 years ago

German scientists recently ran four experiments showing that superstitious people performed better at their assigned tasks because they believed luck was on their side. The method and results of the experiments were recently published in the journal Psychological Science and demonstrated that those ...

IdeaFeed

Insomnia Inspires Paranoia

Missing
about 4 years ago

People who are consistently deprived of sleep are more likely to think that others are intentionally trying to deprive them of happiness than their well rested counterparts. "People suffering from insomnia are more likely to fear that others are trying to harm them, a psychologist has told the ...

IdeaFeed

Free Love Is a Compromise

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Having perpetual freedom in our romantic choices can be a mixed blessing," says philosophy professor Aaron Ben-Zeév. "Boundaries are essential for human behavior...Sometimes the existence of too many options makes the task of choosing less attractive; consequently, there are some people who ...

IdeaFeed

When Are You an Adult?

Missing
about 4 years ago

As the age at which people finish their education, marry and have children is increasing, a new class of individual between adolescent and adult is emerging, reports the New York Times. "National surveys reveal that an overwhelming majority of Americans, including younger adults, agree that between ...

IdeaFeed

Fixing the World Cup

Missing
about 4 years ago

Just as European soccer teams have physiotherapists for the World Cup, African teams have witchdoctors who invoke supernatural assistance to put their players ahead of the competition. "They bend the lines, bewitch the ball, befuddle the referees (and) paralyze goal keepers," Bartholomäus Grill, the ...

IdeaFeed

Eliminate the Department of Education

Missing
about 4 years ago

"The Department of Education is a great, burbling vat of waste," says the National Review, and since it spends tens of billions of dollars annually with no measurable benefit, it should be eliminated. "The Education Department has done more than waste money. Busy bureaucrats have created reams of ...