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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

Hitchens “Anti-Theist”

Missing
about 4 years ago

“Whereas Dawkins and co. are appalled by the belief in God, (Christopher) Hitchens is far more appalled by the idea that anyone would want to obey Him,” writes columnist Ross Douthat, who is reading Hitchens’ memoir, “Hitch-22”. On “the wild disproportionality of Hitchens’ antipathy toward religion ...

IdeaFeed

Gene Therapy Success Against HIV

Missing
about 4 years ago

"A combination gene therapy that endows human stem cells with three ways to resist HIV has passed its first safety test in humans," reports a study published today in Science Translational Medicine. "Four patients with AIDS who were infused with these cells tolerated the treatment, and the cells ...

IdeaFeed

What Turns Women On

Missing
about 4 years ago

"A new study from — where else? — France suggests listening to love songs may increase women’s receptivity to amorous advances," reports Tom Jacobs for Miller-McCune. "The French researchers note that music can improve one’s mood, and being in a positive frame of mind can increase one’s receptivity ...

IdeaFeed

Wi-Fi Should Be Free

Missing
about 4 years ago

Advances in technology have created the right conditions for free Wi-Fi. Coffee shops and hotels that still charge their customers are being unnecessarily extortionate, says Farhad Manjoo for Slate.com. "Starbucks is smart to stop charging for Internet access. Fancy hotels should follow suit," he ...

IdeaFeed

Internship Inequalities

Missing
about 4 years ago

Besides the questionable legality of unpaid internships, their popularity entrenches a class system where only the affluent have access to good career opportunities, says the L.A. Times. "Unpaid internships are an ideal system for perpetuating and increasing inequality, just like the creeping ...

IdeaFeed

Climate Change Optimism

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Copenhagen's failure to deliver a single universal deal opens up space for smaller regionally based deals," says the former U.K. science advisor who is optimistic about climate change solutions. "In the end, we witnessed the victory of unambitious realpolitik over correct, but wishful, thinking ...

IdeaFeed

Can We Trust the Media?

Missing
about 4 years ago

Glenn Greenwald says today's news media do not understand what holding authority accountable means; power wins out, he says: government over the press and business over the government. "It's not that these media figures fail to perform their assigned function or consciously decide that they won't ...

IdeaFeed

Humans, Monkeys Like Television

Missing
about 4 years ago

There is more evidence of how similar humans are to our primate cousins: a new study from Japan has revealed that monkeys love watching television, especially circus acrobatics. "Scientist used a technique called near-infrared spectroscopy to examine various aspects of the blood flow to the brain of ...

IdeaFeed

World's Deadliest Laser

Missing
about 4 years ago

"'Wicked Lasers' new handheld super laser could threaten human existence and the world as we know it, according to the manufacturer," says the Christian Science Monitor. "An ultra-powerful handheld laser that looks like a lightsaber from Star Wars can cause permanent eye damage and even set skin ...

IdeaFeed

Karzai's Little Brother

Missing
about 4 years ago

A former CIA Islamabad station chief says the U.S. should strengthen its ties with the Afghan president's little brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, who leads Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province. "Given the apparent intention of the Americans to begin drawing down in Afghanistan from the summer of 2011 ...

IdeaFeed

Divorce Made Easier

Missing
about 4 years ago

New York is finally on the verge of joining the other 49 states that have adopted divorce laws that do not require couples to establish who is at fault for the split. "Supporters argue that no-fault will reduce litigation and conflict between divorcing couples. Opponents claim it will raise New York ...

IdeaFeed

Save the Whales, Not Just Because They're Cute

Missing
about 4 years ago

Researchers have found that sperm whale waste stimulates carbon removal, explains Jennifer Viegas. "These ocean giants and certain other marine mammals may therefore be among the most environmentally beneficial animals on the planet." "It is sometimes thought that conservationists try to 'save the ...

IdeaFeed

Wireless Industry Oligopoly

Missing
about 4 years ago

"If the people who brought us television had played by the same rules that today's wireless carriers impose — we'd probably all be listening to the radio," Ryan Singel claims. "Which is a nice way of saying the wireless industry — AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile — needs some ground rules that ...

IdeaFeed

BP & Democratic vs. State Capitalism

Missing
about 4 years ago

The struggle between BP and the U.S. government takes place amid a much larger conflict — over whether democratic capitalism is the best political-social-economic system, writes David Brooks. "What system works better to produce security and growth? What system should emerging and struggling ...

IdeaFeed

Belgium Breaking Up?

Missing
about 4 years ago

The Economist's Charlemagne declares Belgium to be a dying country and, for the first time, there've been no accusations he's gone too far. "I have been criticised by Flemish readers for being sentimental about the end of Belgium. I have been attacked by French-speaking readers for failing to ...