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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

Jewish Leadership in America

Missing
about 4 years ago

The New York Review of Books continues to host the dialog between Peter Beinart and Abraham Foxman over how much support Irsael is receiving from a new generation of American Jews. "There’s no evidence, contrary to Beinart, that there’s a fundamental change in Israel away from peace and away from ...

IdeaFeed

The Internet Makes You Shallow

Missing
about 4 years ago

Nicolas Carr tells The Atlantic that the Internet has changed our way of life, sometimes for the worse. Today we are a distracted and anxious society because of our voracious appetite for information, Carr says. "What sets the Internet apart from radio and television—earlier mass media—is that the ...

IdeaFeed

Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Missing
about 4 years ago

Rob Reynolds recalls the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969, how business leaders were more coarse at that time, and how reaction to the spill fed a fledgling American environmental movement. "Along with growing evidence of ecological destruction and species extinction, the spill, says Santa Barbara ...

IdeaFeed

Seeing Your Doctor Online

Missing
about 4 years ago

More doctors are giving consultations online as technology enables convenient patient-doctor exchanges on minor medical issues; the trend is saving everyone time and money. "'Not all issues require face-to-face visits,' says Dr. Kevin Pho, an internal medicine physician at Nashua Medical Group in ...

IdeaFeed

Living Off The Urban Land

Missing
about 4 years ago

The New York Times magazine profiles squatters and freegans who have taken advantage of the many housing foreclosures in Buffalo, NY and how they've earned their neighbors', and the law's, respect. "On my first visit," says Jake Halpern, "I found several groups of young people busy at work ...

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 ...