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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

App Fancy

Missing
about 4 years ago

Some journalists believe that Apple's forthcoming iPad tablet computer could save their industry by providing a context for paid content. Derek Thompson admits that the device could prove revolutionary for popular computing and entertainment, but he thinks that publishers are being overly-optimistic ...

IdeaFeed

Organics and Ethics

Missing
about 4 years ago

University of Toronto researchers Nina Mazar and Chen-Bo Zhong have found that exposure to organic and environmentally friendly products leads people to act more altruistically. The study also showed, however, that "people act less altruistically and are more likely to cheat and steal after ...

IdeaFeed

Darwin a Historian?

Missing
about 4 years ago

"If ever there was a scientific theory that is fundamentally historical, that purports to explain change over time, it is evolution through natural selection and its corollary, humankind’s dual inheritance." writes Donald Worster. "Yet I have to admit that my fellow historians, teaching in history ...

IdeaFeed

Healthy Cafeterias

Missing
about 4 years ago

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver may not be starting a "food revolution" with his push to make school lunches healthier, but Marion Nestle gives him credit for trying to get "real food" back into cafeterias. The challenges to his include "USDA rules that make cooking too expensive for school budgets ...

IdeaFeed

Lone Star Survivor

Missing
about 4 years ago

Why did Texas, remarkably, escape the worst of the burst of the real estate bubble? The state has had a comparatively low mortgage default rate through the recession, and Alyssa Katz writes that the broader secret to the state's success may be that it limits "cash-out" refinancing and home-equity ...

IdeaFeed

Nouveau Gastronomy

Missing
about 4 years ago

There's a new anti-snobbery food movement in France that evidently wants to take over America as well. Journalist Alexandre Cammas, one of the two founders of Le Fooding says that French cuisine was "caught in a museum culture: the dictatorship of a fossilized idea of gastronomy" with dishes like ...

IdeaFeed

Worlds Collide

Missing
about 4 years ago

It cost $10 billion and took 16 years, but the Large Hadron Collider finally went into operation yesterday in Switzerland -- and the world didn't end after all. Scientists are hoping to figure out the nature of so-called "dark matter" as well as the Higgs boson -- a hypothetical elementary particle ...

IdeaFeed

Writings on the Wall

Missing
about 4 years ago

New research has found that the ancestors of modern Scottish people left rock engravings that contain a written language from the Iron Age. The stone carvings were thought to be rock art or related to heraldry, but the study found that the pictures represented the lost language of a group of Celtic ...

IdeaFeed

Bat Navigation

Missing
about 4 years ago

Recent evidence out of the Max Planck institute indicates that bats have sensitivity to the geomagnetic field, and use it to navigate. Bats used echolocation to move short distances, but when they are traveling miles from home at night they seem to guide their flight, at least in part, by using the ...

IdeaFeed

Jaw Dropper

Missing
about 4 years ago

Columbia University biomedical engineering professor Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic says that her team of researchers has grown a human jaw bone using stem cells taken from bone marrow. She says that the availability of personalized bone grafts created from a patient's stem cells could revolutionize the ...

IdeaFeed

Do-It-All Elites

Missing
about 4 years ago

Researchers at the University of Utah have found that 2.5 percent of the population is able to do two or more tasks at the same time without hurting their ability to perform each. This elite group of "supertaskers" are able to talk or text while driving, among other abilities. These findings, of ...

IdeaFeed

Congo's Uncivil War

Missing
about 4 years ago

A Daily Beast feature looks at the factors behind the brutal civil war that has been taking place in the Congo over the past decade -- and the epidemic of mass rape that has swept that country with it. At a recent forum, Congolese activist Annie Rashidi-Mulumba said "We have to treat sexual violence ...

IdeaFeed

Victorian Era Sex Survey

Missing
about 4 years ago

Well before the Kinsey reports, turn-of-the-century Stanford University hygiene professor Dr. Clelia Duel Mosher did a scientific survey of the sexual habits of her era's women. Dozens of women -- mostly born before 1870 -- told Mosher about their intimate thoughts, sexual habits and appetites, and ...

IdeaFeed

Time Enough for Tea

Missing
about 4 years ago

As many of its activists depend on unemployment for inspiration and government benefits, can the Tea Party movement survive an economy on the rebound? "At rallies, gatherings and training sessions in recent months, activists often tell a similar story in interviews: they had lost their jobs, or ...

IdeaFeed

Recess!

Missing
about 4 years ago

President Obama will take advantage of the Congress' recess to fill 15 economic posts allowing him to circumvent the Senate's confirmation process. "The move reflected the frustration within the White House about what they see as obstructionist actions by a Republican minority that is intent on ...