What is Big Think?  

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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Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

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IdeaFeed Posts

Big ideas in the news from around the web

IdeaFeed

New Feminism

Missing
about 4 years ago

Meghan Daum at the L.A. Times says that despite Sarah Palin's political stances, the former governor is entitled to be a feminist as long as she proclaims herself one. "Is there a place in politics for 'conservative feminists'? According to my definition of feminism, it would be hypocritical to say ...

IdeaFeed

The Primitive Ideology

Missing
about 4 years ago

Corey Robin at The Nation likens the late Ayn Rand's continued success in America to the same misguided and lazy analysis that has made Glenn Beck a popular voice. "An idealist of the most primitive sort, Rand took a century of socialist dichotomies and flattened them. Small wonder so many have ...

IdeaFeed

Crazy Brilliant

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Thinking outside the box might be facilitated by having a somewhat less intact box," says a researcher who sees similarities in the brains of creative people and schizophrenics. "High creative skills have been shown to be somewhat more common in people who have mental illness in the family ...

IdeaFeed

Jesus Who?

Missing
over 4 years ago

The New Yorker asks what disagreement between the Gospels means for Christian faith and why the public is still intensely interested in the topic given our secular times? "The impulse of orthodoxy has always been to suppress the wrangling as a sign of weakness; the impulse of more modern theology is ...

IdeaFeed

Cheese Please

Missing
over 4 years ago

Cheese, among other organic material, may power the future since sugars like lactose can be fed to bacteria cultures inside of full cells to generate electricity; the Economist wheys in. "One of the biggest obstacles is a lack of investment to develop materials that would work with this kind of fuel ...

IdeaFeed

Judicial Extremists

Missing
over 4 years ago

Steve Chapman sees the Supreme Court's recent decision to ban life sentences for minors as a much needed compromise between conservative and liberal views of the Constitution. "'On a day-to-day basis, American constitutional law is about precedents, and when precedents leave off, it is about ...

IdeaFeed

Hot Bodies

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Researchers at UC Berkeley are perfecting microscopic fibers that can produce electricity from simple body motions such as bending, stretching and twisting," reports the L.A. Times. "Researchers are envisioning hikers powering up their digital cameras while trekking up a mountain or a jogger ...

IdeaFeed

Mental Short Cuts

Missing
over 4 years ago

People who deny generally accepted scientific truths use fragile reasoning to regain control over their lives from an indifferent Nature, such as claiming that business created swine flu. "This is not necessarily malicious, or even explicitly anti-science. Indeed, the alternative explanations are ...

IdeaFeed

Can We?

Missing
over 4 years ago

Mark Levine of UC Irvine laments Obama's pragmatic path where his empty promises to change America's foreign and energy policies mark the way. "Obama seems to be following the dictum not to allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. But the reality is that when drastic change is needed, the good ...

IdeaFeed

Goodbye Cinderella

Missing
over 4 years ago

The number of marriages where women earn more than men is on the rise according to the Pew Research Center due to the recession and educational opportunities available to women. "Gone are the days of the "Cinderella complex," a term coined decades ago to describe women who unconsciously waited for a ...

IdeaFeed

White Ghosts

Missing
over 4 years ago

Alison Kilkenny at True/Slant documents recent cases of domestic terrorism that have been ignored by media outlets in their search for more sensational stories. "Right. The dark terrorists are the real terrorists, and the white terrorists are — in the words of a Newsweek editor — survivalists. Maybe ...

IdeaFeed

Flashback

Missing
over 4 years ago

New York psychotherapist Charley Wininger recalls that "hippidom (at its best) was an alternative to this delusional pathology of separation that has been forced upon us...It's the kind of illusion that posits that you can pollute your world way over there, or I can hate you over here, and we won't ...

IdeaFeed

Well Adjusted

Missing
over 4 years ago

Despite colloquial wisdom that social networking sites deprive teenagers of contact with the real world, new research shows that users are quite well adjusted. "One University of Virginia study cited says that teens mostly use social networking to keep in contact with people they’re already social ...

IdeaFeed

Wax Wings

Missing
over 4 years ago

Moral dogmatism is the true enemy of free thought, says Jonah Goldberg, not ideology; attention to the facts must supersede commitment to a scripted morality. "We are taught to believe that ideology is the enemy of free thought. But that's not right. Ideology is a mere checklist of principles and ...

IdeaFeed

The Arab Future

Missing
over 4 years ago

"The Arab world today is ruled by contradiction," writes David Ottaway; extreme wealth surrounded by crushing poverty will determine the culture's future. "Turmoil and stagnation prevail, as colossal wealth and hypermodern cities collide with mass illiteracy and rage-filled imams. In this new ...