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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

Forever Guantanamo

Missing
over 4 years ago

Obama's deadline for closing Guantanamo having passed, "it's unclear, as we sit today, whether it's gonna close at all," says Matt D'Aloisio, the founder of Witness Against Torture. "Insiders expect the Obama administration to reverse course and decide to try the 9/11 defendants by military ...

IdeaFeed

Climate Busters

Missing
over 4 years ago

Climate change skeptics recently gathered in Chicago to exchange ideas and invectives over the largely accepted claims about the dangers of global warming. "Wine flowed and blood coursed during a rousing address from Heartland's libertarian president Joseph Bast. Climate change is being used by ...

IdeaFeed

Artificial Life

Missing
over 4 years ago

An American biologist, Craig Venter, is making waves after creating the first self-replicating cell whose DNA is synthetic; immediate uses could include synthetic vaccines and biofuels. "Venter himself maintains that he has not created life . 'We've created the first synthetic cell,' he says. 'We ...

IdeaFeed

Drawing Mohammad

Missing
over 4 years ago

Husna Haq at The CSM explains why she is and other Muslims are so offended by depictions of Mohammad and why it's no surprise Pakistan has banned Facebook for the rest of May. "In Islam, as in Judaism, iconography is prohibited out of fear that creating images of sacred figures could lead to ...

IdeaFeed

Social Voyeurs

Missing
over 4 years ago

While Facebook and Google have come under recent attack for alleged violations of privacy, enforcement of existing laws should be prioritized over new regulation, writes the Economist. "Danah Boyd, a social-networking expert, has even argued that Facebook, with its hordes of members around the world ...

IdeaFeed

Criminal Accomplices?

Missing
over 4 years ago

Ayaan Hirsi Ali thinks the American Academy of Pediatrics' proposal to aid in female genital mutilation gives tacit support to a practice which should be condemned outright. "The pediatricians say that 'it might be more effective if federal and state laws enabled pediatricians to reach out to ...

IdeaFeed

Racism Lite

Missing
over 4 years ago

English-only policies run contrary to America's concept of liberty and fears of a multilingual society ignore many of the world's nations which officially recognize multiple languages. "English-only is racism lite. It pits mostly whites against many who have darker skins. If America prides itself on ...

IdeaFeed

Self Respect

Missing
over 4 years ago

Research completed by The Journal for Advertising suggests Americans have become increasingly self-confident and individualistic in the last three decades. "A sense of belonging (social connectedness) appears to have steadily eroded for all age groups, both genders, all education groups and most ...

IdeaFeed

Beard Ban

Missing
over 4 years ago

In a rare affront to tradition, civil servants in one Japanese region will soon be required to shave their beard after complaints were registered over the powerful facial hair. "The Isesaki ban is reminiscent of the strict rules on physical appearance enforced by conservative companies in the ...

IdeaFeed

Yes We Cannes!

Missing
over 4 years ago

Hollywood's depiction of events like the war in Iraq, the global financial crisis and religious extremism are taking center stage at the Cannes Film Festival; here is the NYT review. "Of all the filmmakers whose work is in the 63rd Cannes Film Festival none have had the impact of the man who could ...

IdeaFeed

New Feminism

Missing
over 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
over 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 ...