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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

Nuclear Monopoly

Missing
over 4 years ago

The rise of middle power states with nuclear ambitions like Iran, Brazil and Turkey must be tolerated if the West hopes to maintain a credible non-proliferation regime, says a former CIA chief. "Rather than seeking to thwart the efforts of the Brazils and Turkeys of the world, the US and the rest of ...

IdeaFeed

Defending Publicness

Missing
over 4 years ago

Jeff Jarvis defends publicness, as opposed to privacy, amid the Google and Facebook privacy debacles as a way of protecting an open society and preserving the Internet as a public good. "Yes, I believe we have a right and need to protect our privacy - to control our information and identities - but ...

IdeaFeed

"Gibble Gibble Gumpling"

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," says Barry Goldman at the L.A. Times, frustrated by tech support's insufficient understanding of modern gizmos. "I called customer support. The automated voice told me the system was experiencing technical difficulties in my ...

IdeaFeed

Nature v. Nuture

Missing
over 4 years ago

"More than 60 percent of U.S. cancer deaths are caused by smoking and diet. But what about the rest?" asks Scientific American. New studies are seeking the environmental causes of cancer. "But scientists most likely will never be able to tease out the true role of environmental contaminants because ...

IdeaFeed

Spanish Falling

Missing
over 4 years ago

Spain's surprisingly advanced renewable energy sector is facing obstacles like government cutbacks, ever-changing regulations and a retracting European economy. "With the Spanish government trying to save money wherever it can in order to assuage financial markets, especially as it has been bundled ...

IdeaFeed

Commie Picasso

Missing
over 4 years ago

Attempts to demonstrate Picasso's communist ties through his art are unnecessary since the painter was overt about his politics, writes the Guardian, and doing so limits the scope of his works. "About the politics, so much is known that it seems fanciful to claim that the relevance of Picasso's ...

IdeaFeed

In It Together

Missing
over 4 years ago

Should the U.S. bail out Europe by contributing to IMF funds meant to salvage damaged and indebted European economies? We asked for globalization and now we've got it. "If the problems in the EU's troubled countries were to spill over to the rest of Europe, 'U.S. banks would face larger losses on ...

IdeaFeed

Defending Islam

Missing
over 4 years ago

The New Criterion takes issue with moral relativism and asks after what limits exist to tolerating cultural practices that advocate violence against the defenseless. "When we reported on Tariq Ramadan in this space a couple of years ago, we noted that one of the things that has made him such a star ...

IdeaFeed

God Save the Queen

Missing
over 4 years ago

"In Europe and parts of Asia, many politicians, political scientists, and citizens have lately developed greater respect for the positive role a constitutional monarch can play in democracy...Many modernizing countries have found that a monarch provides a source of authority and national identity ...

IdeaFeed

The Bilbao Effect

Missing
over 4 years ago

Can investment in the arts be justified as a solution to the economic crisis? No, writes Prospect Magazine, and the illusion that it can or should devalues the arts' role in society. "The arts are certainly crucial to the cultural health and prestige of a successful city, region or nation. But to ...

IdeaFeed

Helping Hand

Missing
over 4 years ago

MIT's Yasheng Huang says the U.S. would help repair the global economy more by teaching China about small business administration than politicizing its currency exchange rate. "Instead of making a case for freedom and individual choice on the grounds of human and political rights, which can be ...

IdeaFeed

Me, Tarzan

Missing
over 4 years ago

Anthropologist David Puts explains biological and behavioral differences between men and women in terms of evolutionary competition to win the best mate. "When two drunken men fight over a woman, alcohol and stupidity may not be the only things at work. Sadly, evolution may have shaped men to behave ...

IdeaFeed

Political Theatre

Missing
over 4 years ago

When memory mixes with desire, politicians exaggerate their personalities, says Maureen Dowd who absolves politicians of their lies by giving them the benefit of the doubt. "Politicians get in trouble when desire nixes memory. They know they are misrepresenting an experience, but can’t help ...

IdeaFeed

"Misspeak"

Missing
over 4 years ago

Having "misspoken" gets American politicians out of their brazen lies, but our English brethren are mystified at our willingness to accept falsehoods and half-truths from our leaders. "In America, it seems, not only can you be whatever you want in the future, but the public will even accept an ...

IdeaFeed

Burqa Ban

Missing
over 4 years ago

Steve Chapman opposes France's proposed ban on burqas because in a free society "none of us is obligated to integrate. The Amish don't. Neither do the Hare Krishnas...Wearing a suicide bomb around your waist is aggressive. Concealing your face is peaceable. Veiled women are not refusing to exist in ...