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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

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 ...

IdeaFeed

Break the Rules

Missing
over 4 years ago

Great sex, a commitment to children and lots of together time are three rules of a good marriage that are made to be broken say two marriage experts at Psychology Today. "We have discovered marriage 'rules' that are not only silly, but can even be downright damaging to building successful ...

IdeaFeed

Emptiness

Missing
over 4 years ago

The blank slate of pop music welcomes entertainers flashy, materialistic and audacious enough to sing endlessly without really singing about anything; pop music, thy name is Ga Ga. "Lady Blah Blah would have been pretty good, but ga ga, gaga, gaga: a monstrous orality, a tyranny of infantile desire ...

IdeaFeed

Friendly Outbreaks

Missing
over 4 years ago

Researchers are using social networking sites to map the spread of flu symptoms between friends, a technique which may one day aid greatly in stemming a public epidemic. "By studying the friends of a randomly selected group of individuals, epidemiologists can isolate those people who are more ...

IdeaFeed

Bipartisan America

Missing
over 4 years ago

The divide in American ideology between rugged individualism and collective responsibility can be bridged by devolving powers to local communities, says Matthew Dowd for The CSM. "What does the public want? I believe an approach organized around creating and empowering local, community solutions ...

IdeaFeed

Remembering to Forget

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Reminiscence—not forgetting—faces extinction in a digital age that prioritizes the present over even the recent past," writes Evgeny Morozov for the Boston Review. "What we treasure most about our memories is not our GPS coordinates or body temperature at those moments, but the totality of ...

IdeaFeed

Wordy Empire

Missing
over 4 years ago

From Paper Monument, British culture is observed by an American writer as a reflection of his own; in both cases he sees a cultural facade papering over Empires fallen and falling. "The British Empire is now the Empire of Conversation. The distant lands are lost...No one suffers their expertise ...

IdeaFeed

Libertarian Mob

Missing
over 4 years ago

Clarence Page sees a "radical individualism" that binds the TEA Party and the cultural revolution of the '60s, but finds practical solutions more lacking in the former. "I used to call the Yippie and black power movements 'a slogan in search of an agenda.' Tea partiers seem to think they're better ...

IdeaFeed

The New Jew

Missing
over 4 years ago

Peter Beinart writes that "particularly in the younger generations, fewer and fewer American Jewish liberals are Zionists; fewer and fewer American Jewish Zionists are liberal...For several decades, the Jewish establishment has asked American Jews to check their liberalism at Zionism’s door, and now ...

IdeaFeed

Central Europe's Proust

Missing
over 4 years ago

Adam Thirwell writes that despite all the geographical accidents to have befallen Central Europe, a cogent literature can still be defined and it turns out to be of very high quality. "This is what these Central European works can help invent: a true method for reading internationally, where the old ...

IdeaFeed

Los All Stars

Missing
over 4 years ago

An L.A. Times editorial argues that Major League Baseball should move its All Star game out of Phoenix in protest against Arizona's new immigration law. "A new law in Arizona seems almost certain to lead to racial profiling against Latinos, violating the American values so integral to baseball...We ...

IdeaFeed

On the Bubble

Missing
over 4 years ago

Gary Becker and Richard Posner look at what created the housing market bubble of the previous decade and why financial institutions couldn't, or wouldn't, see it. Becker writes, "There were plenty of warnings that there was a housing bubble; why did the industry ignore them? I think it was another ...

IdeaFeed

Lost World

Missing
over 4 years ago

Dozens of new species including the Pinocchio Frog, Gargoyle-Faced Gecko and Strange Pigeon have been discovered in Indonesia's remote Foja Mountains on the island of New Guinea. "A pristine New Guinea wilderness nicknamed 'The Lost World' has just yielded multiple new animal species that seem more ...

IdeaFeed

Matter Matters

Missing
over 4 years ago

According to Einstein, the universe should be equal parts matter and anti-matter; in other words, we shouldn't exist, so why do we? Some physicists in Chicago may have the answer. "In a mathematically perfect universe, we would be less than dead; we would never have existed...And yet we exist, and ...

IdeaFeed

The Shudder

Missing
over 4 years ago

Frank Kermode tries to suss out what Eliot meant by having "a shudder" while reading, a standard by which Eliot defined good poetry and prose, such as in Tennyson's In Memoriam. "Shudder’ is a bit surprising coming from the stately Eliot, though the experience to which he refers may in some forms be ...