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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

Online Humiliation

Missing
about 4 years ago

These days "the outlets for vindictiveness have multiplied almost to infinity—and your reputation is more fragile than ever," writes Jeffrey Zaslow. "All of us now live under the threat of easy and instant humiliation. It's no longer just celebrities and business executives who need to think about ...

IdeaFeed

Best and Brightest

Missing
about 4 years ago

Why do so many top Ivy League grads go to work for Wall Street firms? "The primary selling point of Goldman Sachs or McKinsey is that it leaves open the possibility of future greatness. ... The idea is that you will get some kind of generic business training that equips you to do anything ... and ...

IdeaFeed

Feminists to "Faminists"

Missing
about 4 years ago

"The feminist battleground, with its slogans, marches, and campaigns for reproductive rights, has given way to the playground and the fight for lactation rights, stroller rights, school-system rights, unpasteurized milk rights, charter schools, birthing techniques, nutritional value of bagged ...

IdeaFeed

Bad Ballet?

Missing
about 4 years ago

"How did we get to the point where just about every new classical dance is meaningless?" asks Laura Jacobs. "Today, premieres at the big ballet companies come dressed in the hippest costumes on the hottest bodies. They boast an haute frame of reference and wear the zeitgeist like a thong. ... Your ...

IdeaFeed

Evolving Threat

Missing
about 4 years ago

Analysts at the National Counterterrorism Center say the terrorist threat to America is becoming more decentralized and less deadly. But the terrorists are also harder to find and their plots are easier to replicate. "There's some real atomization underway," a U.S. counterterrorism official said ...

IdeaFeed

Why Men Don't Read

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Few men work in book publishing, so there are few supporters in the industry for books that men in particular might like, causing fewer such books to be published or promoted and finally leading men to think that books are not for them," writes Laura Miller. Book editing "increasingly resembles ...

IdeaFeed

Wormhole to the Future

Missing
about 4 years ago

Stephen Hawking says he's obsessed with the idea of time travel these days. "To see how this might be possible, we need to look at time as physicists do—at the fourth dimension," he writes. "Time flows like a river and it seems as if each of us is carried relentlessly along by time's current. But ...

IdeaFeed

Chimp Sex "Tools"

Missing
about 4 years ago

John Tierney looks at research indicating that male chimpanzees use "tools" (crackling leaves) to show females that they are ready for sex. He suggests that this is the chimp equivalent of "trying to attract women by driving around with a car thumping out 120-decibel music. But until researchers are ...

IdeaFeed

Your Baby Isn't Behind

Missing
about 4 years ago

"In our what-to-expect era, when baby Web sites offer weekly, birthdate-timed developmental newsletters, parents can hardly avoid knowing where their child falls on the developmental spectrum," writes Nicholas Day. "But when parents today worry about their child not meeting developmental norms ...

IdeaFeed

Handwriting on the Wall

Missing
about 4 years ago

The idea that one's disposition can be analyzed by looking at their handwriting is considered spurious, yet medical graphology—the use of handwriting to detect disease—has diagnostic validity. "Writing is an exquisite fine motor skill—unlike brushing your hair, for instance," explains neuroscientist ...

IdeaFeed

Light Brings Rain

Missing
about 4 years ago

Scientists have discovered that shooting high-powered lasers into the sky can create the germ of a rain cloud, opening the door to eco-friendly cloud manipulation. “This is the first time that a laser was used to condense water from both laboratory experiments and from the atmosphere,” says Jérôme ...

IdeaFeed

Infinite Regret

Missing
about 4 years ago

David Foster Wallace's suicide "created a lacuna: the guy who wrote in the biggest, boldest type had suddenly silenced himself," writes Michael O'Donnell. "His death prompted a publishing drive that is at once soothing and a little unseemly: Wallace’s speeches, stories, and unfinished novels keep ...

IdeaFeed

Hard Labor

Missing
about 4 years ago

"It's time for Democrats, even liberal Democrats, to start looking at unions and unionism with deep skepticism," writes Mickey Kaus. "The answer of most union leaders to the failure of 1950s unionism has been more 1950s unionism. This isn't how we're going to get prosperity back. But it's the ...

IdeaFeed

Of Bones and Compost

Missing
about 4 years ago

A growing number of artists are "rummaging through the life sciences in search of materials, ideas, cosmic verities, tragicomic homilies, personal agency, a personal agent, a way to stand out in the crowd," writes Natalie Angier. Many examples of this type of "mulchy, redolent, unmistakably organic ...

IdeaFeed

Beyond India and China

Missing
about 4 years ago

"If the United States is to have a sustainable toehold in Asia, Washington has to start paying serious attention to some countries in the region that are not China or India," writes Ernest Z. Bower. "There are 10 other countries in particular that hold the key to America’s central role in all of ...