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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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IdeaFeed Posts

Big ideas in the news from around the web

IdeaFeed

Rajahnthon’s Law

Missing
about 4 years ago

The death of one-month-old Rajahnthon Haynie, whose body was found in Druid Hill Park in Baltimore on Sunday, is just another incidence of violence against children which begs the age-old question: How can child abuse be stopped? Peter Jensen of the Baltimore Sun writes that in a peculiar twist of ...

IdeaFeed

Senate Death Match

Missing
about 4 years ago

“It is a YouTube clip that has been seen by millions of people: Linda McMahon, dressed in a business suit, is slapped hard on the cheek by her daughter and falls to the ground with the audience baying for more. She then kicks an opponent in the testicles. Finally, as if by way of retribution, she is ...

IdeaFeed

Weakened Warriors?

Missing
about 4 years ago

General Merril A. McPeak, former Air Force Chief of Staff remarked in the Op-Ed pages of the Times: “I do not see how permitting open homosexuality in these communities enhances their prospects of success in battle. Indeed, I believe repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ will weaken the warrior culture ...

IdeaFeed

Reproductive Leech

Missing
about 4 years ago

Scientists have established common bloodsucking insect the leech as a model for a study of reproductive behavior, with some twisting and turning results. The researchers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, San Diego have discovered that injecting simple ...

IdeaFeed

Blood Purification

Missing
about 4 years ago

Blood purification might sound evocative of ethnic cleansing and genocide, but the term in fact refers to a new technology designed to deactivate potential harmful bacteria in blood. Blood supplies are easily contaminated and during chronic shortage blood goes bad more quickly than milk, writes ...

IdeaFeed

Villain Pelosi?

Missing
about 4 years ago

Republicans running for the House this year think that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the villain driving health-care reform, not President Barack Obama, writes Politico. “In district after district, GOP candidates have unleashed a barrage of press releases, emails, and ads criticizing the California ...

IdeaFeed

Twitter Passover

Missing
about 4 years ago

Rabbi Oren Hayon feels the Passover story—a tale of enslaved Israelites, pestilence and plagues—needs perking up so he has recruited a band of Rabbis to act it out on Twitter. Hoping to make Passover more accessible to the Facebook generation Rabbi Hayon and his fellows will play out the story in ...

IdeaFeed

Paranoiac Politics

Missing
about 4 years ago

“Strange Days Indeed: The Golden Age of Paranoia,” by Francis Wheen, reflects that politicians may be paranoid now, but it's nothing compared to what happened in the ‘70s. “Wheen, one of the brighter lights in English lit-journalism these days, makes a potent and rollicking case that the ‘1970s ...

IdeaFeed

Red Spot Mystery

Missing
about 4 years ago

The famous Great Red Spot which can be seen on images of Jupiter is not what astronomers previously thought it was. Turns out, the red spot is a warm patch in a cold storm! Scientists have looked at the best ever thermal images of Jupiter and discovered the unusual temperature and weather variation ...

IdeaFeed

Outsourced Intelligence

Missing
about 4 years ago

“The headline read like something you might see in the conspiracy-minded Pakistani press: ‘Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants.’ But the story appeared in Monday's New York Times, and it highlighted some big problems that have developed in the murky area between military and ...

IdeaFeed

Abducted Wives

Missing
about 4 years ago

“Every woman remembers her wedding day with a tear in her eye – but, here in Ethiopia, the tears are different, and darker, and do not stop. Nurame Abedo is sitting in her hut high in the clouds, remembering the day she became a wife. She lives hundreds of miles into the countryside, thousands of ...

IdeaFeed

Women or Incubators?

Missing
about 4 years ago

The law ignominiously known as the “miscarriage bill” was signed by a Utah governor last week in a move which renders women little more than incubators, writes Melissa McEwan. Utah governor Gary Herbert signed into law Utah HB 462, a reworked version of an earlier bill which had been strongly ...

IdeaFeed

Beach Bed

Missing
about 4 years ago

Three of California’s wealthiest coastal cities howled loudly last year when they were sued by a civil rights group over their treatment of the homeless. But progress has since been made, writes the LA Times’ Catherine Saillant. Santa Monica has a long history of assisting the down and out on its ...

IdeaFeed

Unfinished Balkans

Missing
about 4 years ago

The Western Balkans remains the missing piece of a strong, free Europe, write The Wall Street Journal commentators, and the US must work hard to help slot it into place. Jeanne Shaheen and George Voinovich remark that after two devastating world wars in Europe, the US and its allies made the ...

IdeaFeed

Food Stamp Chic

Missing
about 4 years ago

“In the John Waters-esque sector of northwest Baltimore -- equal parts kitschy, sketchy, artsy and weird -- Gerry Mak and Sarah Magida sauntered through a small ethnic market stocked with Japanese eggplant, mint chutney and fresh turmeric. After gathering ingredients for that evening's dinner, they ...