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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

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 ...

IdeaFeed

Denied Entry

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Boston Globe finds a dangerous irony in Israel's decision to keep Noam Chomsky from speaking at a Palestinian University in the West Bank. "Chomsky is a freelance provocateur; a certain rhetorical excess goes with the turf. But Israel only hurt itself in suggesting that it no longer respects the ...

IdeaFeed

Dangerously Safe

Missing
over 4 years ago

"What we're bequeathing our children is a childhood designed by lawyers," says Lenore Skenazy who thinks pedantic caution is replacing common sense. "Give kids some genuine risk and they quickly learn what their limits are, and then they expand their limits. The problem is: If kids never encounter ...

IdeaFeed

Miranda

Missing
over 4 years ago

Charles Krauthammer congratulates himself for independently reaching the same conclusion as the Attorney General on loosening Miranda rights when public safety is at risk. "Rather than just allowing pre-Miranda questioning about any immediate danger, the public safety exception should be expanded to ...

IdeaFeed

Corrupted Absolutely

Missing
over 4 years ago

Ross Douthat writes, "from Washington to Athens, the economic crisis is producing consolidation rather than revolution, the entrenchment of authority rather than its diffusion...This is the perverse logic of meritocracy. Once a system grows sufficiently complex, it doesn’t matter how badly our best ...

IdeaFeed

Booze Cum Pot

Missing
over 4 years ago

The L.A. Times reports that "for most of the 1920s, a patient could get a prescription for one pint every 10 days about as easily as California patients can now get 'recommendations' for medical marijuana...What finally straightened out the liquor business was the legalization that came with repeal ...

IdeaFeed

Risk Management

Missing
over 4 years ago

The recent intervention of government bailouts in the world economy has made markets more complex by introducing a new political risk to be managed, writes The New Yorker. "Political risk adds new complexity to markets, and, as Nassim Taleb, the author of 'The Black Swan,' recently said, 'As the ...

IdeaFeed

Jasper's Flag

Missing
over 4 years ago

Jasper John's (American) "Flag" sold for a record price in New York with other American artists taking top dollar in a reversal of a trend that favors international artists. "THE dominant characteristic of the art market over the past ten years has been the globalisation of collecting. Which is one ...

IdeaFeed

My Generation

Missing
over 4 years ago

A new generation of Islamic community leaders familiar with the American experience are reaching out to younger community members in order to offer religious advice. "Some Muslims are voicing their opinions and calling for change. They would like imams, who tend to be older, male and 'imported,' to ...

IdeaFeed

Dumbing Down

Missing
over 4 years ago

Dramatist Friedrick Schiller and the late David Foster Wallace both wanted to lift their audience up instead of write down to them; their opinions are excerpted in Lapham's Quarterly. Schiller wrote, "The assertion so commonly made, that the public degrades art, is not well founded. It is the artist ...

IdeaFeed

Over the Counter

Missing
over 4 years ago

A medical company wants to offer over the counter genetic tests whose results show genetic predispositions to certain diseases, but the FDA is crying foul. "Legalities aside, this new over-the-counter genetics test raises big concerns over the propensity for consumers to misread results and put ...

IdeaFeed

Malleable Memories

Missing
over 4 years ago

New neurological research suggests that each time a memory is recalled, it is subject to slight alternations; the implications could benefit sufferers of PTSD. "Most people have so-called flashbulb memories of where they were and what they were doing when something momentous happened: the ...

IdeaFeed

Illusions of Equality

Missing
over 4 years ago

According to performance psychologist Jim Taylor, we must give up our democratic pretensions and focus education reform on poor and disadvantaged schools. "The euphemism public education reform is, at best, politically correct and attempts to convey the decidedly democratic message that all children ...