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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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IdeaFeed Posts

Big ideas in the news from around the web

IdeaFeed

Vocational Studies

Missing
over 4 years ago

Facing rising tuition rates, a growing number of economists and educators think more vocational training could help American students to find gainful employment. "College degrees are simply not necessary for many jobs. Of the 30 jobs projected to grow at the fastest rate over the next decade in the ...

IdeaFeed

Gun Rights

Missing
over 4 years ago

Steve Chapman defends the right of suspected terrorists on the no-fly list to buy guns on Second Amendment grounds and because the list is notoriously fallible. "Barring gun sales on the basis of mere suspicion might be permissible except for that pesky Second Amendment. The Constitution doesn't ...

IdeaFeed

Feeling Inadequate

Missing
over 4 years ago

Inadequacy, rather than being shameful, can be a healthy emotion in romantic relationships when it motivates partners to care more for each other. "Like parenting, adult relationships require considerable on the job training. To make them work, we must tolerate feeling inadequate long enough for it ...

IdeaFeed

Growing Cities

Missing
over 4 years ago

"To support growth in the next decade, we need to nourish our walkable urban spaces and neighborhoods" with accessible public transport and quality infrastructure, writes the Atlantic. "Urban-style housing in walkable neighborhoods—including those in the inner suburbs—is what’s in demand today. And ...

IdeaFeed

Phony Cure

Missing
over 4 years ago

"It seems sensible to make every effort to enlist the body’s own ability to heal itself—which is what, at bottom, placebos seem to do," writes the Boston Globe. "As evidence of the effect’s power mounts, members of the medical community are increasingly asking an intriguing question: if the placebo ...

IdeaFeed

Luddite President

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Economist, while recognizing Obama's tech savvy, is critical of his pessimistic view that new communication technologies distract the public rather than empower it. "Mr Obama complained that technology was putting 'new pressures on our country and on our democracy'. But iPods, iPads and suchlike ...

IdeaFeed

Goodbye Europe

Missing
over 4 years ago

The National Review writes that the U.S. is better poised to overcome the global recession than Europe because America encourages more risk taking and ingenuity. "Who cared that, over the last decade, much of Europe saw economic growth at only 50 to 75 percent the U.S. rate per annum, or that it ...

IdeaFeed

The Good Life

Missing
over 4 years ago

In the wake of the financial crisis, many new metrics are being proposed that will measure living standards in a new and different way from the conventional Gross Domestic Product calculation. "The G.D.P., according to arguments I heard from economists as far afield as Italy, France and Canada, has ...

IdeaFeed

Formative Years

Missing
over 4 years ago

While raising a child should be done with love and care, we need not think a few bad "formative years" dooms someone to a dysfunctional or psychologically tormented life. "The lack of trust that most psychologists believe stems from unstable nurturance can also be thought of, in evolutionary ...

IdeaFeed

The Safety Market

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Regulations that raise the price of a new car shut some buyers out of the market. So tougher federal rules may have the perverse effect of leading to more traffic fatalities," writes Steve Chapman. "You would never know from Waxman and Rush that the government is not the main source of auto safety ...

IdeaFeed

Body Language

Missing
over 4 years ago

Using virtual reality, scientists in Europe put men in females' bodies to measure how our own physical appearance affects our thoughts and behavior. "'If you can temporarily give people the illusion that their bodies are different, then the evidence suggests it also affects their behaviour and the ...

IdeaFeed

Kept Out

Missing
over 4 years ago

Robert Fisk writes that the Canadian government is complying with torture and the banning of foreign press at the Guantanamo Bay military prison. "I began my column last week with the words "We know all about Guantanamo". I was wrong. Courtesy of the Toronto press – until a few days ago, when half ...

IdeaFeed

Islam for Feminists

Missing
over 4 years ago

Several courageous Muslim feminists are challenging conservative male interpretations of Islam. "Instead of blatantly waving the banner of democracy, certain to raise charges of being tools of Western cultural imperialism, these women are quietly working within the culture, rather than against it ...

IdeaFeed

Robots Made of DNA?

Missing
over 4 years ago

Scientists have figured out how independent, programmable nano-scale robots can be made out of individual molecules—with the robots’ actions programmed into their environment. "Both studies fuse two of the most interesting advances in nanotechnology: the design of DNA machines, fashioned from life’s ...

IdeaFeed

Privacy Pique

Missing
over 4 years ago

"The most frustrating thing about Facebook's privacy policy is that it's always changing," writes Farhad Manjoo. "You used to be able to keep your profile picture private; that's no longer an option. You also used to be able to declare your interests without being 'connected' to a Facebook page ...