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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

Dixon’s Xbox

Missing
about 4 years ago

Former Mayor of Baltimore Sheila Dixon’s Xbox video game, which prosecutors allege she bought with gift cards meant for the poor, is now up for grabs on online auction site eBay. “The game system, shown in a photo, is marked with a piece of red evidence tape. It is ‘used, and seems to be in great ...

IdeaFeed

Phantom Sequel

Missing
about 4 years ago

Twenty-six years after Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” premiered, the evil genius is back with his sequel “Love Never Dies” being unveiled in London today. It is due to hit Broadway in November and Australia in 2011. NPR’s Jeff Lunden explains: “Lush and romantic, ‘Love Never Dies ...

IdeaFeed

Gilt or War Guilt?

Missing
about 4 years ago

“Sell your islands, you bankrupt Greeks. And sell the Acropolis too!” may not have been an accurate quotation of German sentiment, but there was some truth to it, writes Slate. Anne Applebaum writes that while tabloid newspaper Bild may have taken the German politician’s remarks out of context, the ...

IdeaFeed

Imaginary Numbers

Missing
about 4 years ago

Mathematicians taken up with finding the square roots of algebraic equations have had the niggling problem that such solutions often involve square roots of negative numbers, something which is seen as nonsensical and illogical to the mathematical mind. In fact until the 1700s it was believed that ...

IdeaFeed

Do The Math

Missing
about 4 years ago

Schools across America are switching to a four-day week, hoping to stave off the effects of budget cuts - but fuelling fears of hurting kids’ education. “State legislators and local school boards are giving administrators greater flexibility to set their academic calendars, making the four-day slate ...

IdeaFeed

“Not Gadahn”

Missing
about 4 years ago

Pakistani security agents have denied that an American al Qaeda promulgator with a $1 million US bounty on his head has been arrested, saying there has been an identity mix-up with another arrested suspect. Yesterday some Pakistani officials said that California-born Adam Gadahn had been arrested on ...

IdeaFeed

Alcoholism Genetics

Missing
about 4 years ago

A genetic propensity may be responsible for some alcohol dependence, according to new research which links alcoholism to a cluster of genes on chromosome 11. "Previous studies have looked at one or a few genes at a time, choosing the genes based upon hypotheses about possible mechanisms underlying ...

IdeaFeed

Television Wars

Missing
about 4 years ago

Blogger Jeff Jarvis wades into the television fight by suggesting that Cablevision customers switch to the “better service” Verizon Fios—but that doesn’t mean he’s siding with ABC! He says: “[ABC]—like Fox before them—are trying to get us to pay for free TV channels. This was a point I wanted to ...

IdeaFeed

Cyberwar Declared

Missing
about 4 years ago

Cyberwar has been declared as urgent memos are circulated by Nato and the EU calling for the protection of secret material, in response to a boom in online attacks from China. The surge in intelligence hunting attacks from China has hit government and military institutions in America, where The ...

IdeaFeed

Iran’s Mandela

Missing
about 4 years ago

Iran has found its own bastion for liberation, comparable to South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, in the form of the defeated opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, writes The New Republic. “Mir Hossein Mousavi Khamenei was born in 1941 in the northwestern city of Khameneh. He is, as his full surname ...

IdeaFeed

Couch Potato

Missing
about 4 years ago

A collection of house plants have been installed in a fifth-floor space at the AC Institute in Chelsea, with a video screen above their head as part of the television-for-plants-project. The house plants are watching a six-and-a-half-minute looped video of a beautiful Italian sky at night. And ...

IdeaFeed

Through The Fire

Missing
about 4 years ago

“In 2005 the Iraqis walked in their tens of thousands through the thunder of suicide bombers, and voted – the Shias on the instructions of their clerics, the Sunnis sulking in a boycott – to prove Iraq was a ‘democracy’. There followed the most blood-boltered period in Iraq's modern history ...

IdeaFeed

Ladies’ Night

Missing
about 4 years ago

It was a red letter day for women in the film industry yesterday as Kathryn Bigelow became the surprise first woman to win Best Director at the Oscars for “The Hurt Locker,” a film about the Iraq War which also took the Best Picture and four other awards. Bigelow’s win was all the more impressive ...

IdeaFeed

Cult Tendencies

Missing
about 4 years ago

More and more members have been leaving The Church of Scientology lately, claiming the organization hides the abuse it perpetrates against many of its non-celebrity members. "Fifty-six years after its founding by the science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, who died in 1986, the church is fighting off ...

IdeaFeed

"The Good Doctors"

Missing
about 4 years ago

With most earthquake victims now treated, foreign doctors are attending Haitians' normal health problems leaving questions about what will happen to the country's health infrastructure after their departure. 'The line of patients at this city's battered General Hospital forms early. The sick come to ...