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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

Monoculture Bond

Missing
about 4 years ago

“A disease-resistant crop is a lot like a triple-A-rated structured bond: they’re both artificially engineered to be as safe as possible. That would be a wonderfully good thing if no one knew that they were so safe. But if you’re aware of a safety improvement that often just has the effect of ...

IdeaFeed

Trying Situation

Missing
about 4 years ago

Can the trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in The Hague, which resumed this week after he boycotted for four months, be prevented from descending into a farce? “Karadzic—who had boycotted the trial for four months—this week used the International Criminal Tribunal for the former ...

IdeaFeed

Centrifugal Force

Missing
about 4 years ago

The means by which scary black holes at the centers of most galaxies suck up gas from their surroundings by overcoming centrifugal force has now been pinned down by astronomers. Two researchers found that stars take swirling gases towards a galaxy’s central point, bringing them close enough for the ...

IdeaFeed

Two Mommies

Missing
about 4 years ago

The New Republic reviews “Heather Has Two Mommies,” one of the first books aimed at young children to tackle the taboo of depicting same-sex partners as parents. “When I opened the new twentieth anniversary edition of Heather Has Two Mommies, I could not suppress a gasp. The original black and white ...

IdeaFeed

Choice Science

Missing
about 4 years ago

“To most Americans the idea of an arranged marriage sounds not only bizarre, but fundamentally wrong. How could you let someone else decide the person you're going to be spending the rest of your life with? But as Sheena Iyengar describes in her new book, ‘The Art of Choosing,’ arranged marriage has ...

IdeaFeed

Defensive Assignment?

Missing
about 4 years ago

Senator Scott Brown’s committee assignments include joining the Armed Services, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs; a posting which tilts too far toward defense for some. “This is good news, of course, for the state’s many defense contractors, and there’s no questioning the importance of these ...

IdeaFeed

Space Blast

Missing
about 4 years ago

New research suggests that a large space rock exploded over Antarctica thousands of years ago, leaving a scattering of tiny meteoric particles and a layer of extraterrestrial dust. Evidence of this so-called “alien dust” has been found in Antarctic ice cores, and scientific findings about its ...

IdeaFeed

Sleep and Esteem

Missing
about 4 years ago

You can ruin your child by inflating their self esteem and giving themtoo little sleep, according to the The Washington Post’s George F. Will, so do them a favor and pipe down. “The theory that praise, self-esteem and accomplishment increase in tandem is false. Children incessantly praised for their ...

IdeaFeed

Vagrant Chic

Missing
about 4 years ago

A Chinese homeless man from the city of Ningbo has caused a sensation for the rag-tag but well co-ordinated clothes he wears, drawing legions of internet fans. The handsome man, dubbed “Brother Sharp”, has a web following on internet sites as a trend setter, after a Ningbo resident posted a picture ...

IdeaFeed

Story Teller or Liar?

Missing
about 4 years ago

People who think that journalist Ryszard Kapuściński was a liar are missing the point, writes one Guardian blogger, who says there is no sharp frontier between literature and reporting. Kapuściński reportedly kept two notebooks when he was out on a job, one of which he used for his job as an agency ...

IdeaFeed

Indian Elephant

Missing
about 4 years ago

While the rest of the world is shuddering at the debt pile mounting up on its balance sheets India is the elephant in the room as one of the few regions to have had a “good crisis.” “When Pranab Mukherjee, the finance minister, presented his budget last week he noted that a year ago, India ...

IdeaFeed

Star Wars Cult

Missing
about 4 years ago

Scientologists have defied copyright law for their latest promotional video, using clips from “Star Wars”, “Braveheart” and “Independence Day”, to get its Las Vegas members to sign up for a new Celebrity Center, where they can become an “ideal org” and “play for blood” with lightsabers and other sci ...

IdeaFeed

Castrating Greer?

Missing
about 4 years ago

Four decades after the publication of Germaine Greer’s seminal feminist work “The Female Eunuch,” it has provoked an astonishing attack by a fellow Australian writer Louis Nowra. Nowra says Greer has “fundamentally misunderstood how women tick” and that the reality of the modern world has entirely ...

IdeaFeed

You and Me

Missing
about 4 years ago

It’s the perfect pairing, writes Salon: Sarah Palin and Jay Leno, who share a common foe in David Letterman, teamed up to deliver a blow to his ratings on Tuesday night. But there was more to Palin’s appearance on the Tonight Show than met the eye. “Her poll numbers, after all, have plummeted to ...

IdeaFeed

Israeli Spy Talks

Missing
about 4 years ago

The son of the founder of the Palestinian military group Hamas has admitted to spying for Israel for a decade, feeding information about Hamas’ terrorist plots to Israel’s Shin Bet. Mosab Yousef said in an exclusive interview with CNN that he became a spy because he believed that Hamas was ...