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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

Attorneys at Work

Missing
over 4 years ago

Columnist Gail Collins asks what makes us prefer lawyers as politicians even though the story often ends the same way: with failure. "There is something about attorneys general that makes everybody want to nominate them for higher office, even though it almost always ends badly. In New York, our ...

IdeaFeed

The Truth About Tea

Missing
over 4 years ago

Tim Rutten at The Los Angeles Times writes that the Tea Party has no manifesto as such and is only the rebranding of the "Angry While Male". "One of the things journalism teaches you over and over again is that nothing ruins a good story quite like the facts. Consider, for example, this week's ...

IdeaFeed

I, Me, Mine

Missing
over 4 years ago

Generation Y's selfish desire for instant gratification has created political apathy and kept them from even the simplest gesture of completing the census form. "The adoption, or co-option, of marketing and consumer products into the lifestyle of the new hipster is why the movement has been accused ...

IdeaFeed

Vanilla Virtues

Missing
over 4 years ago

Garrison Keillor writes that plain and simple virtues like honesty and modesty are considered naive in politics but are still crucial to a peaceful earthly existence. "For all the talk of political polarization and the anger of the right wing, you don't see this in everyday life as you gad about the ...

IdeaFeed

The Radical Right

Missing
over 4 years ago

Bill Clinton compares today's anti-government rallies to the nation's attitude during his Presidency at the time of the Oklahoma City bombing. "'There's the same kind of economic and social upheaval now,' he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in an interview to air Friday on 'The Situation Room.' 'Then, you ...

IdeaFeed

Binary Brain

Missing
over 4 years ago

New research finds that our brains do best deciding between two options and that men and women are equally ill-suited for multitasking. "The human mind may be inherently incapable of dealing with more than two tasks at a time according to a study showing that 'multi-tasking' skills are limited by ...

IdeaFeed

The Church of Rome

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Catholic Church's inability to find a satisfactory answer to its sex abuse scandal is a result of the Church's Romanic political structure. "The Catholic Church is an authoritarian institution, modelled on the political structures of the Roman Empire and medieval Europe. It is better at ...

IdeaFeed

King's Cup

Missing
over 4 years ago

Organizers of this summer's World Cup in South Africa have not done enough to accommodate the local population and have been insensitive to local traditions. "In May 2002, the Federation of International Football Associations decided to rotate the hosting of the World Cup tournament to a different ...

IdeaFeed

Best Friends?

Missing
over 4 years ago

An e-mail exchange between a Washington and Jerusalem-based reporter takes stock of the changing relationship between the U.S. and Israel. "James Risen, a Washington-based writer, and Yossi Klein Halevi, a Jerusalem-based writer, have been friends since they both crashed the Nazi Party headquarters ...

IdeaFeed

Risking It

Missing
over 4 years ago

Economists Ian Ayres and Barry Nalebuff say that people in their 20s and 30s should take out their retirement savings and buy stocks on margin. They think that people "seriously under-invest in the market for the first 25 years of their working life," and that if young people did invest they would ...

IdeaFeed

Healthy Unions

Missing
over 4 years ago

Does being in a good marriage make you healthier? Researchers in Ohio have been looking into the correlation between wellness and relationship quality, finding out, among other things, that couples in negative or stressful relationships have lower immune-system response than those in stable ...

IdeaFeed

Milestone Mania

Missing
over 4 years ago

Baseball has reached a point that few other professional sports have reached: "There have been so many games and so many pitches thrown that just about every unusual event that is reasonably likely to happen already has," writes Matthew Futterman. "To find anything truly unique, historians have to ...

IdeaFeed

Living Well

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Forget about God, death, pain and acquisition, and your worries are over," writes Joseph Epstein. "There you have it, Epicurus’ Four-Step Program to eliminate anxiety and attain serenity. I’ve not kitchen-tested it myself, but my guess is that, if one could bring it off, this program really would ...

IdeaFeed

Space Robot

Missing
over 4 years ago

NASA has announced that in September it will send a humanoid robot into space to serve as an assistant to the humans on board the International Space Station. Former roboticist Daniel Wilson says that it's incredibly important that the robot being sent has a human form because “It has to be able to ...

IdeaFeed

Emerging and Developing

Missing
over 4 years ago

Why are developing countries that were until recently associated with cheap labor now becoming leaders in innovation? The Economist believes that it is because "local companies are dreaming bigger dreams. Driven by a mixture of ambition and fear—ambition to bestride the world stage and fear of even ...