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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

Inhumane Humanities

Missing
about 4 years ago

Humanities education in America is facing a crisis at the highest levels, writes The New Republic, as job prospects dwindle and graduate researchers multiply. "Efforts to create new forms of general education foundered because general education was aimed at preparing students for the world outside ...

IdeaFeed

Teflon Berlusconi

Missing
about 4 years ago

Tens of thousands gathered in Rome on Saturday to protest Prime Minister Berlusconi's alleged corruption while a case against him and his tax lawyer has adjourned. "Berlusconi, who did not attend Saturday's hearing, is on trial for allegedly paying $600,000 to David Mills, a British tax lawyer, in ...

IdeaFeed

The Publishing Revolution

Missing
about 4 years ago

Jason Epstein writes that the publishing transition from print to digital is inevitable, and a powerful yet fragile process that can expand literacy and knowledge. "The transition within the book publishing industry from physical inventory stored in a warehouse and trucked to retailers to digital ...

IdeaFeed

Water Wars

Missing
about 4 years ago

The Middle East's poorest country, Yemen, already spends a third of its families' income on fresh water, which is predicted to become too expensive to consume by 2017. "Most experts predict Sana'a, the fastest-growing capital in the world at 7% a year, will run out of economically viable water ...

IdeaFeed

Paterson Won't Run

Missing
about 4 years ago

After the New York Times broke a story about Paterson's possible intervention in a domestic abuse case on behalf of one of his aides, the governor of New York has suspended his election campaign. "The announcement came less than a week after Mr. Paterson formally announced his candidacy. The ...

IdeaFeed

Tobacco Fix

Missing
about 4 years ago

Rather than eggs, which can sometimes be in short supply, researchers have found that tobacco plants can be used to incubate diseases before they are killed and turned into vaccines. "Production of flu vaccine is rooted in old technology. You need fertile chicken eggs, millions of them, for growing ...

IdeaFeed

Ebert Speaks

Missing
about 4 years ago

After losing his voice to cancer, new software is allowing Roger Ebert to "speak" through a computer by taking sounds of his own voice from his DVD commentary on 'Casablanca' and 'Citizen Kane'. "Nearly four years after a battle with thyroid cancer robbed him of the ability to speak, iconic film ...

IdeaFeed

8.8

Missing
about 4 years ago

A major earthquake north of Concepcion, Chile has disrupted communication and electricity infrastructure though President Bachelet says emergency response is proceeding as planned. "The quake struck at 0634 GMT about 91km (56 miles) north-east of the city of Concepcion and 317km south-west of the ...

IdeaFeed

Liberals Are (A Little) Smarter

Missing
about 4 years ago

Though correlation doesn't imply causation, prudish liberal atheists generally have slightly higher IQs than their lustful conservative theist brethren. "Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the the London School of Economics and Political Science correlated data on these behaviors with IQ ...

IdeaFeed

Poor Fannie

Missing
about 4 years ago

The mortgage finance company Fannie May is asking the government for another $15.3 billion to keep it afloat after reporting a loss for its tenth consecutive quarter. "Fannie Mae will seek $15.3 billion in U.S. aid, bringing the total owed under a government lifeline to $76.2 billion, after its 10th ...

IdeaFeed

Iceberg Breakaway

Missing
about 4 years ago

An iceberg the size of Luxembourg which has broken away from Antarctica was caused by a collision with another iceberg rather than being a result of global warming. "An iceberg the size of Luxembourg has broken away from the Antarctic continent and is drifting towards an area of the Southern Ocean ...

IdeaFeed

Climate Review

Missing
about 4 years ago

The U.N. will establish a panel of scientists to review its own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change amidst growing public scrutiny of the body since releasing an inaccurate report on glacial melting. "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been under fire after it was ...

IdeaFeed

Jihad Condemned

Missing
about 4 years ago

The U.N. and E.U. have publicly condemned Libyan President Gaddafi's call for jihad against Switzerland which has banned the construction of minarets inside its borders. "Sergei Ordzhonikidze, the UN director-general in Geneva, said the call by Muammar Gaddafi on Friday was 'inadmissible'. 'I ...

IdeaFeed

Stage to Screen

Missing
about 4 years ago

The nation's top playwrights are turning increasingly to TV where producers are shooting programs on one or two sets to reduce costs as budgets are being squeezed. "'Theater is now viewed as a way of getting a staff writing job on TV,' says Warren Leight, the show runner and developer of 'Lights Out ...

IdeaFeed

Purging Apple

Missing
about 4 years ago

“Apple has been sanitizing its app store with the zeal of a ’50s-era television-commercial housewife. Sexually provocative, sexually suggestive and sexually reminiscent apps have been purged from the store, reassuring consumers that they’ll never have to see a bikini again, provided they stare ...