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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

Cash for Body Parts?

Missing
over 4 years ago

A British bioethics council is questioning the public about whether it's ethical to use financial incentives—like the payment of funeral expenses—to encourage people to donate organs. The council also is weighing the idea of giving donors priority if they themselves need an organ transplant later in ...

IdeaFeed

Eruption Disruption

Missing
over 4 years ago

While the ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption has already caused mass inconvenience in Europe, historically its eruptions have always been followed by those of Iceland's other, much larger, volcano, Katla. Known as one of the "Angry Sisters," Katla has erupted 16 times since 930 AD ...

IdeaFeed

Hummer Bummer

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Hummers are stupid and wasteful and if they go away because no one wants to buy one, that'll be just a little sad," writes Penn Jillette. "It's always a little sad to lose some stupid. I love people doing stupid things that I'd never do—different stupid things than all the stupid things I do. It ...

IdeaFeed

Bullying and Empathy

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Increasingly, neuroscientists, psychologists and educators believe that bullying and other kinds of violence can indeed be reduced by encouraging empathy at an early age," Maia Szalavitz. "Over the past decade, research in empathy—the ability to put ourselves in another person's shoes—has suggested ...

IdeaFeed

Inhospitable Climate

Missing
over 4 years ago

Faced with the reality of climate change, most companies seem to be focusing solely on reducing carbon emissions and improving environmental sustainability. Felix Salmon writes that if these companies want to adapt and survive, they need to also take steps to plan ahead for when climate change ...

IdeaFeed

Lessons From McVeigh

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Americans have more freedom and broader rights than citizens of almost any other nation in the world, including the capacity to criticize their government and their elected officials," notes former President Bill Clinton. "But we do not have the right to resort to violence—or the threat of violence ...

IdeaFeed

Living Too Long?

Missing
over 4 years ago

As we push for better health care and longer lives, Gregory Rodriguez writes that we should think about the societal consequences of having so many old people hanging around. "No one wants to die young. No one wants to face the last years of life infirm and fragile. But if Japan, where ancestors are ...

IdeaFeed

The Non-Existent Hand

Missing
over 4 years ago

"While most of the blame for the crisis should reside with those in the financial markets ... a considerable portion of it lies with the economics profession," writes Joseph Stiglitz. "The notion economists pushed—that markets are efficient and self-adjusting—gave comfort to regulators like Alan ...

IdeaFeed

Luce's Time

Missing
over 4 years ago

Henry Luce's magazines were shaped by "the best of his missionary temperament—commitment, energy, moral inquiry, and high purpose; and . . . the worst as well—arrogance, impatience, didacticism, and occasional dogmatism." Luce was "a passionately patriotic man" who "loved America and he idealized it ...

IdeaFeed

Neural Electronics

Missing
over 4 years ago

Scientists have created an ultrathin, flexible, electronic implant that essentially melts into place on the brain's surface. The new technology could help in the development of new devices for monitoring and controlling seizures, and for transmitting signals from the brain past damaged parts of the ...

IdeaFeed

Liberty's Limits

Missing
over 4 years ago

"One of the great hopes of the last decade has been that economic liberalization in China and Russia would pave the way for media liberalization. In this we have been repeatedly disappointed," writes Mark Gimein. "As commercial media organizations have started to pose more of a threat to the ...

IdeaFeed

God Is...Alive?

Missing
over 4 years ago

The English philosopher Andrew Flew who argued for the existence of God after a lifetime of atheism has died at the age of 87. "Antony Flew, an English philosopher and outspoken atheist who stunned and dismayed the unbelieving faithful when he announced in 2004 that God probably did exist, died ...

IdeaFeed

An Iraqi Institution

Missing
over 4 years ago

Established by the British in 1920, the Baghdad Equestrian Club has been one of the most stable institutions in Iraq since the invasion. "The crowd in the stands rose to their feet shouting and gesticulating in tense excitement as the horses rounded the final bend and thundered down the home ...

IdeaFeed

Jackie O

Missing
over 4 years ago

Jackie Kennedy's wit and style suits a British actress such as Rachel Weisz who will play the role in an upcoming film, writes The Independent. "It is not the first time that the role of Jackie Kennedy has gone to a Brit. She was famously played by Jacqueline Bisset in America's Prince and less ...

IdeaFeed

Bitter Moon

Missing
over 4 years ago

Scaling back Bush's promised manned moon landing left Obama in the cold of deep space, but now compromises are being made with NASA. "Human travel to Mars is now back on America’s space agenda. It is just one of many course-corrections that President Obama will likely be forced to make to his ...