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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

Standing Firm

Missing
over 4 years ago

Washington is standing firm as US relations with Israel hit a “crisis of historic proportions” over a dispute about Israel’s plans to expand a settlement in east Jerusalem. The White House refused to back down yesterday, stalling peace talks. “As Palestinians threatened to boycott future talks ...

IdeaFeed

Diabetes Eating Disorder

Missing
over 4 years ago

Sufferers of diabetes need to be extra-careful about controlling their food intake and weight, but have the double problem of needing treatment which makes them hungry. “Attempts to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and prevent weight gain may suggest an eating disorder when the disease and its ...

IdeaFeed

Bacterial Fingerprint

Missing
over 4 years ago

The “bacterial communities” that live on human skin are now thought to form colonies on inanimate objects regularly touched by human hands, such as your computer keyboard. These bacterial fingerprints have been discovered by microbiologists Rob Knight and Noah Ferrier of the University of Colorado ...

IdeaFeed

Pragmatic Philosophy

Missing
over 4 years ago

“’Pragmatic’ is a compliment sometimes paid to politicians (Barack Obama’s supporters describe him that way), and it is often used as an honorific indicating a person of common sense who knows how to get things done. ‘Pragmatic’ is also related (at least etymologically) to pragmatism, the name of a ...

IdeaFeed

Spilling Blood

Missing
over 4 years ago

The swaths of Red Shirt supporters demonstrating in the Thai capital, Bangkok, appears to have dwindled dramatically as the group prepares to spill blood on the steps of parliament. For the past 48 hours about 100,000 protestors have demonstrated in support of former prime minister Thaksi Shinawatra ...

IdeaFeed

Divided Commonality

Missing
over 4 years ago

“’Two nations, divided by a common language’ is how somebody once described Britain and America. ‘Two nations, divided by a common politics’ is another way to put it. Ever since the days of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, the political fortunes of the United States and Britain have tracked and ...

IdeaFeed

Lost Shakespeare

Missing
over 4 years ago

After 10 years of literary detective work, new evidence has come to light of a lost play by William Shakespeare, called Cardenio, which had masqueraded as an 18th-century work. “It has thrills, spills, sword fights, violent sexual assault and – to modern ears – a terrible ending, but the little ...

IdeaFeed

Biden His Time

Missing
over 4 years ago

Finally someone has said it, remarks Fox News’ Michael Goodwin. Vice President Biden stated categorically in a speech in Israel that the US will not tolerate nuclear weapons in Iran, saying: "The United States is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, period." Such straight ...

IdeaFeed

An Addict’s Choice

Missing
over 4 years ago

Everything you think you know about substance abuse is wrong, according to a new book “Addiction: A Disorder of Choice,” which says addiction is “voluntary behavior.” Written by Gene Heyman, a research psychologist at McLean Hospital and a lecturer at Harvard, the book exacts an exemplary assault on ...

IdeaFeed

Politics of Fun

Missing
over 4 years ago

What can policy makers learn from the tons of research published each year telling us why or how people could become happier? The New Yorker’s Elizabeth Kolbert inquires. A study from 1978, which compared the general happiness of a selection of lottery winners and a group of individuals who’d had ...

IdeaFeed

Protectionism in Drag

Missing
over 4 years ago

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is right to worry about the European Union’s proposed “alternative investment fund” regulations, which he has branded “protectionism in drag.” “The proposal, which European finance ministers will discuss tomorrow in Brussels, would effectively bar hedge funds and ...

IdeaFeed

“Outed” Officer

Missing
over 4 years ago

Attention has been drawn once again to the US’ “don’t, ask don’t tell” policy regarding homosexuality in the armed forces after a lesbian solider was “outed” by police. Jene Newsome, 28, had played by the rules as an Air Force sergeant and not disclosed her sexual orientation. But after police ...

IdeaFeed

Russian Invasion!

Missing
over 4 years ago

Russia’s army mounted a massive invasion of Georgia over the weekend, bombing the capital Tbilisi and assassinating President Mikheil Saakashvili. Except none of it actually happened. The terrifying scenario was played out in a chillingly realistic news report on Georgian television, causing ...

IdeaFeed

1,000 Days

Missing
over 4 years ago

“One thousand days ago, Gaza became the world's largest outdoor prison, those are not my words, but the words of John Holmes, the UN's chief humanitarian officer. One thousand days ago, Gaza’s gates to the outside world were closed and locked. Pedestrian and commercial traffic came to a grinding ...

IdeaFeed

Human Egg Raffle

Missing
over 4 years ago

Outrage has been sparked after a London fertility clinic began raffling a human egg and IVF treatment to one lucky winner in celebration of its relationship with an American counterpart. IVF laws in Britain are very different from those in America, and the competition by the Bridge Centre in London ...