What is Big Think?  

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

Robotic Assistant

Missing
over 4 years ago

Robots and smart sensors designed to support independent living for the elderly and infirm are being developed by researchers at the University of the West of England. “The project will bring together a multi-disciplinary team in UWE with expertise in care for older people, Tina Fear and Simon Evans ...

IdeaFeed

Vatican Sex Scandal

Missing
over 4 years ago

How in the name of God can the Roman Catholic Church put the wave upon wave of pedophilia scandals behind it? The Washington Post’s E.J Dionne Jr. investigates. He says: “The church's problem is, above all, theological and religious. Its core difficulty is that rather than drawing on its Christian ...

IdeaFeed

Pakistan’s Most Wanted

Missing
over 4 years ago

“As Pakistani ministers and the country's army chiefs lobbied the Obama administration in Washington this week for increased military funding for the fight against Al Qa'ida militants, the top man on the US, UN and EU most wanted list in Pakistan moved freely in the streets of Lahore. In his first ...

IdeaFeed

Text 2.0

Missing
over 4 years ago

With tablet notebooks and Kindles changing the way we read books, new technology is threatening the way we respond to the text by using “eye tracking” to keep our interest. “What if those written words were watching you reading them and making adjustments accordingly? Eye-tracking technology and ...

IdeaFeed

Diamond Menagerie

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Gordon Edelstein, whose past productions at New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre include the best ‘Uncle Vanya’ I've ever seen, has brought his version of Tennessee Williams's masterpiece ‘The Glass Menagerie’ from Connecticut to the Laura Pels Theatre, the Roundabout Theatre Company's Off-Broadway house ...

IdeaFeed

Great Firewall of China

Missing
over 4 years ago

Determined bloggers and Google’s experts have the means to defeat China’s Internet censors, and the government can’t do anything to stop it, writes The Guardian’s Xia Qiang. He uses the example of Han Han, a 28-year-old bestselling author and blogger who is “a star of Chinese cyberspace”. Qiang ...

IdeaFeed

Uneasy Listening

Missing
over 4 years ago

What’s the problem with iTunes, iPods, and other convenient listening devices, asks The Los Angeles Times’ Steve Almond? Nothing, except for the devaluation of the music experience. He writes: “When I first encountered iTunes, the wildly popular music app that allows fans to compile their own ...

IdeaFeed

Wikipedia Overhaul

Missing
over 4 years ago

All-knowing, user-generated, online encyclopedia Wikipedia is due for a massive makeover. So fear not, fact-finders, but get ready for a new look, new layout and new features. But the news comes less that 24 hours after Wikipedia and other Wikimedia Foundation websites went down for hours on in a ...

IdeaFeed

Cognitive Morality

Missing
over 4 years ago

A new study has revealed that humans’ ability to respond appropriately to intended harms – ie moral outrage and anger – is rooted in the brain region used for regulating emotions. “Patients with damage to this brain area, known as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC), are unable to conjure a ...

IdeaFeed

Consumptive Issue

Missing
over 4 years ago

Today is world tuberculosis day, but there is “no better news” writes Global Post as complacency and lack of funding deter research into the disease. Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne writes: “A year and a half ago, I attended the seventh birthday party of a young boy named Fanyana, who was quarantined at ...

IdeaFeed

Facebook Error

Missing
over 4 years ago

Stupid criminals and Facebook just don’t go together says Chicago Tribune’s John Kass, remarking on the fate of an escaped burglar who set his status as “on da run…” Unsurprisingly, Joseph Luebke, 19, was picked up by the authorities just hours after logging into the social networking site and ...

IdeaFeed

Architectural Matzoh Balls

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Each year at Passover, after someone's child asks the Four Questions that begin with ‘Why is this night different from all other nights?,’ one more pops in my head: Why are tonight's matzoh balls better than mine? This is a momentary lapse I am not proud of. Retelling the Jews' exodus from slavery ...

IdeaFeed

Cup Runneth Over

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Earlier this week, Women's Wear Daily gave ‘breast men’ (and women) everywhere something to celebrate: Bra sizes are up! Way up! While the median size just 10 years ago was 36C, the median American rack now fills a porn-ready 36DD! But don't throw a party yet: As basically everyone who's covered ...

IdeaFeed

Lone Crusader

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Lone crusader” Yukio Ubukata has taken on the big guns of Japan’s ruling party by speaking on the radio to denounce what he calls the “dangerous concentration of power and money”. The veteran member of parliament, who is also one of 15 deputy secretaries-general to the ruling Democratic Party of ...

IdeaFeed

Taxing Wall Street

Missing
over 4 years ago

As the rich get richer in New York public services are meanwhile bracing themselves for “draconian” cuts. To save New York, tax Wall Street, writes The Guardian’s Sadhbh Walshe. “Life in New York is about to get very interesting. Like so many other states, New York is in the red, facing a budget ...