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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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IdeaFeed Posts

Big ideas in the news from around the web

IdeaFeed

Bat Navigation

Missing
over 4 years ago

Recent evidence out of the Max Planck institute indicates that bats have sensitivity to the geomagnetic field, and use it to navigate. Bats used echolocation to move short distances, but when they are traveling miles from home at night they seem to guide their flight, at least in part, by using the ...

IdeaFeed

Jaw Dropper

Missing
over 4 years ago

Columbia University biomedical engineering professor Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic says that her team of researchers has grown a human jaw bone using stem cells taken from bone marrow. She says that the availability of personalized bone grafts created from a patient's stem cells could revolutionize the ...

IdeaFeed

Do-It-All Elites

Missing
over 4 years ago

Researchers at the University of Utah have found that 2.5 percent of the population is able to do two or more tasks at the same time without hurting their ability to perform each. This elite group of "supertaskers" are able to talk or text while driving, among other abilities. These findings, of ...

IdeaFeed

Congo's Uncivil War

Missing
over 4 years ago

A Daily Beast feature looks at the factors behind the brutal civil war that has been taking place in the Congo over the past decade -- and the epidemic of mass rape that has swept that country with it. At a recent forum, Congolese activist Annie Rashidi-Mulumba said "We have to treat sexual violence ...

IdeaFeed

Victorian Era Sex Survey

Missing
over 4 years ago

Well before the Kinsey reports, turn-of-the-century Stanford University hygiene professor Dr. Clelia Duel Mosher did a scientific survey of the sexual habits of her era's women. Dozens of women -- mostly born before 1870 -- told Mosher about their intimate thoughts, sexual habits and appetites, and ...

IdeaFeed

Time Enough for Tea

Missing
over 4 years ago

As many of its activists depend on unemployment for inspiration and government benefits, can the Tea Party movement survive an economy on the rebound? "At rallies, gatherings and training sessions in recent months, activists often tell a similar story in interviews: they had lost their jobs, or ...

IdeaFeed

Recess!

Missing
over 4 years ago

President Obama will take advantage of the Congress' recess to fill 15 economic posts allowing him to circumvent the Senate's confirmation process. "The move reflected the frustration within the White House about what they see as obstructionist actions by a Republican minority that is intent on ...

IdeaFeed

Legalize It

Missing
over 4 years ago

Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune advocates legalizing marijuana as a solution to the spiraling violence of the Mexican-American drug trade. "Mexico has been wracked by murders connected to the drug trade. Last year, it suffered more than 6,500 drug-related killings, triple the number in 2007 ...

IdeaFeed

High and Fired

Missing
over 4 years ago

Absent legal protection, medical marijuana users are still subject to company drug policies which can result in being fired for drug use. "To date, 14 states have laws allowing the use of medical marijuana, which shield legal users from criminalization but don't protect them from them penalties ...

IdeaFeed

$8 Billion Windfall

Missing
over 4 years ago

After buying 27 percent of Citibank to keep it afloat, the federal government is ready to sell its shares for an estimated profit of $8 billion. "The Obama administration is making final preparations to sell its stake in the New York bank, according to industry and federal sources. At today's prices ...

IdeaFeed

Developing Sustainability

Missing
over 4 years ago

The key to surviving global warming will be to develop an economy that empowers the impoverished to meet global clean-energy demands. "A big part of any linkage between fighting climate change and poverty alleviation will be building a more comprehensive energy infrastructure. 'When hundreds of ...

IdeaFeed

Helicopter Commute

Missing
over 4 years ago

$200 daily helicopter shuttles to and from work demonstrate that Wall Street is up and running again after the recession and plenty of traffic jams. "Liberty Helicopters Inc. is offering to fly weary commuters from New Jersey to Manhattan for about $200 a day, saving them 14 hours in traffic a week ...

IdeaFeed

Christian Nation

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Christian Science Monitor is as surprised as anyone at the emergence of many New Calvinists trying to bring Puritanism back to America. "Welcome to the austere – and increasingly embraced – message of Calvinism. Five centuries ago, John Calvin's teachings reconceived Christianity; midwifed ...

IdeaFeed

Harsh Sentence

Missing
over 4 years ago

Once an employee of the Secret Service, the computer hacker Albert Gonzalez has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for credit card fraud. "The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to three cases of fraud at his trial last year. Gonzalez was sentenced to 20 years for the first two cases on Thursday, and 20 ...

IdeaFeed

Brainwash

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Texas school board's recent decisions to make the local curriculum more conservative is troublesome in light of the state's disproportionate influence on national textbook sales. "Country music is an important modern cultural movement; hip-hop isn't. Thomas Jefferson deserves to be erased from a ...