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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

Mocking Clinton

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Former President Bill Clinton poked fun at his ex-veep Saturday, telling the Gridiron Club's annual dinner that he was speaking on the night before the start of spring, ‘otherwise known to Al Gore as proof of global warming.’ Clinton also made fun of Republicans, his White House successors, his own ...

IdeaFeed

Fighting Fat

Missing
over 4 years ago

Seaweed could be the latest weapon in tackling the obesity crisis according to British scientists who’ve found it reduces fat absorption by up to 75 per cent. Experiments at Newcastle University revealed that when seaweed is added to fatty foods such as bread, cookies and yoghurt, it dramatically ...

IdeaFeed

Profligate Planet

Missing
over 4 years ago

The International Monetary Fund warns that developed countries must cut back spending to sustain long-term economic growth, which means precious little in the short term. "In a speech at the China Development Forum in Beijing, John Lipsky, the deputy managing director of the I.M.F., offered a grim ...

IdeaFeed

Healthcare Vote X 2

Missing
over 4 years ago

Two votes on healthcare are scheduled in the House on Sunday as politicians navigate legislative procedure in an attempt to pass healthcare reform through the reconciliation process. "On the eve of a historic healthcare reform vote, President Obama rallied House Democrats on Capitol Hill Saturday ...

IdeaFeed

Fat and Cancer

Missing
over 4 years ago

Short of a causal relationship, new research shows strong correlation between fat content in the body and occurrence rates for certain types of cancer. "An increasing number of studies are finding that overweight and obese people are more likely to develop cancer of various kinds. At least half a ...

IdeaFeed

Diploma Sadness

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page wants to see at least a minimum graduation rate of 40 percent before college basketball teams are allowed to compete in post-season play. "We often sell our young people short when we judge their academic potential. They respond to our low expectations with low ...

IdeaFeed

Ban: Ban Settlements

Missing
over 4 years ago

The UN secretary-general has declared proposed Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem to be illegal since they would further occupy Palestinian territory. "Mr Ban is in the Middle East to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders and press them to resume peace talks. Israel's controversial announcement ...

IdeaFeed

"Unconscionable"

Missing
over 4 years ago

Ahead of financial reform legislation that would give the Federal Reserve more regulative authority, Chairman Bernanke says the bailouts of 2009 must never be repeated. "'It is unconscionable that the fate of the world economy should be so closely tied to the fortunes of a relatively small number ...

IdeaFeed

Sam Shepard

Missing
over 4 years ago

A man for all seasons, Sam Shepard opens up about Patti Smith, his plays, his problems with alcohol and the role of love in American society in a recent interview with The Guardian. "Where do you even begin with Sam Shepard? With his Pulitzer prize? His Oscar nomination? The fact that he's routinely ...

IdeaFeed

O! Mexico!

Missing
over 4 years ago

In the city of Juarez, Mexico, thousands are killed each year as a result of drug-related violence highlighting the inadequacies of American-Mexican drug policies. "Nearly 19,000 people in Mexico have been slaughtered in drug violence since 2006, the year the conservative Felipe Calderon was ...

IdeaFeed

NASA: A Big Nada?

Missing
over 4 years ago

NASA's new goals were explored in New York last week in light of the reality that the manned spaceflight program has been scrapped. Is it really the end of Americans in space? "Effectively, Obama's budget would abandon the Constellation goal of returning to the moon in the next decade. (As many ...

IdeaFeed

Le Defeat

Missing
over 4 years ago

Nicolas Sarkozy's political party is expected to take heavy losses at regional polls on Sunday signalling the French President's luck may have run out since his post-crash popularity. "Fears about job losses, immigration and security, as well as resentment about issues such as bank bailouts and ...

IdeaFeed

Countdown to Sunday

Missing
over 4 years ago

The vote count looks promising for Democrats as the Healthcare Reform Bill is scheduled for a vote in the House this Sunday in what has become a lesson in procedural politics. "The question now is whether these last-minute conversions will be enough to offset a collection of wavering Democrats who ...

IdeaFeed

Stem Cell Success

Missing
over 4 years ago

A 10 year-old British boy has successfully received a transplanted windpipe that was treated with his own stem cells to prevent his body from rejecting the donated organ; the surgery is a major medical advance. "The boy, who is British, is the first child in the world to undergo the revolutionary ...

IdeaFeed

Hollywood Comes Home

Missing
over 4 years ago

The economic depression has proven a serious crisis for major film studios and in its wake Hollywood stars are flocking to Broadway to renew their acting careers. "New Yorkers will not need to go to their nearest multiplex cinema to catch the latest performances by stars such as Denzel Washington ...