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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

Karadzic’s “Holy Cause”

Missing
over 4 years ago

Former Bosnian leader Radovan Karadzic has said that the Serb cause in the Bosnian war was “just and holy” in his defense at the genocide trial at The Hague. “Mr Karadzic, who led the Bosnian Serbs during the war in the 1990s, said there was a core group of Muslims in Bosnia - then and now - who ...

IdeaFeed

Antitrust Sparring

Missing
over 4 years ago

Google and Microsoft are at loggerheads over a routine lawsuit Google Inc. filed against a small internet site in Ohio, for which Microsoft has provided high-grade legal counsel. “Seeking $335,000 in unpaid advertising bills, Google Inc. filed suit against a small Internet site in Ohio in October ...

IdeaFeed

Double Tragedy

Missing
over 4 years ago

Chile is appealing for international help as it copes with the double disasters of a fierce earthquake quickly followed by a devastating tsunami. “The Chilean government initially said it needed time to assess the damage before it called for help, but ambassador Jose Luis Balmaceda says the ...

IdeaFeed

Chile Versus Haiti

Missing
over 4 years ago

Though the earthquake in Chile was 500 times stronger than Haiti's, many fewer deaths are expected, but how can this be the case? "Because of its long history with earthquakes, which has contributed to an earthquake 'consciousness' in Chile, and infrastructure that is built to higher standards, many ...

IdeaFeed

Upside-down Frown

Missing
over 4 years ago

Looking for the upside of depression, The New York Times Magazine approaches the "disease" from the point of view of evolutionary biology. "For Darwin, depression was a clarifying force, focusing the mind on its most essential problems. In his autobiography, he speculated on the purpose of such ...

IdeaFeed

Accelerating Problems

Missing
over 4 years ago

Consumer activist Ralph Nader says that lax federal regulation of an ever-more complex auto industry is partly to blame for Toyota's present crisis. "The spotlight on sudden-acceleration defects of Toyota vehicles has opened a window on lax enforcement by the National Highway Traffic Safety ...

IdeaFeed

Skin in the Game

Missing
over 4 years ago

Warren Buffet says that it's high time CEOs of financial institutions assume their own salary is at stake when they make investment decisions for their companies. "Buffett has been criticizing overreaching corporate managers and complaisant directors for decades. But the question of how to motivate ...

IdeaFeed

Forests of the Ocean

Missing
over 4 years ago

Weighing their impact on climate change, scientists say that whale populations in the ocean should be preserved as a carbon sink just like forests on dry land. "A century of whaling may have released more than 100 million tonnes - or a large forest's worth - of carbon into the atmosphere, scientists ...

IdeaFeed

"Socialist Pay"

Missing
over 4 years ago

American Banks rejected the advice of their British counterparts to reduce high-level bonus payouts at secret talks held between the parties in London last year. "America's top bankers quashed attempts by their British counterparts to persuade the industry to bring down salaries in response to ...

IdeaFeed

Inhumane Humanities

Missing
over 4 years ago

Humanities education in America is facing a crisis at the highest levels, writes The New Republic, as job prospects dwindle and graduate researchers multiply. "Efforts to create new forms of general education foundered because general education was aimed at preparing students for the world outside ...

IdeaFeed

Teflon Berlusconi

Missing
over 4 years ago

Tens of thousands gathered in Rome on Saturday to protest Prime Minister Berlusconi's alleged corruption while a case against him and his tax lawyer has adjourned. "Berlusconi, who did not attend Saturday's hearing, is on trial for allegedly paying $600,000 to David Mills, a British tax lawyer, in ...

IdeaFeed

The Publishing Revolution

Missing
over 4 years ago

Jason Epstein writes that the publishing transition from print to digital is inevitable, and a powerful yet fragile process that can expand literacy and knowledge. "The transition within the book publishing industry from physical inventory stored in a warehouse and trucked to retailers to digital ...

IdeaFeed

Water Wars

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Middle East's poorest country, Yemen, already spends a third of its families' income on fresh water, which is predicted to become too expensive to consume by 2017. "Most experts predict Sana'a, the fastest-growing capital in the world at 7% a year, will run out of economically viable water ...

IdeaFeed

Paterson Won't Run

Missing
over 4 years ago

After the New York Times broke a story about Paterson's possible intervention in a domestic abuse case on behalf of one of his aides, the governor of New York has suspended his election campaign. "The announcement came less than a week after Mr. Paterson formally announced his candidacy. The ...

IdeaFeed

Tobacco Fix

Missing
over 4 years ago

Rather than eggs, which can sometimes be in short supply, researchers have found that tobacco plants can be used to incubate diseases before they are killed and turned into vaccines. "Production of flu vaccine is rooted in old technology. You need fertile chicken eggs, millions of them, for growing ...