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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Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

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IdeaFeed Posts

Big ideas in the news from around the web

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

“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

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

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 ...

IdeaFeed

Unfunny Comeback

Missing
over 4 years ago

Even Jerry Seinfeld’s former writing partner Larry David has failed to see the funny side of his recent television comeback, appearing to echo critics who have branded the show “pointless.” “A beautiful friendship began when the comedian Larry David met Jerry Seinfeld two decades ago and the pair ...

IdeaFeed

“Green Zone” Truth?

Missing
over 4 years ago

A top military adviser on the newly released war thriller “Green Zone” has written an editorial slamming the film’s assertion that a massive conspiracy led us into the Iraq war. Richard “Monty” Gonzales states his surprise and disappointment that some people are trying to twist the fictional ...

IdeaFeed

Rotating Forces

Missing
over 4 years ago

As the fight in Afghanistan heightens, with more troops flown in and more and more losses recorded, the conflict has come to be seen as Obama’s war, writes The Chicago Tribune. But, more than that, it has come to be seen as America’s war. Once a formerly anti-war party takes power and escalates a ...

IdeaFeed

Take the Money, Honey

Missing
over 4 years ago

New research shows men tend to be overly confident, reactive, and eager for short-term gains when investing money in the stock market, while women are more risk averse. "The latest data comes from Vanguard, the mutual fund company. Among 2.7 million people with I.R.A.’s at the company, it found that ...

IdeaFeed

Policing "The Police"

Missing
over 4 years ago

Anticipating a report to be released in May criticizing the music industry for its carbon footprint, industry leaders have met in London to discuss reducing the environmental impact of big tours like The Police and U2. "Imagine U2 clambering on to a train to take them to a sold-out stadium; Keith ...

IdeaFeed

"Faith Offensive"

Missing
over 4 years ago

In the wake of his fall from grace at home, Tony Blair's Faith Foundation is making connections in the U.S. with pastors like Rick Warren in order to promote understanding between different faiths. "With Afghanistan and Iraq casting a shadow over his popularity at home in Britain, Blair's focus has ...

IdeaFeed

Sleep Well?

Missing
over 4 years ago

The National Sleep Foundation finds that our busy American culture homogenizes sleeping tendencies across cultures, resulting in all ethnicities sacrificing some of their Z's. "The National Sleep Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that promotes sleep health, released its annual "Sleep in ...

IdeaFeed

Crack vs. Cocaine

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Senate Judiciary Committee has unanimously agreed to reduce the sentencing disparity between crack and cocaine to 18:1, down from 100:1. The vote envisages similar legislation. "A long-standing dispute over huge disparities in sentencing between crack vs. powdered cocaine appears to be headed ...