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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

Beach Bed

Missing
over 4 years ago

Three of California’s wealthiest coastal cities howled loudly last year when they were sued by a civil rights group over their treatment of the homeless. But progress has since been made, writes the LA Times’ Catherine Saillant. Santa Monica has a long history of assisting the down and out on its ...

IdeaFeed

Unfinished Balkans

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Western Balkans remains the missing piece of a strong, free Europe, write The Wall Street Journal commentators, and the US must work hard to help slot it into place. Jeanne Shaheen and George Voinovich remark that after two devastating world wars in Europe, the US and its allies made the ...

IdeaFeed

Food Stamp Chic

Missing
over 4 years ago

“In the John Waters-esque sector of northwest Baltimore -- equal parts kitschy, sketchy, artsy and weird -- Gerry Mak and Sarah Magida sauntered through a small ethnic market stocked with Japanese eggplant, mint chutney and fresh turmeric. After gathering ingredients for that evening's dinner, they ...

IdeaFeed

Standing Firm

Missing
over 4 years ago

Washington is standing firm as US relations with Israel hit a “crisis of historic proportions” over a dispute about Israel’s plans to expand a settlement in east Jerusalem. The White House refused to back down yesterday, stalling peace talks. “As Palestinians threatened to boycott future talks ...

IdeaFeed

Diabetes Eating Disorder

Missing
over 4 years ago

Sufferers of diabetes need to be extra-careful about controlling their food intake and weight, but have the double problem of needing treatment which makes them hungry. “Attempts to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and prevent weight gain may suggest an eating disorder when the disease and its ...

IdeaFeed

Bacterial Fingerprint

Missing
over 4 years ago

The “bacterial communities” that live on human skin are now thought to form colonies on inanimate objects regularly touched by human hands, such as your computer keyboard. These bacterial fingerprints have been discovered by microbiologists Rob Knight and Noah Ferrier of the University of Colorado ...

IdeaFeed

Pragmatic Philosophy

Missing
over 4 years ago

“’Pragmatic’ is a compliment sometimes paid to politicians (Barack Obama’s supporters describe him that way), and it is often used as an honorific indicating a person of common sense who knows how to get things done. ‘Pragmatic’ is also related (at least etymologically) to pragmatism, the name of a ...

IdeaFeed

Spilling Blood

Missing
over 4 years ago

The swaths of Red Shirt supporters demonstrating in the Thai capital, Bangkok, appears to have dwindled dramatically as the group prepares to spill blood on the steps of parliament. For the past 48 hours about 100,000 protestors have demonstrated in support of former prime minister Thaksi Shinawatra ...

IdeaFeed

Divided Commonality

Missing
over 4 years ago

“’Two nations, divided by a common language’ is how somebody once described Britain and America. ‘Two nations, divided by a common politics’ is another way to put it. Ever since the days of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, the political fortunes of the United States and Britain have tracked and ...

IdeaFeed

Lost Shakespeare

Missing
over 4 years ago

After 10 years of literary detective work, new evidence has come to light of a lost play by William Shakespeare, called Cardenio, which had masqueraded as an 18th-century work. “It has thrills, spills, sword fights, violent sexual assault and – to modern ears – a terrible ending, but the little ...

IdeaFeed

Biden His Time

Missing
over 4 years ago

Finally someone has said it, remarks Fox News’ Michael Goodwin. Vice President Biden stated categorically in a speech in Israel that the US will not tolerate nuclear weapons in Iran, saying: "The United States is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, period." Such straight ...

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 ...