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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

Accelerating Problems

Missing
over 4 years ago

Regulators hired by Toyota narrowed the scope of at least four government investigations into the now infamous accelerator problems that have recalled millions of vehicles. "At least four U.S. investigations into unintended acceleration by Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles were ended with the help of ...

IdeaFeed

Recycled Medals

Missing
over 4 years ago

This winter's Olympic medals contain recycled material from junked electronic equipment like circuit boards and cathode ray tubes that would otherwise occupy a dump. "When Olympic champions are crowned at this year's winter games in Vancouver, these elite athletes will be taking home more than just ...

IdeaFeed

"Welfare Recreation"

Missing
over 4 years ago

The notorious private security firm Blackwater, currently Xe, was charging the government to fly a Filipina prostitute into Afghanistan and pay her a monthly salary as "morale welfare recreation". "The troubled American private security company Blackwater faced fresh controversy today when two ...

IdeaFeed

Public Debate

Missing
over 4 years ago

The White House has formally invited the Congress to attend a televised legislative debate over healthcare reform scheduled for February 25th in the nation's capital. "Like a duel, there are formalities laid out. Who should attend: Senior House/Senate leadership, chairmen and ranking members of ...

IdeaFeed

Black Economy

Missing
over 4 years ago

Out of work sugar cane farmers from the small county of Xalisco, Mexico have opened big black tar heroin operations accross the Midwest targeting white, middle class buyers. "Immigrants from an obscure corner of Mexico are changing heroin use in many parts of America. Farm boys from a tiny county ...

IdeaFeed

Dark History

Missing
over 4 years ago

The professor who killed three of her colleagues during a department meeting also shot and killed her 18-year-old brother 24 years ago in Massachusetts. "But a local police chief and the district attorney’s office gave differing accounts today of the 1986 shooting, which occurred at the siblings ...

IdeaFeed

First Marjah, Then What?

Missing
over 4 years ago

With NATO forces on their way to securing the city of Marjah, questions remain about the strategic importance of the city and its place in a war to promote democracy. "The Taliban put up a stiff resistance Sunday, as a coalition assault against the militant group entered its second day in southern ...

IdeaFeed

Gold Medalist

Missing
over 4 years ago

Despite the lack of snowfall in Vancouver, the half-Canadian mogulist Hannah Kearney has given the U.S. its first gold medal of the games. "Kearney’s victory came as a tremendous disappointment to the Canadian fans huddled under umbrellas and shivering in ponchos at the base of the mogul run ...

IdeaFeed

Afghan Offensive

Missing
over 4 years ago

After a campaign to publicize an invasion of Marjah, Afghanistan during which most of the Taliban left, coalition forces have moved in and secured a majority of the city only hours after invading. "There were clashes as more than 15,000 US, UK and Afghan troops swept into the Helmand areas of Marjah ...

IdeaFeed

Vancouver 2010

Missing
over 4 years ago

The luge track where a Georgian athlete died is being refitted with safer walls after the tragedy cast a somber mood over the opening ceremony. "The Whistler track where Georgian luge athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili died Friday is being changed to lessen a dangerous curve. Late on Friday night, just ...

IdeaFeed

Buzz Off!

Missing
over 4 years ago

Google Buzz is under fire for violating the privacy of its gmail clients by making their email contact list into a public friends list on the new social media platform. "When Google introduced Buzz — its answer to Facebook and Twitter — it hoped to get the service off to a fast start. New users of ...

IdeaFeed

Denied Tenure

Missing
over 4 years ago

Amy Bishop, an assistant professor of biology who has shot and killed three of her colleagues at the U of Alabama-Hunstville, was recently twice denied tenure. "A biology professor was charged with murder late Friday in the shooting deaths of three colleagues at the campus. Amy Bishop, a Harvard ...

IdeaFeed

Manky Television

Missing
over 4 years ago

MTV, which now hosts mainly reality television series, has dropped 'Music Television' from its official logo giving the brand more flexibility. "Twenty-five years ago, MTV was best known for music videos starring Michael Jackson and Madonna. These days, its reigning queen is not a recording star at ...

IdeaFeed

Ye Olde Love

Missing
over 4 years ago

Personal ads recently found from the 17th century are more about money and stability than love or romance; the uncovered ads are stored in the British Library. "Never mind the GSH, the 'gentleman about 30 years of age' who placed one of the first recorded lonely hearts ads in 1695 was seeking a LTR ...

IdeaFeed

Blonde on Canvas

Missing
over 4 years ago

Bob Dylan's first works on canvas are currently on display at an upmarket gallery in Mayfair as part of the London Art Show. "A collection of Bob Dylan paintings billed as the US musician's first works on canvas went on show Thursday, promoted with typically inscrutable comments by the legendary ...