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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

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 ...

IdeaFeed

Ebert Speaks

Missing
over 4 years ago

After losing his voice to cancer, new software is allowing Roger Ebert to "speak" through a computer by taking sounds of his own voice from his DVD commentary on 'Casablanca' and 'Citizen Kane'. "Nearly four years after a battle with thyroid cancer robbed him of the ability to speak, iconic film ...

IdeaFeed

8.8

Missing
over 4 years ago

A major earthquake north of Concepcion, Chile has disrupted communication and electricity infrastructure though President Bachelet says emergency response is proceeding as planned. "The quake struck at 0634 GMT about 91km (56 miles) north-east of the city of Concepcion and 317km south-west of the ...

IdeaFeed

Liberals Are (A Little) Smarter

Missing
over 4 years ago

Though correlation doesn't imply causation, prudish liberal atheists generally have slightly higher IQs than their lustful conservative theist brethren. "Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the the London School of Economics and Political Science correlated data on these behaviors with IQ ...

IdeaFeed

Poor Fannie

Missing
over 4 years ago

The mortgage finance company Fannie May is asking the government for another $15.3 billion to keep it afloat after reporting a loss for its tenth consecutive quarter. "Fannie Mae will seek $15.3 billion in U.S. aid, bringing the total owed under a government lifeline to $76.2 billion, after its 10th ...

IdeaFeed

Iceberg Breakaway

Missing
over 4 years ago

An iceberg the size of Luxembourg which has broken away from Antarctica was caused by a collision with another iceberg rather than being a result of global warming. "An iceberg the size of Luxembourg has broken away from the Antarctic continent and is drifting towards an area of the Southern Ocean ...