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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

Happiness Rating

Missing
over 4 years ago

A new study, dubbed the “smiley scale”, has ranked each American state by happiness – revealing that dwellers of the Big Apple were the least, er smiley. “Andrew J. Oswald, of the University of Warwick in Britain, and Stephen Wu, of Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. — examined piles of data, tossed ...

IdeaFeed

Slipping Away

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Four days before the fall of Kabul in November 2001, Osama bin Laden was still in town. The Al Qaeda leader’s movements before and after September 11 are difficult to trace precisely, but, just prior to the attacks, we know that he appeared in Kandahar and urged his followers to evacuate to safer ...

IdeaFeed

Sick Poverty

Missing
over 4 years ago

“From the 14th floor of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, I could look across the East River to much of Brooklyn and Queens. Behind me in the hospital bed was the woman I love, who was sick, very sick. She was attended by some remarkable doctors (including her own indomitable daughter), and I would ...

IdeaFeed

Droning On…

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Publicly and privately, the Pentagon pinky-swears that militants haven’t been able to make a dent in U.S. operations, even though they’re able to tap into American overhead surveillance feeds. But at least one Air Force official, under the cover of anonymity, is telling a different story. One ...

IdeaFeed

Press TV

Missing
over 4 years ago

The angels, cherubs and putti depicted in Christmas nativity scenes are “anatomically flawed” according to a scientist who claims they would never be able to fly with their flimsy wings. “Prof Roger Wotton, from University College London, found that flight would be impossible for angels portrayed ...

IdeaFeed

Wasted Billions

Missing
over 4 years ago

A new Pentagon study is warning the Obama administration about overspending in Afghanistan by revealing that the US Army wasted billions of dollars on the Iraq war.“The US administration spent billions of dollars by employing a large number of private sectors in Iraq, the report released by German ...

IdeaFeed

Dinosaur Venom

Missing
over 4 years ago

A 125m-year-old dinosaur species resembling a bird used venom to subdue its prey according to a new theory based on the shape of some of the creature’s teeth. “Sinornithosaurus's upper teeth resemble those of ‘rear-fanged’ snakes which bite their prey and channel venom into the wound. The dinosaur ...

IdeaFeed

Washington “Forgery”

Missing
over 4 years ago

Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused Washington of forging the documents revealed last week showing that Tehran is working on a nuclear bomb trigger. “ ‘They are all fabricated bunch of papers continuously being forged and disseminated by the American government,’ Ahmadinejad told ABC ...

IdeaFeed

Mayon Refusal

Missing
over 4 years ago

As the Philippines-based volcano Mount Mayon continues to show signs of erupting residents who are refusing evacuation are being asked to sign waivers by rescue services. “Radio dzBB’s Alan Gatus on Tuesday reported that troops from the Philippine Army went back to some Albay villages that are ...

IdeaFeed

Kiddie Court Martial

Missing
over 4 years ago

The US Army general in northern Iraq has added pregnancy to the list of behavior which could lead to a court martial while serving under his command. “The new policy would apply to both female soldiers who become pregnant on the battlefield and the male soldiers who impregnate them. Civilians ...

IdeaFeed

Organ Theft

Missing
over 4 years ago

Israel has admitted harvesting organs from the bodies of Palestinians and Israelis without permission from their families during the 1990s. “The admission follows the release of an interview with Jehuda Hiss, the former head of Israel's forensic institute, in which he said that workers at the ...

IdeaFeed

Pius Move?

Missing
over 4 years ago

“A leading rabbi accused Pope Benedict XVI of ‘insensitivity’ towards Jews yesterday after the head of the Catholic Church moved his controversial World War II-era predecessor Pope Pius XII a step closer to sainthood. Pius XII, who served from 1939 to 1958, is regarded by conservative Catholics as ...

IdeaFeed

Sign Recovery

Missing
over 4 years ago

The “Arbeit macht frei” sign stolen from Auschwitz on Friday has been recovered in Northern Poland and five men are now being questioned by police. “The five suspects, aged in their 20s and 30s, were not members of a neo-Nazi group, Krakow police said. The metal sign from the main gate, which ...

IdeaFeed

Grand Ayatollah Dies

Missing
over 4 years ago

Iran’s opposition has seized upon the death of one of the republic’s founding fathers, Grand Ayatolllah Hossein Ali Montazeri, to take to the streets in mourning. “Tens of thousands of Iranian mourners--many chanting protest slogans--joined the funeral procession Monday for Grand Ayatollah Hossein ...

IdeaFeed

Green Light

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Democrats won a major victory in their push for health care reform early Monday morning as the Senate voted to end debate on a package of controversial revisions to a sweeping $871 billion bill. The 60 to 40 party-line vote, cast shortly after 1 a.m., kept Senate Democrats on track to pass the bill ...