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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

Night Shining

Missing
over 4 years ago

“A NASA satellite has created a new map of so-called ‘night-shining clouds,’ which form at high altitudes on Earth and glow even after the sun sets. These mysterious clouds, also called noctilucent clouds or Polar Mesospheric Clouds (PMCs), appear about 50 miles (80 km) above Earth's surface during ...

IdeaFeed

Toxic Fallout

Missing
over 4 years ago

Scientists paid a load of young people to get drunk and then analysed the results to find out which alcoholic beverages produced the worst hangover – with interesting results! “A new study finds that, compared with vodka, if you down too much bourbon, you're likely to have a worse hangover. But when ...

IdeaFeed

Facing It

Missing
over 4 years ago

“An engineering team has developed a face recognition system that is remarkably accurate in realistic situations. Unlike existing face recognition programs that try to find ‘optimal’ facial features, the new program uses sparse representation. One of the program’s developers, Yi Ma, an associate ...

IdeaFeed

Colliding Aurora

Missing
over 4 years ago

Aurora borealis, or the Northern Lights, can sometimes collide producing spectacular displays of light according to NASA which deployed cameras around the Arctic to catch the phenomenon. “’Our jaws dropped when we saw the movies for the first time,’ said space scientist Larry Lyons of the University ...

IdeaFeed

Jazz Nation

Missing
over 4 years ago

“At age 50, Miles Davis' album Kind of Blue has been officially and unanimously hailedby the US House of Representatives. Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) sponsored H.Res 894, which on Tuesday passed 409 to 0, recognizing the ‘unique contribution’ of the 37-minutes of modal improvisation trumpeter ...

IdeaFeed

Holiday Hubble

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Just in time for the holidays: a Hubble Space Telescope picture postcard of hundreds of brilliant blue stars wreathed by warm, glowing clouds. The festive portrait is the most detailed view of the largest stellar nursery in our local galactic neighborhood. The massive, young stellar grouping ...

IdeaFeed

Trany Pageant

Missing
over 4 years ago

“More than 100 hopefuls vied Saturday for the title of India's most beautiful transsexual at the country's first such pageant for members of the marginalised community, an organiser said. The event in the southern city of Chennai was unique in a country where transsexuals live on the fringes of ...

IdeaFeed

Thom Yorke, On Assignment

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Yesterday, Thom Yorke got a hold of a press pass and crashed the United Nations Climate Change Conference currently going down in Copenhagen, Denmark. And it looks like Yorke is putting his journalist credentials to good use. The Radiohead frontman has posted reportsfrom the conference on the band ...

IdeaFeed

Kennedy’s Dream

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Ted Kennedy thought this moment would come, though by this spring he did not expect to see it. In May he wrote to President Obama that he was ‘confident …that while I will not be there when it happens, you will be the president who at long last signs into law the health care reform that is the ...

IdeaFeed

Politics!

Missing
over 4 years ago

“As it's a work day for the Senate worth reporting here that Ben Nelson’s vote has been bought for more Medicaid spending for Nebraska and a complex formula for States to opt out of exchanges being able to fund abortions. So presuming there’s no problems in reconciliation we can expect the reform ...

IdeaFeed

Clerical Error

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Iran's most senior dissident cleric, has died, official media has reported. Montazeri, 87, was an architect of the 1979 Islamic revolution who fell out with the present leadership. He had been held under house arrest for several years. ‘Hossein Ali Montazeri ...

IdeaFeed

DNA Days

Missing
over 4 years ago

“The number of death sentences imposed by US courts has fallen because of a growing number of exonerations through DNA testing, according to a report by a prominent anti-death penalty group. The Death Penalty Information Centre in Washington says judges and juries imposed fewer death sentences over ...

IdeaFeed

Save Christmas!

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Battalions of salt trucks and snowplows maneuvered through an East Coast snow storm this morning with one mission: Save Christmas! (Or at least the Christmas shopping season.) The prospect of socked-in consumers playing in the snow instead of braving slippery roads to head to the mall helped to ...

IdeaFeed

Stymied Stimulus

Missing
over 4 years ago

“When the U.S. Congress passed the massive stimulus package earlier this year, California Governor Arnold Swarzenegger created a state-level inspector general to insure that the stimulus funds for California would not be used wastefully or improperly. This is a big job for any auditor, because ...

IdeaFeed

Climate Crime Scene

Missing
over 4 years ago

Though climate change science and African nations most affected by global warming support limiting air temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the Copenhagen conference ended yesterday with no legally binding commitments from countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. “President Obama ...