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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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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

Peace Call

Missing
over 4 years ago

North Korea has called for a formal peace treaty with the US in exchange for returning to international talks about its nuclear weapons programme. “However, in an apparent signal of Washington's scepticism about closer ties with the reclusive dictatorship, the US's new envoy on North Korea's human ...

IdeaFeed

“Allah Row” Escalates

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Two more churches in Malaysia were firebombed Sunday, bringing the total to six since a court ruled that non-Muslims can use the word ‘Allah’ as a term for God. No one has been hurt in the attacks, which began Friday. They follow a high court's ruling that Christians can use the word ‘Allah’ in ...

IdeaFeed

No Smoking

Missing
over 4 years ago

The United Arab Emirates has issued a law restricting the use of tobacco and its marketing unless specific standard requirements are met. “UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued the law banning the import of tobacco and its by-products unless specific standard requirements are met ...

IdeaFeed

Togo Attack

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Angolan authorities have arrested two people over a deadly attack on Togo's football team at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament, state media says. Angola's National Radio reported that two suspects were arrested in the northern province of Cabinda - where Togo's team bus was attacked on Friday ...

IdeaFeed

Humanising Hitler

Missing
over 4 years ago

Can Hollywood filmmaker Oliver Stone’s new documentary show us the “human side of Hitler?” asks The Independent’s Stephen Foley. “Oliver Stone has never been one to spot a historical controversy without steaming towards it, but the latest project from the film-maker behind JFK and W threatens to ...

IdeaFeed

Temblor Trouble

Missing
over 4 years ago

No deaths have been reported after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck thirty three miles off the coast of northern California. “A magnitude 6.5 earthquake rocked the Northern California city of Eureka on Saturday, snapping power lines, toppling chimneys, knocking down traffic signals, shattering ...

IdeaFeed

Parliamentary Infighting

Missing
over 4 years ago

President Karzai has submitted a new list of prospective cabinet ministers to the Afghan parliament after many of first choices were rejected but the new list is not immune to criticism. “Seeking to end a political standoff with anewly assertive parliament, President Hamid Karzai on Saturday ...

IdeaFeed

Kennedy’s Ghost

Missing
over 4 years ago

The election to fill the late Ted Kennedy’s senate seat on January 19th could determine whether healthcare legislation is passed in the Congress. “At a business forum in Boston Friday, interim Sen. Paul Kirk predicted that Congress would pass a health-care reform bill this month. ‘We want to get ...

IdeaFeed

Beatles Babe

Missing
over 4 years ago

Yoko Ono says she will take five years to write her memoirs including the Beatles’ breakup and how John took his tea. “Yoko Ono is to finally put pen to paper and tell us why the Beatles broke up. The Fab Four widow said this week that her ‘next book’ will be a set of memoirs, to be published by ...

IdeaFeed

Smog Blog

Missing
over 4 years ago

The EPA will introduce new smog standards soon that will cost billions to business but be offset by gains in public health. “The Environmental Protection Agency has announced its proposal to toughen up the standards for smog-causingpollutants, which would replace the standards set during the Bush ...

IdeaFeed

Perceptive Plantae

Missing
over 4 years ago

Scientists have discovered that plants activate and deactivate certain genes according to temperature variation aiding them in climate adaptation. “Plants are incredibly temperature sensitive and can perceive changes of as little as one degree Celsius. Now, a report in the January 8th issue of the ...

IdeaFeed

Humanities Hell

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Chronicle of Higher Education writes that studying the humanities in graduate school is a recipe for hardship and poverty. “Most undergraduates don't realize that there is a shrinking percentage of positions in the humanities that offer job security, benefits, and a livable salary (though it is ...

IdeaFeed

Bogus Bonuses?

Missing
over 4 years ago

Year-end bonuses will soon be paid out to Wall Street executives which threatens to ignite a new round of public fury. “Everyone on Wall Street is fixated on The Number. The bank bonus season, that annual rite of big money and bigger egos, begins in earnest this week, and it looks as if it will be ...

IdeaFeed

Togo Goes Home?

Missing
over 4 years ago

While the Togo PM calls on the national soccer team to return home following the killing of three players the team wants to stay and compete in their honor. "Togo's prime minister has insisted that the country's football team must head home from the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola after three people ...

IdeaFeed

Export Boom

Missing
over 4 years ago

Xinhua reports that Chinese exports rose nearly twenty percent in December making it the world’s largest exporter. “The rise, compared to a year earlier, breaks a 13-month decline in trade as a result of the global downturn. Xinhua said total exports for 2009 were $1.2tn (£7.5tn), but that total ...