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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

NY Thumbs Down

Missing
over 4 years ago

In a move that infuriated gay rights activists, New York State gave the thumbs down yesterday to a law that would have legalized gay marriage. “The New York measure needed 32 votes to pass and failed by a wider-than-expected margin, falling eight votes short in a 24-38 decision by the state Senate ...

IdeaFeed

Well Well

Missing
over 4 years ago

Archaeologists in Cyprus have discovered a 10,500-years-old water well that contains the skeleton of a young woman. “Pavlos Flourentzos, the nation's top antiquities official, said the 16-foot deep cylindrical shaft was found last month at a construction site in Kissonerga, a village near the ...

IdeaFeed

Kashmiri Graves

Missing
over 4 years ago

“A human rights group says it has discovered more unmarked graves in Indian-administered Kashmir. The International People's Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice says there are 2,700 graves with nearly 3,000 bodies. Some of the mass graves contain between three and 17 bodies. Last year too, the ...

IdeaFeed

Robot Feeling

Missing
over 4 years ago

European scientists have successfully connected a touch sensitive prosthetic hand to an amputee which he is able to control using thought. “The experiment lasted a month, and scientists say it was the first time a patient has been able to make complex movements using his mind to control a ...

IdeaFeed

Bee Stink

Missing
over 4 years ago

Honeybee researchers have discovered that the insects release a deadly odor that shortens the lifespan of their family members – usually their sisters. “Previous research has shown that the presence of larvae in colonies reduces adult bees’ energy stores and shortens the honeybee lifespan ...

IdeaFeed

Flexible Metal

Missing
over 4 years ago

“As engineers attempt to integrate electronics into things like clothing and medical devices, they're increasingly running up against the material properties of the substances we use to make the hardware. A lot of the materials that go into a typical electronic device are brittle, inflexible, and ...

IdeaFeed

Drugged Salad

Missing
over 4 years ago

A whistleblower who exposed the torture of protestors in Iranian jails has died after being poisoned by a delivery salad laced with blood pressure medication, fuelling fears that he was murdered. Ramin Pourandarjani, a 26-year-old doctor, died last month and investigators are still trying to ...

IdeaFeed

Puffing Monroe

Missing
over 4 years ago

A silent home movie showing Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe smoking marijuana has been unearthed and sold after languishing for 50 years in a granny’s attic. “The silent film, shot at a private home in New Jersey, was recently purchased by a collector. Monroe at one point is passed a cigarette, takes ...

IdeaFeed

Bionic Breakthrough

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Conventional prosthetic arms are little more than sophisticated hooks that offer very little freedom of movement. They offer just three degrees of freedom: opening and closing the hand, rotating the hand inwards and outwards, and bending and extending the elbow. And going through those motions ...

IdeaFeed

Female Stalwarts

Missing
over 4 years ago

Scientists have discovered that women live longer than men because they are made of different stuff – and the study suggest that sperm may have a detrimental effect on lifespan. Scientists in Japan produced female mice without fathers by using genetic material from two mothers and found that these ...

IdeaFeed

Gift Thief

Missing
over 4 years ago

Mayor of Baltimore Sheila Dixon has been convicted by a court of the single charge of taking gift cards intended for the city’s poor worth $630. “Although Dixon was acquitted of a felony theft charge, her misdemeanor conviction could force her from office. Jurors deliberated more than six days after ...

IdeaFeed

Flying Squad

Missing
over 4 years ago

There’s a herd of tame elephants in Indonesia called the Flying Squad that is used to patrol the 200,000 acre park-like jungle Guardian Angels to stop intruding pachyderms. The herd is the “brain child” of the World Wildlife Fund who came up with the plan to stop wild elephants from killing humans ...

IdeaFeed

Suicide Pact?

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Mohammed Nasheed knows what global warming means, because he sees it every day. He survived years of imprisonment and torture to lead his country – the Maldives – to democracy. But now, as its President, he is being forced to watch as his homeland is wiped from the map. With each year that passes ...

IdeaFeed

‘Til Death, Eh?

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Til death do us part? The vow would really hold true in California if a Sacramento Web designer gets his way. In a movement that seems ripped from the pages of Comedy Channel writers, John Marcotte wants to put a measure on the ballot next year to ban divorce in California. The effort is meant to ...

IdeaFeed

Feeling Lonely?

Missing
over 4 years ago

The human condition of “loneliness” is contagious and can spread among groups of people in the same manner as the common cold, according to new research. Scholars from the University of Chicago, the University of California-San Diego and Harvard used longitudinal data from a large study that has ...