What is Big Think?  

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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In Their Own Words Posts

Experts explore the biggest ideas in their fields

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In Their Own Words

Like-Mindedness Has Become a Liability

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9 months ago

Diversity is becoming increasingly a business imperative for a number of reasons.  In the twentieth century like-mindedness was an asset.  In the twenty-first century it’s become a liability for a whole range of reasons.  The challenges that face society cannot rely on one kind of intelligence ...

In Their Own Words

Math is Not a Mirror of Nature

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9 months ago

math is a tool.  There are different parts of mathematics that are useful as tools.  Mathematical deduction is outside of time.  If you deduce a prediction mathematically what you’re doing is representing a set of causal processes and causal relations carried out in time with a set of logical ...

In Their Own Words

Parents Need to Be the Pornography Police

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9 months ago

Don’t forget the strongest single driving force that we have other than that of survival is sex. And pornography is about sex, so people have a curiosity and interest about it, always have and always will. It’s just made more widely available now because of the Internet, but I'm one of the first ...

In Their Own Words

Why Good News is Worth Reporting, Too

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9 months ago

How do we feel about news?  Do we report on facts in a black and white manner or do we look at the issues in terms of the glass being half full because the confidence of the public is so important in terms of reconstructing the country?  I don’t know the answer to that, but what I do know is ...

In Their Own Words

Building a Brain Like Ours

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9 months ago

When will we be able to build a brain to act and think like us? That is so far off in the future in my opinion that it’s interesting to think about because it forces you to actually see what you have and to try to quantify it in a way that could be instantiated in an artifact. So that’s a very ...

In Their Own Words

Is Having Children a Good Retirement Plan?

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9 months ago

Perhaps most people live in traditional societies, where agriculture is the main occupation and your retirement plan is your kids.  You take care of them when you’re young and then when you’re old, they take care of you.  And so it goes from generation to generation.  That’s why these societies ...

In Their Own Words

What is Driving Change in Afghanistan

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9 months ago

The most important thing in Afghanistan has been necessity, economic hardship and the fact that women have to work.  Women have to teach and most families nowadays have no alternative but to allow their women, their daughters, wives and so forth to go out to the workforce.  That necessity in ...

In Their Own Words

Complexity Theory in 2 Minutes

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9 months ago

If you want to try to understand how the historical process works, it helps to know a bit about Complexity Theory.  Which really comes from the natural sciences, it’s the kind of thing that physicists talk about, the kind of people who go to the Santé Fe Institute, it’s hugely helpful if you’re ...