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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Politeia Posts

American politics and the big picture


Candidates Are Who They Say They Are

almost 3 years ago

As a former pro-life governor of liberal Massachusetts, whose signature achievement was the health care plan that served as a model for Obamacare, Mitt Romney has to work hard to convince conservative Republicans that he is really one of them. His support among Republicans has hovered around just ...


U.S. Election Notes, January 5

almost 3 years ago

Welcome to the first of my weekly roundups of the upcoming U.S. elections. President Obama’s approval rating remains below 50% and the economy continues to be weak, but political futures markets still give him better than even odds of winning reelection. At the same time, they give Republicans a ...


What Do the Iowa Caucuses Mean?

almost 3 years ago

Don’t read too much in to Mitt Romney’s narrow victory in the Iowa caucus. There’s no question that the relatively small state of Iowa has an outsize influence both on the presidential nominating process and—as a result—on the national political agenda. But that doesn’t mean that the roughly 120 ...


Could Newt Win?

almost 3 years ago

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that Mitt Romney remains the likely Republican nominee in spite Newt Gingrich’s recent surge in the polls. The smart money over at the political futures market Intrade still likes Romney, giving him a 50% chance of winning the nomination, while give Gingrich just a 30 ...


Can Voters Forgive Obama?

almost 3 years ago

It’s the economy, stupid. The conventional wisdom is that Barack Obama’s re-election chances hinge on the state of the economy. While some of my readers are already convinced for some reason that Obama is an unimaginably bad president, most Americans have more mixed feelings toward him. But there’s ...


Robert Reich Speaks Against Inequality

about 3 years ago

“We may have democracy or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few,” Justice Louis Brandeis famously said, “but we can’t have both.”  That, in essence, was former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich’s message. Reich, who teaches public policy at UC Berkeley, delivered the Mario ...


The Divide Among Whites

about 3 years ago

White America is divided between those who are comfortable with the influx of immigrants from other countries and those who feel they threaten the American way of life. Obama’s race was a polarizing issue in the last presidential election and exacerbated an already existing divide between ...


The Rich People's Congress

about 3 years ago

Members of Congress aren’t like you and me—they’re substantially richer. Roll Call reported this week that the total net worth of Congress was more than $2 billion in 2010. That’s about 25% more than in 2008. That number doesn’t include the value of members personal residences or other non ...


The Energy Efficiency Paradox

about 3 years ago

We generally assume that if we use more energy-efficient machines we will use less energy. If we install energy-efficient light bulbs in place of incandescent bulbs, for example, it will take less energy to light our homes. But both economic theory and the historical evidence suggest that in long ...


The New Baby Bust

about 3 years ago

After WWII, birth rates in the U.S. rose dramatically. During the war, relatively few couples could afford to have children, and many young men were on the front lines anyway. When the war was over and economy began to expand again, Americans began to have more babies, giving rise to what became ...