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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Praxis Posts

Theory & political commentary


What Your Yearbook Photo Says About Your Gender

8 months ago

My students looked a little funny this morning. Nails were brighter, curls were bouncier, rumples were sparser and a few young men even sported ties. Today was senior portrait day, and some of my 17 and 18-year-olds had primped a bit to optimize the images that would immortalize them in the ...


Should the Government Pay Everyone a Basic Income?

8 months ago

In 2014, voters in Switzerland will decide whether their country should send a monthly check for $2,800 to every Swiss citizen and legal resident. This idea may never fly in the United States, but that hasn’t stopped advocates of an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) from pitching the concept. In ...


How To Be a Polymath

9 months ago

Thinking back on the college recommendations I’ve written over the past few weeks, a pattern leaps up: the most successful students, the ones who are the most lively and engaged in class, the most interesting and most dedicated, are never merely great students. They are also utterly devoted to six ...


The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth

9 months ago

Remember the improbably rich tow truck driver in the old commercial? The unshaven, ungainly driver caught his passenger—a guy in a pressed white shirt and tie—by surprise. Not only was a copy of Barron’s resting in the trucker’s front seat, but the disheveled fellow had made enough money to retire ...


Three New Lessons for Columbus Day

9 months ago

In the run-up to Columbus Day, an infographic sailing around the web is busting myths about Christopher Columbus and condemning him as a “sex slaver, mass murderer and champion of sociopathic imperialism.” The information in Matthew Inman’s screed isn’t new—he draws it from 20th-century books ...


Today John Boehner Dug a Deeper Hole for the GOP

10 months ago

John Boehner's latest move in the political chess game from Hell has moved us deeper into the fiery pit. Even Dante would be shocked.  When House Republicans were threatening to shut down the federal government last week, their aim was to exact concessions from Democrats on Obamacare. President ...


Beware the Sexy Professors

10 months ago

In Super Sad True Love Story, Gary Shteyngart’s dystopian novel about life in New York City in the very near future, everybody is glued to their uber-iPhone-esque devices that, among other things, collect and transmit data on the “fuckability” of everyone in the room. It’s a crass culture ...


Pope Francis Lifts a Page from John Locke

10 months ago

In his beautiful, wide-ranging, 12,000-word interview published in the journal America, Pope Francis is drawing accolades from many and frowns from religious conservatives for his comments regarding the waning emphasis on homosexuality, contraception and reproductive rights that has marked his ...