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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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Praxis Posts

Theory & political commentary

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What Exactly Do We Owe to Our Children?

over 1 year ago

“I believe the children are our future.”  Never has a more brazen tautology graced the opening line of a Top 40 song. But when Whitney Houston popularized these words in her 1986 hit, she gave voice to an orientation that seems to be in retreat today. For Douglas Rushkoff, author of a new ...


Should We Give Up on Mother's Day?

over 1 year ago

I’ve always been fond of Mother’s Day. During my childhood the holiday was all about champagne cake, frisbee and family picnics among cherry blossoms. These days it’s about raucous family brunches centered around the silkiest varieties of smoked fish. Yes, we give our mothers and mothers-in-law and ...


When Should the United States Intervene Abroad?

over 1 year ago

I won't propose an answer to this hugely complex question today. Instead, I want to point out some striking similarities between the American perspective on the conflict in Chechnya a decade ago and the run-up to the Obama administration’s pending decision on how to handle the Assad regime’s ...


Errors of the Austerity Argument

over 1 year ago

According to the debt-averse deficit hawk position fueling Republican budget proposals, we need to slash government spending to promote economic growth. That assumption relies on a 2010 research paper by two Harvard economists that we now know is studded with errors.


Why the Boston Marathon Bombers May Have Attacked

over 1 year ago

Now that the two suspects Monday’s horrific bombing have been identified, attention turns to their motive. Why would two brothers originally from the troubled region of Chechnya, a republic of Russia, detonate bombs in Boston on Patriot's Day? Here is a very raw, very quick, very preliminary ...


The Marathon is Not a Blood Sport

over 1 year ago

What motivated the perpetrators of the carnage at the Boston Marathon on Monday? Authorities are a step closer to identifying those responsible, and we may eventually learn why they decided to detonate bombs at the finish line of America’s premier road race. But the meaning of the attack goes well ...