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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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Rightly Understood Posts

A conservative take on the world

Rightly Understood

Being "Country Strong"

Peter2
over 3 years ago

Country Strong hasn't been taken seriously by film critics. I'm not going to review what they've said or speculate on why they said it. I'm just going to explain why I enjoyed this very thoughtful film.   The four major characters---two men and two women--are all extremely attractive. The women ...

Rightly Understood

Darwinian Conservatism?

Peter2
over 3 years ago

There's a lot of talk on BIG THINK about evolutionary explanations of this or that human behavior.  They're all pretty fascinating, although far from completely convincing. Darwinian explanations, for what its worth, usually strike me as pretty conservative.  In fact, the best Darwinian ...

Rightly Understood

Being Old These Days

Peter2
over 3 years ago

The good news is, of course, is that the old are living longer and healthier than ever.  But, as I explained, the news in not all good for us old guys in a techno-world full of preferential options for the young.  Here's the first half, for those who aren't up to clicking: The standard of ...

Rightly Understood

Holiday Movies

Peter2
over 3 years ago

So it turns out there are actually three outstanding holiday movies--TRUE GRIT, THE KING'S SPEECH, and THE FIGHTER. True Grit is, as I've said, very ambitious and philosophically pretentious.  It makes broad claims about human nature, and it causes us to wonder whether everything we do is ...

Rightly Understood

Being Progressive?

Peter2
over 3 years ago

1. The Tea Partiers--and many other conservatives--distinguish between the view of our Founders (good) and that of the Progressives (bad).  The Progressives (beginning around the turn of the 20th century) have undermined the intention of our Founders--which was to protect individual freedom by ...

Rightly Understood

More Gritty (Fishy?) Truth

_1281728455
over 3 years ago

So my "True Grit" post got a lot of response (unfortunately not below) on Facebook and by email and all that--mostly critical.  One particularly astute critic--Ken Masugi--accused me of being in the "bad company"of that celebrated postmodernist-wrongly-understood Stanley Fish. According to ...

Rightly Understood

The Virtue of "True Grit"

_1281728455
over 3 years ago

Let me recommend to you this fine review of this season's best movie.  Once again, I think the Coen brothers more than flirt with nihilism.  The murderous violence of the film is, deep down, senseless, and the girl's quest for justice defined as vengeance most misguided.  Still, two bounty ...

Rightly Understood

Lovely, Glorious, Beautiful Christmas

4200775619_d1eb7601d2_b
over 3 years ago

1. Somebody around BIG THINK should say something about Christmas. I know that’s a divider--not a uniter--topic. Not everyone is a Christian. 2. Some Christians--like our founding Puritans--believed Christmas--especially it’s timing--is basically pagan, and they’re not totally wrong. Many ...

Rightly Understood

What Should We Think About Those MAD MEN?

Peter2
over 3 years ago

It’s the season for highlighting the best that was written, said, and done in 2010.  The consensus is emerging that the most thoughtful TV show (and so the one that most deserves critical analysis) is, once again, Mad Men.  Pop cultural commentary is neither above nor below my pay grade, and so let ...

Rightly Understood

More on Being Personal Today

Peter2
over 3 years ago

So this post--like some others--is meant to be diagnostic.  It's a postmodern and conservative observation on who sophisticated Americans think they are these days.  As an attempt to be an account of what I can see with my own eyes, it's an attempt to be nonjudgmental (for now). 1. We free ...