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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Specific Gravity Posts

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Specific Gravity

Nazi Scientists in the Space Race

6 months ago

In the closing days of World War II, America recruited scores of German scientists that became the bulwark of our space effort. These scientists of course had shady pasts and were far more connected to the Third Reich than we were ever told. If we knew, might the nation have objected, and if so ...

Specific Gravity

Food Swamp, USA

8 months ago

Woody Allen's character Alvy Singer begins his opening monologue in Annie Hall with an old joke. "Two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; and such small portions."  In that ...

Specific Gravity

The Vanishing Silent Majority

8 months ago

Back in 1968, Richard Nixon tried to obscure the difference between working class and affluent voters - particularly men - by portraying them all as a part of a silent majority. He portrayed them as both heroes and victims of the tumultuousness of the period. All of this was before and really a ...

Specific Gravity

Why Low Income Equals Low Trust

8 months ago

Back in 1996 welfare as we knew it was forever changed by President Clinton. But while public policy can address issues like food stamps, child care, Medicaid, and many other aspects, it can never address issues of trust. We know from Civil Rights legislation that no matter what the policy ...

Specific Gravity

How We Are All Seduced by Glamour

9 months ago

If you are over a certain age, you probably remember getting on a transcontinental or international flight, and it was a glamorous experience. People dressed up to travel. Strong pilots and beautiful stewardesses framed the wonders of the journey. The glamour of air travel imbued us with a sense of ...

Specific Gravity

The Smartest Kids in the World

9 months ago

We are long past the time when American kids could stand on the ramparts and look down at the rest of the world. Even some of our most prestigious and wealthiest communities can’t compete with the “average” kids in places like Korea or Finland or Poland. When the pencils are down, we fail. We fall ...