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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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

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Strange Maps Posts

Cartographic curiosities

Strange Maps

635 - Sex and Drugs and Border Changes

Croppedislal
11 months ago

A combination of sex and drugs (and possibly rock 'n roll) is forcing two governments to change the border that divides them. The Presqu'ile de l'Islal, a small Belgian peninsula stranded on the Dutch bank of the river Meuse, is to change hands to eliminate a zone that is, to all practical effects ...

Strange Maps

633 - Who Put the O in Portland?

Cropped_amsterdam
12 months ago

Archie Archambault, that's who! The philosophy graduate turned printer struck upon the concept of circular maps after moving to Portland. In Oregon's biggest city, he felt something that must have reminded him of grappling with Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. He felt lost.  Not prepared to be ...

Strange Maps

632 - Fibonacci in Budapest

Croppedbuda
12 months ago

Put a pair of newborn rabbits, a buck and a doe, together in a pen. Assume it takes them a month to start reproducing, and another month for the female to give birth. Assume they produce another male and female pair to which the same applies. Assume no rabbits die. How many rabbits in the pen after ...

Strange Maps

631 - A man, a Plan, a Canal, Karakalpakstan!

Croppedkarakalpak
about 1 year ago

Karakalpakstan. The name sounds made up, but it's a real place. And it could have been the 13th member of an exclusive club: nations which have only a's for vowels in their name. The others being the Bahamas, Canada, Chad, Ghana, Japan, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Malta, Myanmar, Panama, Qatar and ...

Strange Maps

630 - The Silver Dog with the Golden Tail

Cropped_dog
about 1 year ago

Five score and seventeen years ago, the United States was a boxy, silver-coloured dog with a chunky tail of dark gold. That bizarre image, embedded in the familiar outline of the U.S. map, is as obscure today as it was poignant during the 1896 presidential election. The question dominating that ...