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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Think Tank Posts

Big ideas in little doses

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Think Tank

How to Buy a Car . . . Using Game Theory!

Buy_a_car
over 2 years ago

What's the Big Idea?  If you're not a mathematician, game theory can seem daunting and abstract. Simply defined, it is a mathematical approach to modeling situations in which there are a limited number of rational decision makers. Depending on the complexity of the situation and the number of ...

Think Tank

How to Regrow a Limb

Axlotl
over 2 years ago

What's the Big Idea? The loss of a human limb is a tragedy. We know that once they’re gone, mammalian arms and legs can't ever be restored. But if you cut off a salamander's leg - or tail - it will reappear in just a few weeks. The enigma of amphibian organ regeneration has puzzled scientists ...

Think Tank

Should the Iowa Caucus Be Put Out to Pasture?

Iowa
over 2 years ago

Of all the arcane rituals that shape our political system today, the Iowa Caucus might take the cake. There is no absentee voting allowed, which means active duty military personnel are disenfranchised. So are doctors and nurses who must work the evening shift, as well as restaurant workers and ...

Think Tank

Is the Internet Polarizing Politics?

Polarize_politx
over 2 years ago

This is the second post in the series Internet and the American Voter   Has the Internet elevated political conversation by increasing interaction between average citizens? Or is it plunging the country into an abyss of partisanship and ignorance? These are troublesome questions for even ...

Think Tank

2012: The Alan Turing Year

Turing
over 2 years ago

What's the Big Idea? He helped win World War II by cracking the German ENIGMA code but was persecuted by Great Britain for being gay. Today, his name is synonymous with the test he invented in 1950 for determining a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior. June 23, 2012 will be the ...

Think Tank

2011, The Year in Ideas

Ideas2011
over 2 years ago

What's the Big Idea? Was 2011 a good year for ideas? In other words, did mankind advance knowledge through scientific discoveries or other breakthroughs in thinking in the past 12 months? This is a question we are obsessed with at Big Think. While the answer may be nearly impossible to quantify ...

Think Tank

Is Necrophilia Wrong?

Graves
over 2 years ago

Cemeteries are not for the dead, but for the living. The dead will not thank us for the coffins made to their specifications, nor compliment us on the choice of flowers or gravestones. They cannot do so, since they are, by definition, dead: they feel nothing, they cannot communicate, they are no ...

Think Tank

The End of Free Will?

Brainwithnumbers
over 2 years ago

What's the Big Idea? The field of neuroscience evolved so rapidly in the past twenty years that it will pose unprecedented challenges to the legal system in the decades to come, changing the way we understand crime and punishment, says neuro-pioneer Joy Hirsch, director of the Functional ...