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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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World in Mind Posts

The brain is behavior.

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World in Mind

Addressing sexual harassment in science

over 1 year ago

The stories come in surprising ways.  An unexpected confession over a meal or a few drinks. A warning, perhaps, to keep your distance from a particular person before a conference.  A breakdown during one too many late nights in the lab. But, eventually, one way or another, these stories come.  And ...

World in Mind

The science of "Bet you can't eat just one!"

over 1 year ago

A few years ago, Lay's Potato Chips threw down the gauntlet in a new advertising campaign:  "Bet you can't eat just one!" It was a clever slogan--and had a clever commercial to match.  But I think the line resonated so much because it's true.  It's quite difficult to eat just one chip.  You open ...

World in Mind

Marriage doesn't benefit everyone

over 1 year ago

You've heard it time and time again:  marriage is good for your health.  Studies have shown that married folks not only live longer but also enjoy better health than their singleton peers.  Married couples have a lower risk of strokes, cancer and heart attacks.  Married folks are less depressed ...

World in Mind

Psychogenic diseases -- all in your head?

over 1 year ago

I have a friend who suffers from chronic pain.  She has tried meditation, acupuncture, opioids, yoga and all manner of other remedies.  Chances are, if anyone, anywhere, has said something will help with the pain, she has tried it. She has visited an untold number of doctors.  Each has examined her ...

World in Mind

The secrets of RASopathies

over 1 year ago

What secrets might one single biological pathway be harboring? The RAS family of proteins have a unique role.  They act as a sort of relay, an on/off switch, if you will, in the cell.  As RAS is activated by incoming signals, it turns on other proteins and genes involved in cell development and ...

World in Mind

If music be the stuff of brains, play on...

almost 2 years ago

Ludwig van Beethoven is credited with saying, "Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." And while some may argue the point, there's certainly been a good bit of evidence suggesting that learning to read and play music is good for intelligence, academic performance and critical ...

World in Mind

You're actually awful at multi-tasking.

almost 2 years ago

A few weeks ago, I was in line at the grocery store and overheard the following exchange. "The cop gave her a ticket for texting and driving.  She wasn't speeding or anything." "I'm not sure why they make such a big deal about that.  I mean, I remember when I learned to drive -- I had this ...

World in Mind

What can mindfulness really do?

almost 2 years ago

A good friend--I'll call her Tandy here--is a huge fan of meditation.  She spends a good hour each day practicing "mindfulness."  She credits her practice with a more calm demeanor, a faster-working brain and a healthier body.  She's certainly not the first to do so.  Advocates of meditation claim ...

World in Mind

Is Monogamy the Only Way to Be Happy?

almost 2 years ago

There's a pervasive notion that a monogamous relationship is the ideal.  Certainly, that's what most Americans have been hearing for as long as they can remember.  A committed, loving relationship between two people is the end-all-be-all -- and, to hear many tell it, the only thing that helps keep ...