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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Blog Posts

IdeaFeed

Deglobalization

Missing
about 4 years ago

Ian Bremmer says the financial crisis is putting the brakes on the expansion of free-markets and accelerating the development of "state capitalism". "Globalization has been the dominant driver of international politics and global markets for a generation. But in several countries around the world ...

IdeaFeed

3-D Fever

Missing
about 4 years ago

Despite the TV industry's efforts to push 3-D televisions, the technology may be best suited to cinemas where people can devote their full attention to the screen, writes the Economist. "Three-dimensional television is coming whether you want it or not. But after the novelty has worn off, it is ...

IdeaFeed

Coitus Interruptus

Missing
about 4 years ago

Psychology Today comments on a survey finding that one in ten people think it appropriate to interrupt sex to send a text message. Is nothing sacred? "If you're so disconnected, so bored, so longing to be elsewhere that you are texting during sex or allowing your partner to text during sex, then ...

IdeaFeed

Scapegoating

Missing
about 4 years ago

Professors Gary Becker and Richard Posner at the University of Chicago discuss the benefits and risks of financial speculation in a shaky economy. Becker says, "Speculators have never been popular, and they have never been as unpopular as they are in the United States today. Increasingly they are ...

IdeaFeed

Tempered Praise

Missing
about 4 years ago

Sharon Lerner at The Nation appreciates Mother's Day but laments the illusion that women's generosity is infinite; generosity without support—real support—is unsustainable. "There are plenty of reasonable theories as to why women’s progress might be stalling, but my personal favorite is—ahem—my own ...

IdeaFeed

Atlantic Alliance

Missing
about 4 years ago

The "special relationship" between the U.S. and the U.K. is likely to change because Britain has less than ever to offer America as David Cameron seeks to be a domestic policy Prime Minister. "Among the many ingredients of the relationship, Mr Edelman observed, the one most valued by successive ...

IdeaFeed

Guestimate

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Rigor leads to rigor mortis," says MIT's Sanjoy Mahajan who teaches his students to use common sense and best guessing to arrive at practical solutions problems great and small. "The world is messy, so do the best you can. You know more than you think you do. Use whatever tools are available to do ...

IdeaFeed

"Love" In Arabic

Missing
about 4 years ago

The answer to religious extremism cannot be secularism because familial and cultural roots run too deep in the Middle East, writes Rima Merhi. "The Arab world needs experts in comparative religion who will target both the older and younger generations and educate them about different religions in a ...

IdeaFeed

Carving Up Carver

Missing
about 4 years ago

Raymond Carver was deeply bothered by the fame his stories brought him because his editor, Gordon Lish, had written such dramatic improvements to them. "Mr. Lish, working at Knopf, took the stories that Carver sent him and he hacked away at them, mercilessly. He liked the stories as they were, no ...

IdeaFeed

The Sea Inside

Missing
about 4 years ago

Orion Magazine tells the strange story of how bottlenose dolphins passed through Cold War brain experiments and LSD doses to fascinate and entertain humans. "Recovering our strange and changing preoccupations with the bottlenose dolphin across the twentieth century is, in the end, an adult swim."

IdeaFeed

Science and Society

Missing
about 4 years ago

Gail Collins writes that although the science of birth control has advanced marvelously, America's ability to have a reasonable conversation about contraception is lagging. "Even though 100 million women take the pill every day, to the great relief of 100 million or so of their partners, the terror ...

IdeaFeed

By The Numbers

Missing
about 4 years ago

Privacy concerns aside, the millions of dollars needed to maintain surveillance cameras would be better spent on beat cops, writes Steve Chapman at the Chicago Tribune. "The point of any law enforcement tool is not just to do some good but also to do some good at a reasonable cost compared with the ...