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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Blog Posts

Politeia

Big Trouble on Little Tuesday

800px-joe_sestak_2009
over 4 years ago

The results from yesterday's "Little Tuesday" collection of primaries and special elections around the country are in. They were bad news for many established political figures. But they may nevertheless be good news for Democrats. After 30 years in the Senate, longtime Republican and recently ...

Design for Good

Hacking Vending Machines for Social Good

Greenaid1
over 4 years ago

There's hardly a feat of industrial design more emblematic of consumerism than the vending machine. But while vending machines may perpetuate a number of social ills – from conspiculous consumption to obesity to the cold commodification of goods – but it's hard to deny their extreme efficiency of ...

IdeaFeed

Well Adjusted

Missing
over 4 years ago

Despite colloquial wisdom that social networking sites deprive teenagers of contact with the real world, new research shows that users are quite well adjusted. "One University of Virginia study cited says that teens mostly use social networking to keep in contact with people they’re already social ...

IdeaFeed

Wax Wings

Missing
over 4 years ago

Moral dogmatism is the true enemy of free thought, says Jonah Goldberg, not ideology; attention to the facts must supersede commitment to a scripted morality. "We are taught to believe that ideology is the enemy of free thought. But that's not right. Ideology is a mere checklist of principles and ...

IdeaFeed

The Arab Future

Missing
over 4 years ago

"The Arab world today is ruled by contradiction," writes David Ottaway; extreme wealth surrounded by crushing poverty will determine the culture's future. "Turmoil and stagnation prevail, as colossal wealth and hypermodern cities collide with mass illiteracy and rage-filled imams. In this new ...

IdeaFeed

Break the Rules

Missing
over 4 years ago

Great sex, a commitment to children and lots of together time are three rules of a good marriage that are made to be broken say two marriage experts at Psychology Today. "We have discovered marriage 'rules' that are not only silly, but can even be downright damaging to building successful ...

IdeaFeed

Emptiness

Missing
over 4 years ago

The blank slate of pop music welcomes entertainers flashy, materialistic and audacious enough to sing endlessly without really singing about anything; pop music, thy name is Ga Ga. "Lady Blah Blah would have been pretty good, but ga ga, gaga, gaga: a monstrous orality, a tyranny of infantile desire ...

IdeaFeed

Friendly Outbreaks

Missing
over 4 years ago

Researchers are using social networking sites to map the spread of flu symptoms between friends, a technique which may one day aid greatly in stemming a public epidemic. "By studying the friends of a randomly selected group of individuals, epidemiologists can isolate those people who are more ...

IdeaFeed

Bipartisan America

Missing
over 4 years ago

The divide in American ideology between rugged individualism and collective responsibility can be bridged by devolving powers to local communities, says Matthew Dowd for The CSM. "What does the public want? I believe an approach organized around creating and empowering local, community solutions ...

IdeaFeed

Remembering to Forget

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Reminiscence—not forgetting—faces extinction in a digital age that prioritizes the present over even the recent past," writes Evgeny Morozov for the Boston Review. "What we treasure most about our memories is not our GPS coordinates or body temperature at those moments, but the totality of ...

IdeaFeed

Wordy Empire

Missing
over 4 years ago

From Paper Monument, British culture is observed by an American writer as a reflection of his own; in both cases he sees a cultural facade papering over Empires fallen and falling. "The British Empire is now the Empire of Conversation. The distant lands are lost...No one suffers their expertise ...

IdeaFeed

Libertarian Mob

Missing
over 4 years ago

Clarence Page sees a "radical individualism" that binds the TEA Party and the cultural revolution of the '60s, but finds practical solutions more lacking in the former. "I used to call the Yippie and black power movements 'a slogan in search of an agenda.' Tea partiers seem to think they're better ...