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

Resurgence

Treme Pleasures Itself

Nagintimemanofyear
over 4 years ago

I’m no TV critic. My best TV watching days were over twenty years ago. But a slot on my blog here might as well be reserved for my weekly thoughts on the new HBO show Treme, because it is one of the few times during the week that you will find me in front of the tube. This week’s episode, like the ...

IdeaFeed

The New Jew

Missing
over 4 years ago

Peter Beinart writes that "particularly in the younger generations, fewer and fewer American Jewish liberals are Zionists; fewer and fewer American Jewish Zionists are liberal...For several decades, the Jewish establishment has asked American Jews to check their liberalism at Zionism’s door, and now ...

IdeaFeed

Central Europe's Proust

Missing
over 4 years ago

Adam Thirwell writes that despite all the geographical accidents to have befallen Central Europe, a cogent literature can still be defined and it turns out to be of very high quality. "This is what these Central European works can help invent: a true method for reading internationally, where the old ...

IdeaFeed

Los All Stars

Missing
over 4 years ago

An L.A. Times editorial argues that Major League Baseball should move its All Star game out of Phoenix in protest against Arizona's new immigration law. "A new law in Arizona seems almost certain to lead to racial profiling against Latinos, violating the American values so integral to baseball...We ...

IdeaFeed

On the Bubble

Missing
over 4 years ago

Gary Becker and Richard Posner look at what created the housing market bubble of the previous decade and why financial institutions couldn't, or wouldn't, see it. Becker writes, "There were plenty of warnings that there was a housing bubble; why did the industry ignore them? I think it was another ...

IdeaFeed

Lost World

Missing
over 4 years ago

Dozens of new species including the Pinocchio Frog, Gargoyle-Faced Gecko and Strange Pigeon have been discovered in Indonesia's remote Foja Mountains on the island of New Guinea. "A pristine New Guinea wilderness nicknamed 'The Lost World' has just yielded multiple new animal species that seem more ...

IdeaFeed

Matter Matters

Missing
over 4 years ago

According to Einstein, the universe should be equal parts matter and anti-matter; in other words, we shouldn't exist, so why do we? Some physicists in Chicago may have the answer. "In a mathematically perfect universe, we would be less than dead; we would never have existed...And yet we exist, and ...

IdeaFeed

The Shudder

Missing
over 4 years ago

Frank Kermode tries to suss out what Eliot meant by having "a shudder" while reading, a standard by which Eliot defined good poetry and prose, such as in Tennyson's In Memoriam. "Shudder’ is a bit surprising coming from the stately Eliot, though the experience to which he refers may in some forms be ...

IdeaFeed

Denied Entry

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Boston Globe finds a dangerous irony in Israel's decision to keep Noam Chomsky from speaking at a Palestinian University in the West Bank. "Chomsky is a freelance provocateur; a certain rhetorical excess goes with the turf. But Israel only hurt itself in suggesting that it no longer respects the ...

IdeaFeed

Dangerously Safe

Missing
over 4 years ago

"What we're bequeathing our children is a childhood designed by lawyers," says Lenore Skenazy who thinks pedantic caution is replacing common sense. "Give kids some genuine risk and they quickly learn what their limits are, and then they expand their limits. The problem is: If kids never encounter ...

IdeaFeed

Miranda

Missing
over 4 years ago

Charles Krauthammer congratulates himself for independently reaching the same conclusion as the Attorney General on loosening Miranda rights when public safety is at risk. "Rather than just allowing pre-Miranda questioning about any immediate danger, the public safety exception should be expanded to ...

What's New at Big Think

How "Eureka!" Affects the Brain

Isis
over 4 years ago

Where does insight come from and what does it do in our brains? According to new research from scientists at the University of British Columbia, "Eureka!" moments may in fact be a function of how our frontal cortex neurons switch from encoding a familiar idea to creating a brand new idea that could ...

Novel Copy

Spinning the Web

Picture_9
over 4 years ago

Nestle has been forced to change its environmentally-destructive business practices after a social media coup; what can netroots activists learn from the victory? After it was revealed that the Swiss food giant sourced its palm oil through Sinar Mas—a company whose operations contribute to ...