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

The Sea Inside

Missing
over 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
over 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
over 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 ...

Strange Maps

463 - Spanish Whispers

Missing
over 4 years ago

. “No, I already understand how to copy and paste,” says the bearded man on his mobile to some kind of computer helpline. “What I want to do now is to send without revealing the sender, if it’s possible, of course.” . His query relates to the map above, of a strangely modified ...

Politeia

Is It Time to Get Rid of Fine Print?

601px-handshake__workshop_cologne__06_.jpeg
over 4 years ago

The devil is in the details. In the modern world, that's more true than ever. No one can realistically hope to keep track of or understand all the legal and contractual obligations they incur in the course of their daily lives. There's simply too much fine print. So why don't we just get rid of ...

Novel Copy

Sinking Ship, Newsweek for Sale

Newsweek
over 4 years ago

After taking tens of millions of dollars in losses over the past two years, The Washington Post Company has put Newsweek up for sale which, along with Time, once defined the nation’s conversation about events foreign and domestic.  The attempt to sell the magazine confirms many trends of our ...

Design for Good

Rethinking Packaging

Ups1
over 4 years ago

Product packaging is one of consumerism's most toxic byproducts -- transient, temporary, and lacking the vaguely utilitarian excuse for existence that the product it contains can claim. It requires energy to make, adds to shipping weight, and is often made of polymers that linger in landfills for ...

IdeaFeed

Letting It Roll

Missing
over 4 years ago

Scientists have found that the brains of problem gamblers react more intensely to "near misses" than those of casual gamblers—possibly spurring them on to play more. The brain region that responds to rewards by delivering a dose of dopamine was found to be especially active in these people ...

IdeaFeed

Kill the Birds?

Missing
over 4 years ago

A German animal biologist Silvia Gaus says we should be killing the oil-soaked birds in the Gulf of Mexico. Doing so would be less painful in the long run than trying to clean them, she says. Studies and other experts back her up: while cleaning birds and releasing them back into the wild yields ...