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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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Blog Posts

Daylight Atheism

Standing on Air

Dabanner
over 4 years ago

Despite endless reiterations of how atheists find justification for morality, we all routinely hear from apologists who claim that without believing in God, we can have no basis for ethical behavior. That's one thing, but today I want to discuss a far stranger and more disturbing variant of this ...

IdeaFeed

Islam for Feminists

Missing
over 4 years ago

Several courageous Muslim feminists are challenging conservative male interpretations of Islam. "Instead of blatantly waving the banner of democracy, certain to raise charges of being tools of Western cultural imperialism, these women are quietly working within the culture, rather than against it ...

IdeaFeed

Robots Made of DNA?

Missing
over 4 years ago

Scientists have figured out how independent, programmable nano-scale robots can be made out of individual molecules—with the robots’ actions programmed into their environment. "Both studies fuse two of the most interesting advances in nanotechnology: the design of DNA machines, fashioned from life’s ...

IdeaFeed

Privacy Pique

Missing
over 4 years ago

"The most frustrating thing about Facebook's privacy policy is that it's always changing," writes Farhad Manjoo. "You used to be able to keep your profile picture private; that's no longer an option. You also used to be able to declare your interests without being 'connected' to a Facebook page ...

IdeaFeed

We're Not Greece

Missing
over 4 years ago

America and Greece have lately been running large budget deficits, roughly comparable as a percentage of G.D.P., notes Paul Krugman. Yet markets treat the countries very differently: "The interest rate on Greek government bonds is more than twice the rate on U.S. bonds, because investors see a high ...

IdeaFeed

After the Fall

Missing
over 4 years ago

The U.S. public still has faith in capitalism, says NYU economics professor Nouriel Roubini. "One of the lessons of the financial crisis is that the public also grudgingly realizes that prudential government intervention, at least in the regulation and supervision of the financial system, might be ...

IdeaFeed

The Un-Matchmakers

Missing
over 4 years ago

There is a "peculiarly Japanese profession—part-private investigator, part-prostitute—known as wakaresase-ya; the 'splitter-uppers.' The function of the wakaresase-ya is the direct opposite of a dating agency: with great ingenuity, and the right fee, they will break apart human relationships." The ...

IdeaFeed

The Shrinking City

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Detroit is finally chipping away at a glut of abandoned homes that has been piling up for decades, and intends to take advantage of warm weather and new federal funding to demolish some 3,000 buildings by the end of September. ... When it's all over, said Karla Henderson, director of the Detroit ...

IdeaFeed

Against Pasteurization

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Raw milk is one of those issues that riles people," writes Corby Kummer. He looks at anger among raw milk-ists in Massachusetts about legislation that bans the sale of unpasteurized milk anywhere but directly from farms certified to sell it. "Because of direct-sale laws, anyone in and around Boston ...

IdeaFeed

End the Embargo

Missing
over 4 years ago

Daniel Wilkinson and Nik Steinberg write that the U.S. embargo of Cuba must end, but that it is naive to think that the Caribbean country's government will stop repressing its people simply because the embargo has been lifted. "Nor is it realistic, given the effectiveness of the Castros’ repressive ...

IdeaFeed

Lizards Die Out

Missing
over 4 years ago

A study has found that by 2080, global warming could result in one-fifth of the world's lizard species becoming extinct. "Even under the most optimistic scenarios for curbing carbon dioxide emissions, the analysis by an international team shows that one-fifth of the globe's lizard populations ...