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

IdeaFeed

Lines of Genius

Missing
over 4 years ago

Elif Batuman looks at seven unproduced screenplays written by famous intellectuals, including Nabokov's "phenomenally depressing" story of a sexually frustrated London circus dwarf, and Sartre's failed Freud epic. Other would-be screenwriters include Winston Churchill, Aldous Huxley, Georges ...

IdeaFeed

Solar Power

Missing
over 4 years ago

Using instruments in space and on the ground, Scientists have developed the most complete picture yet of how large solar eruptions affect the Earth. These eruptions, known as Coronal mass ejections (CMEs), can lead to displays of the northern and southern lights on Earth, but also can cause power ...

IdeaFeed

A Lost Michelangelo?

Missing
over 4 years ago

Citing numerous clues, experts believe that a painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art that was long attributed to the circle of Francesco Granacci is really by Michelangelo. "I am confident that the only artist capable of making this splendid painting was Michelangelo," said Everett Fahy, one of ...

IdeaFeed

Arrest the Pope?

Missing
over 4 years ago

Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, "should not be immune from arrest or charge, prosecution or punishment, just because he is the pope; but he also should not be arrested or charged, prosecuted or punished, just because he is the pope," writes Allen Green. "A proper secular and liberal approach ...

IdeaFeed

Education's Funk

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over 4 years ago

"American higher education—much envied, once seemingly impregnable—has found itself settling into a deep funk," writes Edward J. K. Gitre. "Suffering from plummeting endowments and overextended commitments, institutions everywhere are having to make hard, pragmatic concessions to fiscal exigencies ...

IdeaFeed

Drinking With Dickens

Missing
over 4 years ago

Christopher Hitchens writes that if he were transported back to the 19th Century to spend "a long and arduous evening in the alehouses and outer purlieus of London," he'd want to be doing it in the company of Charles Dickens. "He may not have had Shakespeare’s or Eliot’s near omniscience about human ...

IdeaFeed

Almost Accepted

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over 4 years ago

"Universities are increasingly using wait lists to cope with the growing number of applicants, and the resulting uncertainty about how many will accept their offers of admission." High school student Saffa Khan is on four college wait lists, and writes about how these lists "prolong the holding ...

Politeia

The Economy's Lost Decade

400px-richard_trumka_at_afl-cio_20092
over 4 years ago

It has been a bad ten years for the economy. It may in fact have been the worst decade since the 1930s. As I've written, the current recession is in some ways as bad as or even worse than the Great Depression. We have lost a historically large number of jobs, and they have been historically slow in ...

Waq al-Waq

War on the Man'a Boys

Missing
over 4 years ago

Lolita C. Baldor, who does excellent work for the AP, has this story on the Treasury Department freezing the assets of certain individuals who are either "involved in piracy off Somalia's coast or militants who have done anything to threaten the shaky nation's stability." Any names stand out? For ...

IdeaFeed

A Good Kill?

Missing
over 4 years ago

Does assassinating terrorist kingpins with drone aircraft strikes really make us safer? Robert Wright looks at research suggesting that "decapitation doesn’t lower the life expectancy of the decapitated groups—and, if anything, may have the opposite effect." Obviously the killings have a short-term ...