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

Dangerous Gods

Missing
over 4 years ago

A feature in the Boston Globe argues that it is delusional and dangerous to think that all religions are paths to the same holy wisdom. "...this lumping of the world’s religions into one megareligion is not just false and condescending, it is also a threat. How can we make sense of the ongoing ...

IdeaFeed

Eliot Cum Walcott

Missing
over 4 years ago

More than any other living poet, Derek Walcott best fulfills T.S. Eliot's poetic ideal following his new publication, writes The New York Times. "This is a book of turning away from all that is modish in literature, from 'the deliberate delight in incoherence, the whiff of chaos / off the first page ...

IdeaFeed

A Live Debate

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Economist is conducting a live debate on whether GDP growth is a poor measure of improving living standards; two of their columnists start the debate. On the one side: "GDP is too narrow a measure of the things that truly matter to humans to be viewed as a valuable indicator in developed nations ...

IdeaFeed

Professor Orwell

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Chronicle of Higher Education recalls George Orwell's advice on writing in order to explain why American academic writing is so unfortunately esoteric and—poorly written. "By writing prose that is nearly unintelligible not just to the general public, but also to graduate students and fellow ...

IdeaFeed

The Problem with Socialism...

Missing
over 4 years ago

The National Review comments on one of William F. Buckley's favorite quotes: "The problem with socialism is socialism; the problem with capitalism is capitalists." "The problem with socialism is socialism, because there are no socialists. Socialism is a system based upon an assumption about human ...

IdeaFeed

The Middle Way

Missing
over 4 years ago

The wealth disparities of naked capitalism are indefensible, but so too is the welfare state; there must be a third way, writes the New Statesman. "Even ardent free-marketeers scarcely foresaw the astonishing increase in disparity of income, particularly in the US. In 1968, the chief executive of ...

IdeaFeed

Coma Questions

Missing
over 4 years ago

A Croatian girl recently came out of a coma having forgotten her native tongue but remembering German, her second language, perfectly fine. "Multiple areas of the brain intersect to encode both types of memory, but the two systems are generally distinct from each other. That makes it possible for a ...

IdeaFeed

America and The Pill

Missing
over 4 years ago

The cultural revolution of the 50s and 60s made the development of the morning-after pill an important moment in the women's rights movement. "...the pill has been a tremendous boon for women, transforming sex and reproduction so thoroughly that it's hard for many to imagine what life was like ...

IdeaFeed

Music and the Brain

Missing
over 4 years ago

Learning music at an early age creates new neural pathways between the brain's hemispheres aiding in spatial and mathematical reasoning. "UCLA professor James Catterall, whose specialty is the connection between artistic learning and academic and social development, suggests that learning music, in ...

Strange Maps

459 - Marge Simpson’s European Adventure

Missing
over 4 years ago

Marge Simpson probably is the world’s best-known octodactylous (1) housewife. With her distinctive blue beehive hairdo, she is an instantly recognisable fixture on The Simpsons, the animated sitcom now in its 21st season that is America’s longest-running prime-time tv show. If she’s made an ...

Politeia

Islam Is Not the Problem

694px-jalal_al_din_muhammad_rumi_mathnavi-i_ma_navi1
over 4 years ago

Islam is not a monolithic religion or a single coherent ideology, any more than Christianity is. Yet many people—as I discovered in the comments on my last article—are willing to blame Islam for the actions of people have taken in its name. That's understandable to a certain extent, since so many ...

Waq al-Waq

What Yemen Needs

Missing
over 4 years ago

We all know Yemen is in trouble: A resurgent al-Qaeda, a revolt in the north, increasingly violent actions in the south, no oil, no water, a growing youth bulge, declining literacy rates, extensive poverty and of course a weak currency that led to a new head of the Central Bank. But none of those ...

Focal Point

Photo: 2 Legs and 5 Shots

2legsgood
over 4 years ago

Readers have asked for more original photography at Focal Point. I'm happy to oblige. Here's a fun photo for the weekend, taken during my recent trip to St. John's, Newfoundland. It's a small city where social life revolves around stiff drinks and live music in bars. Think of St. John's as a ...