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

Mind Matters

A Human Game, Mastered by Rats

Rat_with_briefcase_and_umbrella
over 4 years ago

The "Prisoner's Dilemma" is one of game theory's oldest, most influential and most poetic ideas. As in life, a player's best strategy depends on the kind of game she's in (one round? ten rounds? endless rounds?), who the other players are (strangers? familiar partners?) and how much she knows ...

Novel Copy

Jon Stewart, Facts on the Rise

Jon_stewart
over 4 years ago

The journalistic objectivity which the American press aspire to does not exist as such in Europe, and I say Europe is better off because of that. Peruse the newspapers of individual European countries and it will become clear enough that information is presented along a broad political spectrum ...

Hybrid Reality

“You Lookin’ At Me?”

Bthink
over 4 years ago

We all suspect we’re being watched. Sometimes it’s obvious like when you see CCTV cameras peering at you from every street corner in London (London is perhaps one of the most heavily monitored cities in the world). We tend to be forgiving of governments that intrude in our lives in the name of ...

IdeaFeed

Missing Link

Missing
over 4 years ago

Scientists have found a couple of 1.9-million-year-old skeletons in a South African cave that fill in another clue from our primate past. Named australopithecus sediba, these skeletons have many features common to our genus, but also have extra-long forearms and flexible feet -- characteristics that ...

IdeaFeed

Made for Nori

Missing
over 4 years ago

The intestinal microbes of Japanese people have enzymes that seem to be particularly good at digesting seaweed. Researchers studying a common marine bacteria found an enzyme that breaks down the carbohydrates found in the cell walls of red algae -- which is also known best as the nori seaweed that ...

IdeaFeed

Brand Rehab

Missing
over 4 years ago

Tiger Woods is likely to join a long list of companies and individuals that have come back refreshed after a stint in rehab. Like Martha Stewart and Kobe Bryant -- as well as Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola -- the Woods brand is now set to relaunch, and has the possibility of emerging even stronger ...

IdeaFeed

Zebra's Stripes

Missing
over 4 years ago

Researchers have discovered a clue to how different creatures in the animal kingdom create the complex body ornamentation and patterns that mark their species. The study is the first to find evidence for what generates animal color patterns -- be they colorful stripes and spots to attract mates, or ...

IdeaFeed

Rethinking Materialism

Missing
over 4 years ago

Tony Judt writes that our culture has become profoundly selfish and materialistic in the past 30 years -- and that this quality is not inherent in the human condition. "How should we begin to make amends for raising a generation obsessed with the pursuit of material wealth and indifferent to so much ...

IdeaFeed

Bonding Rituals

Missing
over 4 years ago

Male friendships are qualitatively different from female friendships, according to researchers. Men may not be physically or emotionally expressive, but they provide a lot of support for each one another with their presence. A study found that men tend to resist high-maintenance relationships ...

Daylight Atheism

The Case for a Creator: Anticuriosity

Dabanner
over 4 years ago

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 9 "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'" —attributed to Isaac Asimov Although science progresses through reason and experiment, it's fundamentally driven by curiosity ...