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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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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Blog Posts

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 ...

IdeaFeed

Freedom and Slavery

Missing
over 4 years ago

More important than the size of government is the kind of power it wields over its people -- and whether it exercises arbitrary power over others, writes David Boaz. So people who wax eloquent about the golden age of liberty in early America (pointing to low taxes and fewer government agencies) are ...

IdeaFeed

The Afghan Puzzle

Missing
over 4 years ago

As the campaign in Afghanistan wears on, there is a consensus in the Islamic world that a discernible American retreat from the region is in the works, writes Fouad Ajami. "America's enemies are increasingly brazen, its friends unnerved," he writes. "The shadow of American power is receding; the ...

IdeaFeed

Redirecting Immunity

Missing
over 4 years ago

In treating autoimmune disease, doctors have long used therapies to suppress the immune system, but now researchers have found a way to prevent type 1 diabetes in mice by actually using a vaccine to boost the immune system and turn it on itself. The technique uses the immune system's regulatory T ...

IdeaFeed

The Humble CEO

Missing
over 4 years ago

David Brooks points to research indicating that charismatic, forceful leaders with excessive self-confidence tend to produce volatile company performances. "These leaders swing for the home run and sometimes end up striking out." Instead, Brooks imagines another model of corporate leadership based ...

Strange Maps

455 - Typogeography of Latin America

Missing
over 4 years ago

. The Spanish title of Jorge Volpi’s most recent book of essays, translates as Bolivar’s Nightmare – Four untimely essays on Latin America in the 21st century. The cover art of that book reminds one of Ferdinand de Saussure’s theory of the linguistic sign, according to which such a sign has ...