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

Resurgence

Recarving Our Cultural Totem: An Excerpt

Klopfholz_mit_beiteln
over 4 years ago

Recarving Our Cultural Totem Pole is a book-in-progress. While researching a series a couple of years ago, I came across the customs and rituals surrounding the design, care and feeding of a totem pole that fascinated me to no end. The idea that we as African Americans could actually do the same ...

Politeia

As Health Care Costs Rise, We All Pay

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over 4 years ago

I am one of the millions of Americans who have had trouble getting health care. After I left grad school I tried to get coverage with Anthem Blue Cross. A month after I applied I was informed that they were canceling my application because my doctors had refused to send them my information, even ...

Brave Green World

Toxic Fire Retardants In Your Household Dust

Dust
over 4 years ago

Bad news for sporadic dust-busters: our dust bunnies may be killing us softly. It’s not what they say about our abysmal standards for household cleanliness, it’s what they’re doing to our health. Household dust has long been a known culprit when it comes to allergies and asthma, but a new study ...

As I Please

So Long to the "Special Relationship"

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over 4 years ago

A former British prime Minister, James Callaghan once warned that sudden crises have the knack of coming out of the blue, from places and incidents that are often small and faraway. He could have been referring to the assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, the tipping point for the ...

Politeia

The Worst Financial Crisis Ever?

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over 4 years ago

On Tuesday, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said that the financial crisis that triggered our current recession was "by far the greatest financial crisis, globally, ever." That's right, even worse that the collapse of the stock market in 1929, because for the first time short-term ...

IdeaFeed

Chile Versus Haiti

Missing
over 4 years ago

Though the earthquake in Chile was 500 times stronger than Haiti's, many fewer deaths are expected, but how can this be the case? "Because of its long history with earthquakes, which has contributed to an earthquake 'consciousness' in Chile, and infrastructure that is built to higher standards, many ...

IdeaFeed

Upside-down Frown

Missing
over 4 years ago

Looking for the upside of depression, The New York Times Magazine approaches the "disease" from the point of view of evolutionary biology. "For Darwin, depression was a clarifying force, focusing the mind on its most essential problems. In his autobiography, he speculated on the purpose of such ...

IdeaFeed

Accelerating Problems

Missing
over 4 years ago

Consumer activist Ralph Nader says that lax federal regulation of an ever-more complex auto industry is partly to blame for Toyota's present crisis. "The spotlight on sudden-acceleration defects of Toyota vehicles has opened a window on lax enforcement by the National Highway Traffic Safety ...

IdeaFeed

Skin in the Game

Missing
over 4 years ago

Warren Buffet says that it's high time CEOs of financial institutions assume their own salary is at stake when they make investment decisions for their companies. "Buffett has been criticizing overreaching corporate managers and complaisant directors for decades. But the question of how to motivate ...

IdeaFeed

Forests of the Ocean

Missing
over 4 years ago

Weighing their impact on climate change, scientists say that whale populations in the ocean should be preserved as a carbon sink just like forests on dry land. "A century of whaling may have released more than 100 million tonnes - or a large forest's worth - of carbon into the atmosphere, scientists ...

IdeaFeed

"Socialist Pay"

Missing
over 4 years ago

American Banks rejected the advice of their British counterparts to reduce high-level bonus payouts at secret talks held between the parties in London last year. "America's top bankers quashed attempts by their British counterparts to persuade the industry to bring down salaries in response to ...