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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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Blog Posts


Send me your volcano questions

almost 5 years ago

I'm buried knee-deep in lab work this week, so I don't know how much internet scouring I will be able to do for new news, however, I should have time for a mailbag column. So, do you have a burning (no pun intended) volcano question you want answered? Email the question(s) to me and I will try ...

Waq al-Waq

Sign of things to come?

almost 5 years ago

In what is almost surely a sign of things to come, at least in my opinion, there is a thread up on one of the jihadi forums that discusses a Der Spiegel article, which suggests that the nine foreigners were kidnapped because of their missionary activities. The lone response so far - the thread was ...

Daylight Atheism

The Case for a Creator: Small Twigs

almost 5 years ago

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 3 Jonathan Wells' second "icon" is Darwin's tree of life, which he says is a "dismal failure" [p.43] as an illustration of the fossil record. With a lead-in like that, you'd expect a typical creationist jeremiad against transitional fossils. In fact, that's not ...

Waq al-Waq

Criticizing from a good place

almost 5 years ago

From time to time Waq al-waq may criticize journalists working on Yemen a bit too much, but we also have our favorites whom we respect. Many of these journalists, I know personally, but not all. We also try to be as fair as possible, writing when someone we respect is, at least in our opinion, off ...

Strange Maps

393 - The Unevenness of Space-Time Convergence

almost 5 years ago

How long does it take to travel from London to elsewhere? The answer is provided by this map, showing a set of expanding circles centered on the British capital, each bigger one delineating two extra hours of travel time. The familiar shape of the world is morphed into grotesque, contorted ...

Strange Maps

392 - The Portland Arm (and Maine Leg)

almost 5 years ago

Fixing her regional loyalty in indelible ink on skin, Julia had a map of Portland, ME tattooed on her shoulder. A comparison with the more conventional map on the right indicates that her tat clearly shows the Portland peninsula, the Fore River, Back Cove and surrounding coastline, plus a large ...