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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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Waq al-Waq

Mahri Poetry? I think, yes.

over 5 years ago

It is a bit too late, after that last post, for another one on al-Qaeda so instead we have one on Bedouin poetry. This article features friend of this blog and the world's foremost expert on Mahri poetry, Samuel Liebhaber. Quite a guy. For anyone who has ever heard the old Orientalist joke about a ...

Waq al-Waq

Releasing al-Qaeda Suspects

over 5 years ago

There has been a great deal of confusion over what exactly is going in Yemen, and whether or not the country is releasing AQ suspects. On the surface, this looks like another Homer Simpson moment for Yemen, what are these guys doing releasing suspects just weeks after AQ Yemen and Saudi Arabia ...

Waq al-Waq

Yemen and Guantanamo

over 5 years ago

I thought it might be appropriate to kick-off this blog with a story focusing on a problem that will be with us for the forseeable future, far beyond the closing down of the prison in Guantanamo Bay. The story from NPR's Dina Temple-Raston details some of the concerns many in the US have with ...


Eruptions Mailbag #2

over 5 years ago

I get a fairly steady stream of emails from Eruptions readers, some of which are very worth a post, but sometimes it takes me a while to get around to posting. This is my second attempt to catch up on these mailbag emails. Remember, feel free to email me questions or comments whether you want ...

Strange Maps

360 - Urban Villages in Paris (1920)

over 5 years ago

Well into the 19th century, much of France languished in a pre-modern limbo, hardly touched by the Enlightenment, Christianity or even the Roman civilisation that had preceded both. Outside the big cities, Ancient Gaul seemed a more vivid and relevant influence than the French Revolution ...

Daylight Atheism

Daylight Atheism: Anniversary #3

over 5 years ago

Oh yes - it's that time again. As difficult as it is for me to believe, today officially makes it three years I've been writing for Daylight Atheism. This past year has been the most eventful one yet. I finished writing my first book; met a fellow freethinker in an unlikely setting; was attacked ...