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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Gambling on a volcano

January 4, 2010, 10:35 PM

Gambling and volcanoes go hand-in-hand?

Somehow I didn't pick up on this, but people are gambling on volcanoes now?

I mean, I suppose if they bet on the coin toss at the Super Bowl, people will bet on anything. Now, I'm not one to judge the taste in any of this, but here are the current odds for volcanoes to have a VEI 3 eruption:

3/1 Mt Unzen (Japan)
9/1 Mauna Loa (USA)
10/1 Ulawun (Papua New Guinea)
10/1 Merapi (Indonesia)
10/1 Santorini (Greece)
11/1 Colima (Mexico)
11/1 Rainier (USA)
11/1 Taal (Philippines)
11/1 Teide (Spain, Canary Islands)
12/1 Mt Nyiragongo (DR Congo)
12/1 Popocatepetl (Mexico)
14/1 Sakurajima (Japan)
16/1 Stromboli (Italy)
22/1 Avachinsky (Russia)
22/1 Galeras (Colombia)
28/1 Mt Vesuvius (Italy)
28/1 Chaiten (Chile)
28/1 Etna (Italy)
33/1 Santa Maria/Santiaguito (Guatemala)
33/1 Yellowstone (USA)

First off, I suppose Unzen is a decent choice for good odds. However, Santa Maria with the same odds as Yellowstone? I suppose if the cutoff is a VEI 3 eruption, Santa Maria tends to have small events and if Yellowstone has pretty much anything, you can guess it will be VEI 3 or greater. However, the point here is: is it OK to gamble on disasters? I mean, is this like placing bets on what airline is going to have the next air crash? Sure, a lot of volcanic eruptions are harmless in terms of injuries/fatalities, but if a lot of these had a VEI 3, there would likely be casualties. Just have to wonder if people need to read a book rather than spend their time with endeavors like this on the internet.


Gambling on a volcano

Newsletter: Share: