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

1

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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

Under the Floor - A Fortune in Coins

July 20, 2011, 9:15 AM
Wood_floor

His name was Dandon and he was a strange man even for 1812 Berlin.

 

By day, he was a Professor of Languages at the University. He was competent and respected by both students and faculty members.

 

But at night he was something quite different.

 

After dark, Dandon adopted the shabby clothes and plaintive appearance of the beggar and took to the streets. And begged for coins.

 

His students were shocked to see this man of letters, this cultured figure of authority, begging for coins like a common street urchin. But beg he did, returning every night to the dark and dangerous streets to plead for money from passing strangers.

 

It is not known what the other people forced by circumstance to beg for money on the streets thought of Dandon the pretender. Their stories have not come down to us. Perhaps they never noticed Dandon’s cultured airs. After all, was not Dandon a master of languages? Could the language of the beggar pose any challenge for him?

 

Not if it provided money. Dandon loved money. He craved it, he coveted it. And when he found out he could beg for it, that he could get those shiny coins for free, he haunted the streets with the truly misfortunate.

 

Dandon’s love of money was no secret. His neighbors knew him to be a miser. Dandon had once disowned his only brother when the man forgot to put a stamp on a letter and Dandon had to pay the postage due. For this crime of a penny, Dandon had not spoken to his brother in 37 years.

 

But money will not prolong your life and Dandon’s coins were not enough to save him from death.

 

And so Dandon died.

 

In his apartment, under the floorboards, they found a fortune in coins, the equivalent of $500,000 USD today.

 

His brother got it all.

_____________________

 

Other Recent Posts:

 

Under the Floor - The Skulls of St. Cuthbert's

 

July 5th - Happy Independence Day

 

How old school is "old school?"

 

Ghost Rider's Satanic Seventies

 

Do you have ESP? The Amazing Kreskin’s 1966 board game brings out your inner psychic

 

Photo by Stefan David via Flickr/Creative Commons

 

Under the Floor - A Fortune...

Newsletter: Share: