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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FU Asks: Should the Government Fund the Arts?

February 10, 2012, 3:00 PM

Welcome to a new feature on the Floating University blog, FU Asks, where we open up the academic debate on our e-learning platform to the Big Think community. 

This week we're featuring a discussion prompt from Leon Botstein, President of Bard College and conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra:

Market-oriented democracies let competition decide what art gets created and promoted, but this leaves many of the arts underfunded, as they don't appeal to mass audiences. Should the American government step in and launch a robust support of the arts? If so, how could the government go about deciding which projects to fund? And where should these funds come from? 

Here's Botstein offering a tentative framework in which to answer this thorny question, from his Floating University lecture on the arts:

Answer the above prompt and have your response featured on the Floating University e-learning platform!

Visit The Floating University to learn more about our approach to disrupting higher education, or check out Leon Botstein's eSeminar "Art Now: Aesthetics Across Music, Painting, Architecture, Movies, and More."



FU Asks: Should the Governm...

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