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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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A 2011 Technology Review

December 13, 2011, 1:00 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Reflecting on another big year for new technology, John Naughton says 2011 was the year Governments all over the world had to deal with the power of social networking, "and their reactions were not exactly an endorsement." "The prominence of social networking and SMS in political upheaval is simply a measure of the extent to which these technologies have become mundane."

What's the Big Idea?

Naughton cautions optimistic U.K. politicians that start-ups and "creative industries" are wonderful things but that start-ups, especially in the tech field, create very few jobs in their home countries. "Most of the manufacturing jobs go to China or Taiwan." the most exciting product of 2011? An iPad app, Touch Press's magical evocation of TS Eliot's great poem, The Waste Land.


A 2011 Technology Review

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