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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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Are We Addicted to Too Much of Everything?

December 23, 2012, 4:30 PM

What's the Latest Development?

If you haven't finished your Christmas shopping yet, please don't. That is the appeal made by Kalle Lasn, creator of the Adbusters magazine published in Vancouver, British Columbia. Lasn has made a late career out of opposing America's consumerist habits, recently calling for a "Buy Nothing Christmas" and asking people to make a conscious effort to turn their televisions off for an entire week each year. "Addictions have broadened," he says. Adbusters attacks sellers for their attractive advertisements by using the same iconic images to mock their ads.

What's the Big Idea?

One of Adbusters' main accomplishments of late was calling for an occupation of Wall Street, naming its effort "Occupy Wallstreet." The name caught on and works, tangentially, to curb America's runaway spending habits symbolized by a collapse of credit. "Of course, retailers will be facing a Dark Age if people really stop shopping. And because consumer spending accounts for roughly 70 percent of United States gross domestic product, an abrupt shift to nonconsumption would drive the already faltering economy to its knees." Lasn insists that a new lifestyle is necessary even though he might not know exactly what it looks like. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


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