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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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Bye, 2012. Bye, Laptops And PCs.

January 1, 2013, 3:30 PM

What's the Latest Development?

We can't say we didn't see this coming: Old Man 2012 may finally be the year that hobbled off the stage carrying the PC with him. Writer Andrew Leonard cites a number of data points from different sources as proof, including the type of machines now used to get online (66 percent are mobile devices) as well as the type used to open e-mails (mobile devices are leading here as well). Leonard declares that the rise of smartphones and tablets represents the year's biggest transformative technology: "The decline of the PC is no longer subject to debate."

What's the Big Idea?

The rise of mobile computing impacts almost every aspect of business. According to Leonard, "The triumph of mobile...signals a triumph of volatility. If your livelihood depends on generating revenue from an advertising-supported business model...you must figure out how to make your product work on mobile devices, or go the way of the dinosaur." It also impacts society at large: With more people carrying GPS-enabled smartphones, the amount of privacy any one user has is decreasing every day, and laws designed to protect them aren't being updated quickly enough. Despite these fears, many good things are resulting from the paradigm shift, particularly the ability to connect many people together quickly: "We carry with us the possibility for crowdsourced action as easy as our thumbs can manipulate a touch screen."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com


Bye, 2012. Bye, Laptops And...

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