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

Can Science Eliminate the Need to Sleep?

April 15, 2013, 12:15 AM
Sleep_obesity

What's the Latest Development?

Entrepreneurs and university scientists alike are working hard to shorten the amount of time we spend sleeping each day while maintaining essential skills like learning, concentrating and being emotionally sensitive to our environment. Stimulants ranging from caffeine to the Air Force's "go-pills", while effective, have clear limitations. Instead, augmenting the body's ability to recharge itself through sleep is where the bulk of research is currently concentrating. Scientists at Duke University, for example, have used transcranial magnetic stimulation to induce slow-wave oscillations, the once-per-second ripples of brain activity that we see in deep sleep.

What's the Big Idea?

While medical solutions for making the process of sleeping more efficient may be within our grasp, cultural practices may act as a counter current. Questions will be posed over what is "optimal" or "natural" and will require a large consensus to answer effectively. "The war against sleep is inextricably linked with debates over human enhancement, because an eight-hour consolidated sleep is the ultimate cognitive enhancer. Sleepiness and a lack of mental focus are indistinguishable, and many of the pharmaceutically based cognitive enhancers on the market work to combat both."

Read it at Aeon Magazine

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

 

 

Can Science Eliminate the N...

Newsletter: Share: