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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What's the Latest Development?
In a paper published this week in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, University of Calgary researcher Lianne Barnieh and her team crunched the numbers to find out what it would mean to pay people $10,000 for their kidney. They found that over time, assuming a five-percent increase in the number of kidneys available for transplant, the health care system would save $340 over the lifetime of each patient through improved overall net health. Barnieh says they put the price of donation at $10,000 because "we didn't want it to be so much money that it would change someone's life completely...[but] a compensation for the pain and suffering. And to tip the balance of those who are maybe considering donation."
What's the Big Idea?
Under the current, uncompensated donation system, demand far outstrips supply, and experts from a wide range of disciplines have wrestled with ways to correct the imbalance. Naturally, any suggestion of paying for organs raises concerns among bioethicists such as NYU's Arthur Caplan: "A large number of people would not support this strategy...You don't want to make organ donation into an abortion debate." Another approach, which requires people to opt out rather than opt in, is proving successful in countries such as Spain.
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