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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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Could Your Future Employer Force You To Take Ritalin?

November 9, 2012, 5:33 PM

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

Scientists from some of Britain's leading institutions released a paper earlier this week containing warnings about the effects of productivity-enhancing technology on the workplace of tomorrow. It included the use of drugs such as Ritalin, "wearable computers" such as Google Glasses, and bionic limbs and implants. While these items may seem to benefit employees and employers in the short term, the scientists believe that the potential for abuse or coercion needs to be closely examined.

What's the Big Idea?

The concept of a "superhuman workplace" in which workers perform at higher and faster rates may seem like something out of science fiction, but the technologies are here today and will most likely improve and proliferate in the next 10-15 years. Bioethicist Jackie Leach Scully says, "We have very little idea of how these technologies will pan out...In the context of a highly pressurized work environment, how free is the choice not to adopt [them]?" In response to one prediction in which truck drivers might receive a requirement to take alertness drugs, a union representative was clear in his disapproval: "We would be very, very against anything like that."

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