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


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


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

Defining Enemy Combatant

June 5, 2010, 6:57 AM
The unconventional nature of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has left a legal vacuum in the area of prisoner detentions, one that needs filling, says Samuel Issacharoff, professor of constitutional law at NYU. "In Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. confronts unlawful combatants who do not identify their military status and who must be separated from innocent civilians," says Issacharoff. "Nor is there a defined battleground or clear end to the conflict. With Al Qaeda, at least, there is no corresponding sovereign with whom to negotiate an eventual cessation of hostilities. That means that the concept of detention until the end of hostilities does not match the battlefield realities.

Defining Enemy Combatant

Newsletter: Share: