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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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Diabetes or Smoke?

January 5, 2010, 4:02 AM
Giving up smoking sharply increases the risk of developing type-two diabetes according to a US study which suggests an increased risk of 70 per cent for quitters in the first six years. “This is because they tend to put on weight. However, the Annals of Internal Medicine study stressed that this should not be used as an excuse to carry on smoking. On no account should people use the theoretical results of this study as an excuse not to give up smoking The Johns Hopkins team also stress that smoking is a well known risk factor for type-two diabetes - as well as many other health problems, such as heart disease, stroke and cancer. Researcher Dr Jessica Yeh said: ‘If you smoke, give it up. That's the right thing to do. But people have to also watch their weight.’ The study, based on 10,892 middle aged adults who were followed for up to 17 years, found the risk of developing type-two diabetes was highest in the first three years after giving up smoking.”

Diabetes or Smoke?

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