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.

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12,000+ Expert Videos

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

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World Renowned Bloggers

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

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Big Think Edge

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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.

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Facebook: A Window into Human Behavior

April 17, 2012, 8:00 AM
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What's the Latest Development?

The Data Team is a research group inside of Facebook tasked with finding patterns in the vast amounts of information voluntarily posted by the 845 million people who use the social network each month. Those vast stores of information, which Facebook uses to target you with specific advertisements, will drive a valuation in the vicinity of $80 billion when the company goes public later this year. Currently, the Data Team is researching whether knowing how your friends react to certain ads influences your own behavior, i.e. if you know your friend clicked on an ad, will you be more likely to do the same? 

What's the Big Idea?

To what extent does our behavior on Facebook shape how we act in the real world? It may be the case that our distinction between Facebook and the real world is quite thin. According to a Pew Internet and American Life study, 93% of the Facebook friends kept by US users are people they have met in real life, suggesting that the site has created a network that models real-world relationships. "As Facebook becomes a more integral part of people's communication," say researchers, "it becomes difficult to disentangle what 'real-world social behavior' means independent of Facebook."

Photo credit: shutterstock.com


 

Facebook: A Window into Hum...

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