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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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For Your Consideration: A USB Drive Made Of Paper

November 22, 2012, 5:30 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Spokane-based intelliPaper has created a USB drive that consists of a memory chip embedded in a sheet of paper with a thickness approximating that of card stock. Folding the paper provides enough thickness to insert the drive into a port just like any other, firmer USB drive. Because it's made of paper and a small silicon chip, it can even be recycled. Already one organization is using the drives in wide distribution: Walla Walla University has embedded drives full of information about the school in postcards sent to prospective students.

What's the Big Idea?

Staff at TechNewsDaily tested the sample drives sent to them and found that they held up well for the most part, although they didn't perform when wet (but worked again when they were dried out). Their samples held about 66 Mb of data and were read-only; the company sells a separate device that can write data onto the drives. A spokesman claims that the drives are "the next post-it note...and the cost will fall to that of a rewriteable CD, or less than a dollar each." Currently intelliPaper is attempting to raise $300,000 on Indiegogo to help bring its product to market.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com


For Your Consideration: A U...

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