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

Global Military Spending Down; First Time Since 1998

April 15, 2013, 9:53 PM

What's the Latest Development?

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, military spending around the world totaled $1.75 trillion in 2012, a 0.5 percent drop from the previous year. Although small, it represents the first real decrease since 1998, and it was largely due to two trends that canceled each other out: The US and its European allies cut expenditures significantly and scaled back their Iraq and Afghanistan operations, while China and Russia increased their spending by 7.8 and 16 percent respectively.

What's the Big Idea?

SIPRI executive Sam Perlo-Freeman puts it simply: "We are seeing what may be the beginning of a shift in the balance of world military spending from the rich Western countries to emerging regions." For the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, the amount of American spending as a portion of the total fell below 40 percent. Meanwhile, China's spending has risen 175 percent since 2003, and despite reassurances from its government, other Asian nations are concerned about their increased capabilities. Spending is also up in the Middle East and North Africa, largely because of the Arab Spring uprisings and the ongoing civil war in Syria.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at GlobalPost


Global Military Spending Do...

Newsletter: Share: