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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What's the Latest Development?
A team of University of Toronto scholars asked 100 students to read either one of several literary short stories or one of several nonfiction essays before completing a survey about their emotional need for certainty. Those who read the short stories received much lower scores, which indicated greater comfort with ambiguity. If they were frequent readers, they were even more likely to have less of a need for order. A paper published in Creativity Research Journal contains more details about the research.
What's the Big Idea?
People who feel a strong need for certainty can be more likely to make snap judgments and grow rigid in their thinking. Reading fiction enables them to engage in thinking that doesn't necessarily result in a clear decision. Also, the act of reading allows readers to simulate characters' thinking styles even if they're different from their own. Together, these two effects can help to make closed minds more open to different types of people and ways of thinking. This characteristic is just as important for job success as is the kind of knowledge gained by reading nonfiction, say the scholars.
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