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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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How Social Activists are Transforming Digital Technologies

December 13, 2011, 8:30 AM

What's the Latest Development?

The Occupy movement is not only harnessing digital tools, but adding to the evolution of new media available to today’s advocates, developing new tools and appropriating existing ones. This first became apparent in the U.K., with the “Uncut” protests, where student protesters developed a new tool called Sukey to help each other avoid police barricades.  

What's the Big Idea?

This fall, in New York’s Zucotti Park, occupiers used the blogging platform Tumblr, transforming the tool into one more amenable to advocacy. Occupiers have also tried to create a “mesh network,” a localized version of the Internet and, when it became clear that cellphone microphones were insufficient for disseminating information across Zucotti Park, they pooled forces with technologists to build a phone-powered tool for real-time information sharing.


How Social Activists are Tr...

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