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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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Human Nature as We Know it

November 13, 2011, 4:30 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Michael Lewis' Moneyball, an account of how baseball professionals consistently misunderstand players' talents, is relevant to our times' most pressing psychological research. When Lewis' met Daniel Kahneman, perhaps the most eminent psychologist of our era, powerful insights followed. It turns out the mind takes any information it can to give order to our complex reality. Unfortunately, it is not very selective and choices often come down to a strong belief in misinformation.

What's the Big Idea?

Kahneman's experiments won him the Nobel prize in economics even though he is not an economist by trade, but a psychologist. He showed over and over that information which is not at all relevant to a decision can often determine which road we take. The inferences we make are illogical and the part of our brain which guards against our own fallacies is extremely lazy. The result is that we rely on a series of invented concepts in order to explain the world around us. Not surprisingly, it can easily result in failure.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


Human Nature as We Know it

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