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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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In Praise of 2009

January 3, 2010, 7:25 AM
“No one likes the starry-eyed techno-optimists. After all, the automobile was a revolution too, as was the television, and the radio. Most of us find our skins crawling a bit when people compare the current moment to Gutenberg inventing the printing press. It seems historically presumptuous, somehow. But the impulse to remain calm in the face of technological change is also an invitation to downplay the things that change our everyday lives the most. And for all that the decade's terror attacks and wars and bubbles did us terrible damage, none of them did nearly as much to transform the average American's everyday life as the rise of the net. My sense is that when all is said and done, just as the 1990s weren't quite as calm and meaningless as some believed, the events of the Aughts weren't quite as transformative as they seemed. Indeed, I'd much rather be alive in 2010 than in 2000. Technology has made this a better year to live in even as the intervening years have been bad ones for the country. Our future will have a lot more to do with the internet than with Iraq.”

In Praise of 2009

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