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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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.
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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.
What's the Latest Development?
Roger Ebert wrote more than 300 film reviews in the final year of his life. During the last six years of Nora Ephron's, the author wrote two books, two plays, 100 blog posts and directed a movie. It might seem that we are no longer even allowed to die in peace, lest we sacrifice our last days' productivity. "It’s easy to be dismissive about this kind of Type A overdrive, but it’s a mistake, I think, to criticize it," says Shelly Kagan, the author of 'Death' and a professor of philosophy at Yale. "We should consider ourselves fortunate if we find our work so satisfying and meaningful, and if we can make a contribution until the end."
What's the Big Idea?
What would be wrong, according to Kagan, would be to abandon one's friends and family at the end of a lifetime in favor of working. But on the contrary, many people near the edge of death (though not all) seem to have a healthy perspective on life, pursuing their passions until the final minute while keeping loved ones close. "Part of the appeal of working in the face of one’s imminent demise must surely be the distraction, a kind of morphine for the brain, that it supplies. 'When I am writing, my problems are invisible, and I am the same person I always was,' Mr. Ebert told Esquire magazine in 2010. 'All is well. I am as I should be.'"
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