What is Big Think?  

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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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.

Find out more
Close

Is Facebook (Sufficiently) Spy-Friendly?

May 3, 2011, 6:56 AM
Technology_radio_telescope_242447_l

What's the Latest Development?

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange told Russia Today that Facebook was the “most appalling spy machine that has ever been invented.” FB users who add their friend to the social network are “doing free work for US Intelligence agencies, in building this electronic database for them.” Meanwhile over at Social Media Today, Bill James laments that searching and sharing social network data for regular users is not as easy as it should be. He suggests that FB's “primitive search function for personal users” is deliberate and “makes perfect sense in the context of trying to force business users to advertise in Facebook.”

What's the Big Idea?

A Persistent Sense of Unease over where all this sharing will (should?) lead us. Will the CIA one day lead us to regret liking that political satire page or telling the world where our loyalties lie? What will we gain or lose as consumers if business finds it easier to know what brands we like and use? And is Facebook going to lose ground in the global economy if it doesn't cough up better returns for business users. “The market for social functionality in digital media is beginning to behave like the global market for capital...If the return on effort made to build a social network is higher in one social application than another, or the 'black markets' of the 'follow back etiquette' offer huge returns for the network builder, users will move their time and effort to those applications and those URLs.”

 

Is Facebook (Sufficiently) ...

Newsletter: Share: