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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.

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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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Is Space-Time an Elaborate Illusion?

May 18, 2011, 7:05 AM
Illusion

What's the Latest Development?

As a child, George Musser was consistently impressed with his father's ability to pack seemingly endless amounts of vacation supplies into the family's suitcases. While becoming a science writer, he learned there is a limit, a rather strict one set by physical laws. If matter becomes too dense, it collapses into a black hole. Through study of these peculiar phenomena and through a more recent advance in string theory, many scientists are beginning to wonder if our concept of space is but an elaborate illusion propagated by what we see as laws of physics, but which are in fact the surface-level result of a much more complex reality. 

What's the Big Idea?

The World Science Festival to be held this summer at New York University will tackle many of the contemporary questions facing researchers. Among them, the idea that the universe as we know it—vast amounts of space sprinkled with matter—is a hologram, a by product of what the universe actually is, currently something beyond both our detection and comprehension. The festival asks: "What we touch. What we smell. What we feel. They’re all part of our reality. But what if life as we know it reflects only one side of the full story?"

 

Is Space-Time an Elaborate ...

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