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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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Isaac Newton: Physicist, Religious Devotee, Alchemist

May 16, 2014, 12:00 PM

What's the Latest?

All of Isaac Newton's posthumous writings are now available online so that anyone can discover the complexity of this brilliant man's life. It may come as a surprise that most of Newton's unpublished writings at the time of his death were devoted to religious investigation. He was, in short, an obsessive heretic. Of course he was also many other things, not the least of which was a scientific revolutionary. The strange history of Newton's manuscripts, which were at times suppressed, illuminated, and ignored, are brought to new light in Sarah Dry's book The Newton Papers: The Strange and True Odyssey of Isaac Newton’s Manuscripts.

What's the Big Idea?

The complexity of Newton's beliefs combined with his unquestionable scientific zeal raise important questions that are relevant to our world. For example, what does it mean to really know a person? Is it more essential to know what they say in private versus what they make public? In an age of Twitter and Facebook, any thoughts deliberately kept off those media are often taken as more truthful, and likely too truthful to be met with acceptance. The important question, according to Dry, is how our public and private selves interact and inform each other.

Read more at Wired


Isaac Newton: Physicist, Re...

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