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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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Learning How Computers Work on the Inside...for $25

August 30, 2012, 10:56 AM

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

Now available online, the Raspberry Pi allows anyone who's interested in understanding the blood and guts of a computer to put one together from scratch for only $25. Note that this isn't the kind of computer that will replace your iPad: Comprised of basic parts, the kit is designed to introduce users to the mysteries that take place within the typical computer case. Once the machine is assembled, it can be put to work powering robots and games, among other projects.

What's the Big Idea? 

Eben Upton, the designer behind the Raspberry Pi, was motivated by the realization that for many kids, "computer knowledge" increasingly involved software, not hardware. "They were still messing around on computers, but they weren’t messing around with them....They had changed from active hackers to passive consumers." In the 1980s, he and his friends learned both hardware and software design using a similar hobbyist's-kit computer, and so he decided to create a modern version. The Raspberry Pi's huge success with kids as well as adults in developing countries has inspired Upton to create a nonprofit foundation dedicated to building enough units to create and support an active owner community.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com


Learning How Computers Work...

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