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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What's the Latest Development?
A new iPad app developed by Latvian programmers claims to be able to increase your reading speed by 30% to 300%. "The app [called Fastr] works by presenting only a few words of text at a time—sufficient that you can take in the words without moving your eyes. A control allows you to set the speed at which words are presented. As your ability improves, not only can you increase the speed, but also the number of words presented." Typically, a normal reader, reading in their own language, can read at about 240 words a minute. But Eldars Loginovs, who helped create the app, says speeds of 600 words a minute are easily achievable.
What's the Big Idea?
Speed reading is a skill that nearly everyone would wish to master, but achieving it requires a lot of hard work. By capitalizing on a computer's ability to break up pages of text into small chunks of words, Fastr does some of the brain's tasks for it. At the speed at which words are presented to the reader, they are no longer being processed as if being heard in a conversation, "but rather as a series of flash cards." While the experience of using the app could not yet be called enjoyable, Mr. Loginovs says readers were able to both retain and understand the material they had been given.
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