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


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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


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

On the Anniversary of World War I, Let's All Make Fun of Conspiracy Theories

June 29, 2014, 7:01 PM

What's the Latest?

100 years after the assassination of Austria's archduke Franz Ferdinand, and the ensuing diplomatic and military maneuvers that occured throughout Europe and Asia, we remain amazed at the causal chain of events that produced World War I. Indeed the assassination itself was the result of numerous chance events, having gone wrong three times the very same day as it was finally carried out. The run up to the war is perhaps the most glaring evidence we have of how human stupidity is the dominant theme, or a least a very powerful one, working to drive our history forward--if that is indeed the direction in which it travels.

What's the Big Idea?

A full causal account of World War I would runs many hundreds of pages, but what is clear is that humans are better at muddling our way through history than executing meticulous plans. The implications of this are brought to bear strongly against conspiracy theorists. "Since we believe that the agents responsible for historic effects should be as major as the events themselves, we start conjuring them up to soothe our psychology." How could a ragtag group of men plan and execute 9/11; how could humanity with all its good intentions be responsible for climate change?

Read more at Scientific American

Photo credit: Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock


On the Anniversary of World...

Newsletter: Share: