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.

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Sick Poverty

December 22, 2009, 5:44 AM
“From the 14th floor of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, I could look across the East River to much of Brooklyn and Queens. Behind me in the hospital bed was the woman I love, who was sick, very sick. She was attended by some remarkable doctors (including her own indomitable daughter), and I would sometimes drift to the window and look out over a city with several million people and wonder: What do they do? What do they do if they have no health insurance? That question has stuck with me. There have been several more hospital stays and many more visits to the doctor, and so I am, in a very painful way, an expert of sorts on the American health-care system. It is an inelegant monstrosity, a beast that consumes lives and money and makes some people rich and many more poor. It is a quintessentially American operation, created out of pragmatism and prejudice -- a belief in what works and as deep a belief that the government can make nothing work. It is the product of tiny minds, some of them in Congress, and they have now set about improving the system in a way that exhausts Washington's store of cliches -- herding cats, making sausage and the rest.”

Sick Poverty

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