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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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Sign of the Times

February 23, 2010, 6:35 AM
A regular system of 26 symbols thought to be the origins of written language crop up in stone carvings throughout the prehistoric world – now experts are trying to decipher their meaning. “Some wonder whether [the symbols] originated with early humans as they migrated across the globe out of Africa some 70,000 years ago. From the walls of the Great Hall of the Bulls, Lascaux II cave, Dordogne, France to rock paintings in Chobe National Park, Botswana,. to caves and canyon walls in Australia, central Africa, Europe, India and South and North America, breathtakingly beautiful Stone Age paintings have revealed strange squiggles, semicircles, lines, dots, spirals, hands and zigzags that may hold the key to understanding early forms of human communication. The zigzag lines for example didn't emerge until 20,000 years ago and by 13,000 years ago had disappeared. A similarly shaped snaking form existed from 30,000 years ago but also died off around 13,000 years ago. A multidisciplinary team of scientists at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico is working toward reconstructing the mother of all languages. Since all representatives of the species Homo sapiens presumably share a common origin, it would be natural to suppose that all human languages also go back to some common source.”

Sign of the Times

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