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

Soccer: War by Other Means

June 8, 2014, 10:40 PM

What's the Latest?

The Brazilian World Cup has ignited popular anger by displacing the poor with glitzy soccer stadiums filled with the glut of corporate sponsorship. And yet we can expect the anger to subside before our collective desire to prosecute a world war by less bloody--but by no means bloodless--means. Professor of philosophy at the New School, Simon Critchley argues that the national emblems, flags, and fervent pride that fills soccer stadiums all stand-in for essential human and social qualities. "[Soccer] is all about the experience of failure and righteous injustice," said Critchley.

What's the Big Idea?

Critchley's icon is Bill Shankly, the coach of Liverpool's soccer team that dominated play through the 1970s and 80s. While Shankly aspired to be the Napoleon of soccer, his personal philosophy was socialist in nature. "Football is an experience of association, an idea that might not be too whimsically linked to Marx’s talk of ‘an association of free human beings’ in Capital, Volume 1." And much like history itself, the inevitable demise of even the greatest teams is linked inexorably to an illusory hope that they will once again rise to the great and heroic feats contained in our memory.

Read more at Roads and Kingdoms

Photo credit: Rui Alexandre Araujo/Shutterstock


Soccer: War by Other Means

Newsletter: Share: