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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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Space: The Final Data Storage Frontier?

September 10, 2013, 3:22 PM

What's the Latest Development?

The explosive growth of Big Data has Jack Pouchet, vice-president at Emerson Network Power, thinking about where all that information is going to go. His suggestion: Put data centers into geosynchronous orbit, where they could be powered by the same kind of solar panels used for some satellites now. Also, as advances in automation continue, it won't be long before such a center could be almost completely self-operational and self-healing. Best of all, Pouchet says, "You could put something in space for $100 million," a significant cost savings over building a center in certain remote parts of Earth.

What's the Big Idea?

Orbital data centers could be the best home for legacy data, as it would likely take some time to retrieve it. However, Pouchet acknowledges the risks and challenges with having a facility so far away. No matter how automated it was, if there was a problem, "[i]t could be up to a year before people can go to do an upgrade and make replacements." Still, if space could work as a potential location, so could other extreme environments: "There's a lot to be said for dropping a data center into the ocean. No one is going to be able to mess with it."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at FastCompany/Co.Exist


Space: The Final Data Stora...

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