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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What's the Latest Development?
A group of speleologists is on a "speleo-archaeological" mission to map the 11 aqueducts that supplied ancient Rome with fresh water for up to a million citizens and that still exist in above-ground viaducts and in hundreds of miles' worth of underground tunnels. With the help of some 21st-century technology, including GPS and remote-control robots, the members of Sotterranei di Roma (Underground Rome) plan to provide a thorough and extensive update of the last known map, which was produced by British archaeologist Thomas Ashby at the beginning of the 20th century.
What's the Big Idea?
The Roman aqueduct system is still considered to be one of the greatest engineering feats of the ancient world, bringing water to nearly the whole of the Roman Empire. Of the aqueducts that supplied the capital itself, only one, the Acqua Vergine, is still in use today, and has as one of its termination points the Trevi Fountain. Underground Rome member Riccardo Paolucci points out that, because of the aqueducts, the city's residents were able to practice safe hygiene, and suffered very few epidemics as a result. "We are who we are because of what we have inside and Rome is what it is because of what is underneath it," he says.
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