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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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Technology Will Create a Utopian Future (as Long as Humans Don't Mess it Up)

August 27, 2014, 4:36 PM

In a new book, two technologists paint a rosy portrait of our future, describing how cutting-edge technology could benefit large industry--as long as humans don't muck it up in the mean time, that is. Called "Resource Revolution: How to Capture the Biggest Business Opportunity in a Century", authors Matt Rogers and Stefan Heck have written a veritable guide for technology optimists. Manufacturing companies could use information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology to their great advantage, they argue, creating a technological revolution akin to the invention of the airplane. 

Rogers and Heck assuage the creeping feeling many have that Silicon Valley has run out of big ideas. While Apple and Amazon seem content to sell us new iterations of established products, Google hires code writers by the droves to better serve us advertisements. By combining big business with Big Data and cutting-edge science, we might improve on goods that have remained static for decades. The automobile is definitely one such good. 

"After housing, cars are the second-most-expensive goods most Americans buy. Yet most of us buy vehicles just to park them; on average, cars are moving during just 5 percent of their lives. When we do drive our cars, we often do so alone. Worse, most of the energy in our gas tanks is being wasted by the inefficient internal combustion engine."

While Rogers and Heck have ideas of their own for the car, Big Think's resident futurist Michio Kaku offers up his vision of our bold future:

Read more at the New York Times

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Technology Will Create a Ut...

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