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

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

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World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Big Think Edge

3

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.

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The Folly of Betterment

November 2, 2010, 8:04 AM
"Our public and private life still embrace improvement... Mencken was brave enough to turn his face from all that, with a mixture of ironic dismay and scorn...to grasp that the purpose of literature is not to expose, instruct, explicate ideas, or advance causes; to apprehend that Lardner’s achievement was 'to take familiar personages, usually regarded with tolerant smiles, and to show the viciousness under their superficial imbecility'; and to embrace a view of public affairs without uplift, without virtue, without purpose... (Mencken) knew all efforts at betterment are ultimately shabby, inane, narcissistic, or brutal — and that knowledge renders his satiric force nearly tragic."
 

The Folly of Betterment

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