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

The Singularity Is Not Near

July 17, 2011, 1:01 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, David Linden doesn't believe man will be fused with machine any time soon. At least not in the way that futurist Ray Kurzweil envisions the (near) future. One of Kurzweil's predictions is that by the 2020s, minuscule nano-robots will enter our brains, non-invasively through our capillaries, and be able to manipulate our sensory receptors to create the first true virtual reality. Linden responds: "Even if our intrepid nanobot were jet-powered and equipped with a powerful cutting laser, how would it move through the brain and not leave a trail of destruction in its wake?"

What's the Big Idea?

Kurzweil predicts that by the 2030s, we will be able to upload our minds into a highly sophisticated computer, at which point the distinctions between brain, mind and machine would fall away. But this prediction relies on the faulty premise that our knowledge of neurobiology increases exponentially. While technological capacity may increase exponentially, it has not yielded a parallel increase in our understanding of the human brain. "In my view the central problem here is that Kurzweil is conflating biological data collection with biological insight," Linden says. 


The Singularity Is Not Near

Newsletter: Share: