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

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

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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 Trust Economy

August 10, 2010, 7:05 AM
In describing economic growth, some economists ask how much our mental states have to do with how the economy functions. Trust, for example, is heralded as a necessity for transactions to occur. "[Neuroeconomist Paul] Zak calls The Wealth of Nations Smith’s 'second-best book,' pointing out that the Scottish thinker had published an earlier work titled The Theory of Moral Sentiments that described how moral behavior arises naturally from social interactions and provided one of the earliest published descriptions of empathic feeling. Clearly, Smith’s take on all this was more nuanced than is commonly supposed. As an economist, Zak doesn’t question the power and efficiency of markets, but he argues that economic models ought to reflect that people are motivated by altruism and reciprocity as much as naked self-interest."
 

The Trust Economy

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