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 Universe Works Like a Big Computer Program

May 29, 2014, 9:40 AM

What's the Latest?

Since Isaac Newton, physicists have searched for mathematical equations to explain the behavior of the universe. On many fronts, the effort has been successful. Yet plenty of extraterrestrial phenomena escape the grasp of equations. Technology innovator Stephen Wolfram argues that the universe may function less like a math equation and more like a computer program, demonstrating extremely complex behavior which could be based on relatively simple lines of natural code. Just what these foundational lines of code are, says Wolfram, is the work of the technologist.

What's the Big Idea?

Wolfram's idea, which is not accepted by a majority of physicists, is that computer code models nature better than singular math equations. "[The] idea came out of his work showing how simple programs called cellular automata could reproduce the structure of objects like snowflakes or leaves." In Wolfram's opinion, the 21st century will be one of particular importance as the power of software design is fully realized. "The computation age that began in the 20th Century will provide us with more than just the internet, personal gadgets and so on – it could also help answer major existential and scientific questions too."

Read more at BBC Future


The Universe Works Like a B...

Newsletter: Share: