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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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Thoughts Within Thoughts Make Us Human

June 5, 2011, 9:07 AM

What's the Latest Development?

Professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, Michael Corballis has written a new book challenging the conventional wisdom of how humans think. The theory that prevails today was written in the 1960s by linguist Noam Chomsky whose idea of a universal grammar states that language is constrained by how we think. In other words, our brain is the scaffolding that supports the development of language. While Corballis does not deny that thought and language are intimately related, he views thought as non-linguistic, something with recursive properties to which language has adapted.

What's the Big Idea?

The more we learn about the brain processes of humans and other animals, the smaller the distance has become between once-exalted Man and our animal brethren. Throughout history, particularly in more religious times, we saw a divine image when we looked in the mirror. Despite the blood on the ground around us and the turmoil inside of us, we knew we were fundamentally different from the lion and porpoise. Today we understand that consciousness is more of a spectrum. One would hope that we will come to see the folly of believing ourselves to be somehow outside of natures' processes. 


Thoughts Within Thoughts Ma...

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