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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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Video News Bites, Delivered To Your Smartphone

November 6, 2012, 7:17 PM
Shutterstock_73952062

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

NowThis News is a free iOS app that attempts to capture the average mobile user's attention span by providing a more-or-less steady stream of short video news segments, most of which last under a minute each. The app groups segments into seven categories that cover various national and international happenings, and the shortness of the segments lets the producers experiment with content and delivery. When a segment finishes, the user can share it via Facebook, Twitter, or an e-mail -- or not, which automatically brings up the next one.

What's the Big Idea?

NowThis was created by two former Huffington Post executives who appreciate the challenges involved in keeping easily distracted users watching. Two ways to overcome these challenges are keeping the viewing experience passive -- by just feeding segments without requiring user input, a technique borrowed from Netflix -- and simply putting out well-produced content. The latter will be especially important after the noise surrounding this year's election quiets down if the app wants to be seen as more than a passing fad.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

 

Video News Bites, Delivered...

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