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

What If You Sold Your Online Data Directly To Marketers?

May 14, 2013, 1:30 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Software developer Federico Zannier recently launched a Kickstarter campaign titled "A bite of Me" in which he offers up his digital footprint -- including but not limited to "[e]mails, chat logs, location data, browser history, [and] screenshots" -- for sale. Interested parties can drop as little as US$2 on a day's worth of data or US$200 for all 7 Gb of personal data amassed over a 50-day period in February and March. With 22 days to go as of this writing, his funding goal of $500 has more than doubled.

What's the Big Idea?

By data-mining himself, as he puts it, Zannier hopes to gain control of information that's already being given up unwittingly thanks to "terms and conditions" full of fine print that few people read. With the money raised by the campaign, he plans to develop a browser extension and smartphone app that will essentially let its users spy on themselves. Some potential issues envisioned by writer Ryan Gallagher include the privacy of others mentioned in the data -- family members' e-mail addresses, for example -- and the pre-cleaning of the logs to remove sensitive information such as financial records or passwords. However, Zannier suggests that these issues need not be that serious: "Knowing you're being tracked does change the way you browse the Internet, of course."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Slate


What If You Sold Your Onlin...

Newsletter: Share: