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

When a Leak Is a Gush

August 21, 2010, 7:00 AM
Can WikiLeak's release of tens of thousands of secret documents accurately be called 'a leak', or is 'gush' more appropriate, or is that just silly? One author on the history of the political leak. "Our canonical images of leakiness involve liquid seeping out through small openings in something — a dripping faucet, a roof letting in rain, a boat with a cracked hull. Physical leaks can be stopped with a patch or some other reinforcement, as when the little Dutch boy plugged that faulty dike with his finger. But political leaks have strayed far from their literal foundation. ... An early glimpse of how leak entered American political vocabulary comes in John C. Frémont’s 1887 memoirs, which recount a political event leading up to the Mexican-American War..."

When a Leak Is a Gush

Newsletter: Share: