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

Why Automobile "Black Boxes" May Become A Lot More Common

December 7, 2012, 6:58 PM

What's the Latest Development?

On Friday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed that automobile manufacturers be required to install event data recorders -- "black boxes" -- on all new light cars and trucks starting September 2014. However, many have been quietly including them for years, with some doing so since the early 1990s. Interestingly, they weren't required to mention the inclusion of black boxes in the owner's manuals until three months ago. Current black boxes being installed must collect at least 15 different types of data, and the NHTSA is proposing that future versions collect as many as 30 more. 

What's the Big Idea?

Information that helps identify the cause of accidents is obviously useful for investigators, especially when problems are affecting particular makes of cars, such as the Toyota vehicles that experienced acceleration issues a few years ago. Some safety advocates feel that the real-world data provided by black boxes is the only sure way to know how best to design safer cars. Privacy advocates, fearing that the data could be misused, recommend that more usage regulations be implemented before making the NHTSA proposal into law. One says, "[W]e're in an environment where there are no rules, there are no limits...Most people who are operating a motor vehicle have no idea this technology [is here]."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com


Why Automobile "Black Boxes...

Newsletter: Share: