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.
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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.
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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.
What's the Latest Development?
Perhaps fame, more than any other wish, dominates our modern preoccupation. A 2012 study, for example, found that "a desire for fame solely for the sake of being famous was the most popular future goal among a group of 10-12 year olds." In the study, fame overshadowed hopes for financial success, achievement, and a sense of community. More recent research has focussed on why people want to be famous, narrowing the reasons down to three: The desire to be valued, the desire to live an elite lifestyle, and a desire to help others or make them proud. The first two reasons correlate with narcissism while the third, prosocial reason, was related with altruistic interests.
What's the Big Idea?
Rather than being a purely frivolous pursuit, researchers argue that desiring fame fulfills the fundamental human need for having social relationships. They further distinguish between narcissistic and prosocial desires for fame as having the need to belong and the need to relate, respectively. Research shows that people with a high need for relatedness are not anxious about social exclusion and have a greater sense of security with their immediate social network. A link to creativity is also thought to exist, with process-oriented motivations corresponding to prosocial attitudes, and product-oriented motivations relating to narcissistic tendencies.
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