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

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

Why That Pain Reliever Ad Is Following You Around The Web

July 9, 2013, 4:30 PM
Shutterstock_108587585

What's the Latest Development?

More proof that the Internet knows all your business: A study of 20 popular health-related sites revealed that all of them contain at least one method to track individual user activity, and some share that activity with third-party advertising firms, which then use it to send targeted ads. University of Southern California professor and study author Marco D. Huesch used freely-available Web debug tools to identify site behavior. The study was published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

What's the Big Idea?

While Huesch understands the purpose of targeted advertising, he believes the use of health-related data for that purpose presents several potentially dangerous issues, not the least of which is the creating of user profiles containing "all of your medical conditions [and] the drugs you're taking" along with other personal information. Worse, there's the potential for what he calls "virtual redlining" in which healthy people receive "better" ads than sick people. Government-imposed privacy regulations that are now a common part of health care in the US exempt online targeted advertising, and the practice is growing despite criticism from privacy advocates.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at The Verge

 

Why That Pain Reliever Ad I...

Newsletter: Share: