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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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Why You Remember Less When You Read from a Screen

August 23, 2014, 11:00 AM
Tablet_reading

There are undeniable advantages to carrying a whole library on your Kindle or tablet computer but retaining the information you read doesn't seem to be one of them. Recent studies agree that when it comes to recalling information, you're probably ahead to read printed material like bound books, paper journals, and print magazines. In one study that asked Italian college students to read a 28-page story and then place 14 plot events in correct order, Kindle readers performed significantly worse. 

Researchers suggest that we have a more difficult time recalling digital information because it has no permanent physical location:

"Both anecdotally and in published studies, people report that when trying to locate a particular piece of written information they often remember where in the text it appeared. ... 'We might recall that we passed the red farmhouse near the start of the trail before we started climbing uphill through the forest; in a similar way, we remember that we read about Mr. Darcy rebuffing Elizabeth Bennett on the bottom of the left-hand page in one of the earlier chapters.'"

On the other hand, our digital devices never forget. Information that never dies, forever accessible by practically everyone on the planet, poses some interesting problems for a society:

Read more at Venture Beat

Photo credit: Shutterstock

 

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