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

World's Militaries Race to Eliminate the Need for Sleep

June 1, 2013, 10:30 AM

What's the Latest Development?

A report recently issued by the US Air Force Research Laboratory states that forcing enemies to perform without the benefit of sufficient sleep is a very effective weapon. To wield it properly, American forces must manage fatigue among their own soldiers. To this end, a new drug named modanifil is currently being testedand deployedthat works differently from stimulants like caffeine and amphetamines. "Compared with amphetamines and caffeine, modafinil has shown less addictiveness, less cardiovascular stimulation, and less interference with scheduled sleep."

What's the Big Idea?

Rather than enhance cognitive capacities beyond normal levels through the use of stimulants, modanifil counteracts the effects of sleep deprivation, returning soldiers' cognitive abilities to levels consistent with a well-rested night. "The published experimental reports propose to 'sustain,' 'maintain,' or 'restore' what they call 'baseline,' or 'pre-deprivation' performance." When today's military technologists confront the problem of machine versus human performance, it is typically human performance that must be improved upon to meet the needs of machines.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Slate


World's Militaries Race to ...

Newsletter: Share: