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

The New Nude Olympics (Ideas Gone Wild #1)

August 8, 2012, 12:00 AM

Editors' Note: So the first week of Ideas Gone Wild has passed! We got tons of great submissions on the theme of the Olympics. So good, in fact, that we're publishing two of them!

We also got lots of submissions on the nature of time, alternative voting methods, and space flight. For now, for better or worse, we're sticking with the "theme of the week" idea, so just a reminder that your submission will only be considered for publication if it's on the theme of the week. Also, it should be a mini-essay of around 700 words – not much longer or shorter. Lastly –make it easy for us! Include your name, correct all errors, break the essay into paragraphs and give it a clever title. 

Next Week's theme: Climate Control

Click here for details on how to submit. 

The New Nude Olympics, by Zhenming Zhai

We all know that for a period of time in Ancient Greece, athletes in Olympic Games often ran naked. Nudity was later banned for some religious reasons. On this fact alone, we can pose a serious question: “Is the current ban on nudity in Olympic Games grounded on any legitimate reason?”

Humans, like any other creatures, were born naked, that is, nudity is our natural state. In today’s electronic language, nudity is our default parameter. We might have some reasons strong enough to override our default parameter in question in daily life, but whether the same reasons hold in a setting of Olympic Games is a totally different matter that has hardly been reflected upon.

Before a deeper probe into the issue, I am not sure whether the ban on nudity in public in everyday life is totally justified. But I am fairly confident that adopting rules such as nudity ban in Olympic Games that originated from a certain kind of religious ideology is very much in conflict with our established assumptions of ideological neutrality. Besides, Olympics is meant to glorify the strength and beauty of human physique as given, and thus any sense of shame pertaining to nudity is at odds with the motif of Olympics. Advocate of Nudity is very often linked to, or even taken to be the same as, advocate of open sexuality. Whether open sexuality or free sex is evil is, again, debatable, but equating exposure of sexual organs in sports with obscenity is totally nonsensical. Since almost every individual life starts with sexual intercourse, in my humble opinion, any sense of negative feeling towards natural sexuality is pathological, and possibly a result of ideological manipulation.   

But in Olympics there is no room for rules based on ill-founded ideology. After so many years of ungrounded ban on nudity, can we expect a legitimate change toward the recovery of nudity in Olympic Games? Can we begin to envision much more exciting and inspiring scenarios when we hear the word “Olympics” and speak of the Games? I have good reasons to believe strongly that nudity should be recovered in Olympic Games.

Read this week's other top entry: End the Olympics


The New Nude Olympics (Idea...

Newsletter: Share: