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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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Don't Fret, You Are More Adaptable Than You Think

December 8, 2013, 10:00 AM

Consider the fact that a few thousand years ago most human beings couldn’t digest milk and then the domestication of animals happened and milk became available. 

This is technology now, the domestication of animals.  Milk became available as a ready source of energy and nutrition and people adapted to this technological innovation biologically. Increasingly throughout the population there spread the gene that would enable us to digest lactose and so there is a case of biological evolution within our own recent history, just a few thousand years tracks or is shaped by or molded by evolutionary change.

These mechanisms whereby technology changes us have been there all along for the last 50,000 years and I think people are very caught up and anxious about the Goolgle-ization of our minds and short attention spans and the Internet and all of that. I think this is really a case of where the more things change the more they stay the same.  There is nothing qualitatively different about the way the internet is changing our human experience now than the way the invention of writing did some thousands of years ago. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


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