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

How to Have a Good Argument with Yourself

October 6, 2013, 5:00 AM

You can learn to argue with yourself. That’s actually how I get a lot of my thinking done.  I say, “Okay this is what I think.  What’s the counter argument to that or why do I think that way?” 

So force yourself almost to be in the debater mindset always.  It doesn't just make you more critical of yourself, it makes you critical of all the information that you're taking in, of everything that you’re reading, of everything that you’re watching, of all the constant news and other inputs that you get every day. 

The other good thing to do is get yourself a Watson [Sherlock Holmes character]. In the sense of get yourself someone with whom you can discuss things, someone who listens to you.  It's really good to talk things through and I think you often find that you see gaps in logic when you say something out loud that before you never really voiced. 

And so one of the ways you can do that is if you think that you know what you’re doing, actually pretend that you need to explain it to somebody else and explain it via out loud or you can even write it out.  So writing is a good exercise to which you can say, “Hey, did I really understand this” because writing shows gaps in logic very, very strongly.  So if I write something and I’m like wait that made total sense of my head but on the page it suddenly doesn’t make sense I have to try to figure out why that’s the case.  And anyone can do that. 

You don’t need anyone else, you don’t need to talk to yourself, you don’t need to imagine conversations.  All you have to do is write out your argument as if you were explaining it to someone else or write out your thinking as if you were explaining it to someone else. 

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

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


How to Have a Good Argument...

Newsletter: Share: