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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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In a Changing World, You Need to Know Which Way the Knowledge Flows

November 17, 2013, 5:00 AM

There’s an interesting trend that occurs in times of mounting pressure and high uncertainty which is that it’s a natural human tendency to seek out people that agree with us, that are similar to us because it’s a source of comfort in a world that’s so rapidly changing. 

The paradox is that actually that comfort is creating even more vulnerability to us because we’re becoming siloed.  We’re becoming contained.  There’s a great book called The Filter Bubble.  We create this bubble around ourselves where we reinforce the beliefs that we have, the views that we have in a world that’s rapidly changing.

Rather than constantly questioning and challenging our beliefs and being willing to think differently about the opportunities that are out there we withdraw into what we’ve done before.  And in a world that’s rapidly changing that’s a formula for vulnerability.  It says that, in effect, you’re going to be more and more out of step with a world that has a different set of needs and a different set of opportunities.  And so the way to really participate in that world successfully is to find ways to connect and participate in what we call knowledge flows. 

It’s this opportunity to see many different perspectives, get many different points of view and continually challenge our thinking, come up with new ideas, new approaches that will help us to become even more effective in the world that’s changing around us. 

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

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


In a Changing World, You Ne...

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