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

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

Self-Help is Not Just for Dummies

June 11, 2013, 10:15 AM
Self

I’m struck by how in our modern culture, the self-help movement is for stupid people.  That’s what elite culture teaches us.  Elite culture teaches us, if you are a bit dumb, you will need guidance and then you’ll head for a self-help book.  I really protest against that idea that guidance is for people who are stupid.  Guidance is for everyone. We’re all in need of it.  What’s wrong is that, in our society, we’ve got this terrible division between clever people and people who offer guidance.  And clever people are not interested in guidance and the people who do offer guidance often their thinking is not that complex.  

My heaven, nirvana, would be if the questions that are raised by Oprah Winfrey would be answered by the faculty of Harvard University, a union of the best minds with the most practical questions.  I’ve tried to have a go at this with a little institution that I and some friends founded in London a couple of years ago called the School of Life.  It’s deliberately trying to say that life is a business that we need to be schooled in.  The main challenges, ranging from relationships to work to illness to death, these are things that we need help on.

We’re not just going to know how to work that, and culture, the storehouse of creativity of the last 2,000 years of philosophy and art and architecture, the humanities.  There’s an awful lot of wisdom there and you want to access that wisdom for the practical needs of ordinary people.  So it’s a little institution with huge ambitions.  

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

Image courtesy fo Shutterstock

 

 

Self-Help is Not Just for D...

Newsletter: Share: