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

There is No Such Thing as Personal Life

June 30, 2013, 8:00 AM
Greta-garbo

The big change in privacy in my view has already happened with the flow of socially coordinating activity online.  It was actually at the moment where we stopped being virtual, when the Internet stopped being a “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” place and started just being a tool for coordinating a regular life.  

The internet is no longer an alternative to real life, it’s a tool for arranging it.  And at that moment, we lost something that we used to call personal life.  

Personal life was, you could walk down the street, you could be out in the park, you could be at a party.  You were in public, but you were unobserved.  So, you could say things to your friends, and if someone overheard you, you wouldn’t react as if you had a right to privacy while walking down Fifth Avenue, but you would assume, quite reasonably that you weren’t under any kind of surveillance.  And that’s gone.

What the network does is it collapses that whole spectrum of personal life into a single dichotomy, private or public.  And you have to stand on one side of that line or the other.  So, right away, that’s something we’re not used to and we’re not good at.  I mean, prior to Facebook, Greta Garbo was the only person any of us had every heard of who had anything that could be called privacy preferences. 

We kind of knew when to say something in relative confidence and you knew when you could say something on the street corner, and we knew when to shout things from the rooftops.  But there was a spectrum there, and now there’s not.  There’s this dividing line, public or private.  

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

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

 

There is No Such Thing as P...

Newsletter: Share: