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

To Those Who Can't Hack It in Today's Economy

May 14, 2013, 10:26 AM

In a world created by hackers those who can't hack are the underclass. No matter what you do today, success amounts to a form of hacking, whether you're running a hedge fund or if you're just clipping coupons to get by at the bottom of the economic spectrum.  

The problem with suggesting that everybody should learn to program is that the particular tools for learning to program change so much and none of them are really that great. So if you treat it as just a craft you learn, like if you just learn RUBY or Python or some particular thing it doesn't necessarily mean anything in ten years.  What you really have to do is get to the deeper concepts behind it all.

So what I really wish for is general literacy in computer science, which is different than learning to program.  That I think would empower a lot of people because then you're sort of learning all the programming languages at once and you can learn to think like the people who made them up, and it's not that hard.  

I don't think it's really all that technical and I think most people could learn it and that probably is as important as reading, writing and arithmetic, but unfortunately the way people approach it is in this almost rote fashion that doesn't really help people in the long term.

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

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.


To Those Who Can't Hack It ...

Newsletter: Share: