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

A Complete Unknown: 5 Bob Dylan Mind Memes

May 24, 2013, 2:34 PM

In honor of Bob Dylan's 72nd birthday today, we are sharing 5 of our favorite Dylan mind memes among the thousands that can be found in his body of work. Please share your favorites in the comments below. 

1. "There's no ideas in Time Magazine, it's just facts."

Throughout his career, Dylan resisted every attempt that was made to define him, which made for some hostile exchanges with the press. "I've got nothing to say about these things I write," he told a reporter for Time magazine in the video below. 

2. Electric Judas

The Newport Folk Festival was not the only concert where Dylan and his band were booed for playing electric. In fact, Dylan was routinely heckled by people who thought the evolution of his music was a betrayal of the folk revival of the 1960s. In this famous incident in England, an audience member shouts "Judas!" Dylan is indignant: "I don't believe you, you're a liar" he says before launching into "Like a Rolling Stone."

Listen here:

3. I Was So Much Older Then, I'm Younger Than That Now

Poets don't see the world in black and white, and Dylan reflected on his evolution from the writer of protest songs to the introspective artist of his later career in My Back Pages.

Watch here:

4. You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows

In the video below, "Don't Look Back" director D.A. Pennebaker describes how Dylan came up with the idea for this video for "Subterranean Homesick Blues":

5. Which one is the best verse from the best Dylan song?

Ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re tryin' to be so quiet?
We sit here stranded, though we’re all doin’ our best to deny it
And Louise holds a handful of rain, temptin’ you to defy it
Lights flicker from the opposite loft
In this room the heat pipes just cough
The country music station plays soft
But there’s nothing, really nothing to turn off
Just Louise and her lover so entwined
And these visions of Johanna that conquer my mind

In the empty lot where the ladies play blindman’s bluff with the key chain
And the all-night girls they whisper of escapades out on the “D” train
We can hear the night watchman click his flashlight
Ask himself if it’s him or them that’s really insane
Louise, she’s all right, she’s just near
She’s delicate and seems like the mirror
But she just makes it all too concise and too clear
That Johanna’s not here
The ghost of ’lectricity howls in the bones of her face
Where these visions of Johanna have now taken my place

Inside the museums, infinity goes up on trial
Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while
But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues
You can tell by the way she smiles
See the primitive wallflower freeze
When the jelly-faced women all sneeze
Hear the one with the mustache say, “Jeeze I can’t find my knees”
Oh, jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule
But these visions of Johanna, they make it all seem so cruel

Visions of Johanna (1966)


A Complete Unknown: 5 Bob D...

Newsletter: Share: