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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.

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

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The New Cold War: Understanding the patent battlefield

December 6, 2012, 10:59 AM
Patent-war640

Huge changes are currently taking place in the way new ideas are bought, sold and fought over. It is now not uncommon for companies to exist that do nothing except sue other companies for billions of dollars and the numbers are increasing at an incredible rate as I described yesterday in my post for Scientific American.

In related news, the US Supreme Court is currently debating once again whether patents of human genes should be allowed in an area affecting breast cancer research. Only recently I described on this blog an ongoing case of a pending patent affecting the development and uptake of a new psychological intervention. For an inside look at at the current scandal check out Village Voice's recent exposé. For up to date, detailed analysis check out the excellent series being maintained by Wired magazine, if you work in the realms of science, technology or software you really should get informed. Patents were introduced with the best intentions of providing an incentive for innovation but have grown in to a monstrous mechanism allowing profiteering on a monumental scale by lawyers and bankers whilst well and truly cannibalising innovation in the process.

Thanks to Village Voice for allowing us to reprint the (top) image above.

 

The New Cold War: Understan...

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