April 10

Going Mental

Wednesday’s Big Idea

Outsider Thinking

Many of today’s most innovative thinkers aren’t reinventing the wheel. They’re applying existing technologies to unlikely problems. They’re finding elegant and unconventional ways to make our lives better. Why do they succeed where others have failed? Where do these “flashes of insight” come from? Often they’re the result of “outsider thinking”: the ability to forget conventional wisdom and revisit an overworked problem space with fresh eyes.

Historically, outsider thinking has often resulted from chance meetings and experimental accident – the right minds in the right place at the right time. But internet and search technology have placed the whole history of human knowledge at our fingertips, and given us the means to parse it. Using these, we can uncover the principles of outsider thinking, learn to apply them, and build a healthier, more harmonious world.

Through a series of public interviews on Big Think and an online seminar offered through Big Think: Mentor – our online learning platform, we are bringing together visionaries in medicine, communications, education, and the arts – thinkers notable for their elegant, practical solutions to longstanding problems – to discuss the principles and potential applications of outsider thinking.

 

 

  1. 1 Outsider Thinking: What Science C...
  2. 2 Rationality in Action: Look at a ...
  3. 3 Mia Kirshner on the Impact of Art
  4. 4 Is Too Much Familiarity Bad For C...
   
  1. Outsider Thinking: What Science Can Learn From Art

    Outsider Thinking: What Science Can Learn From Art

    Just as artists are using technology to enable participation, doctors need to do that too.

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  2. Rationality in Action: Look at a Problem as an Outsider

    Rationality in Action: Look at a Problem as an Outsider

    Julia Galef provides a fix for the "the commitment effect," the condition of sticking with a business plan or a career or a relationship "long after it has become quite clear that it's not doing anything for us."

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  3. Mia Kirshner on the Impact of Art

    Mia Kirshner on the Impact of Art

    Mia Kirshner knew a greater awareness of human rights could be inspired through art.

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  4. Is Too Much Familiarity Bad For Creativity?

    Is Too Much Familiarity Bad For Creativity?

    “Too much experience…may restrict creativity because you know so well how things should be done that you are unable to escape to come up with new ideas.”

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