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

242 - Nearer the North: Australia in the King Projection

February 9, 2008, 8:27 PM


For cartophiles, the main problem with this map is not that interviewer Larry King‘s head covers most of Europe, or that the bulky figure of his guest, moviemaker Michael Moore, obscures much of America. The problem is not what it hides, but what it misplaces.

See the huge island continent of Australia? Well, you shouldn’t. Most of it should be hidden beneath the desk, in between Messrs King and Moore. But Oz seems to have lost its mooring, drifting north to the latitudes of the Philippines, immediately off Australia’s west coast, and Hawaii, not far from the Queensland coast (but obscured by Moore’s black sweater – an unfortunate choice and probably proof he’s not a regular viewer of the show).

The island of New Guinea, to Australia’s north in real life, has gone along for the ride in this fantasy world of the King Projection and will, if present drifting persists, bump into either the Kamchatka or Alaska peninsulas.

Why did Mr King deem it necessary to move Australians closer to the region they call the Near North (and many others still call the Far East)? Maybe it’s that talkshow décors share with nature in general that they abhor a vacuum. That would explain the Brazil-shaped blob behind Mr King, headed for Europe and soon colliding with Ireland, filling out the otherwise glitterless Atlantic Ocean.

Thanks to Josh for sending in the picture, by the look of it a grab off YouTube.


242 - Nearer the North: Aus...

Newsletter: Share: