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

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

374 - Superior, the Heart of the Man of Commerce

April 8, 2009, 6:36 PM

man_commerce

“The American Geographical Society Library has acquired an extremely rare and unusual map, The Man of Commerce, published in 1889 in Superior, Wisconsin. The highly detailed 31” x 50” map/chart conflates human anatomy with the American transportation system, in an apparent attempt to promote Superior as a transportation hub.”

“Its metaphor makes West Superior ‘the center of cardiac or heart circulation’; the railways become major arteries; and New York is ‘the umbilicus through which this man of commerce was developed’. ”

“The explanatory notes conclude: ‘It is an interesting fact that in no other portion of the known world can any such analogy be found between the natural and artificial channels of commerce and circulatory and digestive apparatus of man’. ”

“Only one other copy of this map is known to exist. The map’s cartographer was A.F. McKay; the publisher (probably) Land & River Improvement Co.; and the printer Rand, McNally and Co.”

Many thanks to Lloyd Daub for providing me with this link to the map, at the UWM Libraries of the University of Wisconsin, which also hosts the American Geographical Society Library.

 

374 - Superior, the Heart o...

Newsletter: Share: