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.

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

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Beating Up Teachers With Cornel West

November 9, 2009, 3:25 AM

Shaking hands with Cornel West, it's difficult to imagine that this is a man filled with rage. As the prominent “bluesman” put it in his Big Think interview, the key to a more just society lies in a form of widespread and unconditional love of others—a worldview that comes across forcibly within moments of meeting him. Yet, as a schoolboy, the Princeton Professor’s incipient campaign against injustice took some wayward turns, and he became known for bullying bullies, eventually finding himself kicked out of school after punching his teacher and inciting a riot (fortunately, he later took an IQ test and scored so high that he was placed in a better school on the "other side of town").

Professor West also raised a newfangled critique of Barack Obama, suggesting that the current President has been cozy with Wall Street on account of his long being mesmerized by “braininess.” West went on to discuss the momentous crossroads at which the president stands: he can either prove to be a "spectacle"—a sort of absurd parody of what real change could have been—or he can prove some “backbone” and be a real agent of change. Said differently, he can continue to be an adept and often Machiavellian politician, like Clinton, or he can become a real, Lincolnesque leader.

West also gave Big Think a great reading list, and issued some advice to viewers: stop pining for the soul-deadening ideal of success, and go for greatness. Sound difficult? Well, West also gave some pointers on the everyday things you can do to keep this goal in mind (one quick tip: you can take a cue from John Coltrane and Bob Dylan).



Beating Up Teachers With Co...

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