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 Declares August the "Month of Thinking Dangerously"

August 2, 2010, 12:00 AM

Had Copernicus been too terrified to publish his theory of heliocentrism, how long would it have taken people to realize that Earth, in fact, revolves around the Sun? Had U.S. Secretary of State William Seward folded to public scrutiny and not purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 for two cents an acre, America would face a worse oil crisis today—and may have faced a nuclear threat on North American soil during the Cold War. In the spirit of those who are brave enough to advance seemingly radical ideas, Big Think presents "The Month of Thinking Dangerously."

Throughout the month of August, we will introduce a different "dangerous idea" each day. Brace yourself: these ideas may at first seem shocking or counter-intuitive—but they are worth our attention, even if we end up rejecting them. Every idea in the series will be supported by contributions from leading experts, from the world's top theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, to prolific legal scholar Judge Richard Posner, to Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker, to linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky.

Kicking off the first week of the series is today's suggestion from bioethicist Jacob Appel that we Drug Our Drinking Water. When the government added fluoride to our drinking water in the 1940s, it was hailed as a great public health success. Why shouldn't the government add a trace amount of lithium—which has been shown to limit suicide—to our water as well? It may save 12,000 lives a year.


Big Think Declares August t...

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