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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12,000+ Expert Videos


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World Renowned Bloggers


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

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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.

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Getting Serious About Cartoons

September 28, 2009, 10:49 AM

Robert Mankoff, the cartoon editor of The New Yorker, takes humor seriously. In his pursuit of getting published in the magazine he submitted over 2,000 cartoons, and since he landed in the hallowed weekly’s pages, Mankoff has continued to hone his expertise on every dimension of humor. Big Think talked to the cartoonist about his career—from his childhood clowning to his current position as a cartoonist who edits cartoons each week—and more about the science and the sociology of humor.

Mankoff isn’t only a specialist in making people laugh, but he is an expert on the science of humor. He told us the evolutionary importance of laughter—and not just in terms of human beings. We also learned the differences between men’s and women’s humor, between liberal and conservative humor, and between modern and ancient humor.




Getting Serious About Cartoons

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