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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Play the Green Card Lottery!

November 20, 2009, 9:45 AM

Are you an eligible prospective immigrant to the United States? Are you feeling lucky? If so, you have 10 more days to apply for the random selection process conducted annually by the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program—in other words, the "green card lottery." The entry window, which opened October 2, closes November 30, and your chances of winning are a sobering 1 in 240: 12 million will enter, 50,000 will win.

Depending on who you are and which country you come from, your opinion of this lottery will probably vary. You might view it as a good-faith attempt to sustain the credo engraved on the Statue of Liberty while balancing it against national security considerations, the pragmatic processing capacity of America's federal government, and so on. Or you might protest that its application window is small and its rate of acceptance callously low—that Lady Liberty's "golden door" should be open to all, all year round. Regardless, odds are that you'll be no less likely to want to move here than you were before the recession: the State Department predicts a huge jump in the number of lottery applicants, from 8.7 to 12 million.

A number of Big Think's experts have had strong opinions about U.S. immigration policy—including, most recently, former Republican Congressman Dick Armey, who condemned his own party's stance for having a "mean spirit" and representing a "failed political vision." Big Think readers undoubtedly have their own opinions, and are welcome to share them in the Comments.


Play the Green Card Lottery!

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