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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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Why You Can't Work at Work

February 3, 2010, 12:36 AM

There’s a reason why the subtle trivialities of office life have long been a springboard for some of our most absurd humor: much of our day-to-day duties are arbitrary, unnecessary, yet seem to linger on in almost every profession. As today’s guest and co-founder of 37signals, Jason Fried, explains, we may have finally reached a point where we have the tools and incentives to actually move past the stifling pettiness of cubicle-culture and develop work spaces that are not only more human but also produce results.

Like meetings: What do these charades actually accomplish? In most companies, infuriatingly little.

Masterminded and ambitious business plans? Don’t these generally prove naïve wastes of time only serve to make institutions more blind-sighted to the opportunities around them?

According to the co-founder of 37signals, there are myriad other fundamental and unnecessary problems in even our most ‘innovative’ companies. Silicon Valley provides a number of examples: the dependence on the seemingly endless venture capital; the fetishizing of employing a large and unnecessary amount of people; gunning after accounts with slow and stubborn Fortune 500 companies; the undying focus on short-lived ‘trends’—all of these serve to make a business well… not actually a business.

Fried also elaborates on why drug dealers may have discovered the correct business model for the digital world (hint: it’s not the ad model). As well as giving out 3 tips for web developers.






Why You Can't Work at Work

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