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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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New World Order

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New World Order

It's Time To End This Greek Tragedy

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almost 2 years ago

Sometimes it's better to do something - anything - rather than nothing at all.  That's the lesson of the old parable of Buridan's ass, where the poor animal is faced with two haystacks and, unable to decide which is bigger, dies of hunger.  It's just as applicable today to the crisis in the euro ...

New World Order

Will Chen Guangcheng Ever Return to China?

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almost 2 years ago

The blind 40-year-old Chinese dissident who escaped from house arrest in April — improbably evading guards, finding his way to the U.S. embassy in Beijing and, after a diplomatic fracas, acquiring a visa to study law in the United States — landed at Newark Liberty airport on Saturday. Less than a ...

New World Order

Making The Grade in The Impossible State

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almost 2 years ago

What is the Big Idea? Step into a classroom in North Korea and you will find very little that differs from a classroom in New York City - chalkboard, rows of desks, chairs, desktop computers and bulletin boards full of text and pictures. But stay a little longer and you might notice something ...

New World Order

Anxious Eagle, Rising Dragon

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almost 2 years ago

Most commentary on U.S.-China relations understandably focuses on the challenges that a rising China poses to America’s superpower position and the incentives that America has to prevent China from displacing it.  But what about the challenges that a weak China poses to America and the possibility ...

New World Order

The Facebook Effect In The Business World

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almost 2 years ago

What is the Big Idea? Social media has been inspiring change in the way business leaders interact with their customer base. And for good reasons. Companies that adopt social technologies can see a 50 percent increase in customer satisfaction, 48 percent increase in business leads, and 24 percent ...

New World Order

Russia's 'Tank Man' Moment

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almost 2 years ago

What is the Big Idea? A photo of a little boy on a bicycle approaching a row of riot police in Moscow ricocheted around the Internet on Monday after the photographer posted it to Twitter.  Julia Ioffe, the Moscow correspondent for The New Yorker and Foreign Policy magazine, snapped the ...