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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Recent Themes

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Inventing the Future

How Big Is Your Nitrogen Footprint?

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11 months ago

What's the Latest Development? A tool that's currently being used in universities is increasing awareness of the connection between hazardous forms of nitrogen and an individual's lifestyle choices. The N-Calculator, originally created by scientists in the US and the Netherlands and recently ...

Earth and Beyond

It's Getting Warm On Mount Everest

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11 months ago

What's the Latest Development? At this week's Meeting of the Americas, held in Mexico by the American Geophysical Union (AGU), University of Milan researchers reported that Mount Everest is warmer than it used to be: The snow cloak covering the world's tallest mountain has shrunk by 13 percent ...

Going Mental

What's in a Name? Everything.

William_hatherell
11 months ago

Very often the first piece of information we have about a person is their name. It’s often the first thing you learn about someone and we form judgments about people very rapidly.  And those judgments accumulate, so the first piece of information is especially important.  It can lean you in a ...

Extreme Biology

Why Aren't We All Happy Polygamists?

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12 months ago

Modern culture is intrinsically polygamist.  The culture of sexual choice is precisely nothing but polygamy, polygamy without marriage, if you will.  We live in a culture of multiple sexual and romantic and marital partners. According to the biologist's view, if we are indeed inherently ...

Inventing the Future

Do Password Meters Help Or Hurt?

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12 months ago

What's the Latest Development? At a recent SIGCHI conference in Paris, researchers presented their paper describing the effect of password meters on users' choices of passwords. Test subjects who were asked to evaluate the usability of a university computer system were instructed to change their ...

Extreme Biology

Why Thinking about Eating is Taboo

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12 months ago

The reason that eating and everything that involves is taboo is that it’s something we have in common with animals.  I think that human beings don’t like to be reminded that they, too, are just organisms – big sacks of guts that are chewing and swallowing and processing and excreting.   I think ...