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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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Going Mental

Why Math Can't Bail Us Out

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over 1 year ago

I don’t think mathematical models can do much to get us out of the mess that we’re in.  There’s a limit.  The mess that we’re in currently in the United States and maybe in the world in general, I don’t think it’s really a mess brought about by mathematics or curable by mathematics.   You ...

Going Mental

Why I Live By Humanism

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over 1 year ago

The narrative I live by is the humanist narrative. If we are looking for morality, if we’re looking for vices and virtues, we can find them both in humanity—in human creations, human culture, humanity’s endeavor to develop our reason and our emotions and developing not only relationships between ...

Inventing the Future

Why I Go to Burning Man

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over 1 year ago

I am actually on the board of Burning Man now, and for those of you who don't know, Burning Man is the largest art event, annually, in the world.  It’s in the Nevada desert.  And you’ll see the founders of Google there.  You’ll see all kinds of famous people there.  But you also see lots of people ...

Inventing the Future

Chris Anderson: DIY Hero

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over 1 year ago

One of my favorite DIY stories is of a friend of mine, Chris Andersen, who was the editor of Wired magazine and he calls himself a geek dad.  He’s got five kids and so one weekend he is playing with his kids and he has a Lego Mind Storm kit, which is a kit that allows you to build a Lego device and ...

Inventing the Future

The State of Pure Research

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over 1 year ago

I think it remains to be seen whether Google is going to finance pure research into science the way Bell Labs did.  Microsoft has created a research laboratory with the stated intention of encouraging a lot of pure research that may or may not bear fruit for the company, and I hope that that'll be ...

Extreme Biology

Why I'm an Animal Lover

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over 1 year ago

I’m basically an animal lover.  I study animals not to understand humans necessarily although that has become my business, of course. Working with primates it’s very easy for me to connect what chimpanzees or Bonobos do to human behavior.  And people are very interested in that part of my work ...