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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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Recent Themes

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Going Mental

Time to End Eyewitness Testimony?

about 1 year ago

This article originally appeared in the Newton blog on RealClearScience. You can read the original here The courtroom is hushed. A teenage boy has been slain, riddled with bullets during a drive-by shooting, and there, on the witness stand, is his crying mother. She's understandably weeping ...

Going Mental

Being Angry Makes Me Angry

about 1 year ago

Some people enjoy being angry and some people really hate it and that is a known difference. It is a know dimension of individual differences.  For some people anger is a positive emotion. For others it’s negative.  I happen to be an extreme case with for me anger goes into depression very quickly ...

21st Century Living

The Power of Copycatting

about 1 year ago

One of the things that we have found in the study of networks is that whenever people are free to choose anything they want they usually choose what their friends have chosen and people tend to copy each other.  This sort of fundamental mimicry or this mimicry that we humans evince is extremely ...

Going Mental

You Have to Kill the Father Figure to Succeed

about 1 year ago

One of the greatest obstacles to finding your life’s task quite honestly can be your parents. We all love our parents – at least most of us do.  And they mean the best.  But often they’re the ones that screw us up most in the sense that they want to consciously or unconsciously direct you in a path ...

Going Mental

Separate the Argument from the Source.

about 1 year ago

You might find, as most of us do, that when you're arguing with someone you start to feel frustrated with them or combative with them or irritated by them and that can make it especially hard to rationally consider what they're saying.   So one trick that I've found particularly useful is to ...

Extreme Biology

Why You Should Eat Bugs

about 1 year ago

In terms of sustainability and what we eat and what its footprint is on the environment and the consequences of eating one thing versus another, obviously it makes a lot of sense to be eating insects.  They’re incredibly plentiful.  They’ve got a very short turnover rate.  You could be eating ...