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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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Recent Themes

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Power and Influence

Miss Mama's Guide to Economic Success

Shutterstock_2059466
12 months ago

For me, economics is about people.  The models are beautiful but we always have to remember that in macroeconomic statistics we care about things like growth and unemployment because ultimately they affect peoples’ lives.   For me, my very first economic lesson came when I was seven or eight ...

Going Mental

My Pet Peeve with Happiness Research

Happyyy
12 months ago

A pet peeve that I have in the context of happiness research is that it’s called happiness research. I think the word "happiness" doesn’t mean all that much because it confounds satisfaction with life with mood. But more importantly, I think the word conveys a frivolous idea of what the social ...

Power and Influence

Altruism Gets You Killed

Soldier
12 months ago

The idea of true altruism in evolutionary biology applies pretty well to bats.  We are not bats. There is not much evidence of true altruism among the homo sapien population.   I don’t deny that there is some true altruism, but among folks who aspire to high office or political power, they are ...

Going Mental

Group Altruism Pays, Literally

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12 months ago

I’m from Cleveland. At the beginning of a downturn in 2008, there were two car dealerships on Mayfield Road. One was Toyota, one was Honda.  Business started to deteriorate and one dealership decided to do furloughs.  So the salesmen and staff just took that afternoon off a week, unpaid.  But ...