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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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Extreme Biology

Why Aren't We All Happy Polygamists?

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over 1 year 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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over 1 year 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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over 1 year 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 ...

Inventing the Future

3D Printed Guns And Future Law

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over 1 year ago

What's the Latest Development? Now that the US State Department has temporarily banned the release of schematics for 3D printed guns -- after they were downloaded over 100,000 times since their publication last week by the firearms manufacturer Defense Distributed -- writer Cory Doctorow wonders ...

Extreme Biology

Antibiotics for Back Pain

Back
over 1 year ago

It sounds preposterous: antibiotics for back pain? What on earth could antibiotics possibly do for back pain? Then again, it sounded preposterous when Barry J. Marshall and J. Robin Warren said, back in 1984, that peptic ulcers were the result of bacterial infection (and could therefore be ...

New World Order

How to Avoid a War with China

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over 1 year ago

The only way China will become a threat, I believe, is if we believe it will be a threat.  China, when it is afraid, when it feels backed into a corner, it can lash out and it can get very emotional.  So anytime there is a perceived assault on the dignity, but even more critically the territorial ...

Going Mental

Three Ways to Catch a Liar

Sett_new
over 1 year ago

When we teach people how to catch liars, it takes us 32 hours.  And there are over 30 different things you look for.  I’ll tell you a couple of them in a minute, but if you’re going to remember them and use them and spot them you need a lot of practice. I could tell you exactly how to play ...