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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New World Order

Life and Death on Facebook

over 1 year ago

Facebook has made some decisions about its rules, its internal rules, that sometimes play out quite negatively for activists.  For instance, Facebook has a policy that requires people to use their real name and so even though a lot of activists in a lot of countries are using Facebook to organize ...

Extreme Biology

Darwin Saw a Shared Humanity

over 1 year ago

Many people think about Darwin strictly in terms of, if you will, gladiatorial combat.  Person A is in conflict with person B because they both desire some object in their environment or whatever it might be.   But when you read the later Darwin, The Descent of Man, it’s very clear.  He ...

Extreme Biology

Meet Flipperbot, the Amphibious Robot

over 1 year ago

Flipperbot, the robot in the video below, was designed to test how sea turtles and other real-life organisms move outside the water. Flipperbot walks and crawls on complex surfaces to give researchers a better understanding of how a baby sea turtle can navigate tracks of beach sand. As it turns out ...

Extreme Biology

The Pleasure of Utterly Arbitrary Things

over 1 year ago

For humans and monkeys mere information can be pleasurable, even if that information is not useful in any way, or doesn’t have any adaptive value in and of itself.   So for example, you could set up an experiment where a monkey has a light flash and then the monkey can have a choice of either ...

21st Century Living

What You Read is an Ethical Choice

over 1 year ago

Your information diet is an ethical choice of yours, so when you’re on the Huffington Post looking at say the Kardashians and you click on the Kardashians, understand that you are not only reading that article, but you’re also voting for that article.   You’re telling an editor to produce more ...

Power and Influence

Why Are Hedge Funds So Secretive?

over 1 year ago

The hedge fund industry basically started in 1949 with a guy named A.W. Jones and his ultra-high net worth friends. As it evolved in the ’50s and ‘60s and into the ‘70s, it was primarily for the ultra rich.   Most of these guys are fairly reclusive guys that run money.  They’re more analytical ...