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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Power and Influence

Altruism Gets You Killed

Soldier
over 1 year 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

6a00d83452719d69e2017c383157b7970b-800wi
over 1 year 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 ...

Going Mental

Debunking Straw Vulcan Rationality

Spock-036-730
over 1 year ago

It's a common belief about rationality that being rational means being emotionless, being stiff, unable to appreciate beauty in the world, unable to love or even just have fun on a summer day. In large part I blame Hollywood for this misconception because it is commonly how rationality is ...

Extreme Biology

The Dark Side of Antioxidants

Darkside2
over 1 year ago

The story of the dark side of antioxidant research isn't well known outside of medical circles. It's an unseemly story, profoundly unsettling; a story that refuses to be made pretty or happy or uplifting no matter how hard you try to duct-tape a silver lining around it. It doesn't fit the ...

Inventing the Future

Move Over, QWERTY: Here Comes KALQ

Shutterstock_7611346
over 1 year ago

What's the Latest Development? Available next month as a free app for Android devices, KALQ is a keyboard layout that groups keys into two 4-by-4 grids that reside in the bottom quadrants of the screen. This relocation allows a user to type using their thumbs when holding a tablet horizontally ...