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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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Big Idea Redux: Science Experiment Results in Expulsion, Felony Charges

May 2, 2013, 6:00 AM

In yesterday's lesson, astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson advised parents to buy their children binoculars, and then get out of the way, if they want to instill a sense of curiosity. But it normally doesn't happen that way. 

Curiosity means spilling things, breaking things. In some cases, it means blowing up things. That is what happened to a Florida teen whose science project got out of control. Student Kiera Wilmot mixed some house chemicals in a plastic bottle. The reaction blew the top off the bottle and produced some smoke. 

That was nothing compared to the way the adults reacted. They are charging the student with a felony. According to a local TV station, "authorities arrested her and charged her with possession/discharge of a weapon on school property and discharging a destructive device." 

Despite an exemplary record, Wilmot is being expelled from school. 

So what's the moral of this story?

As Neil deGrasse Tyson said, we spend the first year of a child's life teaching him or her to walk and talk, "and the rest of their lives telling them to shut up and sit down."

Read more here

But also be sure to tell us what you think in the comments below. 


Big Idea Redux: Science Exp...

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