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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Has Online Dating Thrown the Romance Out with the Math Water?

February 14, 2012, 11:19 AM

Online dating is a billion dollar industry with some 1,500 dating sites in the United States alone. The industry has successfully marketed itself into the hearts of just about every segment of the population, often with the promise of excluding other segments from the dating pool. With great precision you can select a potential mate who is a fellow Christian or a fellow dog lover and weed out all the rest. Or, if you prefer, you can restrict your search to a married woman who is looking to have an affair

While no site has figured out how to effectively exclude stalkers and trolls, this industry certainly didn't invent creeps, or, for that matter, the many pangs of the heart that go hand-in-hand with finding the right mate. So have online dating sites made our love lives better or worse? Big Think recorded two opposing viewpoints, from Sam Yagan, the co-founder and CEO of OKCupid, and Ted Fischer, Professor of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University.

Yagan describes his popular dating site as an online bar. He tells Big Think:

Imagine if you had a video camera in every bar in the country and you could watch and log every transaction, every interaction that took place...Imagine how amazing that data set would be and how much fun you could have learning about people, dating, society.

Watch the video here:

Ted Fischer, on the other hand, says Internet dating sites with their "neat mechanical formulas" have actually thrown the romance out with the math water.

Watch the video here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan


Has Online Dating Thrown th...

Newsletter: Share: