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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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Our Favorite Super Bowl Ad: Smart Phone Nerds

February 6, 2012, 11:54 AM

Move over, David Beckham, Matthew Broderick, Jerry Seinfeld and Donald Trump. The Super Bowl commercial that caught our attention was a Best Buy spot called "Phone Innovators" featuring none other than Big Think favorite Ray Kurzweil

"I'm Ray Kurzweil," the futurist and inventor says in the commercial. "I gave your words a voice," his phone then says. 

Watch the commercial here:

Kurzweil appeared along with other innovators such as Philippe Kahn, who created the camera phone, Neil Papworth, the British engineer who sent the first text message, Kevin Systrom of Instagram, Jim McKelvey, co-founder of the mobile payment platform Square and Chris Barton and Avery Wang, the audio signal processing pioneers behind Shazam.

The most humorous moment came during the appearance of Paul and David Bettner, creators of the social Scrabble game Words with Friends, who benefited from enormous publicity when Alec Baldwin couldn't resist the urge to play their mobile game on an airplane last year. 

According to Best Buy, while other brands featured widely recognizable celebrities from the worlds of sports and entertainment, “Silicon Valley inventors are today’s stars.” 

Best Buy also released a three-minute version of the commercial that explains each innovation in a bit more detail. "I invented a computer that could recognize printed letters," says Kurzweil. "It was really a solution in search of a problem -- we didn't know what it was good for."

Watch the video here:

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter: @danielhonan


Our Favorite Super Bowl Ad:...

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