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

1

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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

SCOTUS: Strip Searches Even for Minor Offenses. When Does Security Trump Privacy?

April 2, 2012, 3:15 PM
Gavel1

Albert W. Florence was riding in the passenger seat of his car when his wife was pulled over for speeding. When the investigating officer searched his records he found Mr. Florence had a warrant out for his arrest for an unpaid fine. It turns out Mr. Florence had, in fact, paid the fine, but that did not keep him out of jail for a week. 

Incarcerated in two different counties, Mr. Florence was also subjected to two strip-searches, which he said were so humiliating it "made me feel less than a man."

Fortunately, Mr. Florence had legal remedies. After all, doesn't the Fourth Amendment protect him from unreasonable searches, especially given the fact that his offense was so minor? Not so, said the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling

The court's reasoning? 13 million Americans are put into jail each year. The high court is in no position to second-guess the judgment of corrections officials who have the responsibility to keep these crowded, unsanitary and dangerous places safe. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority:

“There is a substantial interest in preventing any new inmate, either of his own will or as a result of coercion, from putting all who live or work at these institutions at even greater risk when he is admitted to the general population.”

So that means you can be strip-searched even if you have committed a minor offense. 

What do you think of the court's ruling? Is it more important to maintain security, or, as the dissenting judges argued, is it more important to maintain "human dignity"? Tell us what you think in the comments below. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan

 

SCOTUS: Strip Searches Even...

Newsletter: Share: