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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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The 7 Most Popular Ideas of Summer 2013

September 1, 2013, 12:00 AM

Happy Labor Day weekend! Today we are celebrating 7 of the most popular - and indeed they turn out to be among the most interesting - ideas of the summer of 2013.

Here goes (in no particular order):


1. How being called smart can actually make you stupid
Counterintuitively, it has been repeatedly demonstrated that praising people for their intelligence rather than their effort can actually make people perform drastically worse over time, avoid future challenges and form negative attitudes to learning and towards themselves. 
Man of Steel is all about Plato’s Republic, something that would hit you immediately if you had actually read that great book.
The frailty of human rationality is well known, but it was on particularly poignant display during the Oklahoma City tornado.
Just imagine the possibilities if Musk really is right. What if it’s really possible to build a Hyperloop? 
People have the tendency in negotiation to focus on the facts and the figures, ignoring the emotional component. 
China is in full gears to becoming a cultural superpower, and its 400 million micro-bloggers have a huge stake in creating the future society. 
Many neuropsychiatric ailments that are assumed to have a major genetic component don't seem to have one.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock



The 7 Most Popular Ideas of...

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