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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 Eyes of the World Are On Silicon Valley

January 26, 2011, 4:00 PM

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama issued a dramatic challenge for America to re-invent itself through technological innovation. Whether the country believes that government investment, private enterprise, or some combination of the two is the way forward, few would argue with the President's basic premise that the world has changed dramatically, and the stakes can't be higher for American business.

"In a single generation," said the President, "revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business." One particularly dramatic example is the way we formulate a search query. The future of search technology is not some arcane question limited to the labs of Silicon Valley. Search is one of the tech engines that promises to power the country's race against global competition. 

You can get a front row seat to what the future holds by tuning into a LIVE webcast called Farsight 2011: Beyond the Search Box on February 1 from 10am to 2pm PST on BigThink.com. 

The event, to be held in San Francisco, will bring industry leaders together for a series of demos and lively conversations. The brain trust we’ve assembled will include venture capital visionary Peter Thiel, Recorded Future co-founder and CEO Chris Ahlberg, journalist entrepreneur Esther Dyson, and many more. In addition, Farsight 2011 will bring the major search competitors together for a lively roundtable. This unprecedented meeting of the minds will feature Matt Cutts from Google, Harry Shum from Bing, and Rich Skrenta of the upstart search engine Blekko. Sparks are sure to fly, as this panel will be moderated by the entrepreneur and tech provocateur, Vivek Wadhwa

The closing panel is straight out of The Matrix, as Luc Barthelet, Executive Director of Wolfram|Alpha and Christopher Ahlberg, co-founder and CEO of Recorded Future will give us a preview of the next one hundred years of innovation, focusing on robotics and Artificial Intelligence, and where technology will intersect with the future of computing. 

Click here to download a PDF file of the agenda. 



The Eyes of the World Are O...

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