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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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Jon Stewart Calls B.S. on Asteroid Mining. Neil de Grasse Tyson Says It's For Real.

April 26, 2012, 11:33 AM

"Do you know how rarely the news in 2012 looks and sounds how you thought news would look and sound in 2012?" joked Jon Stewart on a recent episode of The Daily Show. Stewart was poking fun at the media frenzy surrounding Planetary Resources, the billionaire-backed space mining company that unveiled its plans to the public this week. 

At Big Think, we are certainly part of this media frenzy, as we believe Planetary Resources is embarking on a truly significant endeavor. Nonetheless, we find Stewart's critique is an appealing perspective, and one worth sharing. After all, we are a species that creates things, and we are a species with a sense of humor. As we struggle to invent new things, and new ways of doing things, humor is a powerful tool to help us mine the abyss of uncertainty. 

Watch the video here

Consider Stewart's fundamental question about asteroid mining. Can this really be done? 

Big Think fans will no doubt have noticed two of our favorite experts in this video. There is Dr. Michio Kaku with his version of the 'Philoso-fro.'

Stewart also employs the help of Neil deGrasse Tyson in a segment he calls "Bullshit or No Bullshit." Planetary Resources is for real, says Tyson. While the famous astrophysicist is positively bullish about asteroid mining, he is more skeptical when it comes to other commercial space endeavors, as he expressed in a recent interview with Big Think.

Watch the video here:

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Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan


Jon Stewart Calls B.S. on A...

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