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


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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


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

Why All Presidents Dress Like Flight Attendants

February 20, 2012, 12:00 AM

Why the dark blue suits? The white shirts. The monochromatic ties. Would the nation have reeled if George W. Bush had sported a ten gallon cowboy hat all the time - and not just for publicity shots on the ranch? How about Clinton? He was basically a (highly educated) rock star - the saxophone, the groupies, the weed. Would a pair of  leather pants have been so out of place? Or a Speedo? Or at the very least a pin-striped suit and hat a la The Blues Brothers?

That Delphic oracle of style, Simon Doonan, author of the outrageously funny Gay Men Dont Get Fat, says fashion and politics don't mix in a democracy.  The candidate's person must be a blank canvas onto which we can project our hopes and dreams for the nation. If it's style you're after, says Doonan, look to dictatorships. No way the American electorate would have let Gaddafi get away with all that jheri-curl.



No doubt most baby boomers still associate the suit and tie with authority and competence. But one wonders what constitutes a blank canvas for the generation now coming of voting age, those skinny-jeaned youths raised on anti-corporate polemic in the shadow of 2008's Wall Street scandals.

Then again, back when the Baby Boomers came of voting age, many of them were bell-bottomed, shaggy-haired hippies. So perhaps the suit, the tie, and the LL Bean on weekends are here to stay after all - timeless symbols of bland, no-nonsense leadership.


Simon Doonan on presidential fashion:



Follow Jason Gots (@jgots) on Twitter



Why All Presidents Dress Li...

Newsletter: Share: