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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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Inflection Points

The Big Idea for Saturday, January 25, 2014

So long as you don't dwell on the (unchangeable) past, you can actually learn a lot from negative experiences, especially when you realize you have reached an inflection point.

An inflection point is a place where there is no tangent to the line. In other words, you can pick almost any direction. But this infinite array of choices can be debilitating if you don't edit your choices. This requires a good deal of critical self-reflection, and this is the subject of Howard Stevenson's lesson on Big Think Edge, the only forum on YouTube designed to help you get the skills you need to be successful in a rapidly changing world.

Being honest with yourself - or not cheating at Solitaire, as Stevenson puts it - is essential because "many people have a notion of themselves that’s not borne out by the facts."



  1. 1 Inflection Points: Why You Never Want to Cheat at Solitaire
    Big Think Editors Big Think Edge
  2. 2 There's No Success Like Failure: Why You Need to Learn to Sing the Blues
    Robert Steven Kaplan What You're Really Meant To Do
  3. 3 Daniel Kahneman: Why Moving to California Won’t Make You Happy
    Jason Gots Think Tank
  4. 4 We're Not As Moral As We Think (And How That Gets Us in Trouble)
    Daniel Honan Think Tank

Inflection Points

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