We've come a long way from the days when ideas lived in particular cities, radiating outward via word of mouth or the hand-calligraphed codex of a specific philosopher. Almost as quickly as our brightest minds can generate them, new ideas are appropriated, replicated, and refined through the collective efforts of our increasingly networked species.
Still, there's a great deal of messiness and randomness in the way knowledge is distributed online – and we've got a long way to go in harnessing technology's power to teach us more efficiently what we need to know. This is a matter of identifying, as they evolve, the ideas and skills that matter most in today's world, using video and interactive software informed by the best of neuroscience and cognitive psychology to teach them, and accurately measuring what's been learned.
Big Think is one of many organizations that are actively working to speed along this process of knowledge transfer, with the goal of moving us collectively – and as quickly as possible – toward a future in which our most pernicious problems are extinct and we're able to amplify the best aspects of our nature.